The heat and humidity were not our friend this day. The line for lady liberty was longer than ANY line I have ever seen in my life. But, it actually went pretty quickly, only one hour. The ferry holds a lot of people and there are quite a few going back and forth, so that helped.
She was totally worth the wait.
On the way back, the ferry stops at Ellis Island. I know a lot of people skip this part because the Statue of Liberty is the real draw. But, I had been told by people (thanks Jess) that if they were to go again, they would definitely do Ellis Island. So we did, and definitely did not regret it. What an amazing place. The idea of all those immigrants coming to this country, walking through those doors and registering in the room we were standing in is amazing. They have a lot of exhibits and areas you can walk through to show you exactly what the process was for those people. They even had a room where they had removed the paint and layers of plaster/cement and it had exposed writing from people who went through Ellis Island. That was crazy to me. There was the handwriting of these people from 100 years ago, people who had just landed from a long and strenuous trip to arrive in this country. Really awe-inspiring! It sounds strange, but there was truly a special spirit to that building. It was almost as if all those people were there with you. You can't really depict it in pictures, but I wanted to put one on here anyway.
This is the registration room, where every person coming through this harbor during that time had to stand and wait to find out whether they would be allowed to stay or have to go home.
After we got off the ferry, we had actually been on the subway on our way to Brooklyn for some yummy pizza and we were sidelined when there was a fire in the subway tunnel. We had to get off and when we came up we started walking the wrong direction. We had already been at the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Ilsand endeavor for about five hours at this time, all out in the swealtering heat, so having to walk and then going the wrong way was pretty upsetting (you might be able to tell how happy we were in the below picture). But, as a result we ran into Wall Street and were able to go to Ground Zero as well.
When we finally started walking back the right direction, we were able to get on the subway and get over to Brooklyn where we ate at Grimaldi's Pizza. Ben's little brother, Archie, served his mission in New York and told us about this place. When we got there and saw the line, we weren't sure it could possibly be worth it.
But then we saw this:) The pizza was thin crust (which I usually hate) with huge fresh mozzerella slices, diced tomatoes and the toppings of your choice. It was SO ymmy. I do wonder if any of that is because by the time you have waited in line an hour you're so starving that anything would taste good. Either way, we definitely enjoyed it. We also made some friends while standing in line.
Grimaldi's Pizza is literally right under the Brooklyn Bridge. Before we had found it and before we had eaten, we were definitely thinking we would have to just look at the bridge from afar because there was no way we were up for walking it. But, then we ate....and had some good company in a cute Texan couple we met, so we made the beautiful trek across the Brooklyn Bridge. I am so glad we changed our minds. It was a beautiful night.
It was a long, tiring, hot and humid day. But, let me tell you...if we were looking for a vacation before going to the Philippines that would really make us feel patriotic...this was it! It was so much fun to see these historic places that are so important and vital in our country's history.