Day two began early as we headed by subway to Battery Park where we hit a Starbucks and waited for our ferry to take us to the Statue of Liberty. When we decided that we were going to go to New York, I knew that seeing the Statue of Liberty up close was the number one thing on my list. Within days of booking our flights, I also reserved passes for us to climb to the crown. We couldn’t have had a more perfect day for the 377 stair climb. While the weather was overcast and dreary, which did not make for a nice view of the New York skyline, it did make for a very pleasant climb up to the top of the crown. We were in the first group of the day which was the second benefit. There were very few people in front of us which allowed us to climb rather fast. As we ascended to the top we paused to look out the windows. I felt so patriotic being inside of this American icon. I could not stop snapping pictures and between my phone and DSLR, I had several hundred by the time we left the island.
On the return trip, we detoured at Ellis Island which was not fully opened. I used the website to try to find my family’s’ name, but after a quick call to my dad, he said our ancestors did not come through Ellis Island. Knowing that, we boarded the ferry for our return to Battery Park.
From Battery Park we walked up to Federal Hall, Wall Street, and the 9/11 Memorial. Even though we only spent a few moments at the 9/11 Memorial, the somber feeling that permeated the area is something I will never forget. The roaring fountains completely juxtaposed the quiet sightseers surrounding the memorial. The Freedom Tower rose up into the overcast sky so we could not see the top, but felt like it was watching over us, a symbol of what America stands for.
Cori, never at a loss for awesome places to eat, took us to Katz’s Deli in the Lower East Side. Cori tried to explain the ordering system to me, but I was so overwhelmed by the number of people and choices, that I begged her not to leave me. I kept imagining that episode of Seinfeld with the Soup Nazi, and I was so hungry I couldn’t afford to get the ordering process wrong. I went with the original salami sandwich while I think Cori ordered pastrami. We were presented with heaping sandwiches and a pile of french fries with the most delicious sour pickles I’ve ever had. I don’t know how we did it, but we both polished off our sandwiches at the expense of our french fry platter.
After another nine miles of walking and very full bellies, we went to our hotel to rest up before heading out for the night. We had tickets to see Aladdin at the Amsterdam Theater right in Times Square. Aladdin was amazing, the Genie, played by James Monroe Inglehart gave a performance that still leaves me awestruck months later. While I wasn’t in love with all the songs, I was in love with all the sets, costumes, and singing. It was so much fun to cross a Broadway show off my bucket list.
We had worked off our huge lunch by this point, so after the show we walked over to Junior’s Cheesecake for ice cream sodas which we destroyed. To cap off the night, we walked across the street to the Marriott Marquis and headed to The View, the hotel’s revolving restaurant. Cocktails and an amazing night view was a perfect way to end another busy day in the city that never sleeps.