When we started planning our Big Trip, New York City came up right away. With the Statue of Liberty on Vincent’s bucket list for over 5 years, we kind of felt it was necessary to visit. This was our golden opportunity to show him this dream. I say that, yet I was terrified of dragging 4 kids through the most crowded city in America. Add to that the stress of transporting them in crowded, dirty, rat-infested subways and I was haunted by the thought of adding this stop to our trip. Add to the list thoughts of muggers and well, I wasn’t thrilled.
I did what Brian and I normally do, I researched. And researched. Then I asked friends who have taken their children (albeit less children) to the city. I begged them to tell me of their experiences, to give me tips, and advice. A few weeks before we were set to leave I was seriously considering canceling that part of our trip. I figured we could go back to the east coast another time and add it to our list then. At the same time a friend returned from a trip to NYC. She and her husband took a few days, sans kiddos, to check out the city. I bombarded her with questions and she gave some great advice. One thing she suggested was taking a tour of the city on a bus, specifically the Big Bus. For a fee you can ride a bus around the city, and get on and off of the bus unlimited times.
What a fabulous idea! I would far rather catch a bus (with other goofy, camera toting tourist like myself) and listen to a tour guide tell me about the city than try to catch the correct subway ANYDAY. My mind was instantly relieved and our plans to go to NYC were set in stone.
We found the closest RV park in the area, it happened to be across the bay, in New Jersey. Driving into Jersey was a challenge. Brian had to drive through construction zones and inner city areas that were very narrow.
We finally made it to the park and found our RV spot. When we set up we realized the view from our front door was this
That is the Statue of Liberty y’all. OUTSIDE MY FRONT DOOR!!!
Pretty amazing, huh? We didn’t plan much for that night, we knew we’d want to just explore the area near the campground and get a feel for the city.
We drove to the nearby Liberty Park in hopes of getting a better view of the city. It was gorgeous!! The city lights were just starting to show through the evening. We could also see Lady Liberty in the background.
I did what every tourist does and took at least 132 photos. We walked around admiring everything around us, the lights, the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial (memorializing those that died in the attacks), the water front, the ferries, and the people.
A clock that stands at what used to be a train station in New Jersey. The ferry ticket seller told us that this station used to take imigrants on the train as they arrived.
The skyline of NYC from Liberty Park in New Jersey
Empty Sky, 9/11 Memorial in New Jersey
Beams from the World Trade Center:
This man was fishing in the bay. The kids stopped to see what he had recently caught. He stopped and explained how the boats inadvertently trap the fish in the area which makes for good fishing in the area. He let the kids touch them, told them about the other area fish, and just took time to talk to us. It was just a change from what we expected.
The next day was the Statue of Liberty and the city…
I hate to spoil the ending to our NYC trip, but I will tell you now…we didn’t get mugged, lost, or robbed. So yeah, all of my fears were pretty much debunked.