I have been to New york city many times before but this was the first trip with my little one and his first city holiday.

While my city trips usually have an itinerary of FOOD, FEEDING, CONSUMING and some kind of "Museuming", it had to be different this time because one, my son eats nothing apart from plain pasta and chips and two, he is so restless on the dinner table so I had to put in the effort to find other entertainment to the detriment of getting nutrients into my body.

I was quite nervous at first taking a child to a big bustling city, how can I entertain him? How can I do things he loves and still have time for my past times. I quickly snapped out of my fear and thought, I live in a mega city myself and I find things for my child to do at home so why not here in NYC.

My ultimate plan began, and schedule started looking something like this, child activity- cocktail on a rooftop- child activity- Food and more cocktails- then food and drink planning for the next day after all we need food and drink to stay alive right? RIGHT!

1.The first place we visited was The NFL experience in Times square. It is an interactive place where you get to experience what the NFL feels and sounds like, with a 5d cinema, the experience was exciting and mesmerising for the little man. Prices start from $33 per person

2. THE RIDE NYC- Forget about taking a tour on the regular open top buses, the ride has taken city tours into the 21st century. A comic tour of the city on a party bus with epic street performances, there is no better way to see the city. Tip: take the tour at night and take the risk and book on the day. Our last minute booking saved us $28 dollars each.

3. Duncan's Candy shop- Lets just say my lil one lost his damn mind in this candy store, there are a few scattered around the city. Make sure you visit the cafe and try one of their Sundaes, they do it big I tell ya.

4. Central park tour on a Rickshaw or horse drawn carriage - We went on the Rickshaw and it was a nice tour and cheaper than the latter. They riders knew every movie that was shot in the park and they tailor the tour to children's movies and shows if there is a child on board. Your Rickshaw driver is also your photographer, use him well to get epic shots

5. Statue of Liberty tour- If you are with kids my advice is to do the tour where you see the statue of liberty from the water, it is a great view and only a 2 hour tour. Longer tours (4 hours) that include going to Ellis Island and require queuing to get to the top may be too long for the little ones.

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FOOD (Alero, do not be a slave to food I told myself several times a day in NYC).

1. After eating a truck load of Shake Shack I thought it was time for a change. I stumbled across a petite crepe place Vive La Crepe on Columbus and 68th. With sweet and savory crepes, there is something for everyone. I loved the egg, bacon and cheese crepe.

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2. Black tap was an awesome burger place just one block from where we stayed in Mid town Manhattan 55th W and 8th Avenue. We always saw massive queues in front and thought this is a good sign. With their brioche burgers, crispy chicken wings and amazing sundaes, who could resist. Tip: don't let the queues put you off, we stood in the 45 minute queue for only 10 minutes because a table for 5 became available so we jumped the queue to our delight.

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3. Miss Lillys Caribbean restaurant down town. With its beautiful retro vibe, excellent decor and amazing food, whats not to love. When I tell you I haven't had better oxtail and Mac and cheese before in my life, please believe me, it is not an exaggeration. The food was smashinginly delicious, Caribbean food at its finest. It wasn't cheap though so hol' ya dalla dalla bills.

Image result for miss lily's new york

Image result for miss lily's new york food

4. Ichiumi-  Although we literally got chased down the road for a tip ( no kidding, my first instinct was run but I had a child with me and I had called an uber already so I knew running was a bad idea 😂), the food was decent. A Japanese buffet restaurant with the buffet area as long as half a football pitch, variety was the man of the match (see what I did there? get it?)

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Newyork city was a great mixture of culinary experience and fun things to do with kids. After my trip I wondered why I was so nervous in the first place. With some careful planning and great friends, I would do it again and again.

One thing for sure about NYC is every time I visit, I see the hustle on the street and I top up on my hustle spirit and I am raring to go. #CEO gang. #We aspire.

Thanks for reading and see you back soon Buttercups 😘😘😘

  Ps: not all photos are mine (Not about to see the inside of a courtroom anytime soon)

Growing up, my mum was very particular about certain things. She would never let up borrow ANYTHING from anybody, if you came home with a borrowed book, you will get a serious telling off not to talk of a toy or a piece of clothing. My sister and I who are 3 years apart were not even allowed to wear each others clothes, my mum hated it. Let’s just say she made no exceptions, my mum didn’t like what she hated lol. From a young age we knew to do with what we had.

Another thing is she would never let us miss school for any reason whatsoever, if you were ill, she would ask you to go to school and if it got worse tell the teacher to call her to pick you up. She would never lie on your behalf or cover up for you in any wrong doing. I remember once, a while ago when I was at university, I called my part time job to say I was ill I couldn't come in when I was just very tired from being up late the night before watching Bill Clinton confess his sins live on TV, she threatened to call my manager to tell him I was lying, the next thing I found myself at work doing an 10 hour shift with the possibility of fainting every other minute due to fatigue.

She never missed a flight; she would rather drive off and leave your ass in the wilderness than miss her flight. She always emphasized keeping your word and being on time. These little or big things shaped me in an unimaginable way.

I recently got a job where I worked with a Manager I had worked with in a former organisation. One day, very new in my role, I was down with a fever and had to stay home to recover. When I told my manager, he said "In the 18 months we worked together before, you have never called in sick, I hope you are not dying" lol. I did feel a sense of pride at that point. I was back to work the next day just so I don’t taint my almost perfect record.

I am not an expert in Parenting because at the end of the day we are all just winging it and hoping for the best. What I do know is Integrity, kindness and grit are some of the most important things you can teach your children.

Some things I implement that help build his integrity

  • Never allow him play pranks or so called April fools, I can’t stand it
  • Never allow him borrow anything, if he asks to borrow something, I just say "I will buy you a brand new shiny one, don't you want that instead?”
  • I never lie in front of him or give a false statement (which he knows is false) with the aim to avoid responsibility or commitment
  • I never let him get out of his activities like swimming, football, music etc just because he is "tired" or "doesn't feel like going"
  • I emphasize on being on time to everything
  • I teach him on knowing when to say no instead of letting people down
  • And I always emphasize on keeping his word, you say it, you do it.

This is not an extensive list but a few things I do regularly and never back away giving him mixed messages. I learnt from the best, my mum.

Comment below on what you do or what your parents did to instil certain values in you.

Until next time buttercups

 

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