Today we woke up late and found a beautiful day in front of us! Our hotel have an awesome feature: Walk out the door right into Rockefeller Center! We didn’t know at the time how wonderful that would start out our mornings. Around 10 am we walked out of our hotel to find a small concert happening across the street at Rockefeller Center.
It was a blast listening to the music, walking around, getting a view of the area. People seem so connected yet they were all strangers! I love the city and wish that I lived here partly because of this type of stuff. After we enjoyed the concert for a while we grabbed an Uber and started our adventures for the day.
BIG $$$ SAVING NOTE: We purchased the New York Pass. I did some research and found the pass for several dollars less than directly from the New York Pass website. This pass allows 1 person per pass to visit ANY of the places on the list:
Activities and attractions: Guests can visit as many attractions as they like during the duration of the pass. The New York Pass grants access to more than 100 Big Apple sites, such as:
- Empire State Building
- Top of the Rock Observatory
- Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus New York
- Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Immigration Museum – Ferry Ticket
- Madame Tussauds New York
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum
- 9/11 Tribute Museum: Gallery Admission
- American Museum of Natural History
- The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
- Landmarks Cruise by Circle Line Sightseeing
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Space Shuttle
- Central Park Bike Rental (Full Day) by Unlimited Biking
- Central Park Bike Tour by Unlimited Biking
- Guggenheim Museum and more!
Our first adventure was to Battery Park for our trip to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We decided to do these 2 places first because the closing times for both of these places and ferry made it the best choice so we wouldn’t miss the opportunity! First thing you aren’t told when you want to visit these places is that the line will typically be enormous! Luckily you only have to wait in it once to get onto the ferry and then to either or both places.
Since we had the pass allowing us to get into both locations for no extra costs we did what many other people did… We originally got in the, almost 2 hour long, line and started waiting until we could scan our pass in. After a few minutes of waiting in line I had a scary epiphany that maybe I should find a ticket counter to ensure we were doing the right thing. This is the important NOTE: The ticket counter is a MUST even if you have purchased passes! Our passes printed the tickets out at the counter but would NOT have gotten us onto the Ferry and the long line wait would have been a complete waste of time.
Onto security once you pass the ticket check point… At the security area you are scanned, your bags and items are scanned, you need to remove belts and metal objects on your person. You have to pass the metal detector and then if you beep they will ask permission to wand scan you and proceed to do that until they are satisfied you are clear of any weapon or dangerous items. After the security piece is finished you are on the dock area waiting again. The ferry only leaves and returns on a round robin 20 minute time frame and they are very strict about everyone keeping the movement flowing expeditiously. Several times we heard the captain raising his voice over the speaker demanding that people move faster onto the ferry. It was a little overwhelming because with the amount of people it wasn’t safe to move too fast but they were demanding that we did.
After a short ferry ride we were at the Statue of Liberty but decided not to get off on that island because the wait to get in and see the interior was hours long. We opted to stay on the ferry and head right over to Ellis Island for a long visit at the museum.
We were greeted by an amazing entrance into the Ellis Island building. Photographs do not do justice to the enormity of this entrance. The photos also cannot give you the real feel of how tremendous the registry room was in size and emotion.
As you enter this building you are welcomed with a plethora of memorabilia, photos, sounds, and so much more. It felt like being swept up in an emotional revelation.
After an emotional walk all over the Ellis Island museum we were ready to go back to NYC. I had tears at several points thinking and experiencing the different struggles our ancestors encountered. Would the people in these photos be proud of where our country and people are today? I honestly feel our society would be looked on as shameful by our ancestors! They all fought so hard, battled so much and long, struggled every day for the small successes only to have our generations rip those foundations bricks apart.
What this does show however is a country that was built on ALL OF US! Built on tears, deaths, lives, learning, love and so much more. It was an experience that will forever change how I view my ancestors! They were braver than I could have ever imagined! Thank you to everyone who left the place they were comfortable and ventured to build a better life for myself and everyone else who is here now!
Once back on NYC land we were met by an artist who we ended up paying to draw us.
It was a fun experience and the end result came out great with a memory we will keep and have forever! It did however end up costing us $40 because there is always a bait and switch situation going on with people peddling street services.
We decided to walk up to see the Charging Bull before finding food. We discovered several interesting Monuments, buildings, fountains, and other interesting things on our way walking to the bull!
It was a wonderful day! We learned a lot about our history, our country, the city, and enjoyed every minute of it! We were however starved at this point so decided to eat at the first spot we could find which ended up being a TGI Friday’s in the financial district. This was an interesting adventure we never expected. You walk into the door and go down a hall, make a right down a little hall, make a left down a medium length hall, then left again and down a flight of stair to find an extremely long restaurant! As we ate everything kept shaking and it was funny after we realized it was the subway!
Thank you for joining us on our day! If you missed day 1 in NYC please check it out: Our first day touring NYC
For day 3 in NYC doing the touristy things follow along here: Day 3 in New York City being a tourist