A couple of weeks ago, I schlepped (traveled)  from Queens to Manhattan with three kids four and under to Manhattan. Our mode of transportation, Manhattan Transportation Authority (MTA). It wasn’t by choice, but a necessary mean to attend a mom blogger event in the city with celebrity mom Kelly Ripa. We have had to cut our budgets for entertainment and domestic help to nil. Since I married a mensch who is also interested in moving into a house we actually own, I must abide by the rules. Gone are the days of driving into the city and parking in a parking garage. No more babysitting while I try to learn the latest trends about kid’s shoes at Stride Rite or building a playground with Kaboom. My kids and I are all for one and one for all, it’s a package deal.

First, I checked out what route hopstop recommended. Our commute to the city wasn’t as bad as I thought. Thanks to the other people on line for the QM1A bus, and the people on the bus. My girls giggled over every bump of the ride. I’m not sure if the other passengers saw me and immediately gave me the sympathy vote, or they just wanted to be nice. Whatever the reason, it made my journey with a four, two, and one year old with a stroller a lot less painful.

Once we got off the QM1A at , we walked a couple of blocks to Duffy Sqaure and we had arrived at the event. This was my chance to get the scoop on Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Electrolux and Kelly Ripa and be at the kick-off of “Text-a-Thon for a Cause”.  During September, their mission is to fund research to find a method of early detection, and ultimately, a cure for ovarian cancer. So, there I was in the same room as Kelly Ripa.  She is even more beautiful in person, as is her daughter who came with her on the campaign. Ms. Ripa has the most incredible posture and poise. I took some video with my zi6 and tried to cover as much of the event as possible. That all came to a stop when my two year old sat in Kelly’s interview seat on the platform. My one year old was in the stroller with a bottle in his mouth, but after awhile he started to get kvetchy. My four year old was also up on stage posing for the cameras (oy,vey). I was so close to getting my picture with Kelly, but I had to leave before my kids would bump into any more camera people (sorry guys). Since we were already in Times Square, I just had to make a couple of tourist like pit stops.

Our first encounter was with the Naked Cowboy. No, he’s not really naked. He is in a very, skimpy pair of shorts. My kids walked over to him and he gave us a smile for the camera. We quickly left the scene and no sooner to our left was a tremendous sign with Toys R Us in bright lights. I just had to go in, but who could do such a thing on a budget? I told my girls up front that if they saw a toy that they wanted, they just had to earn stars on their chart for an entire week (hasn’t happened yet) and then we would come back and get it. That worked, but I had a really tough time keeping up with them in the store. One ran down the Little Einstein’s section, the other went to play The Beatles Rock Band. They were all within my vision, but that was getting harder by the minute. After a couple of drum sessions with the Beatles , I persuaded the girls to leave the store. Things were going well until we passed the Candy Spot. With only a couple of dollars to spend, I bought some Yummy Earth Organic Fruit Lollipops and they’re kosher! I kept them hostage (the lollipops) until we made it to the subway. The F train at 42nd and Bryant Park had an elevator, and a very nice man helped me get my crew down to the platform. My two year old made friends with all of the people around here. She even patted a man’s bald head with her hand. They were all good sports about the situation, phew!

Once we got to Union Turnpike, we were asked several times if we needed help up the stairs, on the bus, etc. Again, we waited on line for the Q46, made it on the bus and finally reached our destination.

If you need to get to Manhattan on a kosher budget with kids and a stroller in tow you can. I spent a little over ten dollars and I even saw some “off off off Broadway” entertainers strutting their stuff, a bit too much (Naked Cowboy), but it was right in Times Square.