Today is the day we depart the Big Apple and slip back south of the Mason-Dixon line to the Volunteer State. But not too fast! We have saved Ellis Island, perhaps the ultimate immigrant perspective site visit, for last!

Hopefully you enjoyed your night in the Big Apple or got a good night's rest. This morning we will be checking-out of the hotel. Ok, it's not the Hilton or the Crowne Plaza, but go ahead and take some hotel soap or lotion--if you feel brave, snag a towel! Grab an early breakfast at the hotel's complimentary breakfast bar (if you haven't already been caught by hotel staff, take the time to stuff your bags with anything from the breakfast bar for the trip home later today).

[NOTE: I am still working out arrangements since we are checking-out of the hotel to have bags stowed away at the hotel since we will not have access to the bus to comply with bus driver rules and regulations]. Instead of the bus, we will be taking the Subway system to Battery Park. We will need to head out early and hit the streets to make our way to Penn Station at the corner of W. 34th & 7th Avenue. It's slightly over 3/4ths of a mile. [Time to be revised as I intend to walk the path on Thursday]; therefore, we probably need to head out for a 6:45 a.m. hotel departure so we can be at the subway station by 7:10. We will arrive at Castle Clinton National Monument at approximately 7:45 a.m. Located in Battery Park at the tip of lower Manhattan, Castle Clinton is the point of our departure to Liberty and Ellis Islands via ferry--Statue Cruises. In hopes of catching the first ferry boat out this morning, we will jump straight into the Security Line at 8 a.m. Then it's onto the boat! If the weather is good, rush up to the top deck for breath-taking scenery. If we are so lucky to catch the first ferry--and I fully intend us to do so--it departs at 8:30 a.m. The ferry will first go to Liberty Island. Lady Liberty is closed for the 2012 year for renovations. I ask that everyone stay on board the ferry. Perhaps there is time to run ashore quickly for a photo, but nothing more (I don't know how long the ferry remains on island before departure). We will depart Liberty Island (provided we caught the first ferry) at 8:55 a.m. and then head over for the short hop to Ellis Island.

Ellis Island visit: Check out this brief video for an introduction to Ellis Island. For additional information on Liberty and Ellis Island, see their .

More details on Day 6 shortly!!!!