I've always hoped to visit The Statue of Liberty during my short New York vacations. In the past our weekends in the Big Apple were always packed with late nights out, Broadway plays and fabulous meals with no time to devote an entire day to seeing the symbol of our country.
My son, the one who currently wants to be an historian when he grows up, asked me if I could take him to see The Statue of Liberty. I immediately said yes as I too wanted to make my long time desire a reality. I am also in a big "do things now as there is no guarantee for tomorrow" phase.
This past week I combined visiting family at the Jersey shore with a wedding in New York and was pretty insistent that we make The Statue of Liberty tours happen in between the two. My mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law and niece joined us on the excursion.
The entry onto to the ferry over to Liberty Island was thorough with security checks but easy and soon we were sitting on the top of a packed ferry watching the New York skyline disappear as the massive and angelic lady liberty appeared.
Things continued to be organized as we approached more security to enter inside the historic statue. We had the option to walk seven flights of stairs or take an elevator. I opted for the stairs and began to notice frustration of other tourists, as the kids were not moving at a fast enough rate for them.
We arrived at the platform and the crowds began to descend. There was only a limited amount of ledge space to get the best view and every visitor seemed entitled to be there at that moment. I was disappointed to see the pushing, eye glares and rude comments that ironically was against much of the meaning behind the visit.
I understand the frustration of mass amounts of people in one space. Being in crowds in that type of situation obviously brings on tension and entitlement and it was obvious that patrons had traveled from all over the world to admire the symbol of our freedoms.
After a visit to the gift shop for a foam crown and torch, we were ready to head back to the ferry as we only had a few hours before the wedding's rehearsal dinner. This is when we found ourselves in the never-ending line. Hoards of tired, sweaty and sunburned citizens of the world wanted to get on the next ferry back to the mainland.
Pushing, line cutting, and very aggressive people came out from all corners. It was not nice or necessary as we all eventually got on board and made our way back to Battery Park.
The Statue of Liberty was gorgeous. Her girth, her detail, her representation was worth the crowds, waiting and pushing. It was a moment I will remember always and one I know my children will never forget.
Next time I need to remember to bring my hand sanitizer and Zen attitude.
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