On the day we were going to New Jersey to visit Liberty State Park, I woke up as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. This was the first day ever in my life I would see the New York City skyline. And I was here for it.
Due to COVID, we are doing our best to steer clear of big cities and places where we could potentially encounter crowds, however, I simply refused to be within 2 hours of the city and not experience it in some way.
When I first mentioned going to the park to Will, he was definitely hesitant. We knew we wanted to take a day trip to New Jersey to cross it off our map, but we had not really discussed what this trip might entail. However, when I told him about the park and the fact that we would be able to see the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline, he agreed.
As we were getting ready to leave, I remembered that my favorite street artist, Kelsey Montague, had been in New Jersey just a couple of months ago completing 2 murals. I had no expectations as I pulled up her website, but I quickly realized that both murals were (more or less) on our way. Finding these murals on our travels is one of the things we want to continue to do, as they are so bright and fun and add a purpose to our adventure where sometimes purpose may be lacking. Planning our route accordingly, we could hit one mural on the way to the state park and one on the way home. As if I was not already overly excited for the day, this added another element! The first mural was a pair of butterfly wings, which is what she is really known for, and the second was the largest mural she has done measuring at over 100 feet long and is of a train. It was situated right by a train stop and was so much fun to see and interact with.
When we arrived at Liberty State Park, we easily found a nearly empty parking lot, packed our lunch into Little Bird’s stroller, and started walking toward the Hudson River. From where we parked, we walked almost directly toward the Statue of Liberty. We crested over a short hill and onto a vast green space and all of the New York City skyline, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty were in front of us. It was breathtaking.
In the over 2 hours we were at the park, we walked almost 5 miles. We visited the various statues and installations along the path, ate our lunch with stunning views, and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Daisy was a true champ, although she willingly hitched a ride for about ½ a mile when Little Bird needed a break from the stroller. Even though the ferry was operational to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, we did not even consider making that part of our day. Just like actually stepping foot in the streets of New York City, that will be an experience we save for another day.
We have had a lot of amazing days on our adventure, but there was something about this day-trip that was special. Perhaps it was the recent anniversary of September 11 and the memories we have from that day in 2001, or maybe it was just the awe we felt standing across the river from a city where so much happens, or maybe it was thinking about the 12 million immigrants who came through Ellis Island in search of a dream. Whatever it was, I know the memories of this day – Little Bird’s laughter as she rode on Will’s shoulders, Daisy trying to stand in the stroller, or that very first moment I saw the skyline come into view – will keep us smiling, laughing, and reminiscing for a long, long time.