the thing about new york was that we spent a total of four full days in the city, but we bounced back to pennsylvania in between the first and second day.

for the sake of reference and documentation, here's an overview of what the week looked like:

tuesday: day one in new york.

wednesday: pennsylvania, with the sheep.

thursday: day two in new york, also an off day. (my nanny schedule was 2-8pm, which meant i had the morning completely off.)

friday: day three in new york, also the day of the carnegie hall show.

saturday: day four in new york, also an off day. (we bussed out around 5pm.)

other helpful thing to know: our bus was parked on w 57th, between 6th + 7th.

and now, the fun stuff.

on our first day in the city, i started my shift right as we all went to lunch at the brooklyn diner. 5 kids + 3 nannies + 1 mom, and our 2 strollers (a single and a double).

i had some kind of chicken avocado sandwich, which paired nicely with my latte from starbucks. because anything pairs nicely with a latte when you've just woken up.

after lunch is nap time, and we generally like to have all the kids at least rest for a couple of hours, especially in the city, where the days are full of stimulation. somehow, the four year old girl who so desperately needed down time managed to talk (whine) her way out of it.

instead of being annoyed by the situation, i chose to take her out for some one-on-one time. we went to central park and climbed the rocks by the playground, which is something of a special treat, since it's an activity that's only allowed when there is a one-to-one nanny-to-child ratio.

we had so much fun, climbing the rocks and being able to see the whole playground from the top. she didn't say it, but by the way she danced around and stretched out her arms as if to touch the treetops, she must have felt like she was on top of the world.

one of my favorite things about being a nanny is the challenge of learning how to navigate a situation based on the unique personality of the child. not having a nap, or even a time of rest, was not how i would've liked the afternoon to go, but knowing she loves having one-on-one time seemed to help prevent the rest of the day from going downhill.

once we got back from the park, we turned right around and ventured out to rockefeller center to see the christmas tree. by that time, it was late in the day and the sun was setting, so we tucked each kid into a stroller with a blanket and created something of a nanny train, with three strollers (two doubles and a single).

we went, we saw, we tried (and failed) to find a chick fil a nearby, and then headed back to the bus to order pizza instead.

as previously mentioned, we skipped back to pennsylvania the next day, but when we came back to the city on thursday, we had a day off. as a nanny, i didn't necessarily get the day off, because the moms still need help. however, since they are around all day (because they do have the day off), we split the day into two shifts and had two nannies on before naps and two nannies on after naps.

i was one of the PM nannies, which meant i had all morning to do whatever i wanted. in the best city on earth.

(have i told you how incredible it's been to be on this tour? not nearly enough, i know.)

with the bus parked within walking distance to the places i've already been in the city, i decided to brave the subway alone.

listen, i've never actually ridden on the subway in new york because, well, have you met my mom? (i have been on the T in boston, which probably counts, but i feel like i'm more comfortable in boston in general.)

to tell you the truth, i was a little hesitant at first. the idea of navigating the subway on my own stressed me out, and i almost didn't want to do it. but as the other nannies and i were talking about what we would do with our time off, they basically convinced me it wouldn't be a big deal.

i'm not exactly sure what made me change my mind. it didn't really take much convincing. i think i just, in a moment, decided i could do it. and then i did.

the other nanny and i talked through where i'd get on and off the subway, but once i looked at the map and the other station locations on the same line, i added a few stops.

first up, stumptown coffee. the one next to the super neat ace hotel. i got a latte and a (DELICIOUS) raspberry glazed doughnut, which i enjoyed while riding the subway to my next stop:

the brooklyn bridge.

listen, i can't even tell you how thrilling this was. i've seen these bridge photos countless times, but there's something about it. i could look at it all day.

it's very unoriginal, but the incredible thing about these photos is that i've never been able to take ones like them before. for someone who loves new york as much as i do, i could probably count on one hand the number of times i've actually spent time there. so to have an entire morning, by myself, to get lost and explore and take the same photo that's been taken 3872576 times felt amazing.

m a n h a t t a n.

b r o o k l y n.

