“You’ve got to be kidding me. The zipper just split.”
Our weekend getaway to NYC as a family had just begun. As I’m sure you can guess, it wasn’t a phrase that incited the joy and excitement that a getaway normally inspires.
Prior to departure, I had spent two days doing the “getaway with kids” scramble. Seemingly simple enough, one overnight in a hotel should be an easy pack, right? Well, no. Firstly, the weather forecast for the getaway was a bit shifty. The temps would be warm-ish, but there were pretty aggressive percentages in the precipitation department. Naturally, this meant that extra clothes, shoes and layers should be packed, times four. These extra pieces meant that we needed the full-sized rolling suitcase, which I store in my parents’ garage out in Chester Springs. So, to Chester Springs and back I went. After procuring the “holder of all the things,” I had to actually pack the things. For those of you who have traveled (even just for ONE night) with kids, you know that the packing list includes everything single thing you own. I’m kidding, sort of (but not really). I packed books for bedtime, lovey, stuffed animal friends, umbrellas, rain boots, rain coats, a variety of hair bows and headbands (that went unworn), snacks, a sippy cup, a bottle for milk at bedtime, more snacks, a sound machine, approximately 42 extra pairs of 4T underwear in case of accidents, Pull-Ups for bedtime, the fuzzy socks my son must wear to bed (that fall off and end up lost in the sheets every single night), a night light and finally, snacks. Oh, and clothes. And the extra “in case we get wet” pile. Phew.
As we zipped closed the bulging suitcase (yes, I had to sit on top of it while my boyfriend zipped), I patted myself on the back. Everything we could possibly need for our one night was crammed securely inside one easy to roll suitcase. We’d just have that, the stroller, a laptop bag and a bookbag to manage. Easy.
As we rolled through Penn Station, I heard rather agitatedly exclaimed “you’ve got to be kidding me. The zipper just split.” There, in the middle of Penn Station, lying on the FLOOR, were all of our things. On the FLOOR. The zipper on our suitcase had split and the suitcase literally exploded open while rolling, ejecting all of our wordly belongings onto the floor. Of Penn Station. No. Just, NO.
Cursing under our breath (well, maybe not so “under”), we scrambled to shove all of our now dirty-with-Penn-Station-floor-dirt clothes back into the suitcase. My daughter lost her ride, as the stroller became the holder of the open-with-stuff-dangling-out-of-it suitcase. With the bookbag on my back, a four-year-old on my hip, my son holding one hand and the laptop case in the other, and my boyfriend awkwardly pushing the stroller while trying to hold the suitcase closed and in place, we started walking. Our hotel was seven blocks away.
Definitely worse for wear (including a heel blister and sweat-soaked-through shirts), we arrived at our hotel, unloaded our mess onto a wide-eyed bell hop, regrouped and headed back out to have ourselves the NYC adventure we had planned.
We had a great time. We bought packing tape and just about mummified our suitcase to get it home (see picture). And now we have a great story and a brand-spankin’ new suitcase. Adventures, here we come.
PS. If you’re planning a trip to NYC, I couldn’t recommend the new SUMMIT One Vanderbilt experience enough. The views were incredible, and the entire experience is immersive and awesome. Five stars for sure!