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One of New York’s coolest neighborhoods is Little Italy.
The city’s epicenter of Italian heritage and food has been featured in many famous films, including The Godfather Trilogy – with Part II featuring the most scenes there.
It’s unique because it feels very old-school New York and European at the same time, making it a fantastic blend of Italian and American culture.
The streets are decorated with bright colors of the Italian flag, flower archways, and even a large sign that reads, ‘Welcome to Little Italy.’
The biggest draw to Little Italy though is the food. You don’t have to venture here if you’re looking for great New York pizza, but this is certainly the place to go if you want to have pasta in New York City.
Everywhere you look there are options for delicious Italian food. One of the main streets in this neighborhood is Mulberry Street, which features a variety of local Italian restaurants to enjoy. The best time to visit here is in the summer when the weather is warm, so you can enjoy the outdoor seating and people watch as you eat your meal.
I had lunch at a restaurant on Mulberry Street called Ristorante Capri. As I was trying to decide where I wanted – and could afford – to have some pasta in Little Italy, an upbeat round-belled actor/writer/host-with-the-most named Gustavo practically ushered me to a table before I could decide if the lunch special was something I wanted. At the end of the day though, some charm and a nice personality will go far, and so I decided to have my Little Italy lunch at this restaurant.
I am glad I did. The staff was very friendly, and I got a fabulous outdoor seating spot. With my Eat Pray Love book in hand (I am reading that for the second time) I ordered the lunch special, with lasagna for my pasta choice. The lunch special is $15 (and this was one of the cheaper options). The special included bread, a salad, and lasagna. It was incredible! The food was delicious. Everything down to the bread was really, really good.
Even though you feel like you’re in Europe, you still get that New York sense of urgency in which they are trying to get customers and in and out as quickly as possible. I would have loved to sit there and read my book a bit while I was having lunch, especially considering they didn’t have a line of people waiting, but it seems that enjoying the moment was not included in the lunch special.
The interesting thing about New York is that even though I am living here – at least through the summer – it feels like a place where you can have a vacation on your day off. I don’t know whether to attribute that to the fact that it’s all new for me or if it’s the magic of this city, but either way my trip to Little Italy felt like a mini-vacation.
Something cool to note is that Little Italy, Soho, Tribeca, and Chinatown are all right next to each other. You could easily explore all of them in one day. I didn’t see Tribeca, nor did I venture into Chinatown for the simple reason that I had already been to San Francisco’s, which is hands down the best Chinatown in the States to explore.
I did, however, walk around Soho. If you’re not familiar with Soho, it’s an upscale New York neighborhood that has more character in the aesthetic as opposed to glam. This is where you’re going to find expensive boutiques among really cool architecture while also catching celebrities, paparazzi, or both. In my case, I saw Cindy Crawford and her family. I was tempted to say hello to Cindy and see if she remembered me from the day I did background work on a Kid Rock music video during my first year in Los Angeles, but something tells me that she would not have remembered me though…
In conclusion, here are three things to remember:
1. If you want to see celebrities, go to Soho
2. Visit New York’s Little Italy and get yourself some Italian food
3. Never do background on a Kid Rock music video.
I have been a fan of talk show host Wendy Williams for a few years now.
I mainly watch The Wendy Williams Show for the hot topics segment. Considering it feels like the state of the world is constantly about to implode (just watch 10 minutes of CNN and you’ll get what I mean), celebrity culture feels more trivial than ever, but it’s Wendy that can make a story about a random reality television star I know nothing about actually interesting. Wendy’s funny and real, which makes her show so much fun to watch.
The show films in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.
Now, I only did two television tapings during my time in Los Angeles. The first was a sitcom taping that ran WAY too long, but the reason I wanted to attend that sitcom taping was because the legendary Rita Moreno was in it. The 5+ hours was worth it though, since I got to meet Rita, chat with her briefly, and even get an autograph.
The other television taping was Jimmy Kimmel Live and that was also a good time – plus Jimmy is very nice as well.
FYI, unless you have a time machine to attend an I Love Lucy, Seinfeld or Friends taping, go catch a talk show instead. They are only several hours of your time, as opposed to the ridiculously long sitcom tapings.
Obviously, New York is full of amazing shows for you to be in the audience of. There’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, and The View.
What sets Wendy’s show apart is how much her audience is included in the show – she even calls her studio audience her co-hosts. Originally, I had planned to go for my birthday, but since it would be during summer hiatus, I figured I better go as soon as possible.
