Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

After an action packed day (see Visions of New York, Day 1, Part 1), we enjoyed much needed sleep for day 2 of our New York adventure.   My husband and I made up for the sleep we lost the day before and enjoyed a late, leisurely  breakfast of bagels, cream cheese & juice.  We then headed out by subway to the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero.

9/11 Memorial

For those who haven’t been here, there are no words.  Even after standing where the towers used to be, I still can’t wrap my head around the horror and grief that millions of people experienced almost 11 years ago.  It is so surreal.

Ladder 118

The Infinity Pools are breathtaking works of art and such beautiful memorials to those who lost their lives.  What once was a place of devastation has now been transformed to a place of tranquility, peace and sadness.

First Responders

In order to visit the memorial, you need to get a free visitor pass and reserve the time you will be there.  You can do this by visiting this website:    Visiting Ground Zero is something I will never forget.

9/11 Memorial

One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower)

After visiting Ground Zero, we hopped the ferry to see an American Treasure… Lady Liberty.

Statue of Liberty

There she stood, proud and strong, in all her glory.  It was really just as awe inspiring as I imagined it would be.

Lady Liberty

Next on the docket was a short jaunt to Ellis Island, America’s largest and most active immigration station from 1892 to 1924.

Immigration Station, Ellis Island

For some, it was know as the “Island of Tears” where families were separated and denied access, and for others, it was known as the “Island of Hope” – a symbol of freedom and opportunities in a new world.

On our way back to NYC, we were greeted with this view.

NYC Skyline

One thing we noticed about the residents of New York is that everyone is in shape!  And it’s no wonder since everyone walks everywhere.  We decided to get a workout in by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Start of the Brooklyn Bridge Walk

Over 1.1 miles in length, it was a scenic and enjoyable walk reminding us that we need to exercise a little more!

Brooklyn Bridge

Gorgeous View of the Manhattan Bridge

Once we completed our walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, we scurried back to our hotel, washed up & prepared ourselves for a memorable evening at the musical…

Jersey Boys!

Jersey Boys is by far the best musical I have ever seen!  Even if you don’t know the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, it is a fun, highly entertaining look at the journey of how these blue collar kids from New Jersey rose to the peak of rock & roll stardom.

Jersey Boys

And the music…if you didn’t know it was a musical, you would think it was Frankie Vallie singing his heart out.  If you get the chance, do yourself a favor and see this musical!  Spectacular!!!!!

That was the perfect way to end our stay in New York, but before heading off to bed, we had to make one more stop at Time Square.

Me & my honey in Times Square

Stay tuned for Day 3 of our eastern adventure…next stop…Washington D.C.!

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Two weeks ago, my husband and I took a much deserved holiday to New York, Washington D.C. and Virginia.  Since it was my first time to each of those states, it was a real treat, and I brought back some wonderful memories…in addition to a wicked flu bug!  Since I’m resting up this weekend, now is a good time to share with you our adventures from our first stop, NYC.

We left on May 21st on a red eye that departed at 9:45pm and arrived in NYC at 5:30am.  First off, remind me to never take the red eye again!  I thought we could sleep our way through the night after some pre-flight vino and arrive refreshed and awake…oh well…it was a nice thought!

Visions of our hotel room were very inviting as we touched down in NYC.  We looked forward to resting up that morning so we would be rejuvenated for our 6 hour walking tour which started at 10:00am.  Now I know what you’re thinking…are they completely mad?  Not really…but due to very limited holiday time that I have at work, we had to cram as much of each city into each day as possible, and in NYC, that started promptly at 10:00am.

Well it turns out our room wouldn’t be ready until 3:30pm, and they didn’t have any public bathrooms that we could freshen up in.  Luckily the Starbucks across the street did have a bathroom, and so we changed into some fresh clothes, splashed water on our faces, got some coffee and headed out on a morning stroll that took us directly to Times Square!

My hubby in Times Square
(He looks rather good for getting only a few winks of sleep.)

Before our trip, I checked the weather, and it stated that there would be scattered thunder showers and humidity in all 3 states, so I wasn’t really sure how to pack because the humidity I heard can be quite dreadful!  (And fyi…I totally failed in my philosophy of packing light!)   Lucky for us though, the rain was more like a light mist, and it helped balance out the humidity…so it was quite pleasant!

We spent some time soaking in the awe of Times Square.  Every year I would watch Dick Clark as he hosted “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”, and I would count down the seconds as the ball dropped.  What I envisioned was everything I hoped for!  The pulse of the city, the people, the lights, the billboards, the food, the excitement…it’s all there!  I had a hard time breaking away from Times Square, but it was time to head to our 6 hour walking tour.

We decided to go with Real New York Tours because what better way is there to experience New York than with an real New Yorker!  Our guide’s name was Jimmy, and what a character he was!  Born and raised in New York, he had quite a few stories to share with us and a wealth of knowledge on the city’s history…and some jokes to keep us on our toes!

Our guide Jimmy from Real New York Tours

When you sign up with Real New York Tours, be sure to strap on your most comfortable walking shoes and get ready to walk…quickly…all over the city and up and down stairs going to & from the subways.  This is a no-nonsense walking tour.  If you’re new to New York or want a more in depth look at the city and get some interesting stories & facts from a local, this is a tour to look into.  I’ve learned so much about this great city thanks to Jimmy.

For $70.00, you really get your money’s worth!

Here is a brief itinerary of what we covered in those 6 hours:

China Town
Little Italy
Times Square
Greenwich Village
Wall Street
Strawberry Fields
Washington Square Park
Central Park
Ground Zero (surrounding area)
St. Paul’s Chapel

Here are just a few photos from the afternoon:

St. Paul’s Chapel
It’s hard to believe it suffered no damage from the attacks on 9/11.

The chapel was filled with remembrances of 9/11.

NYC Firefighter uniform from 9/11.

Cross forged from destruction.

Badges of courage and honor.

Wall Street

Central Park

New York traffic

John Lennon memorial in Strawberry Fields

Love this sign!

According to Jimmy, Little Italy doesn’t have the best Italian food…but China Town does!

And he was right!  We stopped at family-owned Forlini’s for lunch…wow!!!

Can you believe that this little Greenwich village hot spot is where Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Spingsteen,
Bob Dylan,
Bill Cosby & Richard Prior all got their start?

Nothing like a game of chess on a Tuesday afternoon!

It was a fun afternoon of sights and sounds, but the day was still young.  After the tour, we headed back to the hotel, showered, took a brief nap and headed out for the evening…stay tuned for:  Visions of New York, Day 1 (Part 2).

Have you ever been to New York?   If so, what’s your favorite memory?

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