Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ellis Island

When Ceekay came to visit, one of her dreams was to see The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Hubby and I were only too happy to help her realize that dream.  We discovered that we could take a boat from Liberty State Park in New Jersey so we all decided to make the trip in one very long day.

We had a long walk to the ferry since the park is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  I don't think anything gets repaired very quickly in this part of the country.  We didn't have too long to wait to board the ferry though.

The ferries became a lot more crowded later in the day.

Ellis Island was the nation's main point of entry for millions of immigrants from 1892 to 1954.

If you were an immigrant with money you could avoid Ellis Island entirely.  You could be examined in your stateroom on board your ship, then would be allowed to disembark directly into New York City.

If you were poor you had to go through Ellis Island and it's complex of buildings where you would be thoroughly examined by medical and psychiatric doctors before finally being sent on your way.

Sometimes immigrants had to spend weeks, or even months on the island, before they were cleared and processed.  The second floor of this building contained just a few of the many dormitories.

It must have been quite terrifying to arrive here and not even speak English.

A lot of the exhibits were closed because of Hurricane Sandy but the American Family Immigration History Center, a computerized genealogy center, was still open. 

It contains the records of immigrants processed here during the peak years.

We were thrilled to find these records of Hubby's grandparents.

After 1954, Ellis Island fell into disrepair until someone finally realized it's historical significance.

Today Ellis Island stands as a tribute to the millions of immigrants who landed on these shores in search of the American Dream. 

We had one more island to visit so we boarded the ferry for Liberty Island.

The statue was presented to the United States by France and dedicated in 1886 in commemoration of the two countries' alliance during the American Revolution.

What a thrill the immigrants must have felt when they first saw Liberty.  Since Hubby and I had climbed up the inside of the statue some years ago we just admired it from the outside this time.  We were on a tight schedule!

Soon, it was time to board the ferry again for the trip back to our car in New Jersey.  We had a long, but satisfying, day.  I'm so glad I didn't have to go through Ellis Island!  My family was already here!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Naturally, We Had to Have Tea!

One thing Ceekay and I always manage to do, when she visits, is have tea in some memorable place.  So, on our way home from visiting Lancaster, we stopped in Reading at Abigail's Tea Room.

It is located in a Victorian house in the heart of the city (i.e. don't go there after dark!).

The stained glass window in the entry way hinted at the treasures within.

We were invited to look all over the house and have tea whenever we were ready.

When we finished swooning over the beautiful house we sat down for tea.

We each had our own tier of goodies and they were delicious!

All too soon it was time to head for home to rest up for our next adventure.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Our New Arizona Home

We interrupt the regularly scheduled post about the trips we took, when Ceekay was visiting us in Pennsylvania, to tell about what we did when we flew to Arizona last week.

We closed on our new, predominantly, summer cabin in Pine.  That's Pine not Pinetop.  Pine is located near the smaller town of Strawberry about 20 miles north of Payson, the largest town in the mountains about two hours east of our home in the Valley of the Sun.

Our week home was a flurry of activities:  closing on the house, playing with the grandsons, running errands with my parents, and shopping for cabin furniture.

Finally, with the help of our son-in-law, Mike, and daughter, Dawn, we moved into our cabin where we spent the last few days of our trip.

Hubby got a chance to play rousing games of chess with our oldest grandson, Jacob, while settling into our new place.

Mike and Hubby set up the furniture in the guest room.

Then, Hubby rested in the living room.......

.....while Dawn and I made up the beds.

 I love my new kitchen and enjoyed cooking in it.  However, I did have to wash dishes by hand.  That's two refrigerators, European style, under the counter - not dishwashers.

The front sun porch is the perfect place to sit in the cool of the evening or to have your morning coffee.  We'll work on getting a proper patio set for this area at a later date.

Mike even got out the lawn mower and weed whacker and mowed the front and back yards.  Gotta love son-in-laws!

There wasn't time to decorate, or hang pictures, but I did get my stained glass hung in the bay window.  Hubby got it for me many years ago in St. Louis.

All too soon it was time to head back to Pennsylvania.  Hubby's got to pay for the cabin now!  Until we return, our daughters plan to make use of our little cabin in the mountains.  They're already scheduling their weekends!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Chocolate and the Amish

When Ceekay came for a visit, one of the first things we did was take a road trip!   Our first stop was, what must be, Paradise - Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Everything in this town centers around the making of my favorite confection - chocolate.

There's actually a large Hershey's Amusement Park but we set our eyes on the department store sized gift store where you could also take tours to learn more about what goes into the making of chocolate.

First up, was a tame ride that explained how chocolate was made from start to finish.

I'm pretty sure I gained 5 pounds just smelling the heavenly scent.

Next, we boarded a trolley that drove us around town and educated us about the Hershey family.

Did I mention that the tour guides gave out copious amounts of chocolate?  Even I couldn't eat it all!

Once our shopping was done we loaded up the car and headed for our second stop - Lancaster County.

We stayed in this adorable little cottage in the center of Amish country.

 Horse and buggies were everywhere!

There are buggies, or wagons, for many different jobs.

Not only did you have to watch out for motorized traffic, you had to watch out for the horse and buggies.  They moved along at a pretty good clip.

Naturally, we had to take our own buggy ride with an Amish tour guide.

He took us past some beautiful farms and explained a few of their beliefs - which Ceekay and I are still pondering.

It must have been wash day because every farm house we saw had laundry hanging on the line to dry.

I had a little fun at Ceekay's expense when she was having trouble getting out of the buggy.  I finally realized our Amish guide was not going to assist her in getting out of the buggy until I put my camera away.  The Amish don't like to have photos taken of their faces.  They believe it could lead to the sin of pride.  And, yes, we did plenty of shopping here too.  I got a good start on my Christmas gifts