if you squint, you can see the statue of liberty. i actually almost missed it, and i've never actually been. so, like, i'm glad i spotted her in the midst of all my manhattan skyline awe.

aaand just one more. for good measure.

next, i went to washington square park. i had to walk a few blocks from where i got off the subway, and i noticed a chick fil a on the map. it turns out, nyu has a chick fil a in their cafeteria. (also a free, unlocked bathroom, which is very important to know when you're walking around the city and you have to pee but don't want to spend money to get a bathroom code.)

i went to nyu, is what i'm trying to say. and while the whole day felt like a dream, it was weird to be there, at nyu, because once upon a time, i wanted to go to school there.

i think this is housing or something? i don't know because i didn't actually go to nyu.

the truth about having washington square park as one of my destinations is that one of the bloggers i follow (who used to live in new york) has posted photos of this arch before and i kind of just picked up on it as a thing i wanted to see.

so i sat on a bench in front of it, ate my chicken sandwich, and tried to wrap my mind around what my life would possibly look like if i lived in new york city.

i couldn't do it.

there was a time when i could picture it, when i was sure it would be my future. and now, as dreamy as it is in new york city, i can't imagine living anywhere but nashville.

while waiting for the train, i took this photo of myself with the "new york" part of "new york university." because i was in new york. because i had learned how to find my way around the city that morning. because i was by myself and selfies are all you can take when you're by yourself.

also, i think it's important to mention that it took me like three tries to get my face AND the "new york" in the shot. so that is my concentrating face and that's as good as i was going to get.

also, that squirrel.

this was later, after my shift was over. after the crazy afternoon, and the juggling kids and hotel rooms and bedtime routines, after working a little later than planned and then running errands and back and forth between hotel rooms and tour buses.

the nannies weren't supposed to have a hotel room, but it worked out that we got one. also, i like these people a lot.

if you were paying attention, you would've noticed that i mentioned having two shifts with two nannies each on this day, but there are only three nannies. ellie is the personal assistant and fill-in nanny. the more i hang out with her, the more i feel like we are the same person. her job is similar to the one i just had, we both have dark hair about the same length (which, coincidentally, is similar to one of the moms and we've both been mistaken for her on multiple occasions), and we order the same things when we go into a restaurant.

here is a fun thing. on the left, the view from my boss's hotel room: times square. i took this while sitting on the bed the four year old slept in. on the right, the view from the nannies' hotel room: a brick wall.

on carnegie hall day, we were pretty much on our own with the kids all day. i don't really remember much about this day, because new york as a whole felt something like a mini marathon. but i do remember the nutella strawberry and banana crepe i ate for lunch that day.

i also remember that night, as i walked into carnegie hall to catch a few songs (um, wearing my drew holcomb sweatshirt because i am classy/a nanny), my jaw literally dropped.

i had a ticket that the nannies and i swapped out so we could each watch some of the show and as the usher pointed me in the right direction, i walked a few feet forward, looked up, and stopped. the whole thing just felt incredible. it was beautiful in there, and my people were on stage and at the sound board and taking photos.

i have seen bits and pieces of the show in various cities and venues, but carnegie hall had me in awe. the usher had to literally escort me to my seat, otherwise i don't think i would have moved.

the night after the show, the boys stayed in the hotel with a nanny until their parents got back. the girls stayed on the bus with the nannies and their parents got to have the night to themselves.

this meant we had a four year old, an almost two year old (who had been waking up between 4 and 5 in the morning), and a five month old (who wakes up at least once in the middle of the night, and then again earlier in the morning).

we rotated shifts and took turns sleeping. one of us stayed at the hotel and came back in the middle of the night. one of us had the baby. one of us woke up early with the two year old (she woke up at 4:45 that morning). one of us woke up later and let the other two get some sleep.

the three of us, collectively, basically did the job of a mom for one night. and it completely wiped us out.

my final shot from new york, taken before 8am. the quietest i think i have ever seen the city.

the rest of the day was spent taking care of the younger kids while the moms took the older two to see the rockettes, splitting up the boys and the girls to have separate family time (with the moms) for lunch, nap time (for everyone, including the nannies), and getting one last burst of energy out before we left the city around 5pm.