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Lady Liberty: She's Not a Chancletera, After All.

I'm not sure how long it takes for you to officially become a New Yorker but I'd say your first year you're totally entitled to be a complete tourist and explore the city as such.

In comes Lady Liberty. Of the many times I have visited New York, it's hard to beleive I've never visited the beautiful Statue of Liberty. What I have done, is taken the Staten Island Ferry and caught a glimpse of it while the ferry passes in front of it, but I've actually never taken the time to go to the monument itself.

So when I had visitors in town (one of which had NEVER been to NYC), it was the perfect excuse to play tourist and visist Ms. Liberty herself.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.

I quickly went online and bought tickets. We REALLY wanted to climb to the crown, but I was in complete shock to find out those tickets had to be purchased MONTHS in advance.

So, we purchased a regular ticket which includes the ferry to Liberty Island from Battery Park, and the ticket to visit the statue (with no pedestal or crown access).

It was a PICTURE PERFECT day to visit the statue. There was not one visible cloud in the sky. The ferry ride was quick and we were on the island in no time.

All it takes for you to appreciate the beauty and madness that encompasses NYC is a perspective from the other side. Once the ferry started to pull away, the view of downtown Manhattan and the skyline is simply breathtaking.

Once we arrived at Liberty Island we explored every inch. It's so beautiful and I really enjoyed learning a few fun facts about the statue, I never knew.

Did you know that...

The Statue of Liberty measures 305 feet 1 inch from the ground to the tip of the flame, and is as tall as a 22-story building.

The seven rays of the Statue's crown represent the seven seas and continents of the world, each measuring up to 9 feet in length and weighing as much as 150 pounds. There are 25 windows in the crown, which symbolize gemstones and the heaven's rays shining over the world.

Total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons (or 450,000 pounds)- Ummm I guess she doesn't work out much?!

There are 154 steps from the pedestal to the head of the Statue of Liberty.

A tablet held in her left hand measures 23 feet, 7 inches tall and 13 feet 7 inches wide. It is inscribed with the date of American Independence written in Roman numerals - JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776).

The Statue has a 35-foot waistline.

Chains and a broken shackle lie at the Statue's feet, which symbolize the Statue as a woman free from oppression and servitude (and here we thought she was just a chancletera).

The total weight of the Statue's concrete foundation is 54 million pounds (27,000 tons).

The light green color (called a patina) is the result of natural weathering of the copper.

The French ship "Isere" transported the Statue of Liberty's 300 copper pieces packed in 214 crates to America. Although the ship nearly sank in rough seas, it arrived in New York on June 17, 1885. The Statue's parts remained unassembled for nearly a year until the pedestal was completed in 1886.

I have to admit, yes- you know it's BIG. But you really don't realize the monstrosity of the statue until you are that close to it. And yes what it stands for: a symbol of freedom and liberty. It truly is a signature landmark for the state of New York and I can only imagine what all of those immigrants felt upon nearing that beautiful island of Manhattan.

After we were done on the Liberty Island we decided we should stop in Ellis Island and tour the museum. It absolutely fascinated me to walk through the museum on Ellis Island.

Ellis Island was America's largest and most active immigration station, where over 12 million immigrants were processed. On average, the inspection process took approximately 3-7 hours. And resarch shows that close to 40 percent of all current U.S. citizens can trace at least one of their ancestors to Ellis Island. Lots of people and families were seperated here, which serves as a reminder of the length people will go to, for freedom and opportunity.

There are so many cool artifacts on display and the exhibits detail the time frames different groups migrated here. Check out some of their luggae. Can you imagine CARRYING this stuff from Europe, across oceans and then having to lug this? And we complain about our suitcases with wheels!

It amazes me that so many immigrants landed here so many years ago in search of freedom. Al though some by choice and some by force, they were all in search of one common thing: opportunity.

Although my family did not arrive on Ellis Island, it dit remind me of one thing. Regardless of your culture, your background, ow where you came from, the United States and New York City stand are the staples & symbols for opportunity.

It reminded me of my own family and how they left Cuba to come to Miami in search of a better life. Despite WHERE each of us came from, we all share one common goal for ourselves and for our family. And that is the constant search for greater opportunity and the improvement of our lives and of that of our family's.

After a visit to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, I now, more than ever, stand by my decision to move to New York City in search of improvement and opportunity it truly is the symbol of freedom. And I am so blessed to have been able to have this experience. A city that truly gives back. It is the city that can offer you an abundance of culture, knowledge, new and beautiful experiences and melting pot of cultures and people.

Here are a few more pics from my visit, and I WILL be back to climb those stairs to the crown, ONE DAY!

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” ― Emma Lazarus

#statueofliberty #ellisisland