Yep, there were three boys and yes, we did visit three islands. Mission accomplished. Here are some highlights.
- We actually got on the road precisely on time. This is such a rare occurrence that I could not let it pass without acknowledgement.
- The drive was uneventful and we encountered no traffic until we got to the Holland tunnel. This was a different route for me, but it made sense to avoid the West Side Highway and enter Manhattan in TriBeCa.
- We parked for free right in front of the hotel. Really.
- After leaving our luggage behind, we hopped a subway to Battery Park and made our way to Staten Island, fortifying ourselves with some Sabrett’s along the way. I eat a hotdog maybe once every few years. This one was with onions and mustard. It was divine.
- After docking, we jumped on a train for two stops and then walked the remainder of the way to Stapleton Pier where we got in line to tour the U.S.S. McFaul. Also present was the U.S.S. Cole, but that line was even longer.
- Our tour was informative and free and the perfect activity for Memorial Day Weekend. Recommended.
- After docking again in Manhattan, we walked to Chinatown where we gorged on soup dumplings, crispy duck, Shanghai noodles, squid with salted vegetables and peppers and, my favorite, green beans with pork.
- A leisurely walk back to our hotel followed dinner, with the boys remaining behind while I hoofed it up to Rocco’s for pastry. It was a beautiful evening for a walk and I was thrilled with the patriotically lit Empire State Building and Freedom Tower.
- Have I mentioned before how much I love the green spaces in lower Manhattan? The west side, with its meandering paths which hug the Hudson is so lovely, particularly in the spring. I couldn’t resist a quick run to start my day, while the boys slept in.
- Our reservations for the Statue of Liberty (obtained online a couple of weeks prior) were for noon. We again headed to Battery Park via the subway and were through security and waiting on the dock in little time. But, then the waiting really began. Waiting for the boat to arrive and unload. Loading the boat. Arriving on Liberty Island and unloading the boat. Waiting to go through security again… The 196 steps which took us to the base of Lady Liberty were the least painful part of the entire process. Unless the National Park Service figures out a more efficient way to get people on and off those boats, I don’t imagine myself ever returning to Liberty Island. If you plan to go there, look into departing from the Jersey side. I think it would be faster.
- The boat ride does provide a fantastic view of lower Manhattan and it is impossible to take in the sights without imagining what newcomers to America must have seen. On a sunny day in May it must have been magnificent.
We were in the car and driving north only 4 minutes beyond my target time. There was a quick stop in Jersey for some diner chow and then it was back to Albany for the Head and the Heart show, courtesy of 97.7 WEXT, at the Upstate Concert Hall. I had a great weekend – hope you did, too!