We slept in a bit longer than we meant to this morning, and when I got out of bed everything hurt. I had no idea that walking that much would hurt all of my bones. Mostly it was my feet. Even though I have been wearing sensible shoes, my feet are swollen up from all the walking/running we did. Boo!
We actually ate breakfast this morning before leaving again. I"ve just realized we hadn't done that all week. Huh. This time we didn't bother trying to find a train anywhere. We were going to Liberty State Park so that we could catch a ferry to visit the Statue of Liberty and just decided to drive it! YAY! We'd gotten tickets online earlier in the week, so we were all set!
This time, driving out that way was a lot less nerve wracking, although I still do that thing where I cringe and squeak when I don't think Steve is going to slow down in time. He hates it, but I can't help it. His driving makes me nervous, and riding with me in the car makes him nervous, so it's a trade off. :) We made it a lot more quickly than we thought we would, and got a chance to walk around for quite a while before we boarded our ferry. On that ferry was also what seemed like 600 school children. Look, kids one at a time are usually OK. Small groups of children are sometimes OK. Large groups of children are just evil. That's all I'm going to say about that.
We landed on Liberty Island and saw the statue! It was so beautiful! When you come into the docking area, you are at the back of the statue, so we took the long way around to go and see it. It was so bizarre! I've seen it a million times in a million different ways, but never in person. I kept staring at it thinking "I'm actually here looking at this thing! It's not a movie or a picture, but I'm actually here looking at it!!!!" I was so excited. We had to brave a very large crowd, but luckily the statue is on a big platform and so it stands above everyone and no one can really get in your way. I even managed to get a couple of pictures with Steve (haha, take that!) and we got a very good look at her. It was a lot of fun, even though we didn't take a tour inside the base, or up into the crown, as it cost extra. That's kind of the one thing that sucks, but as I worked in the tourism industry once upon a time, I do understand that getting people to pay for things in stages is a thing. After getting our fill of pictures and looking, we departed on another ferry (I love the ferries!) and headed back to our car.
We'd thought about going into Brooklyn for a bit, but Steve wanted to head down to Red Bank, NJ to visit a comic book shop that he knew about. Why drive to Red Bank, which is an hour or so away from NYC, to look at a comic book shop you may be asking? Well, it isn't just any comic book shop! It was Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, which is owned by Kevin Smith and has it's own "reality" type show called "Comic Book Men" that Steve regularly watches. He wanted to look around and try to meet some of the guys that are on the show. Me? I didn't think that they'd really be there. I assumed that they were only there to film, and then other not-on-television guys worked there the rest of the time. I was wrong! We walked in, and three of the four guys from the show were there! I immediately went into freeze up mode. Number one, this was Steve's thing and not mine, so I got shy. Number two, these guys were doing there thing and eating lunch, so I felt weird approaching any of them just to say "Hey! You're that TV guy!" and the thought of that made me feel very awkward. Being awkward in a store leads to breaking things and breaking things leads to paying for things. I stayed in my own zone. Number three...well, there is no number three, but three is a better number when you're listing things.
Anyway, I looked around and they really did have an interesting collection of stuff from the various Kevin Smith movies, as well as some cool pop culture memorabilia and comics. It is a store, after all, and they do sell stuff. I just kept to myself. I give Steve props, too, he was very cool about the whole thing, and he got to meet two of the guys without seeming weird or intrusive, which is more than I can say about another guy who walked in. I met one of them, Mike I believe his name was, because I asked a question. He was very nice and helpful, and when I asked how offensive he thought "Buddy Christ" would be to Baptists, he said he hoped very, and gave me a gratis sheet of stickers of the character for my desk when he found out I work at a church. Heh. Steve bought a couple of things and we left. He was happy and I got stickers, so it had been a productive visit!
Red Bank is really a cool place, but we didn't stick around for long after visiting the store. I had wanted to see the beach situation there. I was thinking more about finding out if New Jersey had the same kind of cheesy shops and culture that you see around the gulf, so we went towards Sandy Hook which the map said had a beach. The drive out there was so interesting. There were so many gorgeous and HUGE houses out that way, and they weren't like anything I had seen before. We knew they were worth some serious coinage, because the ones for sale weren't being sold by Maggie Bee, your friendly neighborhood real estate agent. They were being sold by Southby's and Christie's, which I didn't know had a hand in real estate. When we finally did make it out to the beach area, there weren't any houses at all. Nor were there shops or restaurants, just beaches. We tried to drive to the end where an observation deck was, but that was closed off for some reason, so we stopped by one of the public beaches and walked out there. I hadn't thought about the act of actually going to the beach, even though I knew we were going to do that, so I was wearing blue jeans! I rolled those suckers up and took off my shoes. The sand area was really wide and full of rocks, so getting out to the water was like walking on hot Legos! Haha! We walked to the surf and I looked for shells. Weirdly, I didn't find very many sea critters. I found lots of polished rocks, but only found shells up in the dry area of sand, so I figure that someone else must have pulled then out of the water and left them there. Eh. I accidentally stood too close to the water and a wave hit me, getting me soaked, so we turned back fairly soon after that. I was hot, sandy and wet, but I had some shells and my little baggy of sand! I was happy!
We had thought of going to a few other places after getting back towards NYC, but we were tired. I hated to just go back to the hotel, but by the time we got back, my feet were sore and I was messy from the beach and I was hungry! We ordered room service for dinner and packed up our things. We are leaving early tomorrow morning, so we have to go to sleep soon. I'm honestly ready. I really have enjoyed my stay here, though, and I'd like to come back one day and see a bit more!