I got my free tickets online via www.wendyshow.com. They gave specific clothing directions, which can best be summarized by ‘dress to impress’. Her audience is featured on-camera quite a bit, so yeah, it’s a great excuse to dress up!
We had to be in line outside the studio in Chelsea by 8:00 a.m. for the Thursday taping. Thankfully the weather was great, but if you are attending show tapings in the winter, be mindful to dress warm.
Once we got our paper ticket with a seating section, we went inside to the holding area. Before heading into the building though, everyone is required to go through security, so smaller purses are best.
In the holding area, we each wrote down a question to ask Wendy herself if picked for her Ask Wendy segment. Personally, I was hoping not be picked. I had three hours of sleep the night before after staying up late writing, so having a close up on camera for an extended amount of time was not on my to-do list. Truth be told, I had no interesting question anyway. I wasn’t picked. Thank God.
We were then brought into the studio itself. We went backstage and were given seating assignments by Wendy staffers. I actually ended up getting a great spot, and the good news is you can keep your purse with you – just make sure to turn off your cell phone though. As we were entering the studio, there was an incredible DJ playing an awesome set of 90s/early 2000s hip hop and r & b, creating a really fun club vibe in the studio. I have to stay, starting off with some fantastic throwback music is a great way to get the audience pumped up.
Once everyone was seated, the Wendy Show hype guy, Marco Glorious, came out and warmed up the crowd.
Normally at these TV tapings, it’s a mid-level comedian that comes out and tells some jokes. Meh. Whatever. But Marco was incredible! He didn’t do a stand-up set but instead got everyone excited by having us participate in the warm-up action. We were dancing, saying hello to our neighbors, and just having a fun party together. I hope other TV shows take note. THAT’S how you warm up a studio audience!
Right before we went to air Wendy producer and frequent on-camera personality Suzanne came out to say hello. I love Suzanne. She’s great and it was awesome to hear from her as well. 10 a.m. arrived and out came Wendy. I think I had been waiting all my life for that “how you doing?” moment.
The taping of the show went by really quickly, which was nice considering I was still operating on that 3 hours of sleep.
Wendy came up in the audience quite a bit actually, either between breaks or during taped segments. At one point she was standing right next to me. Afterward, she thanked us all for coming, and it was really nice to hear from her.
You can really tell that she appreciates her audience, and I think that is one of her best qualities.
Her entire staff was also SUPER NICE. I mean it. Every single person was fun, welcoming, and kind to us all. Lord knows I’ve encountered staffers who treat audience members like they are idiots (understandably some do act like that but not everyone). The Wendy Show crew though was hands down one of the nicest groups of people in entertainment. I made sure to thank them for that because it really does make a difference.
I will leave you with this:
If you are visiting New York City and want to attend a television taping – especially if you can only do one – go see the Wendy Williams Show. It is FUN. I promise you will have a great time.
HOW YOU DOING?
I finally understand why Samantha Jones’ favorite New York City ‘holiday’ is Fleet Week.
OK. If you don’t get the reference, let me explain…
Samantha Jones is an iconic character on the equally iconic TV series Sex and the City, which quintessentially changed the game for single women. I could dive into an entire on essay on the positive impacts of that show, but for the purposes of keeping this a travel blog, I’ll get right to the point. There’s an episode that is centered around the New York’s annual Fleet Week.
This event happens every year around Memorial Day in the spring in which over 2,000 members of the U.S. Navy are in the city. Although they are here for special events, they are also here for a good time. Gorgeous, well-mannered, American men in uniform walking around Manhattan? It’s a dream come true. Did I mention they are well-mannered? Ah, chivalry…
After just recently experiencing Fleet Week myself for the first time, I totally get it.
My first Fleet Week spotting was while walking home from attending a taping of the Wendy Williams show. Thanks to Sex and the City, I knew exactly what seeing a U.S. sailor in Times Square meant.
At the Hudson River pier area on Manhattan’s west side was where the Navy was having ship tours and exhibitions, featuring, of course, members of the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.
While you do have to pay to take a tour of the massive ship called Intrepid, you can visit the pier and see other boats and military equipment on display for free. Just make sure to bring a government issued photo id with you either way.
While at the pier, we were greeted by incredibly nice servicemen and women who were happy to tell us all about their equipment, history, and take photos.
I had a tour of the Coast Guard ship named after Richard Snyder, a WWII hero, as well as a tour of a training boat used by students at Annapolis.
