Thursday, September 3, 2009

Statue of Liberty Trip

I don't know what the rest of the week and Labor Day weekend will bring but so far the highlight of my staycation has been yesterday's trip with my daughter to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty. I can't remember the last time I was on Liberty Island, probably when I was my daughter's age (8). We picked up the ferry from Liberty State Park rather than trying to find parking near Battery Park in NYC. I work not too far from Battery Park and I've seen first hand the crowds of people waiting on line to go to the Statue. The crowds at Liberty State Park were much smaller. There was no wait at the security checkpoint and only a small line ahead of us for the ferry.

We had bought our tickets in advance but in order to get to the dock, we had to walk through the restored Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ) train station Neaarly two thirds of the immigrants who passed through Ellis Island went on to CRRNJ where they boarded trains to begin their new lives in America.While we were waiting the for the ferry, daughter and I both knew it was going to be a great day. The skies were clear and the view of Manhattan was spectacular. Visibility was so good that we were able to see the George Washington Bridge.

First stop on the ferry was the Ellis Island Immigration Muesum.My daughter is too young to truly appreciate Ellis Island so we decided to skip it and spend the afternoon on Liberty Island.

First thing we did when we got to the Island was eat lunch. There was a nice area along the water where we could sit and eat. Tickets to go all the way up to the crown were sold out but we were able to get tickets to go up the the pedestal observation deck. In order to go into the statue we had to go through a security checkpoint similar to that at an airport, empty pockets, go through metal detector, etc...  The first thing we saw after clearing security is the Statue's original torch. Then there is a small exhibit with replicas of the Statue face and feet and other stuff related to Lady Liberty. We didn't linger at the exhibit because daughter really wanted to get up to the pedestal.  One thing I forgot to mention...while we were on line for security a park ranger came out to inform everyone on line that the elevator to pedestal was out of order and that we would have to climb

this many steps in order to get to the pedestal observation deck. There were  a lot of moans and groans from those on line but daughter and I said "no problem." After the exhibit we started walking up the stairs. Daughter asked to stop for a few minutes here and there but we finally made it. Upon reaching the observation lever daughter said "that didn't feel like 156 steps!" I did remind her that we had to walk down as well.  "No problem!" she said.

A park ranger told us to look up and we could the inside of the Statue. Then it was time to go outside. The views from the pedestal were incredible. Here are pictures:

Ellis Island with Jersey City in the background

Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges

Verrazano Bridge

Lower Manhattan

I just realized that I haven't posted any pictures of Lady Liberty herself. Here is one from the 11 pointed star. Finally after some soft serve ice cream, we boarded the ferry back to Liberty State Park and from there we drove home. It was a very special day.

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