Date: 27th October 2015
What We Did:
We were up early and headed straight down to the bottom of Manhattan where we caught the ferry to Ellis Island. Make sure you arrive earlier as it takes a while to clear the airport style security and get onto the ferry. The boat ride over was amazing and that is where you will probably get the best views, and pictures, of the Statue of Liberty and the New York Skyline including the One World Trade Centre. We really enjoyed the boat ride over, just remember to wrap up warm if you’re visiting in winter as it was very windy on the top deck!
Our first stop was on Ellis Island, it was very interesting and full of information on immigration to the USA. We enjoyed learning about what people went through to try and get into America and the conditions in which they suffered. Make sure you talk to the staff there. We were ushered over by the man working in the large hall you first come into. He was great and gave us some great facts! It is a lovely island to walk around and see the views of New York and of course Lady Liberty herself. We spent a good few hours on Ellis Island seeing all the different rooms and then trying to find our name on The American Immigrant Wall of Honor… which we did.
The next stop on the boat was for the Statue of Liberty, after reading many reviews and blogs on New York we decided to skip this stop. If we had tickets to go into Lady Liberty obviously we would have stopped. However we decided it was not worth the waste in time waiting for the next ferry and we decided we had perfect view from the boat. So it was back to Manhattan!
We then walked over to One World Trade Centre which is the tallest building in New York. We were moved by the 9/11 memorial pools in the site of the twin towers. We spent time here reflecting and thinking about all those people who lost their lives, it is a beautiful memorial. We have no photos of this as we didn’t feel it was respectful, see our lows of the day for more info on that! We then went to see One World Trade Centre where we went up to the observation level. Again it was airport stule security so plan this into the time. The elevator travels to floor 102 in 47 seconds, you could feel your ears popping! Inside the elevator all walls were screens showing the development of New York and in particular the Twin Towers and then One World Trade Centre. Once at the top you were ushered into a theatre to see a short film about the making of One World Trade. The end of the film gave me goosebumps, I won’t spoil the surprise if you haven’t been but it’s well worth it! We then spent another hour walking around the observation deck looking at the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and beyond. You had no perspective of the city from that high up as everything looked so small.
We then walked to the Brooklyn Bridge which took a lot longer than first thought, in particular trying to get onto the bridge. There was a lot of road works going on at the time so a few paths were closed. Once we were on it was easy and we just followed all the other tourists walking across to Brooklyn! Every now and then stopping to look back and take photos of Manhattan. Please allow around an hour to walk across and take in the views. Once we were in Brooklyn we had pizza and Ice Cream sat at Brooklyn Heights. This was a perfect place to spend the afternoon. Instead of walking back across the Brooklyn bridge we decided to get the water taxi up the Hudson to the other side of Manhattan. Use of the water taxi was included in our New York Passes!
Once we were off the water taxi we were hoping to have a little look at the High Line but today had taken a lot longer than we had thought. We headed over to the theatre to pick up our tickets and take our seat for Matilda. This musical was really good, the actors were amazing especially the kids. The only part that was lacking for us was the songs but we didn’t know whether that was because there are not many songs in the film. All in all it was good and I’m glad we went but probably wouldn’t watch it again.
Food and Drink:
Breakfast at Cosi’s where as usual we had oatmeal and filled it from the toppings bar. I have been dreaming of this since we left New York. You cannot make this at home, it just doesn’t taste the same.
Lunch at Grimaldis Pizza just off the Brooklyn Bridge. This is probably the best pizza we have ever tasted and the line was out the door to sit down. We decided to take away and eat it overlooking the Manhattan Skyline. We saw them make our whole pizza from fresh including the dough. It was amazing and a must try while in New York. We then finished off with Ice Cream from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory which was also delicious.
The Lows: The biggest low and disappointment for us was the people around the 9/11 memorial pools taking selfies. We thought this was totally disrespectful and were shocked at people taking photos with selfie sticks with huge grins on their faces. That’s literally getting a picture for the sake of it and not thinking about where you are. There were people there placing flowers next to people’s names, so we felt sorry for them having to fight through the tourists and selfie sticks.
Up Next: A rainy day in New York