Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The big post

Going back in time a bit, we visited Plymouth Plantation on Wednesday.  We first walked through a Wompanog Indian homesite, and talked a bit with some 'Indians' who were going about daily Indian life and such.  Then we went into the Plymouth Plantation.  When we walked inside the gate, there were three Pilgrims in front of a home.  There was Elizabeth with her goat Impediment, and men John Billington and William Bradford.  The role players were very much immersed in their roles, with dialects and dress and everything!  Mr. Billington had Delaney get him a mug of water out of his house, because he 'didn't like to see children idle'. :)

 There were also numerous homes to walk through, some with role players inside doing various activites.  One family was eating a meal of boiled cabbage, oysters and pottage.  Another woman was working in her garden.  We stopped inside the home of Edward Winslow, where his sister-in-law Mary Winslow was busy making food.  She was a cheerful, talkative lady who kept her audience very engaged.  It was fun to see some of the role players enjoying their job so much.

 After visiting the fort and the craft center, we had a picnic lunch outside and then toured the gift shop while dad made some work calls in the truck.  Then we drove to see the Mayflower.  It wasn't a large ship, only about a hundred feet long and had three masts.  But very stately and regal in the harbor.  About three role players were aboard, and they were quite funny!  One asked us where we came from, and we answered California.  The sailor replied, "Aye, the Isle of California!  Must've had a long voyage around the Horn, aye?  But they say you can travel across the country on land, yes now.  They say it's about 800 miles across.  A long journey that would be by horse or wagon, aye that."  We all laughed at the thought.  Wouldn't it be nice if it was only 800 miles across?!

 So we had a fun Wednesday going back in time to the 1600's.  Now I am going forward to our fun weekend in the very modern place of New York, New York...

 On Saturday morning we drove to Croton, New York and got a great campsite in a campground right on the Hudson River.  Then dad quickly booked us a hotel in NYC so we could spend Saturday night there and have all day Sunday to sightsee.  After much digging around on Priceline, he booked a room at the Intercontinental hotel, which was on 42nd Street--walking distance from Time's Square.  Obviously very excited, we quickly packed the bare essentials in Suey's backpack and another bag and caught the next train to the city. 

 It was an hour train ride, and we got off in Grand Central Station.  It certainly was grand, with the polished floors and tall ceilings and tall staircases at either end of the large main room.  It was about three stories tall, with a food court beneath and shopping above.  And of course, there were people everywhere, bustling to and fro.  When we stepped outside onto the sidewalk, there were orange taxis honking madly and screeching brakes and whistles from police and people talking and moving and everything very modern and fast.  We walked a couple blocks to Time's Square, and saw the ball that drops on New Year's Eve and all the screens and advertising and the street vendors and everything else you can imagine.  It was quite something!  It took a bit of getting used too, but I really liked the experience. 

 Our hotel was marvelous.  Rarely do we ever stay in one anymore, and very rarely one that nice for a good price.  We hung out in it for a while and then walked through the city.  We saw the Rockafeller Center, Carnegie Hall, Wall Street, 5th Avenue, all sorts of name-brand stores, old churches with tall steeples, Broadway and all sorts of other things.  We had dinner at a cool Italian restaurant that made the best chicken fettucini alfredo--Susanna and I split a meal of that. 

It was very late when we finally walked back to our hotel and got some zzz’s, and morning seemed to come too fast.  But since we now had room to walk freely and a large bathroom, getting ready for the day was very relaxing and enjoyable.  It was about 11:00 when we checked out and headed to a nearby subway station.  We caught the next subway to Battery Park, at the tip of Manhattan Island.  There we got off the subway and saw a group of street performers, so we stopped to watch a bit.  After getting a cool video and some laughs, we headed down to the edge of the park to buy tickets for the ferry boat to Liberty Island and Ellis Island.  We got the 1:00 ferry and had a lovely 15-minute ride to the Liberty Island.  The Statue of Liberty was really neat, standing proudly on the tall pedestal and looking over the harbor.  It was a gorgeous day, blue sky with white clouds and minimal wind.  We walked around the island briefly and then went to Ellis Island, where we did a self-guided tour of the main building.  The Great Hall was great indeed, and although rather empty, it was easy to imagine the thousands of immigrants moving in and out each day between the 1890’s and 1920’s.  Dad figured out that since my great-great grandparents on my mom’s side might have come through Ellis Island in the early 1920’s, my great-grandmother might have been a very small child when she came through.  It's neat that we’re possibly five of the 100 million people who can trace their ancestry back to this historic Island!  My dad’s great-grandparents arrived in America in the mid-1800’s, but we are not sure where they arrived.
After getting back to the mainland, we walked a few blocks to the new World Trade Center and 9/11 memorial.  Although not yet quite completed, the memorial is open to the public who have reservations.  We didn’t get one as they were booked for months, but we did go up into a neighboring sky rise and get a good view from a ritzy lounge!  Then we went back down to the street and walked by St. Paul’s chapel, which survived the attack of 9/11 and was also the church that George Washington attended after giving his inaugural speach at nearby Federal Hall.  Unfortunately it had closed for the day, so we walked a bit more to another memorial building to 9/11 with artifacts and pictures and relics.  That was quite interesting.
After all that, we took a subway back to Time’s Square (which had become our home base) and found a place to eat at John’s Pizzeria, voted the best pizza in New York.  And it was SO good!  We ordered a plate of ravioli, garlic bread and thin-crust pizza.  All the pizza is made in charcoal-brick ovens and their crust is chewy and crispy—just perfect.  We had a great dinner and felt it to be a good ending to our days in NYC.
Later that evening, we walked back to Grand Central and waited in the hall until our train came.  Then we got on the train and were on probably a couple hours before we finally got off at Croton Harmon, the last stop.  We drove the short distance to the trailer and got a fantastic night’s rest.  Home sweet trailer! :)

So here is the link to the web album I made of this past week, I hope you all enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the pictures. Looks like you enjoyed NYC.