Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness started for many at Ellis Island by way of Lady Liberty


When traveling to Liberty Island and Ellis Island security is not something to be taken lightly.   Security is as intense as TSA for the airlines.  After all, this is one of our nation’s treasures and we were proud to endure any inconvenience it might take to get there.img_3773




In a place with millions of people and millions of additional tourists, what are the odds that you would run into the same people you saw the day before at the Empire State Building?  Our new friends from Uzbekistan.


Ellis Island was very stirring, informative and interesting.  Just to think of the scope of people who came to our country through this island.  We could not help but think about ourselves and how we worried about getting transportation from one place to the other on our vacation.  In comparison, think about the courage it took for people to set off on a boat to a new country not knowing anything about it or anyone there.  These were courageous people.

Both islands are so beautiful, we wondered what those people who came here thought, did they notice the beauty or was it overpowered by the fear of the unknown for them.  The three of us each checked to see if any of our relatives came through these doors and there were none.  But we are thankful for those who did come to the “Great Melting Pot” of the world and the contributions their families make in our society.


The Statue of Liberty is more than a monument.  She is a beloved friend, a living symbol of freedom to millions around the world.  She is a tribute to the people who created her, those who built and paid for her, to the ideas she represents and the hope she inspires.                                                                                       -Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.


Good Morning America….Good bye New York

Up and at it VERY EARLY for Good Morning America.   It was still raining and we had to stand outside for a while before getting inside where the action was.    As we stood in the hallway waiting to be seated we saw various stars of the show going back and forth.   They ushered us to our designated seats.  As we waited for the audience portion of GMA to begin we were entertained by the audience warm-up comedian.   We had our Three Girls Travel T-Shirts on and he actually came and interviewed us, asking questions about our travel group.

When we finished at GMA we walked down the street to finish up some last minute shopping and then have brunch at the deli a couple of doors down from Hotel Edison.

Back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and catch our ride to LaGuardia for the  flight home.  Our doorman secured us a limo ride to the airport, which of course was the best ride of the whole trip.img_3971After a exciting trip of the sights and sounds of NYC we were exhausted.  We loved New York but were glad to be on the airplane headed back to Arkansas!   As usual we went from sun up to midnight taking in every thing we possibly could of the city that never sleeps.img_6787-1.jpgGoodbye New York….img_9471Back home and travel weary; after some rest it will be time to plan our next adventure……

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We were in an Empire state of mind….

So glad that we did not have an early morning call, we took advantage of a tip from the security guard at the Hotel Edison to try Junior’s for breakfast which by the way, is famous for its cheesecakes.  It did not disappoint as a breakfast choice either!

We headed to the Hop On/Hop Off hub on Times Square to activate our ticket to ride.  We rode the tour bus all of the way around to the Empire State Building and took pictures along the way.

We arrived at our destination which was the Empire State Building, a modern marvel in itself, being completed 45 days early and under budget by nearly a million dollars.  It was built by brave men who apparently were  not afraid of heights.img_6799Our ride to the top was not nearly as frightening.  The elevator was smooth and fast arriving at the top in 44 seconds to the lookout on the 86th floor with amazing views and then proceeded to the top at floor #102!


We met new friends on the 102nd floor.  Vanessa was the elevator operator at the 102nd floor and was a doll.

We also met some friend from Uzbekistan. They thought we were celebrities (and made us feel like we were)  and wanted a picture with us and we were glad to oblige.

img_3720So after completing our tour of the Empire State Building we hopped back on the Hop On/Hop Off and rode around to China Town (where Deb  almost had a nervous breakdown following the little Chinese lady down the various streets and around corners.)    We were in search of bargains.  No pictures were taken because we were trying to remember how to get back to the point we started before our journey to purchase our bargains began. Needless to say China Town was every thing we heard it to be.  Enough said…..We hopped back on and rode around to the M&M Store for some tasty treats.  Then back to the Hotel Edison to freshen up a little bit and off to the Broadway show “Waitress.”

img_9123After the show we went to Dos Caminos for some Mexican.

At the end of a long day we turned in to rest up for our next day of adventure in NYC.img_9629Goodnight Lee….

Goodnight Deb…

Goodnight Cathy….

Goodnight NYC…

New York City…Ready or not here we come!

Bags are packed and we are ready to go……


The day is finally here that we get to travel to New York City…Needless to say the excitement continues to build.  Lee and Cathy are on their way to Little Rock to pick Debbie up at work (take our customary start of the trip photo) and then off to the airport to catch our 4:20pm flight!

img_8509img_8512  Stepped up to the American Airline counter and was greeted by a friendly and helpful Customer Service Agent.  All of our bags checked in underweight…we breezed through security with no problems…now to grab a bite to eat and wait on that boarding call.  We wore our cool t-shirts we designed for our trips and we were so excited to have people ask us who we were and what our t-shirts were all about.  We even had some people find our blog and comment that they saw us in the airport and wanted to say hi and follow our trip.  We all agreed that the t-shirts were a great way to invite people to check out our Blog!

Our flights were great…we had fun chatting about our trip, taking a cat nap, and snapping pictures of NYC night lights as we prepared to land.

Lee always seems to find a “friend” on the flights…

Landed at JFK around 10:30 pm,  found our way to the baggage claim and we were so relieved that all bags made it!

Now to call for our Uber….and the fun (maybe the nightmare) begins!  Let’s just say getting an Uber was easy….getting a good one in New York is another story!  Our first Uber driver was not only unprofessional, but down right scary.  After he loaded our luggage and we got into the vehicle, he informed us that our ride had cancelled and we would have to pay cash.   We told him we did not carry cash and the whole reason we used Uber was to use a cashless payment system.   He carried us some distance down the road and kept saying he needed cash.  We finally convinced him that we did not carry cash and told him that he would need to carry us back to the airport.   After a heated conversation…..we arrived back at the airport where we were put out of the car in the middle lane of the busy road and had to unloaded our own luggage.   Needless to say, we reported this incident to Uber and they informed us that cash was never to be paid to a driver and this particular driver would be invesitaged.

That bad experience behind us we called for another Uber and safely made it to our Hotel.  We were determined we would not let this affect our good time.

We were apprehensive about Hotel Edison because of several negative reviews online, but Hotel Edison did not disappointment us.  The security was wonderful,  we had to show our room keys to even got to the elevators.  The rooms were large by New York standards, very clean and the staff was extremely helpful.   The location was perfect, 1/2 block off Times Square.



An interesting fact about the Edison is that Thomas Edison himself flipped the switch to turn the lights on for the grand opening.   There is so much nostalgia and art deco in this beautiful old hotel. We would highly recommend it and would definitely return there in the future.

By the time we got settled in our room we had about 3 hours to sleep until the alarms went off at 5:00 a.m. to arrive for our call at the Kelly and Ryan Show at 7:15 a.m..  Stay tuned for our first exciting day in New York City.

Goodnight Lee,

Goodnight Debbie,

Goodnight Cathy…..

Goodnight New York.