Approaching Ellis IslandFriday, 12 June (Philadelphia KOA to NYC KOA via Statue of Liberty):
A nice photo of our approach to Ellis Island on the NJ ferry.
We left the Philadelphia/West Chester KOA a bit after 8am , and after another couple of glitches in the GPS routing, arrived at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Parking was $7.00 and the final road in was made of cobblestones and VERY rough! The ferry terminal is attached to an old railroad terminal and kind of neat. They have snacks, drinks, restrooms available both in the terminal and on the ferries. We had bought tickets online for the noon ferry, but arriving at 10:30am we asked if we could use them for the next ferry at 11am and they said sure, if there is enough room. After going thru the security checkpoint, we boarded our ferry. This is the only time you have to show ferry tickets. I guess since the ferry only goes to Ellis Island and Liberty Island, they figure you must have had tickets to be on the islands. The line was so short, we all got on the 11am ferry to Ellis Island with room to spare. After seeing how much bigger the crowds were for the NYC ferries, I’d highly recommend using the
Ellis Island Baggage
The exhibit at Ellis Island showing immigrants and their baggage.
New Jersey terminal at Liberty Park if at all feasible. Our first stop was at Ellis Island where we strolled thru the exhibits and I used the first of our audio tour tickets to get more insight to the exhibits. They have a big gift shop and a decent cafeteria where we bought chili cheese fries. Next, we boarded the ferry to Liberty Island for our tour of the Statue of Liberty. Liberty Island is quite close to Ellis Island, unless you’re swimming! I forgot to mention that there was no security checkpoint on Ellis Island. What a change! On Liberty Island, you can stroll around all you like, but to enter the pedestal you have to pass thru the toughest security yet, where you can even bring a backpack, bag, food or drink! We had to stow it all in the rental locker at $1.00 for two hours, using your fingerprint for secure recovery since you get no key or combination. After entering the pedestal, you either take a small elevator, or climb the 156 steps, like we did. Phew! When you get to the observation deck level, you can look up the inside, with all the structural components
Ellis Island Great Hall
The main hall at Ellis Island.
and the spiral staircase to the crown room. After taking some good photos and video from the observation deck, we went back down to claim our baggage. The stupid locker system wouldn’t recognize my fingerprint, so we had to get an attendant to open it for us, describing the contents, then showing an ID from inside the bags that matched one of us. Good thing had her purse inside since I put my wallet in my pocket. After walking around a bit for Manoli to listen to the audio tour gadget, we boarded the ferry back to Liberty Park in New Jersey. Don’t get on the NYC ferry if you parked in New Jersey! Don’t worry, we got it right. Leaving the parking lot, the GPS program promptly got us lost! After finally working our way back on track, we spent the next hour or two in a major rush hour traffic jam, then let the GPS lead us astray again, before finally getting it straight. We arrived at our new KOA, Newburgh/NYC North KOA, at 7pm, an hour or so later than planned. This KOA was busy, finally, and quite cool… at least a 9! After eating in the
Beauty & The NYC Skyline
Manoli posing in front of the NYC skyline from Ellis Island.
snack bar and strolling around, we turned in. Tomorrow we drive to the train station for our trip into NYC to visit the Empire State Building and jog in Central Park.
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