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NYC Subway sign_edited-1

We took the subway everywhere we went while in NYC. Only ran into one dangerous looking character ~ kept my eyes on him the ENTIRE time.

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After living so close to NYC in the late 70’s and visiting over the years, I had never visited the Statue of Liberty or been to Ellis Island. Don’t know of any of my ancestors who traveled through Ellis Island but we did find John’s great-grandfather on a 1906 registry. I stood in the registry room reading some of the accounts from immigrants and tried to imagine their anxiety, anxiousness and most of all relief to be off the boat after what would have been a long, arduous journey across the seas. If you want to check your family members who may have come through Ellis Island, click here.

The Statue, a gift from the French, was completed in 1876 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of our Independence. The pedestal was erected with monies raised from US citizens.  What surprised me most about the statue is it’s so thin ~ only the width of about 2 pennies.

Despite the fact I thought I might get frostbite while waiting in line for the ferry (30 minutes in sub-zero temps), it was well worth the pain and shivers. We picked up our tickets at the suggested 30 minutes prior to the launch which was a good thing because we were in the front of a VERY long line and were able to get a seat on the boat. They fill the boat to capacity.

If you’re planning a visit to the Statue of Liberty, here are the details:

  • Book early ~ we booked our tickets for the tour of Liberty Island, Ellis Island and the Crown two months prior to our trip and there was only one time still available for visiting the Crown on Sunday ~ 9am. So much for sleeping in.  You won’t be able to buy tickets for the Crown once you’re on Liberty Island.
  • The boat departed from Battery Park and, since we were staying in Brooklyn, we took the R Train to Whitehall Station.
  • There are 354 very narrow steps up the spiral staircase to the Crown. You’ll be required to store your backpacks or large purses in a locker ~ it’s definitely necessary as it’s a tight fit. The crown itself is a small area with only 5-6 people allowed to squeeze in at a time.
  • Our cost for the tour (including the crown) was $108  for 4 people and can be booked through Statue Circle Line.

View of Statue and Liberty Tower
Manhattan Skyline, Statue of Liberty and Freedom Tower

View of city from the Crown Statue of Liberty
View from the Statue of Liberty Crown

NYC Statue of Liberty hand
Statue of Liberty Hand

NYC sign at the statue of liberty
Corner Stone at the Statue of Liberty

NYC cast of the Statue of Liberty toes
Cast of Statue of Liberty Foot

NYC Spiral staircase inside the statue of liberty
Spiral Staircase up to the Crown

Original Torch replaced in 1986
Original Torch taken down in 1986

Ellis Island
Ellis Island

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It’s been six years since our last visit to NYC so we took the 3.5 hour train from DC for a quick visit. The reason for making our journey was to celebrate Logan’s birthday and to show our Bangladeshi exchange student the city. We tried to cram as much as we could into our short 48 hour visit. Despite the cold freezing temperatures, we spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying Time Square, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, etc.

NYC Blog View of City
View from the ferry boat ~ looking back to Manhattan

NYC Blog View from the crown of Statue
View from the Crown of the Statue of Liberty

NYC Blog Times square
Times Square

NYC Blog Times Square at Night
Times Square at Dusk

NYC Blog Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

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View of a marathon from a non-runner:

On the day of the New York City marathon, Logan  and I woke up at 4:30 to wish John good luck, we each gave him a hug & kiss goodbye, then it was straight back to bed until about 7:30 am.

The morning consisted of gathering breakfast from the local grocer near the hotel, watching the pre-marathon and start on TV, then out to shop at Lush, Macys, Ann Taylor and a few other small stores.

Unfortunately, we could only stay in our room until 1:00 pm so we stored our luggage with the bellstaff and walked to 2nd Avenue for a nice Italian lunch at Alfredo’s. At about 2:30 pm, we headed to the finish line at Central Park. We were able to find the “One Mile to Go” sign and decided to wait there to see FM. By this time it was a little before 3:00 and I was worried we missed him.  He’s consistent on his time at marathons but it’s so hard to know when he actually starts and we’d heard on TV that some people didn’t start until 30-40 minutes AFTER the starting sound at 10:10.

Although we never did see John run by (we must have missed him by a few minutes), Logan and I were totally entertained by the runners ~ many who had signs, lots waving their country flags, some were running in memory of loved ones, some were dressed up as well. I saw an Elvis, Banana-Man, Robin (From Batman) and Superman. Must have been all the leftover Halloween costumes.

Katie Holmes ran by looking fabulous as though she was out for a short jog.  She was wearing a NY FireDept cap and again, she was striking and certainly stood out in the crowd. I read in the newspaper later that Tom and Suri were waiting at the finish line.

Once we realized we’d missed John, Logan hailed us a cab and we headed back to the hotel to wait for him there.  It was a quick dinner at Houstons next door and off to the airport.

Too short a stay and a worrying week ahead ~ more on that in a bit.

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30 Rock Observation Deck

We tried to cram as much into our NYC weekend as we could and I think we did a pretty good job for two days. Logan had so much fun, she asked a couple times why we can’t live there. Hmmm… after all her world travels, she may have found the city that really does have it all.

We arrived about 1pm on Friday, checked in and immediately headed over to the Javits Convention Center and John registered  for the marathon. There was a lot of excitement at the Marathon Expo and my favorite part was getting brochures for future runs which John might drag me to ~ Rio de Janiero sounded promising.

On Saturday morning, we headed to Rockefeller Plaza, went to the Observation Deck for some great views of the city, then watched the skaters on the ice rink. No Christmas tree yet.

When making plans for a Broadway show, I decided to splurge (just this once) and got front row tickets to Mama Mia at the Winter Garden Theater. And front row they were ~ our seats were so close to the stage, we could see the actors spit and one even winked at Logan. The conductor greeted us with “Welcome to the front row.” In addition to seeing the stage, we could see BELOW where the band was playing. Logan was fascinated with the musicians so she missed a little of the story line.

The show was fabulous and I highly recommend it to anyone going to the city. One word of warning: I still have those catchy Abba songs playing in my head especially the title song “Mama Mia.”

A lot of the fun of NYC is people watching and we did a whole lot of that ~ John decided there must be a uniform for women since every other woman wore the following: jeans, black shoes/boots, and a black knee-length coat.

Our hotel was located at 3rd Ave and East 53rd so we we could walk to most areas easily although Logan & I did catch a cab a couple times during our outings alone. She had fun trying to “hail a taxi” and was getting very good at it by the end of the visit.

Even for a city such as New York which has seen more than its share of world events, everyone was abuzz about the marathon. It was a big deal for all the boroughs and the excitement was palpable for runners and non-runners alike.

Since the weekend was really all about the marathon, John will be posting his take on the big event sometime soon but here are the hightlights:

Race Time: 4:21:40          Pace: 9:59             Overall Place: 18,504 (out of 38,554)

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