Thursday, July 7, 2016

New York City Tour

Plattekill, NY

New York City/Newburgh KOA

Yesterday I mentioned how we had a problem with the park that I reserved and this park is what I could find on short notice.  As I was looking through all the brochures that we received when we checked in, I found a brochure on a New York City tour that was $105.  Bill told me to call and thankfully, I called last night.  They had a tour leaving at 7:15 am today and not another one until Tuesday.  Since we have to be out of here on Sunday, we walked up to the office last night to purchase tickets for today's tour.  

I was surprised how many people were on the tour.  I think there were 44 on our tour, all of these were from people staying here.  The bus left promptly from the KOA park office.  

Mitch, our tour guide, was very good.  He immediately, started telling us about our trip and what to expect.  He was very personable and gave us so much information.  

I looked at the price of the included tickets for the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island and the Empire State Building and saw what it costs for all the tolls and thought we had a bargain.  No way could you do what we did today for that price.  

I can't imagine anyone driving in New York City.  The traffic was horrendous and the pedestrians weren't much better.

Just going through the Holland Tunnel was an experience.  They change the lanes depending on what time of day it is.

I did notice a lot of police and fire trucks in a couple block area with lots of people crowded around.
This is the air ducts for the Holland Tunnel.  There is another "emergency" air duct tower.

Along the Hudson there were old piers that are now used as parks.
Law and Order is filmed on the third floor.  There were filming/wardrobe trucks parked outside.
Not sure what these balls were outside of Battery Park.  The bus dropped us off in front of Battery Park where we caught the Staten Island Ferry.  

 Mitch had told us that we would have to go through airport like security before we boarded the ferry.  Bill had on a big belt buckle so he took it off and put it in my purse.  Everything went fine until the lady asked who belonged to my purse.  They had to empty it out and then put it back through the scanner.  The rest of the group was gone but Mitch held them all up so we'd all get on the same boat.  

The boat really bounced around by the dock but once we got out in the open water it smoothed out.  

We had some beautiful views of the skyline from the boat.

Mitch had told us which side of the boat to be on for our best views of the Statue of Liberty.  

Our first view was of Ellis Island.

There she is.  We've passed by before on a cruise ship but it wasn't the same thing.

There were lots of people from all over the world.  You heard all kinds of different languages.

It was in the upper 80's at this point and humid.  

I asked Bill to wear this shirt today, so I could find him easily in the crowds.   He hasn't explained this girl in the photo I took.

Mitch was standing by to take photos for everyone.

Hot and hazy describes the beginning of the day.

We couldn't go up inside the statue as there is about a year's wait to get tickets.  Bill and I had time for an ice cream before the ferry left.

I can't imagine what the immigrants thought when they arrived here within sight of the Statue of Liberty.

Here's a better view of Ellis Island.

One thing I have to mention is everyone on the tour was very considerate and arrived back at the meeting place on time.

Since we were able to get on the next boat back, Mitch said he had a surprise for us.  Once we arrived back at Battery Park he asked if anyone wanted to walk 5 or 6 blocks to the 911 Memorial.  George, our bus driver, would pick us up nearby.  There were a few that didn't want to walk to it, and I can understand why.  The temps were now 89 degrees. 

 This is the south pool.  

Here's the new tower.

There just wasn't enough time to go into the museum.

Here's the north pool.  I thought I would feel differently than I did.  Bill and I both agreed seeing the Arizona in Pearl Harbor had a much more profound feeling for us.  Maybe it's due to all the people talking while observing the pools--especially all the different languages.

Here's the 911 wall.

This is the fire station ladder company #10 from 911.

I'd say the sidewalk street vendors are also a tourist attraction.
We walked up this block and George had the bus nice and cool for us.

The financial district was interesting but we drove by a lot interesting sights.

It's difficult to see but this a photo of Trinity Church.
Our next stop is at Grand Central Station for our lunch stop.  

I've seen so many movies that featured Grand Central Station.  

Mitch showed everyone a good place to eat.  Pizza is 99 cents a big slice.  We went all out and ordered 2 slices and a can of soda for $2.75.  

The line all the way down the sidewalk was pretty long but it moved very fast.  Only about 3 people could fit in the shop.

We then toured the Chrsyler Building.  It was gorgeous.  
You had to have a security card to get over to the elevators.

After viewing this building, we headed to the Empire State Building.  

You have to take two elevators to get to the 86th floor.  The first one goes to the 80th floor.  Then you walk through a serpentine with different facts and figures and history.  You are in these roped areas to keep people in line.  One employee came out and said it would be 20 minutes before you could get in the elevator, but you could walk up six flights of steps without waiting.  You wouldn't believe how many people left the lines and went to the stairs.  

We stayed in lines because no way could I do that many steps with my foot.  It took a couple of minutes and the elevator was available.

The views were fantastic. Unfortunately it started clouding up.  It wasn't scary up there, maybe it would have felt different if there weren't so many people.
Bill was showing me where he used to work and live.
It was awesome.  One of those places you always want to see.
One of my observations is that they should ban selfie sticks in places like this.  

Lucky for us we only had to walk around the corner to get back to the bus. 

Rockefeller Center where they have the ice rink in the winter.

Our last stop for the day is Times Square and it's now 5 pm.  Now we are seeing a lot of people.  Bill and I and another couple went to Juniors for cheesecake that Mitch recommended.  

Bill wanted a picture with the crystal ball that falls at midnight.  Okay, picture taken, let's go back to the bus.  I can't walk another step.  

The bus got back at 7:30 pm so it was a very long busy day.
It was a wonderful day and one we will never forget.  I know there is no way we could have attempted to do this without a guide. 

There are so many photos that we took, and I haven't even looked at what Bill took today.  We are exhausted, but so happy that we did this tour.  

Turtle Safely..........

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