Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Hunt: Stamford, Greenwich, and the River Towns

We set off this morning for the last of our exploratory day trips. Our destination: more of Connecticut, and two of the River Towns.

First up was Stamford, which we did not like. It’s a city, and had that stressful city feeling of too much traffic, too few sidewalks, no place to park at a storefront McDonald’s. And we really, really needed that storefront McDonald’s. After a run of several successful (i.e., no-motion-sickness) car trips, Lucia threw up pretty much as soon as we hit the Stamford city limits. And this was epic vomiting. It was everywhere. All over the carseat, all over her clothes, all over Cat and Elmo, some on her boots. It gushed down the neck of her sweater and around the back of her neck. It was horrific. And it was so cold outside, so the poor sweetie was shivering, her teeth chattering, as I changed her clothes in the trunk while Andrew cleaned up the carseat. I’d gotten lazy this trip. I’d still brought a change of clothes and a big box of wipes (we keep paper towels in the car now), but I’d neglected to bring a plastic bag, so we had a pile of vomit-laced clothes and paper towels nestled against the spare wheel. Ick. Lovely. Welcome to Stamford, indeed.

We continued on with the trip. Oh, yes, we did. We figured we’d made it out there so we might as well do what we’d planned to. We are not really bad parents; it’s just that the time for our Real House Hunt is coming closer, and we’re out of weekends (the next two weekends we’ll be in Connellsville; then Andrew will be in India for the following two weekends; and then it’s March and time to start the hunt). So on we went.

Anyway, we drove on to Greenwich, to another McDonald’s where we could actually park, where a more cheerful Lucia ate her entire Happy Meal. (She seemed warm, however, and has been touching her ear all day, so I suspect more fun is in store for us.) Then we drove around Greenwich a little. It was really pretty there, with a fancy downtown (would the Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren stores welcome my sticky little ones?), and is probably a little too pretty and fancy for our budget. We’ll keep it on the list until we’ve done more research.

Next we drove to Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, both of which we liked a lot—we’ll keep these on the list. Cute downtown in Tarrytown, lovely streets and houses in both places. Sleepy Hollow, especially, felt like a place we could call home.

At this point we’ve narrowed it down to eight places: Rowayton, Greenwich, and the Shippan Point section of Stamford, CT; Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, NY; and Maplewood, South Orange, and Montclair, NJ. Only the New Jersey towns seem to hit all our wished-for elements, and though the taxes make them less than perfect, it’s becoming more and more apparent that these will likely end up being our final three.

Greta had a diaper disaster in Sleepy Hollow; we changed her clothes (poor shivering baby!) and piled more dirty laundry in the back of the car. She screamed much of the way home. Lucia alternately cried/whined, sang the ABCs, and engaged us in prolonged conversations like this:

“Mama. Mama. Mama.”
“Yes, sweetie?”
“Tiny feet.” (Holds up Cat’s legs.)
“Yes, Cat does have tiny feet.”
“Tiny hands.” (Holds up Cat’s arms.)
“Yes, Cat does have tiny hands.”
“Dada. Dada. Dada.”
“Yes, love?”
“Tiny feet.” (Holds up Cat’s legs.)

Etc.

And she’d sometimes erupt in mournful laments that Bibi was not with us:

“Biiiiiibiiiiiiiiii. I want Biiiiiiibiiiiiiiiii.”
“Bibi’s waiting for you at home, dearest.”
“I go home see Bibi.”
“We’re on our way home now.”
“I want Bibi. I want New Elmo.” (New Elmo was vomit-covered in the trunk of the car.)
“New Elmo needs a bath. You’ll see him at home.”
“I have Cat. Tiny feet! Tiny hands! Tiny ears! Tiny eyes!”

Etc.

It was a long day, but it was a necessary trip. Now we can begin the next stage of our hunt.

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