Travel with a Smile, a lot of Patience and a Cute 7-Year-Old


 “I’m so lucky I get to go to New York. And I get to miss a day of school,” my daughter Julia announced as our plane taxied down the runway and took off for New York City. This weekend we are celebrating a special ladies’ trip with three generations – my mother, me and Julia. It’s a trip I have been planning for quite a while and I’m so glad to be back in New York. The greatest lesson I learned today is to always travel with a smile, a lot of patience and a cute 7-year-old.

Travel is both exhilarating and stressful at the same time. That fluttering in your stomach you feel the night before a trip is something I always look forward to, but I could easily do without the stresses that plane travel can bring. So this morning, as my mother and I went through the paces at Pearson Airport in Toronto we decided on a mantra: travel with a smile, a lot of patience and cute 7-year-old.

A Canadian traveler headed to New York needs to complete many steps at the airport after passing through the terminal doors on the way to strolling onto the plane. I highly recommend to use web check in (we did that) and pack only carry-on bags and travel light (we also did that and avoided the bag drop-off line) to avoid the first set of lines. We swiftly made our way to security and immigration. Armed with our Nexus cards we approached the first security check, where we smiled, said hello and pushed the cute little 7-year-old in front of us.

On we went, to get each of our carry-on bags x-rayed. We took our time as we pulled out our collection of electronics (not much this time, with only a laptop and two iPads), carefully placed our items on the conveyer, smiled at the security team and walked through the metal detectors, with a smile. A serious-looking security screener pulled most of our bags aside and started to go through them. We stayed calm, started some small talk, smiled and again put the cute 7-year-old in front. The screener smiled back, closed our bags and wished us a good day.

Travel with a smile
Yes this is really on display as you go through customs

We continued this practice as we worked our way through the Nexus area of immigration and customs where Julia even got a photo with the Statue of Liberty, as we boarded the plane and when we de-planed. We exited at the wrong place to find the shuttle to take us to our Lyft taxi, but we took our time, kept smiling and found our way.  The friendly concierge at the hotel check-in desk appreciated our patience as she rebooted her computer, our relaxed and smiling faces and also our cute 7-year-old travel companion. She upgraded us to a beautiful large room on the hotel’s 30th floor, and as we arrived in said room, dropped our luggage and finally had a chance to relax we knew our mantra worked – travel with a smile, a lot of patience a cute 7-year-old.

Our first day in New York was magical, with an early dinner at Alice’s Tea Cup, a stroll through Central Park and of course a bit of shopping. I didn’t realize until tonight how much I missed this city. I only lived here for 18 months, what seems like a lifetime ago, and I’m so glad to be back, to show my daughter my New York, and to share it with my mother too.

Travel with a smile
We had to take a selfie as our tea, sandwiches, scones and treats arrived
Travel with a smile
My mother was thrilled to see her favourite poem painted on the wall at Alice’s Tea Cup
Travel with a smile
She’s living a child’s dream to skip and play in a beautiful park
Travel with a smile
Thanks to the great folks at the NYPD Mounted Unit, Julia got close and personal with a new friend in Central Park
Travel with a smile
Even though it was silly, we just had to take a selfie
Travel with a smile
Taking a break as we walk down Fifth Avenue

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