Tuesday, October 11, 2011


On second day in New York we went to Statue of Liberty first. We planned to start from hotel at 8 in the morning. Our journey was smooth up to Lincoln Tunnel. I was shocked when I saw the traffic before the tunnel. The previous day when we came to New Jersey the tunnel was almost empty. After crossing that we entered NYC and caught in the morning traffic. In too many small streets and too many turns our GPS was taking more time to find the route than it took in normal time. My husband somehow managed to drive the car in the correct route by guessing. We parked our car near Statue of Liberty and walked to Castle Clinton to take the ferry to Liberty Island. Castle Clinton was circular Sandstone castle, located in Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, New York City, once used as America’s immigration station. Though we reached early, still we had to wait behind a long queue for one and a half hour for the ferry. Then after a stringent security check we got the chance to board the ferry. My son started sleeping in my arm in the cool breeze of Hudson Bay. It was thrilling experience to walk around the island. The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) was a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue has become an icon of freedom and of the United States. Since 1933 it had been maintained by the National Park Service. When we saw the Construction site from the island we felt chilled when we imagined that the horrific destruction was seen from the island on that fateful day. After spending more than one hour I suggested going back skipping Ellis Island visit. Because, returning the rental car before 3 o’clock at LaGuardia airport, which was far from Manhattan Island, could be a problem. However, my husband insisted me going there.

A dramatic sculpture near the Battery Park ferry dock
Anyway, we boarded the ferry to Ellis Island from Liberty Island. Ellis Island was actually the first immigration office of the United States. Currently, there was a museum depicting the official work in the early days. We were feeling hungry as well as thirsty. Though our son was hungry he refused to take any cake or chocolate. I tried some times to convince him without any result. By doing all these we spent most of our time there. Due to lack of time we saw a little there. Whatever I saw was very interesting. Still there was some belongings of the immigrants were kept there. After that when we came back Clinton Castle it was already 1:30 in the afternoon. We rushed to a Subway nearby to buy our lunch.

When we started for LaGuardia it was already quarter past two.  It was a thirty minutes journey from there to the airport without any traffic. However, we caught in the traffic snarl. I called the rental office and requested them to consider our problem. Anyway, returning the car was hassle free. Only thing was that we had to face little problem to find the route to the rental office. Then we enter the airport to have lunch. We decided to do that one by one. When I went to wash my hands, in the meantime our son did a mischief his hand was stuck between two chairs. After much effort my husband and another person could free his hand. Our next plan was to go to Herald Square by bus and metro rails. We went bus stop 60. After getting on the bus when wanted to pay, we were asked to use only quarter dollar. However, at that moment I didn’t have any quarter dollar in my hand. So, we got off and collected sufficient quarter dollars to pay.
Manhattan Sky line
Ellis Island

Then we went to Astoria Boulevard, and from there we boarded train Q. that was new experience of train ride in NYC. We got off at Herald Square and walked to Empire state Building. It was very funny to know that the building was built for the sake of making tallest building in the world. We could avoid the long queue at the ticket counter, because, we had tickets with us already. From the top of the building I could understand the pollution on NYC. Everything was looking very hazy from there, instead of the bright evening sun. While coming down we could avoid all the lines, and we were guided outside through the emergency door, thanks to our son’s stroller. We bought Starbucks coffee before we went to take the night bus tour.  Getting on the bus was a great relief to me, because, I could sit after a long walk. We went through China Town and Little Italy. Surprisingly there was not a single Italian living in Little Italy. The bus took us to Manhattan. The Brooklyn Bridge was dazzling with light in the darkness of night.
MacDonald At China Town

 The Brooklyn Bridge was one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connected the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge.  It was a bit cold there as we were near Hudson Bay. Our bus tour completed at 10:30 at the night. We walked to Port Authority terminus to take NJ Transit bus to our hotel in Clifton, NJ. In the counter my husband enquired about the bus to NJ. Unfortunately the lady in the counter told us two numbers which was wrong. At that time we didn’t know that. After some times my husband asked the driver of the bus, and he told that we were in the wrong bus!!!!! It was a horrible experience in the middle of night at an unknown place.  The driver asked us to get off at a place from where we could take a bus to our destination. We waited for a while on the deserted road. Then my husband called at the hotel and requested then to send a taxi. We reached our hotel at 12:30.
New York City Public Library

