Saturday, June 6, 2015

Statue of Liberty, New York

New York Trip- March 18, 2015

Last March, we had our family road trip to New York City; my hubby, our son and daughter, my daughter's husband or son-in-law ;-) and my grandson (yes, I'm a young grandma- almost 2 years now!).   We had some side trips along the way but I will be posting this trip in Statue of Liberty first, I'm just so excited to post our photos there.  This was my second time to see the state of New York, first time was in Niagara Falls.  We stayed during our vacation using our time share at Marriott Villa in Galloway, New Jersey except one night (March 18) where we stayed in Manhattan, New York City.

March 17-  My brother-in-law (my hubby's brother) and his 2 kids arrived in our villa, they surprised us.  He drove all the way from Toronto, Canada to see and meet us up (Florida is too far for him to drive).  They're supposed to come on March 16 but he told us they won't make it due to his work but he managed to finish all his pending issues and didn't tell us that they're coming.  It ended up they got surprised too because we were in our friend's house when they came and had to wait an hour at the hotel/villa's reception lobby.

March 18-  It's almost 12noon when we left our villa, my plan was to leave early to ride the ferry boat to see Ellis Island and Liberty Island,unfortunately we were late to get to the last ride to take us to both islands.  We arrived at Liberty State Park, New Jersey at exactly 2pm but need to buy tickets and need to go to security line for bag inspection, so too bad we only got to see Liberty Island.  Our ferry boat stopped at the dock of Ellis Island but we can't leave the boat.  Well, that happens when you have 3 families to attend to ;-) aside from getting lost at the park looking for the ticket office hehehe.

Liberty State Park, New Jersey- the right side building is where the ticket office 

Manhattan Skyline- view from Liberty State Park

Ready to board on the ferry

View of Liberty State Park Buildings from the ferry

Another view of Liberty State Park from the ferry

Ellis Island Museum

Ferry at Ellis Island

Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline

Manhattan Skyline, New York

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

The ferry who brought us to the Liberty Island

Another shot of Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline

Ferry Tickets Office at Liberty Park, New Jersey

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York

Ellis Island 

During our ferry ride, there's few people on the boat (probably March is not peak season) and the parking lot is not bad at Liberty State Park, only $7 parking fee.  The big deal was too many toll fees from New Jersey to New York and need to have a lot of coins since some tolls require 75 cents and you have to drop it in the hole,  there's no operator so you can't pay dollar bills.

We bought the tickets for $18- adult; kids- $14 these have no access to crown and the pedestal, only grounds of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Make sure you'll be there before 2pm otherwise they won't let you go to Ellis Island already.

My DSLR camera was broken when we were there, I can't zoom in or out all the way and didn't have the chance to take the close-up shot of the crown and face of the statue….too bad.

After that trip to Statue of Liberty, we went to White Castle Burger Restaurant at downtown Jersey City and tried their burgers and later we headed to our reserved hotel in Manhattan New York City to see Time Square.

Tip: If you will be driving to New York to see  the statue of liberty, it's better to take the ferry boat at Liberty State Park, New Jersey side,  it has more parking spots and only $7 parking fee.

That will be my next post, New York City.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana

French Quarter, New Orleans Louisiana

French Quarter or "Vieux Carre" is the famous and oldest neighborhood of the city of New Orleans in Louisiana state and now considered as national historic landmark.  Most of the historic buildings here were built during the 18th century, during the Spanish era which depicts the Spanish colonial architecture.  

New Orleans is a 3 1/2 hour drive from Panhandle, Florida where we live and it was our first time to visit this place.  This road trip was never planned (as it's always the case for me hehehe), I just asked my husband to go somewhere else away from home during his 4 day weekend holiday (Martin Luther King's holiday was Monday, Jan. 19th)  only that Thursday before his weekend off,  we then decided to go to New Orleans (NOLA), as expected, we had a hard time getting a hotel reservation already for a cheaper price because of its short notice.  We then opted of staying at Keesler Air Force Base Lodging in Biloxi, Mississippi which is almost 2 1/2 hour from home, we reserved 2 rooms for 2 nights, because my daughter and her family (my son-in-law and grandson) also went with us.  We left home Friday night and arrived in Biloxi just in time to sleep.  The next morning we drove to New Orleans (Jan. 17, 2015) and only took us an hour, it's almost noon when we arrived.  We walked along the famous Bourbon Street and Jackson Square.  

New Orleans and its French Quarter is one of the few places in the US where drinking of alcohol in an open container is allowed on the street.

Along I-10 freeway

The famous street in French Quarter is, Bourbon which is well known for drinking establishments

Star Wars' characters, Storm trooper and Chewbacca (am I right? hahaha)

Hello Kitty,  actually it's a guy behind this mascot lol

The famous, "huge ass beers"

Hard Rock Cafe Store

Bourbon Street's sign

ACME Oyster House,  where we ate our lunch, it was a long line (almost an hour) but worth the wait

Fresh Oysters at ACME Oyster House Restaurant

Grilled Oysters

Shrimp Po'boy ( Po'boy is a traditional sub sandwich from Louisiana consists of roast meat usually beef or fried seafood and served with baguette or New Orleans french bread)

Nice pose ;-) but you need to pay her after hehehe

The street is a bit of crowded already around 4pm

Along Bourbon Street where a lot of people are partying along the street and some are enjoying drinking alcohol at the balconies

Tropical Isle,  where we bought the "hand grenade" drink to try it

At the back of St Louis Cathedral

The balconies and windows are examples of Spanish architecture

Jackson Square, tarot card readers and some performers are occupying the center of the street

Palm Readers or Tarot card readers are in front of the St Louis Cathedral

St Louis Cathedral

Local Artists selling their paintings and other form of arts

Another shot of St Louis Cathedral

This captured my attention :-)

Louisiana State Museum

St Louis Cathedral

Silhouette of Jackson statue and St Louis Cathedral

Horse Carriage in front of Jackson Square

Jackson Brewery Building (JAX)

The famous Cafe Du Monde, a long line just to buy their coffee and famous "beignets"
This is how they make beignets at Cafe Du Monde

We have to taste their coffee and the famous beignets before leaving New Orleans (this was taken from my iPhone)

Beignet pronounce as "ben-nei" famous in New Orleans as a breakfast served with powdered sugar on top.  It's made from deep fried choux pastry.  The original term of beignet is  French.  Beignets were declared the official state doughnut of Louisiana (from wikipedia).

We were supposed to fall in line at Cafe Du Monde but there was a long line, instead of waiting for an hour we went to their other branch in Metairie City which is a 20 minute drive just to try their beignets and coffee hehehe, we're lucky it's not crowded, no line and saw their staff making fresh beignets.

After we ate, we headed to Keesler AFB, Biloxi Mississippi where we stayed another night.  We were all tired and exhausted. We walked along French Quarter for 5 hours and still we didn't get to see much of it.  We need to go back there, for sure ;-)  We will see you again New Orleans.