It was our last day in the city and we didn't sleep in! We couldn't because we had to hop on the train and take it all the way down to see a special lady.
This day was 35 degrees cooler than the previous day and holy thermal underwear could you feel it! The kids had such a love/hate relationship with the weather change but they did great on that ferry and managed to still be able to bend their legs given all the layers I made them wear.
Since we took the first ferry out, the crowd was pretty small (I'm sure the cold weather helped, too). The kids LOVED all the views of the city and couldn't wait to go exploring on the "little island".
We kept trying to get the girls to understand how these things work but they just kept seeing their own eyeballs. Ha!
This gigantic kid, however, thought they were the coolest thing ever and kept asking for more quarters. It's an odd thing, really, to watch your babies grow into bigs. I am amazed every day by this little man and am just so honored that he's mine.
We snapped some more pics and just really enjoyed the moments of being there.
At this point I could literally not feel my toes. Meanwhile, Landry is running around without socks on (ehm, Ryan missed the part where I said, "can you put socks on Landry before you grab her shoes?") and content as a clam. (I'm not sure how content a clam is, but I figured it's pretty happy).
Next time we visit, I think that big kid will be as tall as me.
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to see her.
Not a cloud in the sky
We made our way around the grounds and headed inside to the museum and to visit the pedestal.
The kids were happy to warm up and so into all the "stuff".
I loved this part of the museum - words and writings about first-time reactions of seeing Lady Liberty. I was breathless trying to think about what it must have meant to travel so many miles and feel so scared but so grateful all at once. What would these people think of us today? Would they be proud? Ashamed? Angry that we are still fighting the same oppression that they ran away from? How can we be better? Do better? Make them proud?
Does she still hold such promise with her arms raised high?
We made it out to the pedestal and tried to avoid falling over the edge from a wind gust - ha!
And then we climbed back on the ferry to head over to Ellis Island. The kids talked us into sitting on top of the boat and I must admit, the view from the top made that cold wind worth battling.
I had never been to Ellis Island before and I was so glad to experience something new with this crew.
First of all - its BEAUTIFUL y'all.
The way buildings are supposed to be made.
And wide open - not nearly as many people come here as they go to see the Statue of "Liverty" (thank you, Emmy) so we had these vast halls basically to ourselves.
Note: I need this in my dream house.
We twisted and turned through the hallways following the paths of the immigrants from long ago and I just loved it. I loved reading their stories and reading their words and in lots of places, HEARING their voice. (This was clearly a favorite part for the kids - Emmy and Landry were trying to talk back to the phones - ha!)
Like walking the Freedom Trail in Boston, this experience was overwhelmingly rich with history. They did a great job of making it interactive and educational and telling the stories of so many people. It wasn't too crowded or large so the kids could navigate it with ease and there were plenty of resting places to get in some extra Daddy snuggles.
Before we knew it, we were back on top of that ferry... and heading back for our last afternoon in New York.
It was so bright they could barely open their eyes.
And Landry kept trying to call some birds.
We took the kids to see St. Patricks Cathedral but Landry had fallen asleep so I sat in a pew while she rested and didn't take any pics of the church. (But if I'm being honest, I probably wouldn't have taken any; I get frustrated with the tourist feeling of that place of worship. I've been there during mass and people are just walking around, talking, snapping pics and it gets me so frustrated. On the other hand, the more people that visit a house of God, the better, right?) We headed home to pack, wash towels and sheets, and then made our way down three blocks for our last dinner.
We couldn't have picked a more perfect ending. The atmosphere, the service, the food, the DESSERT were the perfect endings to an amazing vacation. We just had the best time inside those walls and not one kid argued with the other, so that's like hitting a grand slam! Radley has mandated that every time we go to NYC, we eat our last dinner here. I'm thinking next week may be a good time to visit.