We rose at 9:00 am (7:00 am according to our body clocks), showered and dressed, and headed out in the rain to the subway station three blocks over. Thankfully, we had thought ahead and brought umbrellas although, if we hadn’t, there is someone on every street corner selling them.
We had tickets for the Statue of Liberty so we rode the subway to Battery Park – and here’s where things went wrong. See, someone had told me that you could take the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, and it would be free. Now, I like a freebie as much as the next gal, so we headed for the humongous building right in front of us and went in, arriving just in time to catch the ferry.
We boarded and settled happily into our seats, ready to go! And we went. Soon, there she was, Lady Liberty, in all her green glory! We snapped pictures and waited for the ferry to turn toward the statue so we could get off and explore. Well, that didn’t happen. Jeff finally said, “I think were on the wrong boat. I think this one only goes to Staten Island.” He was right, of course. My information wasn’t exactly wrong. We did see the Statue of Liberty, albeit from a distance.
But, all was not lost! We exited the ferry on Staten Island and immediately boarded the one making the return trip to Manhattan. When it arrived, we jumped off and ran (no kidding, folks, I ran) to the boarding area for the ferry going to the Statue. We were well past the time on our tickets, but the nice lady at the ticket booth said it didn’t matter, so we joined the crowd climbing aboard the CORRECT ferry and, away we went!
The Statue is quite a sight, even in the rain, although it sucked to have to look up to see all of her and get a face full of rain water for my trouble. We had pedestal passes and joined the queue of people waiting to go inside. The queue was in the gift shop. Any of you who have read about my other travels know of my weakness for gift shops. It was all I could do not to hop out of line and start shopping. However, Jeff herded me forward and we came to a big room with a ginormous torch in the center. A replica of the one high above us, but impressive just the same! Then – there were stairs. So many stairs. 195 to be exact. We climbed and climbed and the whole time I’m thinking, “Whatever’s up here better be pretty frickin’ awesome!” Folks, I gotta be honest. It was not. It was not even a little bit awesome. The winds were at gale force, blowing so hard my umbrella kept turning itself inside out. There was so much fog we couldn’t enjoy the view. I had climbed so many stairs, I could feel my brain pulsing in time with my heart beats. I don’t even want to talk about what the wind and humidity had done to my hair. I said to Jeffery, “How about we go inside to the museum,” and took off without waiting for his answer.
The museum gives you the option of touring at your own pace and reading all the placards yourself or letting the little speaker thingy they give you read everything for you. Jeff opted to read, and I didn’t really give a rat’s behind, so I wandered around, reading about what interested me while Jeff soaked up every word. No kidding, people. If New Mexico wants its own Statue of Liberty, Jeff can build it! He knows how it was done. It wasn’t long before I had seen everything I needed to see and found myself a patch of floor to sit on. Now, I don’t consider myself a trend setter or anything, but within a couple of minutes five other exhausted people were collapsing around me. I’m pretty sure they all had pedestal passes too.
Jeff finally caught up to me and we returned to the dock to board the ferry to Ellis Island. This was more in my wheel house. People stories, and what stories they were! My favorite concerned a young girl who was detained at Ellis Island and given a “standard” intelligence test. They were asking some people basic math questions but when they came to her they asked, “How would you wash a flight of stairs, from the bottom or the top?” She answered, “I do not come to America to wash stairs.”
After a thorough exploration of the building at Ellis Island, we went back to Manhattan. Jeff had three places he really wanted to see. The first was Fraunces Tavern, which was the Inn that Washington stayed in during the Revolutionary War and the place he said good-bye to his troops from. We were starving and decided to have an early dinner in the Tavern. We were seated in front of the windows in the dark tavern and our waiter brought us menus. It was at that moment that I realized how old I am. I told Jeff, “That kid would be so nice looking if he didn’t have a man-bun.” Yep. I’m old. A good looking guy is standing in front of me and all I can think is, “he should cut his hair.” And, of course, he was no Jeffery Allison. Not even close.
Man Bun took our order, a burger for Jeff and lobster Mac and cheese for me, then he disappeared, never to be seen again. Maybe he was afraid I would saw off his bun with my butter knife. He was replaced by a super efficient young lady with a completely appropriate hair style. Dinner was delicious but our plan had been to eat, then tour the museum contained in the building. Unfortunately, it had closed while we were eating.
So, we were off to our next destination, The Bronze Bull. Jeff wanted a picture with it. We walked a couple of blocks and found the big bronze statue that represents the financial district of New York with a short line of people waiting to take pictures with it. We waited our turn and Jeff posed next to it while I snapped his picture. Most everyone posing with The Bull simply stood next to it, maybe grabbed the horns, but we witnessed a couple of women molesting The Bull in a way that definitely violated his personal boundaries. Poor Bull, #metoo.
The third place on Jeff’s list was Trinity Church which has a very old cemetery within its gated area. I really wanted to wander around that graveyard but the gates were already locked for the day. I stuck my camera through the bars and took some pictures but I couldn’t read anything on the grave stones.
We had planned to go check out Times Square after dark and night was approaching so we decided to walk the ten or so blocks instead of taking the subway. The closer we got, the heavier the sidewalk traffic became. Mind you, it had been raining on us the entire day, and we discovered that trying to maneuver around the hordes of people in Times Square, each carrying his or her own umbrella is nearly impossible and quite dangerous. We’re lucky neither of us lost an eye.
We did a little shopping and a lot of people watching in Times Square before deciding we’d had enough. We set off toward the hotel, which was about another ten blocks away, stopping once at the bakery for more adagios. It was with great relief that we finally reached the hotel and got inside our room where no water was falling on us from overhead. It was still fairly early, so we thought we’d go up to that rooftop bar that we had rejected the night before. We put on dry clothes and rode the elevator up to the roof, stepped out and saw that a large section of the glass cover over the bar was open. We both said, “Nope!” and returned to our room where we, again, ate pastries and watched tv. Good times!
More to come!