Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm Back!

Wow! Did I miss all of you!

I left telling you we were going on vacation and packing my son off for his trip to Norway. He's arrived safely and having fun and we were off to NYC to see the sights in our own backyard...part of my staycation theme this summer!

We stayed in Manhattan for two nights and three days...boy did we pack quite a bit in! The first leg of the trip was to the Statue of Liberty. When we entered Battery Park in lower Manhattan, it was deliriously hot. I am under the impression the expression "you could fry an egg on the sidewalk" was invented for New York heat and humidity. The ferry over to the statue was jammed with foreign tourists. Because of the strength of the Euro, kroner, etc. New York is filled with Europeans. Before embarking, one of the security officers asked us where we were from and we said New York. "You must be the only New Yorkers here today!", she chuckled.

As we were crossing to the statue I was melting. And in my mind I am sort of asking myself why am I doing this on such a hot day? Then I remembered my great-great grandparents came to Ellis Island from Italy in the late 1890's with two toddlers in tow...and a baby who was born on the Atlantic crossing. What a wimp! I thought to myself. If your great-great grandmother can handle this for 8 weeks surely you can bear the insane heat for 25 minutes!

A view from the ferry of the Manhattan skyline...

Nearing the shore...

Part of the tour included a collection of luggage brought by immigrants from their native countries. They are housed in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Also included were the list of destinations where people settled all over the country. My family--Italian and Irish sides--settled in Brooklyn. We are still in the area! Family members still own our original brownstone for over a hundred years now!

An amazing part of Ellis Island is the exterior Immigration Wall of Honor. This wall extends the perimeter of the Great Hall and many names of immigrants appear on it. You can get your relatives named inscribed on the wall here.

Below is my great-great grandfather's name...Alfonse Apicella...he had 6 daughters so the name has gone with him! It's such a sight to see your ancestors name on the Wall of Honor!

A statue of Eiffel who did the structural framework for the statue...

When we disembarked we saw the eternal flame in Battery Park. This globe had been in front of the twin towers and has been moved here, kept in its original condition from Sept. 11, as a tribute to all those who lost their lives on that day.
In all, we had such a great visit to the Statue and Ellis Island. If you ever get to New York, you've got to come see it! It is absolutely awe-inspiring!

Now, I need to catch up with all of you!


pve design said...

Welcome home!
Fond memories of our family visit one day to the Statue of Liberty and standing on line and having a man shouting "We all, eat eggs, drink water and pee"
and thought to myself, Ya gotta love NY!"
What a great post.... surely you have seen my statue of liberty illustration.
Alright, when is the visit going to be, I am ready for you! ( and your artiste son!)

Pat said...

Hi Tara!

Welcome back!

I knew the day you went to see The Statue of Liberty it was insanely hot and humid, and I was hoping it wouldn't ruin your trip. I know what you mean about the foreign tourists too, as I've seen the lines go around Battery Park at 9 AM in the morning. But I also know how awe inspiting the Statue, and especially Ellis Island, are. I never tire of seeing them.

I can't wait to hear what else you saw and did in the city on your visit!

Hope your son is having fun in Norway!

Hugs, Pat

Mary said...

Our son and his wife moved to NYC this year and I cannot wait to visit!

Glad you are back.

Donna said...

Welcome back, Tara! What great photos of NYC, and I enjoyed all the history that went with it. I LOVE NY!

It's hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk down here too. I'm stayin' inside!


Gina said...

So great to have you back Tara..I've missed you! Sounds like an amazing trip...even with the heat..
Some wonderful pics the collection of luggage, I have an old wicker trunk which came from England.. and it must have been so special to see your great-grandfathers name on the wall.
Looking fwd to seeing what else you got up to. Gx

Cottage Contessa said...

Wow Tara, NY looks awesome! That is one place that is at the top of my list of must see places before I fall off the twig! lol Glad you had a great time sweetie and are home safe & sound.
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Cori G. said...

HI Tara,
I MISSED YOU and I'm glad you're back! It must have been a tear jerker for you seeing your great-great grandfathers' name on the wall. What a wonderful peice of family history!
I can't wait to see the rest of your staycation. What a great word..did you make that up?

Nikella said...

Just wanted to thank you for your blog...I like NYC a lot and don't get there as often as I would like to. Because of you, I feel like I get an "insider" view.

Tracy said...

Welcome home, Tara! We missed you too! :o) Your NY photos are stunning...thanks for giving us a taste of the city's highlights! Happy Days as you settling in, basking in the glow of your vacation break! Oh, and thanks for stopping by yesterday to join in on my gift giveaway fun! ((HUGS))

amanda said...

Oh, Tara! What a great trip! How wonderful to actually see history! And your own, at that!

Glad you had a good time!

Janet said...

Isn't NYC fun ( better without the heat for sure)? I haven't been for a couple of years, but when I go with my friend we always hang around The Village like some middle aged hippies and go to the spice shop for small amounts of spices that we use only at the holidays. Too cheap to buy the big jars and have them last for years.


Kelly said...

There you are!!! I need to put you on my sidebar so I do not lose you again!! Welcome back! I have never been to New York and these pictures are just beautiful, how it must be to see his name on the wall, his name was very admiral!
I am so glad you are back and shared these pictures and information.....


Adrienne said...

Welcome home, Tara -
Thank you for sharing your day at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I have only been on a ferry that passed by late at night. I was on a business trip and none of the other people involved wanted to take time to go on the island. Someday!

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Hubby and I really need to do more sight seeing in our "backyard" Not that it would be like NYC but fun none the less :-)

I'd love to go to that museum. How cool to see all that luggage and imagine all the stories that went with them.

Welcome Home :-) Rosie

Firefly Hill said...

We have been going into NY a bit this much to see! We love it! Sounds like you had a great time despite the heat...


JeannieTheDreamer said...

Hi Tara, thank you for sharing! You make Manhattan so inviting. I've never been to NY, someday I will.

I like your reflection about the heat haha.

Hey. It's high time for me to gather some friends for some girl talk. It's personal stuff, do you mind visiting me here sometime?
It's on private mode right now but I will let you in if you knock.

Thanks Tara


Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

To me, seeing the Statue of Liberty the first time just took my breath away. ~ Lynn

Sandy said...

Welcome home! I've always wanted to visit New York ~ someday!
Have a fabulous week.

A Romantic Porch said...

Tara, Welcome back. I'm glad you had a fun staycation. I loved your reflections about your great great grandmother. xo rachel

annechovie said...

Hi Tara,
Great post! Glad you had a good time and how neat is it that you have a connection to Ellis Island and that your relatives have lived in the same brownstone in Brooklyn for over 100 years?! Very cool! Two of my cousins live in Brooklyn now.

Lydia said...

Hello Tara,
It sounds as if you had a great time. NYC is such a fun city to visit. Both of my parants came into Ellis Island from Italy when they were in their late teens. Their names also appear somewhere on that wall.
I still have my dad's and my grandmother's vintage packing trunks that they packed their lives in years ago for their voyage here. It's amazing, the boarding tags and all are still intact. Have a great evening!

M.Kate said...

Hi Tara, sounds like a fun trip..and i thought we were frying over here, but is it humid like in Asia? It's 38 c here on an average, at times pushing 40 and extremely high humidity. 5 minutes under the sun and everyone is sweating like a pig?'s true..have a good week or weekend ahead!