Although my mom has been to NYC many times, she had never actually made it over to Lady Liberty and Ellis Island. Eric and I have been several times, but when we mentioned we wanted to take Ellie, my mom was excited at the prospect of joining us. So, we made that our adventure for the Friday of her visit.
As expected, it was a bit of a trek to get out there. There is a reason we don't usually readily offer up a Statue of Liberty trip to visitors - it's a pain in the neck and takes all day if you want to do both Liberty and Ellis Islands. But, we were committed this time. We left after Ellie's morning nap on Friday, took the PATH to World Trade Center, then walked down to Battery Park, where we purchased our (more-expensive-than-I-remembered) tickets for the ferry.
The Sphere in Battery Park (it used to stand at the World Trade Center)
American Merchant Mariners Memorial
The ferry line moved pretty quickly, and although we had just missed a ferry, we didn't have to wait too long before we were on board and ready to leave Manhattan behind. We settled in to a seat in the front of the boat on the right hand side (I don't know boat words - port? starboard?), so we would have the best views of the Statue as the ferry passed Liberty Island.
On the ferry
There she is!
First stop after arriving at Liberty Island: gift shop. Ellie needed a hat.
It suits her.
(Photo courtesy of my mom!)
My very best Statue of Liberty impression, circa 2007 (left) and 2012 (right)
We continued to make our way around the island, taking in Lady Liberty from all angles.
I told you - all angles!
Peeking through the trees
And of course, we had to take some family shots.
Playing tourist with my happy Mini Lady Liberty
With my mom
That statue sure is one photogenic lady.
We were all getting pretty hungry, so we stopped and ate a picnic lunch along the east side of the island so we could enjoy the view of Manhattan.
My fair city
Ellie was getting super sleepy (read: yelling) by that point, so Eric put her in the carrier in hopes she would fall asleep. Because being held by her Daddy is pure sleepy magic, she was out pretty quickly and slept through the whole ferry ride over to Ellis Island. Farewell, Lady Liberty!
Sleepy girl waiting for the ferry
On the ferry to Ellis Island
Welcome to Ellis Island!
Luggage at the entrance
Registry Room, as it looked in 1918-24. During that time, often as many as 5,000 immigrants would pass through here per day.
My mom reading sample logs of arriving immigrants
Eric and Ellie in the Registry Room
We then walked through the exhibits that take you through the whole process an immigrant would have gone through when arriving at Ellis Island, including legal reviews, medical and mental health evaluations, etc. I really like that exhibit. Unfortunately, Ellie had enough education for one day so she and Eric excused themselves to the great outdoors while my mom and I made our way through.
Examining immigrant graffiti that was preserved from the walls of Ellis Island
Eric and Ellie's view while they waited for us to finish
By that point we were all beat, so we decided to call it a day and start our journey home. Sweet Ellie had really been so good and so tolerant of a very long, exhausting day - frankly, I was super tired by the time we got home, and I'm not a baby, so I'm not sure how she hung in as well as she did. (Aside from the fact that she's awesome, of course.)
Eric, Ellie and my mom waiting for our final ferry of the day!
I really love that we're able to take Ellie to such incredible places, even though she's still too young to remember it. Ah well, we'll just have to be sure to bring her back again someday!