John Lennon's apartment
We woke up early in the morning to take 8:15 NJ transit bus. I had been packing for the day while my husband went to get ready. Our son also woke up. He was playing. Suddenly he cried out loud. I saw him on the floor. He fell down from the sofa. How he fell down I didn’t know. After putting cold water and giving him bath he didn’t show any sign of improvement. My husband put ice on his injured elbow. I wanted to cancel the trip of the day. Anyway after a while, our son himself wanted to go out. Then we started at 9 in the morning from hotel. We reached the bus terminus in NYC at 10:30. We went to Times Square to get on the Downtown tour bus. We passed the Strawberry Field (John Lennon’s Memorial at the Central Park) and got down at Museum of Natural History.
Before getting down, the tour guide showed us the apartment of John Lennon. He told that his widow Yoko Ono was still living there. Anyway, we wanted to show the world’s largest dinosaurs, to our son, who was crazy about that. After seeing the size of the queue we came out from there. It was really astonishing that my little son never complained of pain in his arm. Moreover he was enjoying in that scorching sun with smile. My husband decided to go to Central Park which was exactly opposite to the museum. We started walking towards the gate of Central Park. I didn’t know how far the gate was from there. We were walking and walking, but I couldn’t see any gate.  I became very impatient. At last my husband showed me the gate. My first job was to find a chair to sit. Though it was sunny, but it was too stuffy and uncomfortable to sit for a long time there. We decided to take the Down Town bus again to go to WTC. We waited for a long time in vein to get our bus. We were running out time, so we decided to go there by metro rail. We got off at Fulton street station to go to WTC site. It was extremely hot to stand outside. My husband wanted to show me the memorial pool at the WTC site, but we couldn’t manage to go inside the site. Then we went to the WTC memorial museum, only to come out with a heavy mind. Any disaster always moved me a lot.
Near Central Park
Our next and last destination was Hersey’s chocolate factory in Pennsylvania. For that we went to the car rental office. We got on the train Fulton Street and got down Union Square. My husband told me that we needed to walk a little to reach the office. I didn’t know at that time, how “little” I needed to walk. We started walking in the melting sun, and we reached there nearly after one hour, half-dead. After waiting some times we got the rental car without a toddler car-seat. Instead of that we were given one booster-seat in which my little son couldn’t sit. I didn’t want to take risk to go 150 miles without car-seat. However my husband was desperate to go. Anyway we started our journey, without any lunch. After crossing Holland Tunnel we reached NJ, and from there journey became smooth. Around three O’clock we had our lunch at Subway. Our journey in Pennsylvania was very nice. After spending few days in a heart of a congested city, the green Pennsylvania was very refreshing to us. That was the first time in my life I saw deer were just roaming around the front-yards of the houses when we went inside the locality after we lost our way. Anyway, my husband couldn’t speed up the car, because my son was in a booster-seat. I supposed there was plenty of deer in Pennsylvania, otherwise how could so many deer died on the freeway due to accident? We wanted to reach before 6 in the evening compared to our previous plan of reaching at 4. We reached there around 6, fully exhausted. I had no energy to enjoy there. We took nice factory tour to know about how chocolates were manufactured. We bought some chocolates. Then after having some snacks we started our journey back to the hotel.  My husband deserved for kudos for driving 150 miles again to the hotel. I felt asleep in the car along with my son. We reached exactly at midnight. My little son enjoyed the whole day by holding his left hand with the right. Because, in pain he couldn’t keep his left hand hanging. However, he didn’t complain for a single time. We decided to skip dinner. We had to wake up at 4 in the morning to catch our flight at 7.
We woke up at our scheduled time and got ready very quickly. We started very early to avoid the morning traffic, but all our effort went in vain when we caught in the traffic near Lincoln Tunnel. We were counting every second. Anyway we reached JFK airport just in time. After returning the rental car we rushed to the terminal. When we reached there, boarding in the plane had already started. Anyway, after reaching SFO our first job was to take an appointment with doctor.  When we went to doctor, he diagnosed that my son had suffered from a fracture in his elbow and he plastered his hand. Through-out the process he was very co-operative and didn’t make much trouble.

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