Friday, July 4, 2014

Days 9 & 10 - New York City

Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry
We were sore and tired after all the walking in Boston, but no time to rest!  We rescheduled down to 1 night in NYC so we were on the move the whole time in the city.
Statue of Liberty from Staten Island Ferry
Andy was pretty stressed after driving through the Manhattan highways instead of above into Staten Island. We paid $30 in tolls to get to Staten Island from the South - not what we had planned!  It was kind of neat to see the city from another angle, though.  We spotted the Empire State building and drove through different neighborhoods that we didn't plan on visiting.

Once we finally made it to Staten Island, the challenge was finding parking.  None of the signs were clear about overnight parking, so we took the only spot we found near the ferry and boarded for the ride across to Manhattan.  We were amazed that the Staten Island Ferry is free and the views of the Statue of Liberty were great!  I have over a dozen pictures of her....

We debated to try the subway or bus in NYC.  We found a bus line that ran 1/2 block from our motel, so we decided on the bus.  Even public transportation is expensive in NYC, about $12 each time our family rode.  It was a nice break from walking, though, and another fun way to see the Manhattan area where we stayed.  Our motel was amazing!  It was the most expensive night of the trip by far.  We had a 9th story view of Midtown Manhattan and lots of lights and noise. After 36 hours in NYC, this country girl was ready for some peace and quiet!
Flatiron Buidling, Manhattan
The first night, we rode back down to the new World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial.  The blocks around the WTC remain under construction and have a heavy police presence.   The new Freedom Tower and Memorial are beautiful and thought-provoking.  There are two Memorials in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and have the names of 9/11 victims inscribed around the edge.  A square waterfall falls into a deep pool at each site.
9/11 Memorial, Tower 1
Freedom Tower

After the 9/11 Memorial, we rode the Staten Island Ferry back to move the car to an overnight parking garage.  Andy found the car had a flat tire, bought some Fix-a-Flat to move the car and made the 1/2 mile walk back to the Ferry in less than 30 minutes - He's the Man!  Our ferry ride back into the city was at dusk and I took a dozen more pictures of the Statue of Liberty.  I could ride that ferry all day!

Day 2 in NYC took us to the American Museum of Natural History.  This took walking to find the right bus stops and a ride past Central Park.  We only had 4 hours at the AMNH, so we had to walk quickly and not spend much time at any exhibit.  I would recommend a whole day there to be able to see the entire museum and watch the films.  Mallory and Drew were most impressed with the bones of the "giant turtle" and dinosaurs and Abby liked the Sea Life exhibit.
American Museum of Natural History
Abby at AMNH entry
Drew by a giant turtle shell
The AMNH sits on the western(?) side of Central Park, so after visiting the museum we walked along the park to our bus stop.  I wish we had more time to explore Central Park, but we needed to get back in time to get the car to a tire shop.
Another bus ride and Ferry ride took us back to Staten Island.  The car tire held air overnight and the tire shop would not even try to repair it since it had Fix-a-Flat, so he aired us up and off we drove towards Trenton, NJ.  Day 11 will take us to Trenton, the Delaware Crossing site, and Philadelphia.  3 major cities in 4 days!

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