Dec 26 2008
When we set the alarm this morning for 5:15 a.m., it didn’t sound like such a good idea, but it ended up being one of the best parts of our trip so far. By 6:15, we were on the road. The kids knew we were headed to the Crayola Factory with a stop in between, but they didn’t know what that stop was.
Traffic moved right along (what a pleasant surprise for us!) and most of the kids fell asleep again by the time we arrived at our destination shortly after 8:00. At first they weren’t sure they wanted a detour. “Why are we in New Jersey?” “This isn’t the way we’re supposed to go!” But as soon as they saw the Statue of Liberty in the distance, they changed their minds.
We caught the 8:30 ferry from Liberty State Park, which was nearly deserted. We got to Ellis Island while there were very few people there. I learned that a 2-year-old crying for Mommy while placed with Dad for a few minutes can echo a long, long way in that building.
From Ellis Island we ferried to Liberty Island. Once there, we quickly decided (and the kids agreed with us) that walking around the island and looking at the Statue from all sides was better than standing in a long line to go up about as high as they’ve been in Hermann the German. The boys had their cameras along and got some neat shots.
Seeing the New York skyline and Ellis and Liberty Islands was a big deal for Hubby and the kids, who’d never been there before. And I was awed just as I’d been on a previous visit.
Arriving back at the ferry terminal in New Jersey, we had a sobering talk about terrorism at the 9/11 memorial exhibit. Suddenly the idea of going through security made sense to the kids.
Then we breezed across New Jersey, headed for Easton, PA. We were flying along when traffic came to a stop. It didn’t take long for us to tire of this, so we exited at the first chance, got a grocery bag of lunch from McDonalds to eat in the car, and found a new route to Easton.
What a treat this detour was. The village of High Bridge, NJ, was picturesque, but we from the wide-open spaces agreed that we weren’t comfortable with the narrow streets and hills and turns. And we didn’t know New Jersey had mountains!
We arrived at the Crayola Factory and frankly weren’t impressed. Hubby and I agreed that the $50 admission would have been better spent on more art supplies for the kids, because it was mostly tables with things the kids do at home. That, combined with the bright colors and noise, created a frantic feel for us. Even the kids said that their favorite part wasn’t the Crayola stuff, but the National Canal Museum upstairs.
Along the drive “home,” we determined that eating out wasn’t going to work well with the kids, so they got easy mac and we got take-out from the restaurant next-door. Now the kids are happily testing out the new colored pencils I got them.
Early to bed, (we hope!) and another busy day tomorrow.