Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Epic Adventure Continues...

I put together some steel cut oats in the crock pot before I collapsed into bed that first night, knowing that it would be great to wake up in the morning to an easy, yet sustaining, breakfast to start off our big day (seriously, I really should break this day up into 3 separate posts). I was right-- it was perfect. We knew we had to get out of the house fairly early to be able to make the ferry. That's right, we were headed to the Statue of Liberty! I was seriously so excited about this.

The weather was beautiful, just perfect for the day's planned activities. I can't even explain how much I loved using the subway and walking a ton to get around. It really fed my inner urbanite and made me realize how much I hate using a car to get around all of the time. But, I don't really like lots of people and the thought of having a little land excites me, too. What to do?? Clearly, the answer is just to visit NYC often. 

One of the things I loved about the city was all of the fabulous older buildings tucked in amongst the ginormous modern high rises. My sister, Art, thought it would be fun to capture pictures of me feeding my addiction to capturing pictures. I love it. I had to take this shot on our way to the ferry from the subway.

We loved the name of our ferry; she was like a pageant queen, minus the sequins. Art's extra-long arms sure did come in handy on this trip. She was our very own human-selfie-stick. 

You can tell how much fun we were having. I mean, just look at our faces!

I took a few different photos as we were making our approach to the island, both of the Lady and looking back to the city skyline. I can't believe I was there and got to take these photos. So very cool.

It seemed pretty unreal, all of it. But so fantastic!

We didn't get tickets to go up to the crown (we tried in August and they were booked until November!), but being able to go up to the pedestal was good enough for me. 

Just inside the museum, they have the old torch. Can you believe they used to let people up in it?? With only a single 54-rung ladder leading up to it, and just that little waist-high railing to keep you from falling? Yikes! Overcrowding became such a huge issue that they closed access to the public in 1917. Yeah, I wouldn't want to be on that little thing when it was overcrowded. 

The museum was fascinating and I learned a ton. The construction process amazed me. But, I think what stuck with me the most was when I learned that women weren't invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony when Lady Liberty was dedicated, even though they'd been involved in many aspects of making the whole thing happen. Suffragettes rented boats and circled the island during the dedication in protest. Awesome. Just think where women would be today if our predecessors hadn't stood up for our rights that way. Super cool.

There was a long line for the elevator up to the pedestal, so we decided to take the stairs. As we entered the stairwell, there was a sign that said, "Pedestal: 195, Crown: 354" My sister, Martha, who was trailing behind me and the others asked what the numbers meant and I told her it probably was the number of steps we had to climb. She responded, "I certainly hope not!" Well, it was. I think she grumbled something about wishing we'd taken a vote on whether we should take the elevator or the stairs. Ha! I think the stairs made it more of an adventure. :)


I took a ton of photos of the statue, but for me it's also about the little details I see. I loved the green tinge everything has because of the water run-off from the copper.

We ate a fabulous sack lunch (lovingly packed by Opera and Art the day before while they were waiting for us to arrive) there in the shadow of the statue before we caught the ferry to our next destination. Even the seagulls that were stalking our food seemed cooler in a place like that. Or maybe it was just their NY attitude shining through. 

Next up...Ellis Island!

More photos on the ferry ride, of course. This is me, after all.

I've learned the general stories about Ellis Island, but taking the audio tour and learning the details really brought it all to life. So, so fascinating.

And, I mean, look at this:

I'm just really glad that no one used a hook to peel back my eyelids to look for trachoma when we arrived. Look it up. Eeeek!

We weren't sure about our ability to fit in our next stop, but Opera wanted to show us the location of her very first job when she moved to NYC and also give us a look at Wall Street. I was kind of ambivalent about whether we went to Wall Street or not, but boy am I glad we did. It was nothing like I expected. At. All. 

It actually ended up being one of my favorite places. I know I'm weird, but it almost felt cozy. And, oh! The Trinity Church. Fabulous.

Maybe it was because my brain was trying to process all that we had seen and learned at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island earlier in the day, but this stop really felt like an oasis to me. 

I know you probably won't believe it, but we had one more big thing scheduled for the day. And I mean big. 

Yup. The World Trade Center Memorial and Museum. Talk about heavy. And overwhelming. But so good and important to see. We headed in with some daylight still hanging on.

I read some firsthand accounts of 9/11 in the month leading up to our trip. That, coupled with the things to see and learn at the museum made the whole thing so much more real to me. It wasn't just something I had seen on the news from afar anymore, it was something that I felt much more deeply. So sad. So moving. So uplifting. I can't really describe all of the emotions I went through while we were there. Exhausting, I know that. 

I even reached the point where I stopped taking pictures. I just needed to absorb it all. Wow.

After the day we had, it was definitely time for some good food. We lost Opera, who had to go to rehearsal (bummer), but the rest of us forged on toward sustenance. We found just the thing in a delicious meal at Maison Kayser.

It hit the spot, but we still felt in need of more emotional support. What to do? Where to go? Why, to Big Gay Ice Cream, of course, so Martha could get herself a Salty Pimp!

Seems like enough for one day, doesn't it? So amazing, I know that. Okay, next day! But first I have to get some more steel cut oats ready for the morning...


patti's place said...

Your pictures are great and so fun to remember again our fun trip!

alisajeaniepete said...

Loved that you included the detail on trachoma and eye exams on Ellis Island! Very memorable:P