I may have initially gone based on my fandom for Sex and the City and all things New York City, but I left with an even greater appreciation for the work our men and women in the armed services do. They sacrifice so much for our country and are always so kind. It was a treat to be able to hear from them and learn more about their work.
And yes, the outfits are also really hot.
What can I say? I met some officers who were gentlemen.
As someone totally new to life on the East Coast, I also have an insatiable desire to experience as much as I can during my time here. The close proximity to so many nearby states is pretty fascinating. In less than an hour, I could walk from my apartment in Manhattan to a subway station and take a train to the state of New Jersey. For perspective, it can take at least an hour to just get from West Hollywood to Santa Monica during rush hour.
For better or worse, the first thing I associate with New Jersey is the show The Jersey Shore. Well, I wasn’t planning to head to the beaches of New Jersey, but I was going to check out a nearby city aptly called Jersey City. It was recommended to me by a friend of a friend, so I figured it would be a nice, easy day trip for my New Jersey tourist adventure.
From Manhattan, I took the PATH train from the 32nd St. Station toward Journal Square. When planning my trip to Jersey City, I had been told by Google Maps to take the train to the final stop at Journal Square, so that was my plan.
Upon arriving at Journal Square, I walked out of the subway station and well, didn’t see much at all. Sure, there were some buildings around but not much going on. I kept calm and figured the ‘exciting’ portion was probably a little bit of a walk away.
I walked, and I walked some more. Instead of finally finding something interesting, I was honked at three times and wandered into an even-more desolate part of town that had me slightly fearful for life. My first impression of Jersey was not so good.
I now understand why they had Kevin McAllister get lost in Manhattan. If they had him get lost where I was, it could have easily been turned into a far-less fun ½ hour PBS special.
I messaged my contact who had originally recommended Jersey City to ask where exactly I should be heading to, since it was safe to assume I was not at the right spot. I finally got my answer: Grove Street.
Important note: when heading to Jersey City via the PATH train, get off at Grove Street, not Journal Square.
I walked the two miles to Grove Street and found some cute restaurants, bars, and shopping. At Grove Street and Columbus, there is a farmer’s market Monday-Thursday from 4-8 p.m. and live music Wednesday evenings from 6-9 p.m.
By the time I actually made it there, I was pretty tuckered out. I wandered around for a bit but eventually made my way back home to Manhattan.
While I was glad I could cross visiting New Jersey off my bucket list, I also realized that there’s probably some other great parts worth seeing too, and you shouldn’t judge an entire state by one city – or a reality television show.
Every March, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan comes together for LaughFest. This community-based comedy festival features local performers and events around town. Comedy events and shows include: films, stand-up, improvisation, and sketch. Local comedians have the opportunity to perform for the community and in addition, the festival also brings in big-name talent like Trevor Noah, Tiffany Haddish, John Mulaney, Anjelah Johnson, Joel McHale, Howie Mandel, Kathy Griffin, Seth Meyers, and George Lopez – just to name a few.
2018 was the first time I was actually back in Michigan for LaughFest. I had the opportunity to see Grand Rapids comedy all-stars like AnnaFlora Somers, Sean Francis, and Joe Anderson perform. Grand Rapids has a thriving arts community worth checking out if you live there or find yourself visiting GR someday.
LaughFest also includes unique events that aren’t just about comedy performances, but the joy of laughter and humor. One of those, Laughter Yoga, was something that I had the opportunity to do with my good friend Allison. I knew of yoga and laughter, but not Laughter Yoga. I was intrigued and thought it would be something fun to try. The best part is that my friend Allison also happens to be the person I love to make laugh the most, so I knew it would be perfect for the both of us to experience together.
Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids is the charitable non-profit organization that puts on LaughFest every year. It offers free emotional support for cancer patients, family members, and friends. The great thing about LaughFest is that it is not just a comedy festival; It also raises money for Gilda’s Club to continue to help those affected by cancer. It’s a truly amazing event, because it brings the community of Grand Rapids together for a good cause.
Our adventure with Laughter Yoga took place on the very last day of the LaughFest program. It was a Sunday afternoon, and this event was going to be held at the actual Gilda’s Club location. I had never been there before, so I was excited to see it. Our group included people of all ages and backgrounds. Allison and I prepared by wearing out workout attire to this event, assuming there would be actual yoga work involved. Although we did a bunch of laughter exercises, the best way to describe our experience was very similar to that of a basic improvisation class more so than a yoga class.
