October 1, 2018 – New York, New York

Drive started great – beautiful countryside and small towns – then we had to go thru Newark, NJ – right thru the middle of town – I was touching mirrors and white knuckled – but we finally made it to our campground.

Liberty Harbor is a small park right on the Hudson River – only E/W with a dump station. Unfortunately I signed up for a week (usually discounted – one free day) but with Columbus weekend they charge more and don’t give the discount – my highest costing campground this year at $110 per night – but we are close to NYC.

Did take a walk down to the PATH underground light rail station to get a feel for schedules – its only 5 blocks away.nyny (3)

Tuesday is our experiment with the subway and see what happens – we made it to the World Trade Center and decided to tour the memorial. The One World Tower is the tallest in the western hemisphere.

WOW what a memorial – so big and so informative – we enjoyed the experience.
Lots of movies and remnants from the event – made it so alive again – even though I will never forget that day when it actually happened.

We did do pizza and beer (and wine) at a local restaurant afterwards and we found our way home.nyny (17)

Wednesday is my first appearance on the Today show – up at 4 AM and out the door by 5 – nervous about whom I would meet on the street but everything went well – it was quite the experience walking along Times Square in the dark.

Arrived a little late because I got lost but did get my sign and up against the fence. No one ever made notice of my sign but I did get on TV once.nyny (20)

It was a neat experience seeing how the show was managed and the behind the scenes. Everything seems smaller.

Did get to shake hands with Al Roker and Hoda.

In case you didn’t see me on TV.

Afterwards took off and bought tickets for the Broadway show Wicked – Saturday matinee.

Then walked Times Square again with people in it and WOW! – lots of people.

Had to buy breakfast so I could use the bathroom – felt like a New Yorker.

Saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral – wow!

Then wandered past the Empire State building – tall!nyny (33)

More walking and I am getting worn out – did a hot dog from the street vendor.

Then couldn’t find my subway entrance to return home and spent a bunch of time walking the streets looking – finally asked a vendor and he pointed to it – got home in one piece but I ain’t walking anywhere tonight.

Thursday Brenda and I took off for the Empire State Building – I have this subway thing all figured out and feel more at ease getting on and off.

Got to the Empire State Building and got our ticket and up we went – WOW – first stop was the 80th floor – an enclosed observatory and you could see for quite a distance except it was hazy to the south.

Then the 86th floor – open observatory – WOW again – really enjoyed seeing NYC from such a high point – lots to see. The art deco was impressive.

Then the Heartland Brewing Company for lunch.

Then a hike to the NYC Public Library – WOW – an impressive building with great architecture. Saw the movie and learned a lot of what is here. Brenda headed for the Genealogy Section and I walked around. Lots of people silently reading and researching.

Comic Con is happening in NYC this week and we saw some of the characters running around.

Then south on the subway and we got off at 9th Street – 20 minute walk to McSorley’s – NYC oldest bar – did order the cheese and a pack of Saltine crackers (still in the package). You can only order dark or light beer.

Back to the subway and home.

Friday weather is overcast and high 70 – looking good. We took off for our trip to Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty out of Liberty State Park in NJ. First we had to walk 2 miles to get to our boat.

First we got to visit the Central Railroad of NJ Train Station which is where many immigrants left from to go to whatever city in America they had chosen. Great views of the NYC skyline.

Then a beautiful boat ride to Ellis Island – WOW – what a national monument. So much information about the immigrants and their ventures. Did see the movie and got my stamp and Brenda her JR badge. Didn’t realize that 3rd class immigrants entered Ellis Island and had quite a thorough health check before entering the USA. Peak immigration years was 1880 to 1924.

Then another boat ride to the Statue of Liberty – WOW – WOW – WOW – it’s amazing when you see pictures of it but when you see it up close – WOW! Assembled as a gift from France in 1886 it has stood the test of time (with many repairs) and continues to promote Liberty in America.

We did the museum tour and then we had tickets to climb the Pedestal – couldn’t get a ticket to go up to the crown – sold out – glad too because you had to climb over 200 steps.

And back on the boat and home we go.nyny (88)

Saturday is our special day as we go to Broadway to see Wicked – story to fill in the details of the Wizard of Oz – oh how I was wrong.

Little bit of anticipation as we have two subways to take – PATH and MTA – nyny (89)we did make it all the way with an hour to spare – so we did Sushi at a Vietnam restaurant.nyny (90)

Brenda’s first time in Times Square and she was amazed.

Wicked was so much better than I expected – not sure if it was just Broadway or the story line. The actors were tremendous.

After the play Times Square was getting busy and it was getting late – we did do a matinee so Brenda could stay awake the whole time. We did a pizza slice and then headed home. Able to maneuver two subways again – feel pretty good about getting around by subway – I can see why people travel that way.

Sunday is off to Central Park for me and the puppies and Brenda is going to the NY Natural History Museum.

We drove – first time through the Holland Tunnel and first time driving in NYC – last time too – even on a Sunday morning it was busy but it was all “heck” on the way home.

Dropped Brenda off at the Museum and we found an on-street parking space – free parking on Sunday in NYC. We walked around Central Park – walked to the top of Great Hill and to the Reservoir – and lots and lots of people – weather was high 70’s – so everyone was out.

Picked up Brenda and then back home.

I will say that we enjoyed NYC and the sights and sounds but the traffic I can do without. There is more to do and we will keep NYC on our future bucket list.

On our way out of town on Monday.nyny (106)

Monday is off to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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