That Sunday (3/6/16) started out innocently enough. As we get closer to the Easter season, a tradition held by many Western New Yorkers is the annual trip to the Broadway Market, one of America’s longest running public markets (if not the longest). I had only gone a couple times before RB and I started dating. Since my family is not of Polish or East Side descent (my maternal Grandmother had lived within walking distance of the Market when she was young, but she moved to the Fruit Belt neighborhood and later South Buffalo before settling into the suburbs in the 1950’s) I never went as a child with my parents.
Easter is the season where, like Christ, life is breathed back into this long ignored, plight ridden area. Thousands flock back to their collective roots from the suburbs once a year to enjoy chocolate covered treats, Polish delicacies and buy pussy willows in preparation of Dyngus Day (Buffalo has one of the largest celebrations in the world, with its vibrant parade marching past the Market annually on the Monday after Easter).
In any event, we got BB ready and were out the door by 9:30am, eager to begin our spontaneous trip and for him to experience his parents’ kind of strange and totally Buffalo tradition of acquiring our annual Easter table’s buttered lamb from the Market. We chatted on the ride over and laughed when he chimed in sweet, high pitched responses from the back seat.
We thought we were being so clever, going before the official rush of the season to avoid the insanity of winding lines and crowds of packed, jostling strangers pushing to get from one market stand to another.
Well, we weren’t: the Market is closed on Sundays outside of their “holiday” seasons, which for Easter started next week.
Disappointed, we quietly began the ride home. BB’s audible snores could be heard from his car seat so I made RB take a long way home; I had stumbled upon and fallen in love with an abandoned church last year that was not too far away, and had been heartbroken to read that some kids were arrested earlier in the week for setting part of it on fire. I held back tears as he circled around the block slowly so I could assess the damage with my own eyes. Not in the greatest neighborhood, it was no surprise that on the way home it sounded like we had a flat tire. We pulled into Tim Horton’s and I ran inside to get us breakfast sandwiches while he inspected the tire. The tire was fine, and as I sipped my coffee, quietly running lists of chores through my head, I heard RB say, “Did you want to go to Krispy Kreme?”
It was, in fact, one of my bestie’s birthdays and she freaking loves Krispy Kreme. She and I had taken road trips to the closest location in Erie, Pennslvania before, which is a little over an hour. RB and I decided that an hour car ride wasn’t too bad for BB’s first road trip, and the adventure began.
It was a smooth ride and BB woke up shortly before we arrived. Inside Krispy Kreme we bought a dozen or so of the highly coveted sugary treats, a bib for BB as a souvenir from his first road trip, and posed for a picture.
That’s when we went a little crazy.
From Erie we decided to drive another seventy odd miles south to Grove City to check out the Outlet Malls there, since BB was going through a growth spurt and we had been talking about checking out the Carter’s in Erie anyway. We were already halfway there so we figured why not? We had heard wonderful reviews from several friends about the great selection of stores and the zero sales tax on clothing.
However, to complicate matters I was still nursing and getting pretty uncomfortable. I tried to nurse BB briefly in the parking lot but he wasn’t having it; it was understandable since there were so many exciting things to see and hear! Before we began the second leg of our journey I had to do something that, as a union activist and supporter of the living wage movement, went against every fiber of my being: I ran into Walmart and purchased a hand pump, which was reasonably priced at a little over $30. In hindsight that was one of the best purchases I had made, since the suction proved to be better than my electric pump, especially towards the end of my nursing journey. I also bought a package of spoons and a couple of packs of pureed food for BB.
Although I wasn’t the most comfortable using the hand pump in broad daylight on a random highway in Pennsylvania it ended up doing the job!
And because of that we were able to hit several out of the Outlet stores (I was disappointed with Carter’s, but enjoyed Baby Gap and the Children’s Place) and get for lunch before heading back home to deliver (most of) the birthday donuts to my friend and start several loads of laundry.
What was your baby’s first road trip like?