Because laughter reduces stress, as does yoga, it would make sense to combine the two. I definitely felt the positive effects of all the laughing that we did that day, but I do think the marketing is a little misleading. It’s a free event so harm no foul, and more importantly, it was fun to do something with my friend and the Grand Rapids community. The thing is though, we were expecting more of a yoga-type class that included laughter. For marketing purposes, yoga sounds more appealing, but I would keep in mind that Laughter Yoga is more similar to that of an improv or intro-level theater class, than a fitness format.
At the end of the day though, being in my hometown and spending the day with one of my best friends made it a really great experience.
New York City is full of diverse museums to check out. From Ellis Island and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to even a Museum of Sex (I kid you not), there really is something for everyone here.
I love museums but visiting them can take a toll financially after a while. That’s why when I discovered that some of the museums in New York offer free entry on Friday evenings, I was ecstatic. My first free-entry-Friday was at the Museum of Modern Art, aka MoMA, in Midtown Manhattan. This isn’t just your standard museum full of paintings. It also features interpretive, unique art pieces, which included videos and photographs on display.
After looking at the museum's brochure further, I learned that one of the most iconic paintings of all-time and my personal favorite, Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, was on display there. I was floored. I had been in Paris last summer and had heard that Starry Night was at another art museum I didn’t have a chance to get to, so when I realized that my favorite painting was a mere two escalator rides up from where I was standing, it was a surreal moment.
When it comes to seeing the more-famous paintings at a museum, always follow the crowds. While at the Museum of Modern Art, I knew that when I saw a bigger crowd standing around a certain painting, I knew it was the one. Starry Night was just as beautiful as I had imagined. I know that sounds cheesy but it really was. I love the color pattern and the connection with nature that it reflects. I’m a big nature person, so perhaps that is why I respond to this one more than others. No offense Mona Lisa; You are cool too.
I will say though, when it comes to traveling with young kids, I probably wouldn’t take them to this particular art museum if some edgier material may make anyone uncomfortable. It’s not that the museum is out of control with controversial artwork, but just some of the artwork was a little more graphic.
The fact that people in New York City can see Starry Night for free - at least for the near future - completely blows my mind. It’s a great deal!
If you are interested in visiting the Museum of Modern Art, free entry is every Friday from 4pm-8pm.
In the film Eat Pray Love, Julia Roberts plays writer Elizabeth Gilbert. There is a scene where she and her Swedish friend Sofi travel to Naples, Italy for the day. They are sitting down at a restaurant when Julia suddenly declares that she is having a love affair with her pizza. It was that good.
Now, Italy may have invented the dish, but I would argue that New York perfected it. It makes sense though, considering New York City’s strong Italian population and influence over the years. I can honestly say that New York pizza is, hands down, the best pizza I’ve had in my life. And yes, I too have been to Italy.
One of the perks of New York City is accessibility to everything. For many people, having your pizza delivered to you is standard, but here you can just walk down the street to pick up one. New York is also an extremely busy city. People are always on the move, which means sometimes grabbing a meal has to be quick, convenient, and considering the cost of rent here, cheap. Case in point, 99 cent pizza spots. Yes, you read that right: 99 cents per slice. It’s a financial oasis in a city that charges over $3 just to wash your clothes at the laundromat. There’s a great 99 cent pizza place on West 9th Ave in Hell’s Kitchen near the block of 53rd St. Be sure to have cash on hand though! Because these places know their customers are on the go, they have a stand on the side of the room where you can place your plate and eat there before heading out. If you’re traveling to New York and trying to save money, this is a great option for budget travelers. Now, something to also take into consideration is that cheap doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best. If you want an exceptional slice of New York pizza it’ll be more in the $2-$3 range.
My very first meal upon arriving in New York was actually a slice of pizza. It was the perfect first meal, and easily the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. That venue is called Koronet Pizza on Broadway in the Morningside neighborhood of Manhattan. You only need one slice though! They are huge, so one is more than enough.
New York is full of incredible food, but if you have to try one meal, it’s got to be local, New York-style pizza. Thankfully though, you can also get a lot of walking in while you are here as well. Enjoy!
In my previous blog post, I had mentioned that they stopped selling tickets on the Saturday when I made my attempt to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I was forced to just buy a ticket for the next day, which was Easter Sunday. I was bitter, but probably not as bitter as if that had been my last day in New York. The next morning, I got myself up extra early to make the trek back down to Battery Park. I figured I was safe; It was early morning on Easter Sunday.
