On this particular morning, we woke up a little bit later than the days before, which was a nice break from the constant rush. We ate breakfast together and then began the long walk down to the ferry so we could see the Statue of Liberty. It wasn't raining on this day, but a light fog weighted the sky. The air was cool and a little misty.
While we were walking, we passed the famous Wall Street, where stern men in suits hurried past us and many, many tourists (including us) snapped photographs.
New York City is filled with so many people. We spotted the strangest individuals. The variety of people there was fascinating, exciting, and a little intimidating at times. At one point, for some reason, Ali jokingly told me, "You should get a tattoo, Emily."
One man walked with confidence and utter oblivion of the world around him. Perched upon the top of his head was a calm black cat. The picture I have is blurry, but you get the idea.
The ferry was crowded and warm, but the water was beautiful all around us. Despite the cloudiness earlier in the morning, we found ourselves squinting in the sunlight. The day had become lovely... at least compared to the days before.
It didn't take long for the Statue of Liberty to loom clearly above us, standing firmly against the horizon, regal and strong. The shortest of us stood on the metal benches of the ferry, peering up at the monument.
We didn't get off to see the Statue of Liberty up close; we figured she would look just as beautiful far away, so we stayed on the ferry. During our trip, we paused for a moment at the lovely Ellis Island, which was green and warm and welcoming.
The ride lasted an hour or so. By the time we were finished, it was nearly two in the afternoon and we were all hungry and ready to have lunch.
After lunch, we visited Ground Zero and those memorials.
We also visited a giant Toys R Us. It was filled with toys and gadgets of all sorts. If I had been a decade or so younger, I would have been in heaven. A ferris wheel greeted us as soon as we stepped through the front doors. Ali and I loved the rows of stuffed animals and sweet teddy bears, all waiting to be cuddled.
On the second floor were hundreds of Lego sets. A few Lego statues of popular characters decorated the room. I even found an Avenger friend.
We managed to make it back to the hotel in time to rest for a little while. We had walked many miles on this day and we were all utterly exhausted. After dinner, the family minus my dad went to go visit the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Tower). The lines were long, but Ali and I entertained ourselves by people-watching... or at least boy-watching.
They had us pose for a picture.
The hour was quite late and the view from the Top of the Rock was absolutely flooring. The city lights lit up the night sky. We could see the hustle and bustle of New York City all around us: the pinpricks of lights coming from the windows of the skyscrapers, the constant glow of Times Square, the distant honks and flashes of headlights from the busy city streets beneath us.
New York City is a town that never sleeps; that much was clear.
The Empire State Building was the only one that seemed to truly loom above us. Amidst the millions of lights of the city, a steady darkness filled one piece of the horizon. I was confused about what it possibly could be until someone explained that I was seeing Central Park; it's closed at night to keep things safe.
After we left the Top of the Rock, we stopped to get ice cream from a vendor. It was delicious.
Times Square at night seemed more flashy than Las Vegas. We walked in awe with our mouths hanging open at the lights and the sounds and the people that constantly bustled from here to there without ceasing, despite the late hour.
We felt almost too tired to move, but we couldn't help but admire the city lights.
By the time we got back to the hotel, we were ready to crash. I fell asleep within moments of my head touching the pillow.