June 20, 2016

The big apple.

Friday found us waking up in a hotel in New Jersey. 

We had tickets to see the Statue of Liberty for the ferry that left from Liberty Park.  (Total side note: Oh, the tolls in NJ!  Prepare to take out a loan! It was crazy.)  The ferry felt a bit like being cattle-herded, I'll tell you.  Again, we wished we had taken some soft sided coolers.  Everywhere you went--lots of security.  Bags checked. You had to go through security to get on the ferry and then again to get into the Statue of Liberty.
 These two cuties.  Heart melt.
 Hazy view of NYC.
 Our first stop was Ellis Island.  I will say that it was pretty neat.  We didn't see half of it.  The littlest kiddos were done with the whole sightseeing thing.  They loved the ferry ride but they really just wanted to run through these big spaces.  Not much interest in reading the signs.

The "money room" did briefly catch their attention.  Currency from around the world trapped in glass.
 I'm pretty sure this is the ancestor of Fred from Life of Fred.
 Eventually it came down to splitting up once again.  Thankfully, I had packed a few snacks in my bag and we enjoyed watching the ferries and exploring the outside of Ellis Island.

 Some of the Schusters on the Wall of Honor.  We did do the database search as well with not much luck.  We should have come prepared with surnames and dates.
 After Ellis Island, we hopped back on a ferry to go to the Statue.  This cracked me up, my husband and son right there in the mix.
 There she is, Lady Liberty.  She truly is a magnificent sight!  When you see her from afar, she seems so small compared to the vastness of NYC.  Up close, you realize just how large the statue is!
You don't often see the backside in photos! ha! 
Peter just looks so cute in this photo, I couldn't resist including it.
 An old torch.  The torch has had to be replaced several times over the years--I had no idea!
 We had tickets to the pedestal, 176 steps up, I think.  You can also get tickets to the crown (and I'm glad we didn't).  Once again, Carrie was done.  It was crowded up there and the younger ones had to be lifted up to see anything so I took a few of them back down.  My guys are up there in this photo, in the second section from the left.
I'm glad we made the effort to get there.  It was worth it.  I know I've mentioned that these last couple days the little guys were done with sightseeing.  The reality is, I was done too.  Not with sightseeing but with traffic and hotel living.  I was tired.  I woke up Friday morning and wanted to go home.  We were supposed to stay through Sunday but we checked out Saturday morning.

Granted, we came all this way to New York and well, we felt like we should go downtown.  We were here after all!

 So we did.
 I'm pretty sure we are the only crazy people who take pictures in tunnels.  So many tunnels.  This was the Lincoln tunnel and the state line.

Oh, the traffic in New York!  You'd go a half mile in an hour.  The streets were yellow with taxis.  Our car was acting up--if you used the air conditioning while idling the battery dial would just tick itself lower and lower.  It was causing us some stress!  Then, trying to find a parking spot was crazy.  We parked but we weren't totally sure if it was a legal spot.  It was hot, really hot.  Rather, it just felt hot.
The lane said, "bus lane only" but the sign on the sidewalk said, "cargo parking" or something like that.  We went with it being cargo parking on the weekend.
   Though we had a list of sights we'd all like to see... that didn't happen.   The two we saw in person just happened to be in walking distance from our parking spot.
 First stop on our 15 block walk was Grand Central Terminal.  It is huge, I had no idea just how huge.
And crowded, as you can tell.  I loved all the colors--very peaceful and happy.
 We ate our packed lunch downstairs next to all the food shops.  We had a hard time finding a table for all of us.  See that gentleman in the hat next to us?  He gave us his table and continued to read his magazine in his lap.  Don't tell me New Yorkers aren't nice.

We also enjoyed watching these ladies put icing on cupcakes.  They enjoyed chatting with us, I think.  The lady in the pink had only been there a couple of weeks and was already a master of the craft.

Next stop on our hike was Times Square.  I envisioned something more...open? I don't know why because that wouldn't make much sense in the middle of the city!

 Carrie had fallen asleep in the stroller by this point.  See the sailor behind us?  It was Fleet Week.  Which I guess is pretty cool if you can go see it.  Lots of servicemen and women walking around, pretty neat for Memorial Day weekend.  We would have loved to go see the ships in the harbor.

I was amazed at how all the shops had doors open with air-conditioning blasting out.  Sure, we enjoyed the cool breeze as we walked past but it didn't seem very energy efficient!
These cuties all bought a hat from a street vendor.  They looked quite stylish as we walked down 5th Ave on the way to the car.  ;)  

After piling back in and drinking lots of hot-in-the-car water, we drove up to the very edge of Central Park and past Trump Tower (the kids really wanted to see that) as well as past St. Patrick's Cathedral (I had really wanted to go in there).  The kids had also wanted to go to the Natural History Museum and I really had envisioned walking through Central Park.  I also would have wanted to check out Rockefeller Center.

Ken and I think it would be fun to go there on a couple's trip.  The littler legs couldn't quite keep up with all of the walking.  They all did very well and we enjoyed our few hours in New York.  

Getting back in the car and heading for home was nice too.  :)

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