When I was younger, my mom once told me I have “Gypsy feet.” I’m happiest when I’m on the go and am visiting new places and experiencing new cultures. The past few days have certainly lived up to that lifestyle.
Sunday, we took a whirlwind trip up to New York City to see my friend, Fio, who moved back home to Ireland from Atlanta several years ago. I was so excited when I found out our schedules could work out for the visit and Matt was kind enough to make the two hour drive into the city with me.
Though we’d all been to New York before, Fio had never been to see the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island, so we decided to jump on a ferry and visit both. The weather was perfect for the trip; beautiful, sunny and not too hot.
Tickets were sold out for the platform and the crown was under repairs at the Statue of Liberty, so we just got out and walked around the park. Fio told us about her great grandmother who made the trip to the U.S. many years before, leaving behind her youngest children so she could set up her older children for a new life. It was really cool to visit sites that have meant so much to many who sought out America for a new life–especially with someone who has stories of her own family making that journey.
Once we finished circling the base of the statue, we took the ferry to Ellis Island. We took a short tour there (which ended up just being us standing outside for 30 minutes as a park ranger described the history of the island). Though not what we expected, it was really neat to hear some of the history, including how the island was originally much smaller and was expanded by the government to meet the growing needs of immigration.
We walked through most the building, starting at the third floor. Unfortunately many artifacts had been temporarily moved as they are still making repairs from damage from Hurricane Sandy, but it was still interesting to learn what immigrants saw and went through as they went through the immigration process. Unfortunately the records area was closed by the time we made it down there, but we think we found the name of one of Fio’s other relatives who came to America many years ago on the wall of immigrants just outside the main building.
Once we finished our tours of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, we grabbed a quick bite in Little Italy. It was delicious!
Yesterday, we made the trip into Miami. We spent the afternoon shopping and swimming and ended the day with cocktails on the rooftop of Epic Hotel and watching the Mets play the Marlins. Not bad for a Gypsy life.