We got up on time Saturday morning, weather was nice again, mid 70's and sunny. Again, my sister took her time getting ready, and I was ready in 20 minutes, so we only had time to stop for a muffin and banana at the corner deli, then off to the subway by 8:00 to catch the train to South Ferry. GWB's directions got us there with no problem, in fact, we were early, so browsed around the Castle Clinton gift shop for a few minutes. I bought some prints (large postcards, really) of NYC sites, thinking I would frame them and display them at home, then we got into the line for the boat.
It moved pretty quickly, but we were far enough back that we didn't make it onto the first boat, which left at 9:30. Instead, we were on the 10:00 boat, and once everyone was boarded, we got to Liberty Island. We stayed on and got off at Ellis Island, spending about 3 hours there.
We both really enjoyed the displays and took lots of pictures. One of the most memorable was the one where they had the interviews with some of the people who had come through there many years ago, and we actually could hear their voices talking about their experiences. One woman was so emotional, she has never forgotten the experience, and recounted the memory of having her grandmother sent back while the rest of the family got to stay. Very moving.
We had a forgettable sandwich out on the terrace, then went through the gift shop, which was very crowded with preteen girls. Then back on the boat to Manhattan. As we were walking through Battery Park, we stopped to watch some street performers who were dancing and doing acrobatics. They were quite good, so we gave them a donation, and continued on our way.
Our next stop was Ground Zero. This was one place that I didn't want to visit, but I'm glad I gave in to my sister. It was very moving and brought the whole experience back to us. As many have posted here, we also had vendors come up to us selling picures, we just told them no and turned away. I didn't take any pictures, but didn't have a problem with others doing so, I felt that many of them were doing it to show family and friends back home, and not in a touristy kind of way. It was something I didn't feel the need to do, but to each his own.
We went on to St. Paul's Chapel (beautiful church) and spent some time there viewing all the items sent by people all over the country. While we were there, a church group that was visiting got up and sang a couple of songs, which pretty much stopped everyone in their tracks. It was a nice moment, and we stayed for a few minutes more, making a donation for the church before we left.
Century 21 was our next stop. Now, I know that lots of people on this forum rave about this store, but I did not like it at all! It was very crowded and hard to get through. There were clothes all over the place, laying on the floor, people stepping on them, etc. The few things I managed to look at weren't priced very low either. Needless to say, we didn't stay long.
After leaving Century 21, we made our way across to South St. Seaport. Our main goal here was to scout out the TKTS booth, which we had a little trouble finding. We took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up 2-3 blocks up from where we needed to be, but eventually asked for help and found it. There were only 2-3 people in line, and we got tickets to the Sunday matinee of Mamma Mia, so we were pretty happy with that. Only $59.50 apiece, and the discount code I'd printed and brought along was $70+, so a much better deal. Our seats were on the left in the mezzanine, but we had a great view.
We went on to find the water taxi, wanting to take it over to Fulton Ferry, but were told that we had just missed one, and the next one was in an hour. Not wanting to wait that long, we made our way back 2-3 blocks to the subway station, and took the train over. We again followed GWB's excellent directions, and sat on the Promenade awhile enjoying the view and taking more pictures before making our way over to Grimald's. By this time it was around 5pm, and we were starving after our unmemorable lunch at Ellis Island, so were glad to get right in and seated. The pizza was excellent and very low priced! Our bill came to only $23.00. I can see why it is highly recommended, and I will definitely return on my future trips to the city! We saw the ice cream place, but both of us were too full, so didn't stop.
We were so tired on the way over to Brooklyn that we had pretty much decided to eat, then take the subway back instead of walking the bridge. After we ate (there was quite a long line when we came out, so we were so glad we'd gotten there early), we walked up to the bridge, just to take a look, and once up there, decided we could do it after all. So we set off, and were so glad we did! It wasn't that long to walk it, and we had 6 barechested drunk guys entertaining us all the way over, so that made it quite fun.
We walked taround by City Hall Park for awhile, then found the subway we needed, and decided to stop in Chinatown on our way back uptown to the hotel. We didn't stay long there, it was very crowded and quite smelly, and neither of us cared too much for it. I guess if you are into the shopping, I could see the appeal, but it wasn't for us, so we got back on the subway and went back to the hotel, arriving about 8pm.
We rested in the room, found out that we both had several blisters, which we had suspected. My sister had brought along a kit she'd bought at home to soak your feet and moisturize them, so we sat on the edge of the tub together, soaking our feet, then went out for bandaids a little later. We made an early night of it, and slept very well that night! I had brought along a pedometer to use as we walked around the city, but forgot to use it, but I bet we walked 7-10 miles Saturday alone!