We visited many places in NYC; I’ll hit some of the high points here.
The Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island –
Our son had acquired online ferry tickets and the other ticket you need for access to the inside of the base of the Statue of Liberty. The instructions said to get there a couple of hours early, so we did, and had only a short wait (in a tent with several hundred people) before getting on the ferry. I should mention that you go through airport-type security to get on the ferry. We quickly grabbed seats on the top of the boat, and the view was excellent – until the ferry finished loading and people started standing at the rail around the deck. At that point, we couldn’t see much. The short ride delivered us to the island, where we debarked (I’ve always wanted to ‘debark’ somewhere! Now there’s no bark on me anywhere!). OK, that was lame. Deal with it.
We ate breakfast at the little snack bar near the dock, then walked around the outside taking our time, taking pictures. The ticket for access into the statue has a time range when you have to show up, so we weren’t in any hurry. Around on the other side we saw the line to enter the statue base, so we went ahead and got in line. I should mention that you go through airport type security AGAIN to visit the statue. After 30 or 45 minutes, we got to the front of the line – we thought. It turned out that we were just entering a big tent. It had the serpentine lines set up in it, with another several hundred people in it. We looked around a bit, and it exited – into another tent. When we looked in the door, we saw ANOTHER tent with serpentine lines. At that point, we abandoned trying to get in, not wanting to spend the next 2-3 hours standing in line.
We then boarded the ferry to Ellis Island, which is where the immigrants used to enter and be processed by the government. This is now a historical museum, with exhibits. If you’re interested in that sort of thing this is a good place to go. Outside there is a circular wall that surrounds a courtyard, maybe 150 feet across, that has the names listed of the immigrants. I’m sure this is for a specific time span, but I don’t know what that is. There were about three columns of my family listed, one or more of which was my direct ancestors, I am sure.
One group I did notice while out on the islands was Amish. There were actually several groups, but they all appeared to know each other. I noticed one lady in traditional dress, but wearing modern sneakers. No judgment here, just thought it was interesting – the Amish have virtually no presence in East Texas.
And then we ferried back to Manhattan Island and continued our visit.
Museum of Natural History –
We walked from Central Park over to the Museum of Natural History, and made our way inside. This was not like I expected – I always visualized a big museum to be more like a library with exhibits. This was more like an 8th grade cafeteria at lunchtime. We got in a line to buy tickets to the things we were interested in, and then proceeded to go find them. First we went to the planetarium and watched a show about planetary collisions. The show was good, but we should have gotten seats nearer the edge – I had trouble seeing some portions because of my bifocals and not being able to turn my head far enough.
Then, we headed to the dinosaurs, something I had always wanted to see. This was my first time ever to see full-size dinosaur skeletons, even though I am aware almost all of them are actually replicas. It gives you a sense of scale you’ll never get from books or movies. Wow. Worth the visit.
After that we left, earlier than anticipated, due partly to the crowding which I find uncomfortable, and partly due to a mild medical issue of mine.
And that’s all I’m covering this time. Have a nice day!