Statue of Liberty Cruise
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We only had a day and a half to spend in New York City, so we decided our half day would be best spent on the Statue of Liberty Cruise. I think our 6 kids thought the ferry ride over was just as much fun, if not more, than seeing the actual statue.
One of the one few great things that came from our decision to stay in New Jersey, instead of Manhattan, was the line for the Statue of Liberty Cruise was SOOOOO much shorter- both ways. You can embark from New York City or New Jersey. And the crowds to and from the city were very large. It's best to buy your tickets as far in advance as you can. We really blew it on the tickets and accidently bought the wrong ones. There are a few different options for what part of the Statue of Liberty you want to see. We knew we couldn't make it all the way up the statue because of having all our little ones with us. So we were content to just go inside the pedestal. Well, we thought we double checked to make sure we had it right, but when we arrived, all we had purchased was the cruise and the opportunity to walk around the grounds. Big bummer!!! Learn from our mistakes, and triple check your purchase.
Our cruise first stopped at Ellis Island. Such a remarkable place. When I had visited NYC before (sans kids), I spent hours there. There is so much to learn- but my kids were having none of it. I don't think that it helped that they were all upset about the Statue of Liberty tickets, and that we had had such a full day the day before. I got into a spat with one of my boys about his attitude, and it just wasn't a good experience. So we just did a quick run through of the building, read as many signs to them as I could with out severe moans and groans, and headed on our way.
We stopped next at the Statue of Liberty, and though we were just on the grounds, my kids gained an appreciation for just how majestic it is in person. With the way things went at Ellis Island, maybe it was a good thing we weren't involved on a tour inside after all. It was a bit unfortunate that we got caught in a huge raining downpour, so we didn't hang out very long. Because of the rain, the line for the ferry back to the city was hours long, no one wanted to be caught outside in that weather. It was crazy!! We felt so grateful the line to New Jersey was so much shorter. We ate some soft pretzels in line, and were on our way back to our vehicle to eat up our leftover pizza from dinner in the city the night before.
(*For more tips on how we tackled a day in NYC with 6 kids in tow, see our previous post.)
Even though it didn't turn out as marvelous as I had hoped, I don't think it will be something my kids will forget. I guess that's the fun of family travel, even though there is the family fighting and grouchy moments, the time you spend together is bonding and so special.
Visiting these National Monuments gives me such a feeling of patriotism and pride. I'm so grateful for my country, and hope my children have the same feelings when they come to visit.