While we were at the Statue of Liberty we bought some postcards.
We sprang for the cheapest ones they sell — 35 cents each.
I was carrying postcard postage with me which is now 34 cents per card. (At least I thought I was carrying postcard postage — actually I think I put on an “additional ounce” stamp which might explain the delay in delivery.)
Anyway when the card was delivered to our house it had been postmarked with the Liberty Island seal and zip code.
Now that’s a souvenir.
Other places in the world which have very limited postal service (and for which I have postmarked cards) are:
First, each household/credit card is only allowed to purchase no more than 4 tickets every six months. And tickets are sold out months in advance so if you have a specific time you’d like to visit make reservations early. (We bought ours in the middle of July when the first available date was the end of October.) I suggest that August in the Crown of Liberty might be extremely hot.
Driving in from South of the Statue we caught the ferry from Liberty State Park in New Jersey which is much less crowded than catching it from the Battery in New York City. Don’t mix up parking at the Science Center with parking at Liberty Park. It’s NOT the same.
After parking it’s a good walk to pick up Crown tickets at “will call”. Each person whose name is on the receipt must be present with a photo ID. Each person will be given a ticket and a wristband which is cut from the wrist at the beginning of the assent into the body of the Statue of Liberty.
Another walk down a cobblestone path leads to the first security screening before catching the ferry. Much like airport security pockets must be emptied, jackets removed, belts removed, and steel-toed boots put through an x-ray scanner. Save time by carrying on your person only your tickets, money, ID, credit card, cell phone/camera. Purses and backpacks are a real hindrance especially later.
The ferry carries over 500 people but is boarded quickly and often. First stop is Ellis Island which we did not visit but does come as part of the cost of the ticket which actually pays for the ferry ride as there is no admission cost to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty.
Upon arrival at Liberty Island walk toward the American flag then turn right for the entrance to the Statue. There is another security screening here. Same procedure as before. The process is quick. However all purses, bags, strollers, backpacks, etc. MUST be stashed in a locker. There was a slow line to get to the lockers which are $2 for 2 hours. We bypassed this holdup because we had no extra baggage.
We took an elevator to the to the top of the pedestal (the foot of the statue). From there we walked 162 very tight steps to the crown. On the way up there are small platforms which allow stepping off the stairs momentarily to catch a breath and inspect the inside of the Statue’s structure. In the Crown area we three (and two Park Rangers) took photos of the scenery and were assisted with photos by the rangers who also answered questions and generally gave us interesting information.
Coming down the steps was uneventful but still a walk in a very restricted space. After that we zoomed through the museum which is in the pedestal and only available to people with pedestal or crown tickets.
We ate at the café and bought a few postcards at the gift shop. The postcard selection was not very good but we had brought stamps with us and wanted to post them from the island.
Then we boarded the ferry for our return trip to the car. If you have any questions about our trip I’m happy to answer them.
No, we did not go out on the S.S. Minnow with the Captain and Gilligan.
Three hours is the drive time from The Glade just south of Baltimore, Maryland to Liberty State Park in New Jersey.
Three months ago I arranged for tickets to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty and yesterday was our assigned time at 12 noon to enter the security screening facility so we could hop on a ferry to Liberty Island.
It was a glorious day.
The view from the crown amazing.
An entire day dedicated to liberty and friendship.
Our original plan was to head to McClellanville on the coast of South Carolina. Unfortunately the weather forecast thunder storms for the entire afternoon so we were afraid we’d miss the main event so we headed southwest to Lexington, South Carolina.
Specifically we went to Blowfish Stadium on the centerline of totality (1200 yards from the centerline) where the entry was free. They handed us souvenir tickets and free eclipse glasses.
We were there with like-minded people from all over the world: Canada, Guatemala, England, Australia, etc.
We were teased with a little cloud cover but during the totality the sky was clear.
The moon was a black disc and the sun was only corona.
It lasted 2 minutes and 36 seconds. I could have watched longer. We could see stars.
I was mesmerized by the eclipse. The difference between seeing the eclipse personally and seeing it on video is about like seeing fireworks in person and watching them on TV, nice but not the same.
After the eclipse we stopped at Starbucks before starting our return drive to Maryland which ended up taking almost 12 hours. Happy to be home.
What was your eclipse experience? Will you try to see the next one in April, 2024?
A couple of weeks ago I discovered (after almost everybody else in the United States) that a total solar eclipse was going to cross the continent on August 21, 9 days from now.
After clearing our calendars and hemming and hawing for awhile we finally decided to try and make it to a region where we could be in the path of totality — a place where day literally turns to night.
At first I thought we would head to Smoky Mountain National Park but they were selling tickets to the best viewing area which have been sold out for ages. Instead I mapped the 6-and-a-half-hour route and made an AirBnB reservation for the night before within a additional two hour drive to the eclipse area.
Next on the to-do list was to get some solar eclipse glasses so we would be able to view the sun as it is covered by the moon.
Unfortunately all local brick-and-mortar stores, Lowes, REI, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, were sold out as were their on-line counterparts. The only option left to me was to buy children’s models which I ordered from Amazon.
I’m hoping the glasses will arrive in time for our trip. I’m also going to try to get a pair from our local library which will begin to distribute a limited amount on August 14th.