A hardy band of members of the media, their kids and assorted Enjella Fans converged at Clinton Castle in Battery Park on a sunny brisk breeze December Saturday, ready for adventure. We stormed the sea and cruised on over to Ellis Island, stepping into the shoes of our immigrant ancestors to picture what it was like arriving in the United States in the early 1900s.
In the process I met the most wonderful people. Our group of travelers bonded over the experience of exploring the museum.
As Jocelyn reminded me — I always wanted to be a tour guide, or a docent for a museum — and Saturday was my chance! We followed the footsteps of the immigrants and experienced Ellis Island as our ancestors would have – in through the grand doors, dubiously eyeing the baggage check area, walking up the stairs for the beginning of the medical inspection, picturing ourselves waiting in line for the legal inspection, and waiting for our number on the ship’s manifest to be called.
Then we returned to this century and availed ourselves of the wonderful exhibits and pictures which the National Monument effectively uses to give us a glimpse into the experiences of the immigrants.
Tired and weary, much like our forefathers, we went to the dining room where detained immigrants were given meals. The food made the biggest impression on the immigrants – many had never eaten white bread nor ever seen a banana. Our band of travelers treated ourselves to the fine cuisine offered by the Ellis Island Cafe, sipping Liberty Lemonade while munching on a well prepared healthy lunch.
I got to see parts of the museum that I had never seen before (some areas had been closed after Hurricane Sandy). But I must confess, the most thrilling part for me was seeing my book prominently featured in the beautiful bookstore run by Evelyn Hill, Inc. It is a great store, all kinds of treasures nestled within its beautifully merchandised historic walls, festively decorated for the holiday season.
Thank you group of hearty travelers. And a special thank you to Brown Girl Gumbo, Heart & Soul Magazine, Mommy Nearest and Lisa the Social Media expert for your wonderful enthusiasm and excellent company.
I know our exploits and explorations of the Island have enticed a certain friend/fan in Australia. And I promise, when he and his family come to New York to visit in the spring I will take them on a tour of Ellis Island.
Who else wants to come?
Copyright Jane F. Collen December 7, 2016 IndexCardCure following in wise footsteps