Even through the government shut-down, the Statue of Liberty re-opened thanks to the state of New York paying for its operating costs. Its reopening was announced on Sunday morning. We went online to buy our tickets late Sunday morning, and the soonest we could get to the statue was the following Friday! I guess lots of people were waiting to see her! We didn't buy tickets to go up into her crown (there was a three month waiting list for that!), but we did buy tickets to go up into her pedestal.
So when we got ourselves to Manhattan Island, we then had to ride the Statue of Liberty ferry to Liberty Island. The weather was cold and windy, and the water was choppy that morning. As we disembarked, we were offered individual audio self-guided tours of the island. But our first goal was to take our tickets and go up into the pedestal.
When viewing the statue from the top of the pedestal, you are RIGHT THERE. She is so large, and it's just amazing to be so close and be right underneath her!
When viewing her from the observation deck of the pedestal level, you are very close as well. She truly is majestic!
And I guess I really never thought about it, but she faces outward from the city, toward the ocean. She faces outward to welcome everyone to this land:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
I would have loved to visit Ellis Island along with the Statue of Liberty, but unfortunately it was still closed for repairs due to Superstorm Sandy of last year. I don't think a visit to the Statue of Liberty is complete without also seeing the immigrant gate of Ellis Island, but that will have to wait until our next visit to NYC.
We ate our picnic lunch on the grounds by the flagpole, finished up the Junior Ranger badge workbook with the younger kids, then left Liberty Island for home. As we sailed away on the Staten Island ferry, we caught our last glimpse of the Manhattan skyline.
And thus ended our four-day adventure of New York City.