We all met right outside our trailers on a cloudy day, but not rainy, for our tour to the Big Apple, New York City. There were the eight of us and 2 other couples from Utah, so the van was full. Al, our tour guide and driver took a few minutes to explain where we were going and what we would see, and then off we went for the hour trip into New York. Actually, we went to New Jersey first to catch the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. So much easier and less crowded going from the New Jersey side than the New York side. We didn't have as much time on Ellis Island as we had hoped, as there was so much to see and explore. More than 12 million immigrants came through here from the opening on January 1, 1892 through 1954 when it closed completely.
From there we ferried over to the Statue of Liberty. She is really something to see from the bay. Set atop its pedestal in 1886 it is the tallest statue in the world. It does bring out the patriotism in one. After having lunch by the "lady" in was back to the ferry. Seeing the New York skyline from the boat was great and would have been really something had the weather been a little better. Couldn't see the top of the Empire State Building.
Back to the van and on to New York City. As some seats are better than others in the van, we all decided that at each stop we would change seats, and we did and it seemed to work pretty good for the rest of the trip. After some touring around, the first stop was ground zero. Because of the fencing and all the people it was hard to grasp the horror of that day. Though looking up at a new 58 story Hilton next to it and trying to picture buildings over more than double the height and trying to imagine them collapsing was more than one could imagine. Visited the Church that was a haven for all people who were helping with the rescue, the church was not damage. Pretty incredible as it was right there.
Back in the van, more streets and information until coming to Times Square. Again everyone got out and walked by the NBC and ABC studios, all of theater area, saw where the New Year's Eve ball drops and Dick had his Starbuck coffee right there in Time Square.
Drove down by the Financial District, saw the "BULL", he is big. There was still much to see, but the 8 hours tour was coming to an end and time to go home, Very good tour over bridges, through tunnels and driving on New York streets. It is a place to see, but everyone agreed, not a place we would want to live.
The next day, Tony and Juliann met Juliann's cousin Fred Caiocca, 87 years young, at the Hoboken Train Station on Monday. He has lived in the borough of Manhattan all of his life and that made it much easier to have him show them around. He took them to the Empire State Building,down Madison Avenue, up 5th Avenue, by Saks & Company,to Grand Central Station and Rockefeller Center. A very special time was spent in St. Patrick's Cathedral. It was more than they ever imagined it was like inside. They viewed the Chrysler Building (the highest building in NYC before the Empire State Building was built),NY Public Library, South Street Seaport then to Ground Zero by taxi to catch the PATH train to Hoboken then back to the Campground. It was a very special, busy day long to be remembered.