After we left Boston we decided to break up the trip to New York and stop in Smithfield, Rhode Island where we stayed at one of best Elks. It was situated along a beautiful lake but the best part was how we were treated! They couldn’t have been friendlier and treated us to drinks, food and their hospitality. If you use Elks Lodges, put this one on your must see list!
The drive to Liberty Harbor RV Park was a bit of a challenge, to put it mildly. It is situated in Jersey City, New Jersey and to get there you need to have good directions and nerves of steel. Fortunately, Dennis is an excellent driver and he trusted my directions and we made it without any wrong turns. The campground is a parking lot with water and electric but the proximity to New York City makes it worthwhile. The ferry was only a 5-minute walk from our campground and a 5-minute ride to Manhattan. Dennis was a bit hesitant to visit NYC but after 4 days there he wants to visit again. It was much cleaner than he expected and we were pleasantly surprised at all the helpful people who helped us manage the subways, gave us recommendations for food and gave us directions.
One of the first places we visited was the 9/11 Memorial. I had seen what it looked like a few years after 9/11 and I must say I was extremely impressed. The memorial opened on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and it consists of two pools set in the footprints of the original twin towers. Thirty-foot waterfalls, the largest in North America, cascade into the pools each descending into a center voids. The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze parapets around the pools. The memorial is a beautiful tribute to those who lost their lives on that fateful day. We didn’t get to go to the museum but we did visit Engine Company 10, the closest fire station to the Trade Center buildings and many of those first responders lost their lives that day. Adjacent to 9/11 Memorial is Trinity Church and O’Hara’s Pub and they both played a major role in the days and weeks following the attacks on America. Trinity Church is where thousands of family members posted those poignant posters asking for help to find their loved ones who were in the towers that day. O’Hara’s Pub, a locals watering hole, was damaged that day but after a few months of clean up they served thousands of meals for free to the many workers who spent countless hours cleaning up the rubble and recovering those who died that day, very poignant visit and a must see for all.
Dennis and I decided to view the city from the One World Observatory. One World Tower is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,776 feet high. The observation deck is at the 102nd floor and gives you spectacular 360 degree views of the city and beyond, absolutely breathtaking!
We also walked all around lower Manhattan visiting Wall Street, Battery Park and we walked along the waterfront along the Hudson River. All in all, we walked over 22 miles in the 3 days we were there. Charlene, Dennis and my Dennis all experienced their first subway ride; we took the subway from near our ferry drop off to Central Park area where we met our dear friend, Stuart at his friend, Judy’s home. Judy lives adjacent to Central Park in a gorgeous apartment on the 30th floor. We visited and caught for an hour before going to lunch across the street at the Atlantic Grill, yum! The visit was too short but it was great to see both of them again.
A must see on this trip was the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You can’t believe how beautiful Lady Liberty is and what she means to our country and to all those who sailed into New York to begin their new lives as citizens of this great country. When she first arrived as a gift to our country from France in 1886, she was the tallest structure in New York City and the tallest statue in the world. We also visited Ellis Island where millions of Americans can say that their ancestors first set foot in America. From 1892-1954 almost 12 million people emigrated through Ellis Island from 60 countries.
What a fantastic visit to New York and it surely won’t be our last time there!