In the end, we made it to Battery Park (you were on the edge of your seat for that cliff-hanger, weren't you?). As we streaked up to the ticket office (our cell phones reading 2:45pm), I held only one hope: that they would allow us either to exchange or refund our tickets. You see, the website had been very strict: You depart at 2. Be there at least half an hour early to go through security, or you will miss your chance. Completely. And never-ever-ever get an opportunity to see the Statue of Liberty again. Ever. In fact, your name will be blacklisted from any sightseeing you ever thought you wanted to do for the rest of your life!
Or...I was sure it said something like that. Lo and behold, we arrived only to be informed that the departure time on our tickets was irrelevant, and ferries embarked every 15 minutes - just go get in line! I had so completely resigned myself to missing this iconic NYC moment, that I was excited beyond reason to wait in line for security! We were in!
Blustery wind (which seems to be the norm in NYC) flurried around us, mimicking our internal impatience and excitement to finally board and be on our way to visit Lady Liberty!
|Apparently, the ferry was out of pretzels. We were sad.|
|But we were on the ferry toward Liberty Island! We were happy!|
And then, suddenly, were were there! Bobbing up to the dock at Liberty Island and seeing the towering Statue of Liberty up close and in person - it was a fabulous moment. A fabulous moment which turned into a cool couple of hours as we strolled around the island and took waaay more pictures than we will ever know what do with!
A couple happy, windy hours later, we were patiently waiting in line for the return ferry, being very mature and acting like grown ups, just as young ladies in New York always do...
Actually we got a little bored. Waiting in line for an hour will do that to you, you know. Returning to shore, we had a minor detour, the telling of which...is just another "you don't want to know," and then we began a leisurely stroll up Broadway, only to discover...
...Trinity Church, at the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway!! (Shout out to all "National Treasure" fans!)
...and, of course, the Trinity graveyard (the one above ground, not beneath the church).
This fun discovery was followed by a more sobering event: a visit to Ground Zero. Words fail me. It was horrible, and sad, and right, and good, and a proper conclusion to our visit of Liberty Island. Lady Liberty is recognized world-wide as a monument to a new world, to a new life - to freedom. Walking a couple blocks deeper into the city, the Freedom Tower stands as the modern affirmation of her cause, soaring in blatant defiance of those who wanted to steal our freedom away, declaring "and yet, we are free."
Then there was more walking and random picture taking through the streets of New York.
In front of City Hall. :)
Our adventurous first day concluded (at least, according to the photographs) when our freezing feet found rest in a charming cafe in Little Italy, which has apparently shrunk in size to a mere two streets, China Town (which, despite its growing size, we did not visit) having grown over the former boundaries...
No extra charge for that quick geography lesson.
The food was, naturally, fabulous, but the atmosphere - couldn't be topped. :)
The street that boasted our restaurant. :)
Yum Yum Yums! My first cannoli!
Only two more things have I to tell you:
1. Apparently, I lied about this stop being photographically the end of our day. A few pictures are being withheld to preserve whatever remains of the dignity of the subjects. The other proves that I most definitely had Kate with me at the subway stop before going home:
2. I like pictures too much, and thus find this post to have completely reached the scrolling limit. Translation? Day Two will have to follow. Let me tell you, it takes talent to turn 2 days into 3 blog posts. Only a master of superfluous words and obsessive picture taking can manage such a feat.
Over and out, gang!