Saturday, 29 January 2011

Dec 22 - To Liberty & Beyond

We woke up to a beautiful sunny day for our excursion to visit the Statue of Liberty. After a simple breakfast of cereals, muffins and bagels in our room, we caught the subway to South Ferry Terminal where we walked to Battery Park. We picked up our pre-purchased tickets and went through security to get on the ferry to Liberty Island. As necessary as it was, security was rather painful. We had to go the whole hog as at the airports. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we didn’t have 6 children with us.

On the subway bright and early

Tickets in hand...Let's go!
Seated on the ferry ready to go!
Goodbye to Manhattan...
...Onto Liberty Island
Our first glimpse of the Lady herself

Once on the Island, we had to go through more security to climb up to the crown. Bar our cameras, we also had to lock up everything in lockers which took even more time. The climb to the crown in winter coats was a rather strenuous journey that encompassed 354 steps in a narrow enclosed space. It was definitely harder than expected! The long preparation to ascend the crown though, was well worth it as the view was spectacular! We then went down to pedestal level where the museum was and caught up with the rest of the group looking after the little ones who were not allowed to climb to the Crown. The museum was fascinating, going through the history and symbolism of the statue.

Making the approach for the climb
The original torch
The stairs to go up...
One way up and the other way down
One of the first to reach the top. Oh to be young again...
The whole group!
A spectacular view
Going down is just as hard!

The morning flew by and we decided to give Ellis Island a miss as we left to seek some lunch. The ferry was very full with those standing up packed up right next to each other and we were unfortunate enough to again encounter some terrible attitude. A family of 3, the youngest of whom was a young lady in her early twenties sprawled themselves, along with their bags, on the seat. To give you an idea of how much space they took up, we were able to fit 4 adults and 4 children on the same seat. We didn't expect them to give up their seats. However, not only did they refuse to move, they also expected those around them to give them space! The young lady complained rather loudly that the children were too close to her legs, and that one of the children actually touched her leg. Unbelievable! We were so glad they left at Ellis Island. It was a change from the helpful and friendly people at Walt Disney World.
We caught the subway to Pastis, a Parisian style brasserie in the meatpacking district. As we waited outside for our tables, we admired the fashionable and impeccably dressed patrons walking out. Unfortunately, there were no stars for us to spot today. We did, however, have a delicious, albeit, very late lunch. Seared tuna nicoise, linguini with cockles and garlic, and crème brulee made for very contented stomachs. Jonah stayed asleep throughout, which meant Malcolm and I ate in peace!
Joining the rush for the ferry back to Manhattan
The view from Battery Park
Waiting patiently for a table

We walked off lunch at the High Line, a park built on a section of the former elevated freight railroad spur called the West Side Line, which runs along the lower west side of Manhattan. The frigid cold must have helped burn off some extra fat! Although it was a nice walk, it would have been nicer in speing or summer. It is definitely a must to come back to when they have extended the line. At the end of the walk, we separated from the rest of the group to get ready for our “date” tonight.

High Line Park
Lara pretending to be asleep
Jonah having a VERY late lunch
Anyone need a model? Mitch doing his best pose

Luan in her element, organising the group for a photo
The result!
An impressive car park
Watching traffic go by
Views from the Park

We caught a cab back to the hotel and settled for John’s Pizza, supposedly one of the best pizzas in New York. We were not able to squish it anywhere in our busy schedule so we decided to take the opportunity for some take-away tonight. Malcolm was sent walking to obtain one and he came back with one HUGE pizza. We only managed to eat half as a family!
Luan came to babysit the children and we walked our half a block to see Wicked at the Gershwin Theater. It was lovely to have some time to ourselves. However, I have to be honest and report that I was just a little bit disappointed with Wicked. I was not wowed as I expected to be. The sets were amazing and the performers phenomenal. I was captured by the storyline but was underwhelmed by the score which I thought was a touch weak. I kept waiting for the heart stopping number, but it never came. Overall, I did enjoy it though and I was glad that I got to see it in Broadway.

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