Next week is February Break in New Jersey, and I’m planning to take my kids to China for the day, by way of Chinatown. Our budget is too tight nowadays to allow us to jet off to Colorado or the Caribbean for a little rest and relaxation, but that’s no reason to sit at home for the entire week.  I want to take advantage of our freedom from our ridiculous schedule to head into New York City for an adventure. I’ve always loved to go to Chinatown; I feel like I’m a million miles away from New York the minute I emerge from the Canal Street subway station and spot the displays of terrifying fish and bizarre vegetables. My five-year old son who’s just learning to read will be fascinated by the mysterious characters on all the street and store signs. The children will be amazed to see so many unfamiliar faces and feel like a minority as Chinese is spoken all around them. My favorite restaurant is a Dim Sum banquet hall on Elizabeth Street called We’ll access it by riding a long escalator up to the cavernous dining room. Once seated, little old ladies who speak no English will walk by pushing carts filled with steaming dumplings and bowls of sticky rice. I can’t wait to see the children’s faces when one of the ladies lifts up the lid on the bowl with chicken feet. They may not agree to taste anything, and we may end up leaving the table with their bellies only filled with white rice. But their senses will have been filled with exotic sights, sounds and smells. And I’ll have gorged myself with some delicious food. This is an original Traveling Mom blog post. Read more of Chefdruck’s Musings, including whether this trip was a success, at