Greetings, borobaby readers! Let’s kick things off with a FREE baby-friendly activity! Hot DOG! Full disclosure: This activity requires vehicle ownership or access to a vehicle. Friends without wheels do not despair – we usually only drive to see the Grandparents and such…. this was a real diversion from the norm. As an aside, many of my city friends without cars will attest to the wonders of zipcar for when driving becomes truly necessary.
So, when I was pregnant, my husband Nick and I decided that we should get a car so that we could take the baby on trips to do nature-y stuff: hiking, strawberry picking, camping, and so forth. What kind of parents would we be if the kid never saw any kind of real nature?! No offense to the truly amazing NYC parks. How on earth would he gain immunity to diseases without eating dirt, as we surely did when we were younguns back in the non-internet days of old?
Enter Katie and Scott: dear friends and hikers extraordinaire. Whilst cavorting one afternoon at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden (more to come on appropriate drinking activities with baby), we approached Katie and Scott. Were there easy hikes that weren’t too far away that we could do while carrying Marley in our Ergo Baby carrier? And so they began planning…and they came up with an absolutely perfect way to spend the morning/early afternoon with our borobaby.
The hike we completed was the Women’s Federation Movement “easy” hike at the Palisades Interstate Park just over the river in NJ.
To get there from NYC, take the Palisades Interstate Parkway North from the George Washington Bridge. Continue for 1.7 miles beyond Exit 2, and turn right at a sign for the State Line Lookout. Follow the access road for about half a mile until it ends at a large parking lot near the lookout. (If you are coming from the north on the Parkway, bear left just beyond Exit 3 and follow the signs for the lookout.)
Thanks, Palisades Interstate Park website, for very helpful trail categorization. Indeed, this was the first exercise beyond just strolling about the neighborhood that my noodle-like postpartum body had embarked upon. Well, there was that “run” I did a few weeks ago, but we need not expand on that (exercise – FAIL) ….. Anyway, I totally recommend sticking to the easy stuff to start out, especially if this is the first time you will be doing anything in nature with a baby attached to you. I must admit, I was a bit wobbly going down the “rock stairs” in the beginning of the trail, but just as soon as I began to doubt myself, the flat trail began and I felt confident once again. As you can see below, Marley was having a blast – by that of course I mean that he slept in the Ergo Baby the entire time, with the exception of one feeding/diaper break at the monument castle.
Katie and I discussed weddings and bunnies while the boys talked martial arts and power tools. Well…. okay I have no idea what the guys talked about.. just a guess, ya know? Here I am with all the guys….
The trail allows for plenty of lookouts over the Hudson, and the “rock stairs” going up on the way back provided a much needed challenge. I sure hope my NYC-area readers will take a trip to the Palisades Interstate Park. Even if hiking doesn’t strike your fancy or you don’t feel quite ready for that yet with a new baby, there are picnic grounds available. Don’t get me wrong, Nick, Marley and I are city folk through and through, but nothing beats the first time you take a deep breath in the woods. For me, it reminds me of my childhood – back when my mom had to beg me to come inside for dinner.
And so, dear reader, perhaps you are now wondering, “What is that Ergo Baby contraption you keep talking about? Is that like a Baby Bjorn or what?” or “Feeding break at the monument castle? How’d you pull that off?”…
Stay tuned for my next post: From versatile carrying options to discreet nursing everywhere you go – I’ll discuss why I think the Ergo Baby is THE MOST essential baby item to the savvy parent’s re-entry into civilization!