Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stumbling and Bumbling Into New York City

This post will be much more than my normal Sunday View Out The Front Window post but I do not want to disappoint those that checked in looking for the view.

The view out the front door of the hotel.

And out the window of our room.

I am going to go ahead and post about our Travel Thursday and our first evening in NYC so I do not get too far behind.

We started Thursday in Pennsville, New Jersey just across the river from Wilmington, Delaware. Delaware and New Jersey were new states for both Kelly Jo and Odie. Delaware was new for me. Our first goal of the day was a quick trip into Philadelphia. The quick part got lost in the translation. 
The Benjamin Franklin Bridge from New Jersey into Philly is a toll bridge. 

There are 14 toll booths and all of them were open. 14 lanes of cars come rushing out of the toll gates with horns blasting and pedals mashing as they merge onto the 3 lane bridge. 14 lanes into 3 lanes with nothing but chaos. The person with the biggest bumper, loudest horn, most dents and stoutest nerves had the right of way. 

Oh, I forgot to mention that one lane was closed so it was 14 lanes into 2 lanes. It was quite an experience to be sure.

We drove through Chinatown.
Chinatown in Philadelphia 

Then we drove into the old part of town with the Liberty Bell and Independance Hall.

The main reason for a detour through Philadelphia was so that Odie could eat a genuine Philly Cheesesteak! She was very happy.

We got back on track after looking around a bit and found our room in Secaucus, New Jersey. We took just a moment to breathe and the headed to the train station.

We caught the train at Secaucus Junction into New York's Penn Station. It was quite an experience for us. The hotel shuttle dropped us at the train station and the adventure began. I knew I needed to by a subway card for New York but I had not researched the New Jersey system. 

We stepped up to the machine and bought 3 round trip tickets. It printed 3 tickets and we turned and walked away. We found the right gate then took the elevator down to the correct track. As we were walking to the boarding area a man was running toward us and trying to get our attention. He had our return tickets and our credit card receipt. 

I did not realize that the machine had only printed the tickets from New Jersey. After we walked away it printed the return tickets and receipt.Thank God for the man who had been in line behind us, realized what happened and took the time to chase us down. God bless him!

That was a very nice way to start. We needed the help. Remember, we are international travelers but we must still be hicks at the root of things. 

As we crossed under the Hudson River Odie picked up a new state. Kelly Jo and I have both been to New York but it was Odie's first time in the state Kelly's first time in New York City.

At Penn Station we found our way through the mess and boarded the #1 train for South Ferry. That is the southern tip of Manhattan where the East River and the Hudson River meet. We had booked a Staue of Liberty boat ride on a water taxi for 7:30.

We had nearly a mile to walk but we had lots of time to kill. We watched the boats, helicopters and people.

We ate our first food from a NYC street vendor and watched a trapeze school on a pier. That was really neat.

This is the water taxi we went out on.

The Brooklyn Bridge

It was a nice ride and a lot of fun. We got a great deal from Travel Zoo on the tickets. They are normally $31 each with service fees but Travel Zoo had a sale for $16 each. Never mind the fact that we paid $59 in fares and tips to get there and back and probably walked 4-5 miles! Lol 

$59?? Yep! The train and subway cost was $39 and I tipped the hotel shuttle driver $5. The hotel shuttle could not pick us up from the train that night (Even though they promised they would be available) so we had to pay $15 for a taxi for the 3 mile ride to the hotel. 

$59 is a lot of money but not near as much as driving. The bridge toll is $13 and the cheapest parking we saw was $12.75 per half hour. There is no guarantee parking would be available and the drive could have taken hours because of traffic.

We probably would have went to Manhattan anyway on Thursday evening. We just thought it was kind of humorous that we spent $59 to save $42 on the Statue of Liberty boat ride, Lol

Odie thought I was taking pictures of me and Kelly Jo as we were making faces. Nope, I was taking pictures of Odie laughing at us making faces.

It was a great start to our NYC Adventure. Tune in tomorrow for our trip to the 9/11 Museum and Memorial. 


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