Next stop was the Staten Island ferry to get a free look at the Statue of Liberty and get the requisite tourist photos
. The ferry was packed and everyone was crowding for positions at the rail to get the best photos as the ferry travelled rather quickly. We got off at Staten Island, everyone HAS to get off whether they want to or not; but we raced around and managed to get back on the next boat back to Manhatten. Then we went to a shopping center just a bit up from the ferry terminals, passing Wall Street at lunch time. We had lunch at Nathan's, thinking that was the most typical American restaurant in our budget we could find on short notice-nice hot dogs! That same mall had a Victoria's Secret so I was able to stick up on lingerie. Then we did more shopping at Century 21 which was HUGE with an amazing range of clothes and bought some shoes at Payless. We really needed more time, I wanted to go to a pet store to get somethings for the birds but not enough time.
We got the subway and bus combo back to JFK, just barely making it in time to check in. Then we raced to the gate and ran onto the plane..............only to have to sit on the tarmac almost 2 hours because something was wrong with the engine. They finally fixed it and we found ourselves in a long line of planes queueing to take off on the runway. At last we were airbourne and enroute to London.
The plane arrived half an hour late and we hit the ground running. It's very annoying to have to clear US custgoms when you are only transiting through but it went quickly and at least we didn't have to carry the bags around. Due to extensive internet research, I knew where we were going. First up was to visit Chaska's cousins in Brooklyn so we got there by bus from JFK and took forever to find our way around the Brooklyn College but we were finally directed to 4 nests built high up in the lighting structures on the football field. We could hear the Quakers squawking and every once in a while, one would arrive at the nest with a twig and disappear inside. Looks like we came during business hours! However, the friendly Quakers couldn't totally ignore Chaska's parronts and send down a sweet little couple to a lower level to chatter atus and send their best regards to Chaska.