As luck would have it, there was still a line (go figure) but not nearly as bad as the day before, and since I already had my ticket, I only had to wait in one line. I was back amongst the pushy tourists, but I was getting on that cruise dagnabbit. I finally figured out why their system takes so long; They have airport style security. Everyone is lost in translation, and it just holds things up even more. I regret to say I lost a hat in the security line. It wasn’t stolen, I just forgot to grab it. Oops.
Now that I was finally on the boat that would take us to Liberty Island and then to Ellis Island, I made my way to the very top… and so did everyone else. We were all cramming for a sweet spot on the edge to get photos. Some folks were nicer than others about sharing the space. Hey 20-something Instagram girl, how many glamour photos do you need? This isn’t a Vogue photoshoot. Oy.
The Statue of Liberty was incredible. I got my photos in, but I really made sure to take in the moment of being there. It’s crazy how we have to actively tell ourselves to disengage from our cell phones. It’s extra hard as a travel writer though, because so much of the industry is about capturing the perfect shot. Well, I’m a writer first and foremost, and I’d rather remember actually being there.
Next, we re-boarded the boat and made our way to Ellis Island. If you’re not familiar with Ellis Island, it was a large immigration center for people moving to America. It was in operation from the late 1800s to the 1950s. My Dad’s family is from The Netherlands and although they didn’t come through Ellis Island, I could sincerely appreciate the immigration experience and the history of it.
There are several buildings on the island, but the main building is the one that is open to the public and is now a restored building and museum. There is so much history there, and it’s quite interesting to learn about it. It was also fascinating to be among people from all over the world going through this museum, and I found myself curious as to what they might think about it. The reality is that the history of U.S. immigration hasn’t always been a positive one.
Ellis Island was the last stop on the trip, and then it was back to Manhattan. I had a great time seeing these two sites and am also really glad I got them out of the way before summer. I can’t even imagine what that line will be like!
I just moved to New York.
I’m officially a New York writer and loving every second of my nerd-level Carrie Bradshaw vibes. I completely get it. New York City is the greatest city in the world. I love it. It is absolutely magical. Coming from LA, where the magic is all about Hollywood, New York has a different kind of energy. While yes, there are many artists here following their dreams, the history and symbolism of New York City is unlike no other. I couldn’t think of a better spot to visit first than the Statue of Liberty. However, it was easier said than done.
Los Angeles is full of tourists, but normally, they are confined to Hollywood Blvd, a few beach spots, and a theme park or two. Here in New York, they are everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love tourists and meeting people from other countries, but I'm not a fan of a big crowds. It's even worse when those crowds get pushy, and then I turn into George Costanza. I know what you might be thinking: Why did you move to one of the busiest cities in the world then? First of all, I'm complicated. Second of all, people walking about in the city is one thing, but being shoved by 6ft tall German women is not my idea of a weekend well-spent. As it turns out, the Statue of Liberty is one of the busiest tourist attractions in the world. It’s the Mount Everest of tourism. If you can make it through that crowd, you can do anything!
On the Saturday of this year’s combined Passover and Easter weekend, I made my way on the 1 train down to Battery Park where you can catch the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I made the mistake of not listening to my own advice and did not purchase a ticket ahead of time. I was naïve. It was a holiday weekend and a beautiful, sunny day. Crap.
I finally get there. The line just to purchase a ticket is around the building and then some. Mind you there is also a separate, super-long line once you have your ticket to get onto the ferry. I was almost to the ticket counter when I heard it; A man announced, impressively in 5 different languages, that they were no longer selling tickets for that day. I was not amused. Thankfully, I could still buy a ticket for the next day, but that would mean I would have to come back to Battery Park, and at $2.75 a train ride, it’s not exactly cheap. I bought my Statue of Liberty ticket for the following day, which would be Easter Sunday. Not wanting to waste a subway trip though, I decided to walk over to where the Staten Island Ferry is and take that over the harbor to see a bit of Staten Island. Fun fact, the State Island Ferry is free. Wahoo! Unfortunately, it seemed that everyone else who didn’t get a ticket to the Statue of Liberty had the same idea.
I was waiting near the entrance to get onto the ferry in a sea of people, pun intended. I thought I might lose my mind. First of all, it felt as though everyone near me had at least 6 inches of height over me (I’m very short). Then all of sudden the doors opened, and we started to move. But not a calm move. We were like a live reenactment of what was happening on the Titanic, only instead of looking for lifeboats, we were trying to get back on the ship. I remember saying out loud “People, calm down. It’s Staten Island, not Disneyland.” Though I don’t think anyone understood me, I figured now would be the perfect time to start becoming a tough New Yorker. Yeah, I still have a lot of work to do.
