The legend of Sleepy Hollow…

Do you know the story of the legend of Sleepy Hollow? In a nutshell, two guys were rivals to marry a girl. One night, they are both invited to dinner at her house. They start telling stories in an attempt to impress the girl and outdo one another (men hey…). One of them tells the story of a headless horseman riding in the woods of Sleepy Hollow and taking people – Well, that last bit of information is a little unnecessary. What would a headless horseman riding in the woods in the middle of the night do? Escort you safely home? Give you cookies? I mean, seriously…

Anyway, once dinner was over, both rivals went home. One of them, Ichabod Crane had been quite spooked by the headless guy rumor because he had to go through Sleepy Hollow to get back home. And guess what happened? He vanished and was never to be seen again. Nobody knows for sure what happened to him, but you know, there ain’t no smoke without fire and all that.

So Why am I telling you this? Because, Sleepy Hollow happens to be about 40 miles from where we live. As the kids are on holiday and truly driving us insane with their constant arguing, and vegetative state, watching TV or playing on their video games, my husband had decided that enough was enough. We were going to get everybody out for a cultural afternoon. And make no mistake, WE WILL HAVE FUN!!

Right after we were finished with lunch he announced, “Come on everybody, let’s go! In the car!!”.

The boys had not planned to do anything so of course they looked quite disturbed by the news that they might have to step outside.

“What? Where are we going?”

“We are going to visit Sleepy Hollow.”

“No, seriously, where are we going?”

‘I just told you, to Sleepy Hollow.”

“Oh come on dad, that’s not a place! seriously, tell us.”

It did not matter how many times Stuart said it, they were not buying it. Eventually, they gave up and moved on to their next question.

“Where is it? How far?”

“It’s just around the corner” Stuart knew that if he told them the truth, there would be screams, protest, and just plain misery for the next half an hour. I don’t understand that. We were not asking them to walk, or bike. Just sit in the car and doze off while we were driving. My kids are such grumpy old men, seriously…

We managed to get everybody in the car after many protests and off we went.

Not only was Sleepy Hollow over 40 miles away, but half of New jersey had decided to head in the same direction at the exact same time as us. So it took forever to get there. This was the noisiest ride ever.  The boys were sulking in the back, “Can’t believe you said it was around the corner. That was a lie, dad! a lie!!!”. Stuart was trying to read over them the legend of Sleepy Hollow. And my daughter, was shouting over everybody, “Where are we going to sleep again? In a hotel?” Sleepy Hollow – Sleep… Get it?

Eventually, we arrived.

“So where are we going now?” I asked my husband who was in charge of this whole trip.

“Let’s go to the Dutch Methodist church” (cultural note to all: this is the second oldest standing church in the state of New York)

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” Argh, NO! Not a church!” Guess who said that?

We parked outside the church and proceeded up the ramp. “Let’s go in!”

“NOOOOO, Moooooom! Seriously” Guess who again?

Anyway, the door was locked, so no luck there.

“Never mind” I told my husband, “What’s the next place on your list?”

“Whaaattt?? There is a list? I want to go home!!!” Yeap, same person enjoying our little family outing…

“Let’s go to the lighthouse!” Stuart was really excited. So off we went… Only, it’s not open on Saturdays…

“So where next, then?” I was starting to lose my energy after having to drag reluctant kids in and out of the car just to stand in front of closed doors, one of them always asking, “Is this the hotel where we are sleeping?”

“Let’s go to the Washington Irving museum” Stuart was trying to remain cheerful, but he was feeling a little under pressure by now.

“Argh, museums are boring! Come one, let’s go home!!!!” Yeah, yeah, yeah, we heard you…

The museum looked great … from outside… but it is closed in December. I KID YOU NOT!

Eventually, we gave up and drove to Starbucks for a break. Once everybody had a drink, Stuart decided that on our way back, we should drive to the top of Bear mountains so we could have a nice view of Manhattan. The guy really wanted to push his luck today!

So we drove up another million miles , crossed the bridge. By the time we arrived near the mountain, the light was fading so we decided to go home instead.

The trip back was … interesting… Kyle was trying to stay positive about the fact hat we had done 100 mile round trip to get a sandwich at Starbucks. Jake was complaining that his butt hurt from sitting in the car so long. Stuart was insistent that this was a better idea than stay at home – although even he did not agree with himself… As for Skye, she really, really, really wanted to find the hotel we were going to sleep in now that it was dark outside.

Next time Stuart plans a family trip, we’ll just have to make sure he does his homework first…

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