The Big Apple

I once had a business trip to New Jersey and had planned to go to New York City one evening to explore, but the colleague I was visiting talk me out of it saying it was too crazy and dangerous.  I should have went.  Well, now is my chance and I get to go with my whole family!

I had read about the Liberty Harbor RV Park long before we even left on our trip so I was pretty well prepared for the prices and that it was more of a parking lot than a park.  The reviews are all pretty bad.  But the few decent reviews say its all about the location.  I think it was good that I read so many bad reviews as it set my expectations really low.  But it wasn’t so bad.  Absolutely nothing fancy about the place at all and the only green at the RV “park” were a few pads of astro turf for tent campers.  But it had what we needed: electric, water and a dump station.  The staff was nice, helpful and quickly took care of us by finding a place to park the truck since it didn’t fit in our site.  We had nice French speaking neighbors from Quebec who had a dog, Pica, that the kids adored and they also shared with us a little tidbit on a walking path out to a nice view of Manhattan.  I thought for sure it would be hard to sleep with all the city noise but it was quiet.  With a nice nights sleep under our belt, let’s go see the sites!
Liberty Harbor RV Park(inglot)
We started by taking the light rail to Liberty State Park to catch the ferry to Ellis Island.  You could probably walk it but we knew we’d be on our feet all day which is still a bit too much for Brielle.  It would have been cheaper and faster for me to drive and drop the rest of the family off, bring the truck back to the RV park and walk back (our own Uber).  Oh well.  The ferry ride out to Ellis Island gave us a great view of Manhattan.  It was sort of a grey dreary day but at least it wasn’t raining.
Ferry to Ellis Island

Ellis Island was really cool.  It took us awhile to figure out how the audio tour was organized.  We finally found the family friendly version of the tour which was targeted at kids and did an excellent job of keeping it fun, exciting and educational.  My Great Grandfather Trojanovich came through Ellis Island from Czechoslovakia.  Its hard to believe some of the stories of people who hated their home country so much that they would rather throw themselves overboard than be rejected at Ellis Island and sent home.  The thought of leaving everything you know to come to a foreign country with little more than the clothes on your back and a few bucks in your pocket because that seems better is hard to wrap my brain around.  We are a very blessed and lucky people to live in such a great country!

The kids got their Jr Ranger badges and we ate our sack lunch before riding the ferry over to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty.  This time we knew to ask for the family friendly audio tour.  Again, this was a hit with the kids and I even thought it was better than the adult version.  I’ve seen a gazillion pictures of the Statue of Liberty…really nice professional grade pictures.  But seeing it in person is just different and much better.  The view of her from the ferry is beautiful.  I wish we could have just stayed parked out in the water for awhile to enjoy the view awhile longer.
Its a beautiful sight

After our stay on the island we boarded the ferry bound for Manhattan.  Once there we grabbed a few pretzels from a street vendor and slowly made our way along some greenway toward the WTC memorial.  The memorial is very well done and sobering.  We also visited the little church just a block away that had a great display on how the church was utilized during the efforts following the 9/11 attacks.  After getting kicked out of the church at closing time we headed to the subway for our ride home.  Unlike the light rail where I could buy multiple tickets in one transaction you have to buy subway rides one transaction at a time….what a pain.  But we got ‘er done and found the subway we needed and got home in time to have a late dinner and catch some shut eye before another full day in the city.

Ava's peg leg

Liberty Harbor RV Park(inglot)

Our campground

Here we go


Waiting for the train

Light rail to the ferry

Walking to the ferry

Abandoned train station

Ellis Island in the background

Ferry to Ellis Island





In the grand hall

Jr Rangers



Ellis Island grand hall

Manhattan sky line

Its a beautiful sight

Arrival at Liberty Island

From the ferry

Wachs at Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty pose

Dude Liberty

Ferry ride to Manhattan



Cool earth art display

NY Pretzles

Downtown Manhattan

Jersey City sky line

Taking a rest


WTC Memorial

Church yard by WTC

Subway escalator

The subway ride home


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