Toll Day the Whole Day 

We woke up to a completely dark room which was nice because we could get a great night sleep. Before we left Philadelphia, PA, our friend suggested to go to Reading Terminal Market and get a pretzel and Philly cheesesteak. We searched for parking for a little bit, so I (Candace) would suggest that you get dropped off or take public transportation to the market. We made a B-line straight to Miller’s Twist for a breakfast pretzel. These pretzels were so delicious– inside the pretzel was cheese and ham. Next, we bought a Philly cheesesteak from Spataro’s Cheesesteak. As we passed Spataro’s, we noticed beignets at Beck’s Cajun Café, so we stopped and got those as well. However, they did not compare to the beignets that we had in New Orleans.

Following our food shopping, Sarah and I left for Lucy the Elephant in New Jersey. It took us awhile to get there because of all the toll booths we had to stop through. When we arrived at some of the toll booths, they said exact change. This would have been fine if it was 25 cents or 50 cents, but no, it was 40 cents. This was funny to us because we were thinking of how many people were also scrambling to find exact change while pulling up to the booth.

Once we arrived to Lucy the Elephant, we took a picture of the tall structure by the beach (photo below). We were not looking to go up inside it since it costed to do that.

So we set off to go to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I wanted to go on the New York side because there were a lot more times that the boat tour went by Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty to New York. However, on the National Park website, it suggested to park on the New Jersey side since it was easier to find parking. We followed this direction of where to park because we did not want to waste time searching for parking. We had trouble finding parking since it was not clear where the parking lot was, so it was kind of ironic that we went to the New Jersey side hoping to save time.

Once we parked, we quickly walked to the ticket booth since it was around 2:30pm. Meaning we were not able to see both Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Sarah and I had to decide on one, however, we each went our separate ways. Sarah saw the Statue of Liberty while I explored Ellis Island. We were a little bummed we could not see both of them on the same trip, but we were glad to have seen one of them.


I was the first to depart from the boat, so I left to Ellis Island excited to see my great-great grandparents name on the memorial wall. I was under the impression that everyone’s ancestors were on the wall, however, my grandma told me that they had to donate money to have my great-great grandparents name on the wall. I found my grandparents names Frances Imhof Puntigam and Joseph Puntigam written on the wall. Something about seeing my ancestors name made me feel a twist of excitement and appreciation. They had the privilege to travel to the USA leaving their home country to start a new life for themselves. After taking a brief tour explaining the immigration process, I was astounded by the different physical, mental, emotional, and educational tests that immigrants had to pass, in order to, be accepted into the USA.


While Candace got off at Ellis Island I continued on the ferry boat to the Statue of Liberty. It was so spectacular to see this statue. Seeing what millions of immigrants first see as they are approaching this new world and life for themselves. There was something very special in the seeing Lady Liberty, it meant you had made it to the new world and for a better life. I felt connected to all my ancestors who had probably seen this same statue as I was staring intensely at.



After a long day driving around and traveling among the islands, we got ready to sit in New York traffic. It took us an hour to go 10 miles. It was a slow crawl moving forward. Finally, we got to where we wanted to be, but now it was time to find parking. We found a spot right way, however, found out it was street sweeping the next morning. So we set out to find a different parking spot, it took us 45 minutes circling around the neighborhood. Afterwards, we hiked back to our friend’s house in Brooklyn, NY. We talked with him for a little bit then we set out to go check out Time Square and get some ice cream from the famous Serendipity. It was much smaller in the Serendipity’s that I (Sarah) had thought from the movie. After Candace and I shared our banana split sundae we headed to Times Square.


We took the “train”– as a true New Yorker would state, instead of, the subway. Once we turned the corner to head towards Time Square, we knew we were going the right way because it was so bright. It was as bright as daylight down these blocks. Hanging on the building were extremely large advertisements. We were amazed!


After walking around for awhile, we were about to leave when Spider Man came up to us asking if we wanted our picture with him. Sarah and I are both savvy on knowing when someone is trying to scam us. We politely declined the offer, but he insisted that we get a picture with him. So we took a picture with him then he said could you give me some money. We said no and walked away leaving for our friend’s house.


By the time, we got back to the apartment we were exhausted from our long day especially since it was 2am.

Much love,

Traveling BumbleBees 🐝


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