Friday, August 21, 2015

NYC: Statue of Liberty

Our final day in NYC was spent on Liberty Island and Ellis Island. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed a very full day of walking and learning.
My kids will tell you that our time visiting the Statue of Liberty was their favorite part of our NYC visit. We purchased tickets to take us into the base of the statue, and it was well worth it.
This is the only group picture of our weekend together, but it captures it well: smiles! We had a fantastic time together and were thankful for no rain, no sickness, and no injury in all of our exploring.
The views from the upper base of the Statue were fantastic! Jersey City to the left, Manhattan in the middle, and Brooklyn to the right. Incredible to think of all the people and all the activity happening on one big hunk of rock in the harbor!
These pictures really put into perspective the size of Lady Liberty! And, call me emotional or sentimental or patriotic, but being in her shadow and looking up at the message of freedom and opportunity she represents brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine having left my home country, sailed in unfavorable conditions for many weeks, to finally catch sight of Lady Liberty and know I was reaching the shores of a new home. Thrilling and terrifying.
Our tickets included audio headsets that gave detailed information about the Statue of Liberty. I never listened to mine - for some reason Jaxton had ideas that I should run after him and attend to his every whine and whim. Everyone else, however, said the information was excellent and even now Micah will randomly rattle off a fact related to what he heard. (Ladies and Gentleman: this will be prorated to count as a school day!)
We spent about an hour working our way through the museum before having a late lunch and boarding another ferry to visit Ellis Island.
We reached Ellis Island around 2:00, and to be honest, we were all spent. Although we had interest to explore the museum to its fullest, we were all running on fumes and very tired from ALL.the.walking. So, after a quick tour of the main building we got back on the ferry, called it a day, and made our way back to the hotel.
We dropped Grady off at a hotel in Midtown where he'd be staying for the following week, and my dad navigated the rest of us out of NYC and down to south New Jersey. The kids and I had plans to stay the week with my mom-in-law and to enjoy time with extended family, and my parents were staying the night in Jersey before their long drive back to Michigan.

Whew! A whirlwind of a super fun sightseeing weekend followed by all of us going different directions for different things. More on our time in Jersey soon...

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