Our Time In New York City

Hank – Kathy has always wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty so we headed there and to Ellis Island on Monday. Talk about your teeming masses. There were tons of other people going the same way. So this turned into an all day event. Ellis Island was very educational. I enjoyed our visit there very much.

Navigating the subway system was fun. I’d forgotten that the entrance you take makes a huge difference. We went down the stairs, paid for a single trip, entered the station, and then learned we were on the wrong side of the tracks. So we went back up to the street, crossed over to the other entrance, came back down and bought a Metro card this time. We entered the station and soon found out we we’re right back where we started. We had crossed the wrong street. A helpful person told us we could save our fare by getting on the wrong train, getting off in two stops, cross over to the other side at that station without having to pay again, and then get on the right train to Manhattan. Whew!

We got back late from the statue and Ellis Island and we got off at the wrong subway stop and walked 1-1/2 miles to our hotel. So we decided to stay a third day.

On Tuesday we caught the right train back to Manhattan. We went to see the 9/11 memorial. It was a sobering experience. There are two large pools with the victim’s names engraved all around the edge. Seeing so many people taking smiling selfies was disappointing to say the least.

We spent the rest of the day with Kathy doing a little shopping and me rotating the tires on my bike. Those Schwalbe Marathon tires have over 4,000 miles on them and plenty of tread. The back tire is slightly more worn, which is to be expected. I found three pieces of glass in the front tire. The tread is still thick enough to hold them at bay. Pretty sweet.

On Wednesday we head out to New Jersey.

Kathy – We stayed in a hotel in Brooklyn, New York for three nights so we could take a break from riding in the heavy traffic and see some of the city sites. Our hotel was homage for our bike as we traveled about on the local subways, ferries, Uber’s and of course tons of walking.

Our first city tasks was learning how to navigate the underground subway system. After a few times of going in the wrong direction we finally figured it out. We are in the BIG city now with an enormous number of people. No matter where we travelled in Brooklyn or Manhattan there was an influx of people surrounding us. Many people love living in the big city, but this is much too crowded for me. I’ll stick with Spokane, Washington.

It was really cool to see, and be so close to The Statute of Liberty ๐Ÿ—ฝ This has always been on my bucket list to see up close and personal. In our many past trips to New York City we never made it to Liberty Island to see this pretty lady. Happy to we were able to make it happen this time.

We also took the ferry to Ellis Island, which was the entry point for immigrants coming to the United States during the early 1900’s to approximately 1945 when it was closed. Now this is truly an astonishing piece of history. Hank and I found this to be extremely interesting and informative. So despite the tons of people, if you are ever in New York City please try to make a trip to Ellis Island. You won’t regret it.

We took some time out to visit the 911 Memorial in Manhattan. This is very humbling to see. It was 17 years ago when this tragedy occurred. The last time we were in New York City was eleven years ago and they were building this memorial. It is a beautiful tribute to those who died. Being in this holy area allows reflection, thoughts and prayers for those who lost their lives and those who still morn their loss. This is another site to see if you ever visit this area. The pictures we have included do not do this memorial the justice it deserves.

We spent a lot of spent walking about the city and seeing different sites. We also took a trip to Macy’s (nine floors of loveliness) and I found a dress for Josh & Amanda’s wedding. I bought one dress while in Massachusetts, but I needed a backup dress. Once I get home I can choose which one I want to wear and return the other one. A gal has to keep her options open. ๐Ÿ˜„

Overall, it was a good time visiting this area. Now onward we travel to New Jersey!

On To New Jersey

Hank – We woke early this morning and hit the road to Pier 11 in Manhattan to catch the ferry to Atlantic Highlands on the northeast coast of New Jersey. Riding through Brooklyn and across the Manhattan Bridge was a trip. There were lots of other cyclists. Unlike Spokane where a passing rider is likely to to say hi or something, every one here remained silent. We squeezed our bikes through the narrow gangway and sat in a mostly empty cabin. The ship was quite full of commuters coming to NYC. Not so many headed from there to Jersey.

Disembarking from the ship in state #22 we stopped for breakfast at a nearby restaurant. We met Patty and Peggy who thought we were far more interesting than their breakfast. They loved hearing about our adventure. We bid them adieu and got in the Henry Hudson bike trail heading east. From there we got on Ocean Blvd and stayed either on the road or on the boardwalk on the coastline heading south. Kathy had a slight mishap after a short steep climb. She stopped at the top but couldn’t undo her shoe from the pedal in time a fell over. She was hurting all over from that. After a break we pressed on.

We were on one boardwalk for a short time and finally saw the No Bicycles sign. Someone told us it’s a $300 ticket. Back on the road we went and stayed.

Traffic picked up a huge amount as we went inland to Lakewood. That “town” is a lot bigger and busier than the map lets on. Before reaching our campground near Toms River we stopped by a Wawa convenience store for some food. Today was the first day they were serving salads. We each got a huge salad for $6.50 each. What a bargain and they were delicious. We ate after setting up camp a showering. We had to hustle because the mosquito welcoming wagon was out in force. We finally cleared the inside of the tent so we could eat and sleep in peace. Tomorrow we are camping in Wharton State Park.

Kathy – Today we rode 52 miles (9 before our ferry ride to New Jersey and 43 after). It was a warm day in the low 80’s with lots of humidity. Our morning ride from Brooklyn to the 11th pier in Manhattan was quite the experience. Lots of traffic, other cyclists, potholes, construction, delivery trucks and school buses galore. Google Map said it would be a 38 minute ride but it actually took an hour. Good thing we left early.

Going across the Manhattan Bridge was pretty cool. It took a long time to get across this beautiful bridge. The bridge is very high above the water and we could see the amazing city views as we traveled across it. It was easy to get distracted looking at the city so I had to stay focused on the ride. We went through China Town on our way to the Pier. Wished we would have had time to stop and take it all in but we had a ferry to catch. Happy we made it to the pier in time, with about 15 minutes to spare.

They don’t waste any time boarding the ferry (this one is passengers only, no cars). I literally got my bike in the ferry when they pulled the plank in and we started moving. The gal yelled, “Get what you need off your bikes and go inside.” We rushed to get inside the ferry (no one can sit outside on these ones) and onward we went to our next destination.

The ferry took us to New Jersey, our 22nd state! After breakfast outside on the pier we started riding again. Initially it was so awesome, riding on a trail right next to the New Jersey shore. Very peaceful. Then we were back into the busy Northeastern traffic. Not our favorite, but it’s part of the adventures. We did enjoy riding on the boardwalk near the ocean (the part you could ride in without getting fined) but the boards we a bit too bumpy for us so we went back to the road.

At one point during our ride we had to go up an extremely steep incline and at the top was a stoplight. I was determined to make it up without stopping (which I did) but at the top I couldn’t get my shoe unclicked from my pedal in time and took a tumble over. So banged up, embarrassed and heart rate kicked into high gear required a 15-minute break before we got going again. I’m probably gonna have lots of bruises show up over the next few days. As the day wore on my whole body was increasingly sore and the temps with the humidity were taking its toll on me. I was very happy to be done riding today.

After our yummy salad for dinner, I decided to take a half of one of Hank’s left over muscle relaxers (from his shoulder pain a while back). I have been living on about four hours sleep a night for the past week or so. Now adding the sore body from the fall, hopefully a little medication will allow me to rest tonight.