I started this blog with one daughter, kept it up with the other, to spend time together doing something we enjoyed.
However, things change and people evolve. My daughters are older, busier, and not as interested in writing.
From now on this blog will be mostly mom with occasional contributions from my daughters and maybe even my husband.
Nothing else will change. We'll still focus on sharing fun places to go, fun things to do, and more, and we would  still love to hear your views too

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Where-To-Go Wednesday - Ellis Island

We were given complimentary tickets to Ellis Island for review purposes. Any and all opinions expressed here are our own.

What: Ellis Island

Where: Ellis Island
             New Jersey?/New York?

Who: All ages


Me - Ellis Island is a very compelling place to visit.  It is interesting to learn about what it was like for people to immigrate to this country. When I was in 2nd grade we had immigration day in school. We made passports  and had to gather information and make a family tree. We had to remember our information and answer questions as if we were really immigrating to the U.S. It was a lot of fun. My town actually used to take all the second grade classes on a trip to  Ellis Island too, but they stopped doing that after 9/11. My brother was actually in second grade the first year they didn't do the trips anymore. My great-grandfather actually immigrated  from Russia through Ellis Island when he was 8 years old. His name is on the Wall of Honor so I got to see it. That was cool! It's so hard to believe that one of my family members actually came through Ellis Island, and the fact that I never actually met my great-grandfather makes it even harder to comprehend.

Although seeing my great-grandfather's name was obviously the highlight for me, there are a lot of other interesting things at Ellis Island too. They have a lot of exhibits that talk about different aspects of what it was like to immigrate. There are a lot of videos. Gloria Estefan is even in one of the videos. She immigrated from Cuba when she was a little girl. There are also some interactive exhibits. There is one where you have to answer questions to see if you would be let into this country or you can also watch a video about another person and decide if you would let them into this country. Ellis Island is a really special to go, it's not like any other place I have ever been.


Mom - Everyone should visit Ellis Island sometime in their life if they get the opportunity. Visiting Ellis Island really gives you a feel for what it is like to move to this country from another country. Of course, some things have changed. For one thing, it is a lot faster to travel from one country to another. Other things have not changed like the difficulty of leaving one's country and trying to fit in and make a new life in a another country. Most immigrants are just trying to make a better life for themselves and their family in a new country and not just coming in to this country for nefarious purposes as some people would have you believe.


It is really interesting to be at Ellis Island and learn about what it was like to immigrate to the U.S. There are tons of pictures, videos and artifacts that cover everything about the immigrate experience where they came from, what happened when they got here, the mental and physical exams they had to undergo and so much more. You can even see the great room where all the immigrants were held when they first got here. Now, the room seems so empty even when there are people in it. It is hard to imagine it teeming with immigrants fresh off the boat. You can also see the staircase divided into three section where immigrants were sorted depending on whether they were being detained, staying in New York, or moving on to another part of the country.


You can also look up information in the Ellis Island archives both in person or on-line. This service is available free but you do have to sign up. You can see images of actual passenger manifests of ships that came to Ellis Island. If you have a relative that came through Ellis Island and their name is on the Wall of Honor, you can look that up too and find out where on the wall you can find their name.


All in all, Ellis Island is a really unique place. It is both a place of shame and a place of pride. Some of the things that were done to immigrants and some of the ways they were treated then (and now) is shameful. On the other hand, the fact that we take in so many people that need a place to go and that so many people want to come here is something to be proud of.  In any case, Ellis Island is definitely worth a visit.


And that's our view. 

For more about the Statue of Liberty, visit https://www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm.

For Statue of Liberty tickets, visit https://www.statuecruises.com.

For guided tours of Ellis Island and the Statute of Liberty, visit https://www.exp1.com/new-york-tours/statue-of-liberty-tours/

For more about the Ellis Island Wall of Honor, visit  https://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/about-the-wall-of-honor

Tune in tomorrow for Theater Thursday.

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