Exclusive Resorts invited us to join them for “Kids Take Manhattan,” the boys took their job seriously and brought wheels, they were ready. Wondering what “Exclusive Resorts” is? So was I. For a travel obsessed family, it’s nirvana. It is to time shares what Justin Bieber is to Menudo. They have over 400 luxury residences in 50 spots all over the world. They had me at “luxury” and we agreed to spend a weekend at one of their multi-million dollar Park Avenue apartments and be treated like royalty. Yes, it was a difficult decision.
So when you travel with Exclusive Resorts, or “ER” as the cool kids say, everything starts with a concierge. Would I be needing anything? Groceries, dinner reservations, tickets to a show perhaps? Why, yes, Mr. Pennyworth, we will be needing some pb&j. Since I was a guest I refrained from my usual demand of bowls of blue M&M’s and Evian showers.
A Glimpse of Life as a New Yorker
Though we live close to New York City, I’ve always fantasized about what it would be like to live IN New York City. And if you’re going to live in New York City, a Park Avenue address isn’t roughing it. The beauty of staying in an actual residence versus a hotel was clear when the boys wheeled in to the lobby on their scooters. This was going to be fun.
Our groceries were waiting for us when we arrived (thank you, Pennyworth). We settled in to our glamorous new digs then went out to explore the city. I quickly realized that whenever we are in New York, we are always on our way to a show or an event, the kids have never really experienced just being in the city. They also found out that there are a surprising number of rules about where one can ride a scooter. They spent the afternoon exploring, eating “side street hot dogs” and really enjoying what I love most about New York, the energy.
In addition to providing luxury homes for their members, Exclusive Resorts also does special events. That night we were invited to join them for “Kids Take Manhattan” a private boat with a tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I have never taken my kids to see Lady Liberty because I can’t stand lines. A private tour? 40 people? VIP access? Um, yes please.
It was a magical night. Though I was alone with all four of my children, it was effortless. I’ve always loved seeing monuments at night (think Eiffel Tower, Lincoln Memorial) and the chance to tour the Statue of Liberty at night (with a drink in hand) was truly a once in a lifetime.
Our next stop was Ellis Island, again it was closed to the public and this amazing national treasure was ours to explore. They set up special tours for the children and a cocktail hour for the adults. Brilliant.
I ended up tagging along on the children’s expedition because it was so interesting. A National Park Ranger took the kids through what it would have been like to arrive at Ellis Island as a new immigrant. They were asked what they would bring with them if they only had one suitcase and could only bring their most precious possessions. Someone voted for candy, but I think the best answer was “pillow,” I agree with that.
After their tour they were awarded “Junior Park Ranger” badges, they still have them, they are quite proud.
The night finished with an amazing seated dinner in the middle of the great hall at Ellis Island. While the children were certainly not aware of how extraordinary this was, they did enjoy the candy table that was set up for dessert. This was truly a night that they would remember for the rest of their lives.
So Santa, if you read my blog, please consider a membership to ER for a mommy who’s been very good this year.
For more information you can go to Exclusive Resorts.