Today started off by going riding the subway to the Financial District with my husband. I dropped him off at the office, and headed to Battery Park. I bought a day trip to Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
The ferry ride to Liberty Island was a quick one. This was fortunate for me as it was standing room only. It was so crowded that I couldn’t make my way up to the top of the ferry to see the island as we approached. I had to wrestle my way over to a window so I could take a picture of Lady Liberty on approach. With the early morning sun on her, she was stunning. You just get goose-bumps looking at her. No wonder people all around the U.S. look to her with pride.
I thought that once you got off of the ferry, you could go right up to the base of Lady Liberty. That wasn’t quite true. My wait was 1.5 hours from the time I got into line, until I walked up the first of 150+ steps to the observation tower of the statue.
Even with the long wait, the view of the NYC skyline was amazing. I took lots of pictures wherever I went, and headed for the gift shop. Our family has a tradition of buying a magnet when we go on vacation. I bought a Statue of Liberty magnet and a bunch of postcards to send to family. I sat down and wrote out 8 postcards and mailed them from the gift shop.
I hopped onto the ferry again to go over to Ellis Island. Seeing the same site that millions of immigrants saw was thrilling. The Ellis Island of today is a tribute to the millions of immigrants that came to this country to start fresh. There are computers to investigate your family history. There are ship registries, countless photographs, statistics about how our country is broken down (by heritage, sex, age, etc.). There was also a Broadway type show depicting the sentiments of early immigrants. After looking around for a few hours, I went outside for some fresh air. The view of the NYC skyline from Ellis Island is breathtaking. I highly recommend it to any photographer.
After a ferry and subway ride back to our hotel, I met up with my husband. We dropped off our packs and headed out for dinner and an evening of site seeing. First, we headed towards Times Square to pick up my New York Pass (for around $100, you get 3 days of free admissions to pretty much every famous NYC attraction). We then had dinner at our favorite Japanese fast food joint – Yoshinoya.
My husband has been to NYC before, so he wanted to show me some of the more famous things in the immediate area. I saw: The famous Ball from Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Radio City Musical Hall, Rockafeller Center, and NBC Studios. On our way back to our subway station, we looked up at the Empire State Building.
It is surreal to actually see these famous places. As a girl from Southern California, I wasn’t really exposed to much of the world at a young age. I have seen these places in movies or on television. It is really crazy to see them in real life. Kind of makes me want an old hardsided suitcase so I can plaster it with stickers from my various travel destinations. I don’t know what the rest of this week will hold for me, but I know that NYC has been amazing. I won’t forget it.