What a doozy of a travel day, Day 2: June 3rd, in New York was. Since this is a continuation of my Mother-Daughter Trip to New York City, feel free to click here to read my explanation of this series and all about Day 1.
That being said, the day had a bright outlook at the start. But, don’t most of your mornings when you’re on vacation? That is, until you screw something up in your plans. Well, it wasn’t long until my mom and I realized that we had been sent in the wrong direction – completely – from where we wanted to be, which was Liberty Island.
Unfortunately, the Pitt of Day 2 went as follows:
Knowing that we wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, my mom asked our concierge at the MarMara Manhattan Hotel that same morning where we could catch a boat tour to see Lady Liberty. I’m not sure if she misunderstood us, or had no idea what we were talking about, but she suggested heading to the Piers at the West-end of the city (where boats are located).
Not thinking twice about the directions she gave us, we packed up our map and went on our way. After getting off the Shuttle (the train connecting the 6 train to Times Square) we started walking in that general direction. Of course, along the way, I began to doubt the concierge’s advice. Long story short, the Pier’s were actually the docks and they did not take us where we wanted to be. Instead it was a – sort of – deserted area that had bike/running lanes and a water taxi available. Oh, plus a military looking ship and Museum?!
We came to the realization that we were kind of lost after about 1 hour of walking during this scorching, hot summer day. Obviously, I was cursing the concierge in my head – along with my mother who insisted that we ask. Along the way we did come across Engine 54, one of the U.S. Fire Stations that responded to the 9/11 call. Luckily, we were able to ask the Firemen for proper directions while having a quick chat. It was just a short cab ride away to Battery Park (kind of the ‘boot’ of New York City, to the South) where we could purchase tickets to the Island.
Peak: Lady Liberty herself. That was the peak of this day. Honestly, I hadn’t been that excited until we were on Liberty Island. She is incredibly stunning, and her size alone will have you in a stupor, or daze-like state. It was neat to find out that the points on her crown – which add up to 7 in total – stand for each continent.
To our surprise, you’re not allowed to go up to the top of her observation deck unless you have pre-ordered tickets. Oftentimes, the wait time for these tickets can be up to 6 months or even one year prior to your trip. Seeing her from the ground up was magnificent though, so don’t fret if you don’t come across tickets either.
Following this we went to Ellis Island, also known as Immigration Island. It was part of the package to do both, granted, you don’t have to get off the tour boat if you don’t want to during this stopover.
At this point in the day, it was mid afternoon and we hadn’t quite decided what would make the most of our time. Finally, we came to the decision to visit the 9/11 Memorials and the 9/11 Museum since it was nearby by train (subway). The two fountains that have replaced where the Twin Towers once stood makes this tourist attraction pretty heavy stuff. This tragedy replayed in my mind, as I was in grade 7 or 8 and heard the news while I was in elementary school.
These ‘infinity’ fountains – so to say, because they continue to pour water non-stop – are a beautiful momentous to the families and friends who lost loved ones.
Along the edges of both fountains are the names of the people who passed away. Respectively, some of these engraved names had flowers and miniature American flags sticking out of them by those who knew them.
Fortunately, we were ‘at the right place at the right time’. If we waited in line, the 9/11 Museum would be passing out free tickets. Of course, we waited…and we waited, under the hot sun. Once inside though, it was incredible to learn the realities of what happened here, in New York. My mom was right to want to see it. Though, it’s important to remember that it took us about 2 to 3 hours to walk through the entire thing.
That being the end of Day 2, the Pitt and Peak are ones that I’ll remember for a lifetime. Next on the agenda is going to be Day 3: June 4th, so check back soon!