The great thing about New York is that when you take these ferries, especially on a nicer day, you get beautiful views of Manhattan and the harbor. It can get quite chilly on the top of the ferry though, so be mindful to dress extra warm.
After getting off the ferry at Staten Island, I wandered around a bit into a very low-key borough that didn’t seem to have much going on at all. In fact, it felt kind of creepy. That ferry was packed, and then all of sudden it was like "where did all the people go?". Stephen King, if you ever somehow read this blog, it might make a good book. I can totally see it: The Staten Island Disappearance. Seriously though, where did all those people go!?
Since my phone battery was low, I didn’t venture too far onto the island. Last thing I needed was to get lost in New York, battle a couple of quirky thieves, have my mom finally find me at Rockefeller Center and... Oh wait, wrong plot. OK, so all in all, the fact that the ride was free and that I can cross Staten Island off my New York bucket list made it a satisfactory day of exploration.
On the next blog post, hear about the following day when I finally made it to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!
This blog is all about travel, and I want to make sure that I aim to include topics that readers of different backgrounds can relate to. Since I am not a parent, the subject of traveling with a baby is one that I am not familiar with, so I enlisted the help of an experienced traveler who also happens to be a new mom to an adorable baby boy. I interviewed my cousin Betsy, a Southern California-based teacher, all about her experience flying with a baby.
1. PB (pre-baby), what was your travel background?
For work, I used to travel internationally about 6-7 times a year. In the last few years since being married, we have travelled about 1-2 times internationally for pleasure and usually a road trip (camping, skiing, beach etc) every other month. We love to explore new places - from busy urban cities to remote landscapes and national parks!
2. Where have you traveled to with Emerson?
Temecula Wine Country (When he was a month old), Michigan (when he was 2 months old), California Coast/Morro Bay/San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles (when he was 2.5 months old), Bay Area (when he was 3 months old), Michigan again (when he was 3.5 months old).
3. Have you taken any solo trips with him?
My first trip with him back to Michigan I traveled alone and flew with Emerson on my lap when he was just under 2 months old. It definitely was really intimidating at first, but it’s very doable. The younger they are, the easier. I was fortunate to fly Southwest and have very helpful neighbors who would hold in my son’s pacifier while I changed him on my lap.
4. What are some things you brought with you while traveling with a baby that have helped you?
Travel light, make sure everything you take is multi-use and very versatile. For example, instead of bringing heavy blankets for my son to lay out on if there was an empty seat for him next to me, I put down my sweatshirt or jacket. Instead of taking burp cloths, take napkins that you can throw away or a small blanket that can double up as a burp cloth. Bring a couple of the disposable pads (like the one the’s they put under you at the hospital or under the baby when they weigh him) and use those for diaper changes or mopping up any spills. Taking 2-3 pairs of clothes, plenty of diapers and wipes are a must but only enough to last you for a day of travel (buy some when you arrive to your destination). I checked the stroller until our final destination so I brought a baby carrier which allowed me to use the restroom on layovers and I always had a place for baby to sleep on the plane/while walking about.
5. What are some things you realized you didn’t need to bring with you when traveling with a baby?
A lot of clothes/shoes for our little one, bring a couple sets to last you a day, but then just do laundry…you have enough other stuff to bring with a little!
6. How much extra time do you allow yourself at airports now?
Maybe about 30 mins extra for pumping and a diaper change.
7. Now being a mom, have you noticed any ways airports help accommodate new parents?
YESSSSSS! Thank you to those thoughtful airports that have nursing rooms (inside security)! These are places where moms can go to nurse/pump and to change their little one’s diaper. Many have a nice seating area, tv, changing table, restroom, and sink! Some of the smaller airports have nursing rooms outside of security which is kinda annoying but better than none! Also, if you’re flying with small children you can as the airline for a gate pass so a family member/friend can help escort you to the gate even though they themselves are not flying. This was a huge help when I was traveling alone so I could have some down time before boarding!
8. Have you dealt with any rude passengers?
Not yet, flying Southwest is the best because people choose their own seats. Family boarding occurs towards the beginning and then the remaining passengers to board can choose to sit by a baby/child or not! So, people that like kids choose to sit next to you!
9. What are some suggestions you think airports and airlines can do to help parents traveling with a baby?
More family restrooms/nursing rooms for moms. A separate security line would be nice!
Jill Zwarensteyn is a television producer, writer, and comedian who has been featured on Amazon, TruTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Tiplr, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com