A trip down memory lane and beyond - Lawrenceville & NYC


(Image courtesy of Elle Summers)


3rd June 2021

By Elle Summers


As the train pulled out of the station in Washington DC, I was excited to be heading back to New York City! But on the way, I took a slight one-day detour from my family, alighting at Trenton station, to get a Lyft to head up to The Lawrenceville School. Here, I would be meeting my friend and have a tour of the beautiful campus that he was spending his scholarship at. Despite the academic year having returned to full swing after Spring Break, my friend made time for me in his busy schedule, showing me round his halls, and the vast grounds of the campus. We even headed up to Princeton University to explore.


By the end of the day, it was time for me to return to my family, and so I headed back to the train station, with my next stop being New York Penn Station. After walking around in circles trying to locate my dad who had walked up to meet me, we eventually made it back to the hotel room. We were all ready to crash for the next day would be filled with more fun, exploring of the sights in New York.

(Image courtesy of Elle Summers)


For my family, exploring New York City consisted of catching the Ferry over to Ellis Island. This was such an interesting experience as the boat travelled right past the Statue of Liberty and despite the somewhat grey day, it provided the perfect opportunity for some great photographs! Unfortunately, I do not travel all that well on the sea, and so after snapping my shots, I had to sit at the back of the top deck of the ferry and focus on my breathing in order not to be ill and ruin the experience. Once on dry land, I bounced right back though. If you’re thinking of heading over to Ellis Island, I would definitely recommend grabbing an audio guide as they provide so much information and really help you understand the importance Ellis Island has as an immigration station, a purpose it served for more than 60 years until it closed in 1954. The experience was rather humbling, as along the tour we got to listen to and read about many sad stories of people fighting to arrive to the United States yet being held at Ellis Island. It was interesting to consider this other side to the history of New York and see how it resonates with present day struggles some immigrants still face.

Continuing with somewhat of a theme of sad history, whilst in New York, we also attended the 9/11 memorial and museum. This experience was very humbling and highly upsetting. Despite having been only 1 years old (and my brother not being born) when the attack happened in 2001, reading about it and physically seeing remnants of the destruction such as part of a staircase and a crumbled fire truck really hit home how scary this attack must have been. It was so upsetting my mum had to leave the museum early.


(Image courtesy of Elle Summers)


I’m happy to say that we finished our stay in New York on a bit of a lighter note. My mum and I were highly excited with the prospect of visiting the New York Public Library to see the original toys of Christopher Robin, with the whole cast of Winnie the Pooh being on display, alongside a display of Clifford the Big Red Dog. I felt like I had been transported back into my childhood! We finished this more relaxed and somewhat lighter day with a trip to the Hard Rock Café. Due to my brother being a slightly fussy eater, over the course of their stay, my parents visited the Hard Rock Café on multiple occasions, even across multiple locations! The upside? It gave my dad the opportunity to add to his pint glass collection he had decided to purchase as we travelled around – much to the stress of my mum who was adamant they would break in his luggage!


(Image courtesy of Elle Summers)


By the 10th of April, I decided I wanted to head back out on my own little adventure, and so jumped back on the train out of New York, headed back to New Jersey. I spent the next couple of days back in the company of my friend, enjoying all the Lawrenceville campus had to offer. One of his friend’s only lived round the corner from the campus and so was more than happy to accommodate us and drive us to different places! We had a fun evening out, bowling and indulging in a Five Guys. The amount of times I was complimented on my accent made me fall in love with New Jersey! Considering I’m from Essex, compliments about how I speak don’t happen very often! The following morning, I was back on the train. I only just made it by sprinting through the station and jumping at the doors as they began to close! From here I was to meet my family back at, you guessed it, Penn Station for we had to go and collect a car for the last leg of our journey. The Infiniti xq60 (effectively an executive Honda) provided a very comfortable journey, as my dad acclimatised to driving on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the road, we headed out of the city towards Cape Cod, for our last destination of my whirlwind of an American tour was Boston!