Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New York State of Mind

We had an exciting weekend. Paul and I traveled to NJ for my cousin's wedding. The kids stayed home with Mama Kay and Papa and had lots of fun of their own too, but more on that later. We got in Thursday night and after visiting with Grandma for a bit, we went to our B&B, which was located about a half block off the ocean, and settled in. Friday morning we got up early and decided to take the train into NYC as Paul had never been there before and I had not been since I was in grade school (except for a training I attended for work, but it was only for a day so I didn't see much). We took a 7:2o train, so here I am waiting for the train to come...

Unfortunately, it wasn't that nice a day so it was hard to get a true feel of the city. For example, this is the Empire State Building, but we could hardly see the top!

This is 30 Rockefeller Plaza - I would have loved to take a tour, but tours were already sold out for the day...guess we should have planned ahead!

We did happen to come across the Occupy Wall Street protesters...it seemed sort of dumb in my opinion. They were dancing and singing and holding signs that didn't make any sense. I saw one sign that read, "Nobody puts baby in the corner."...ummm...OK!

The best thing we did all day was go to the 9/11 memorial. We were very lucky to be able to get tickets and it was quite an ordeal to get in (long lines even after you had the ticket and then more long lines to get through security before you got to the park), but it was worth it. Here you can see one of the towers they are rebuilding - it is probably about 2/3 of the way done.

And here is one of the memorials. If you have not read about it or seen a picture, I will try my best to explain. There are two memorials that are in the footprints of the two towers. They are waterfalls that flow down one level, and then down into a deeper level. It is amazing to see as it gives a true perspective of how large and deep the towers were and how deep the loss was as well. Along the sides were written the names of everyone who died on 9/11 and the people who died in the 1993 bombing of the WTC, which I thought was nice.

This is the second tower memorial.

You can see the tower being rebuilt behind the memorial. Right now everything is blocked off because there is so much construction, but the eventual plan is for it all to be open and anyone can just walk up to it (as opposed to needing a ticket to get in like you do for right now).

And there is a beautiful park between and around the memorials with benches and trees so you can sit and reflect. It also looked like there is going to be a museum, but that was not quite open yet. We did peek inside through the windows though and see some of the beams that were from the towers and partially destroyed.

Like I said, we had a tough time really getting too much of a feel for the city, but seeing the 9/11 memorials was amazing and I would highly recommend them to anyone who is going to the city. Although if you are going soon, I would recommend getting your tickets in advance - turns out we were extrememly lucky to be able to get same day tickets.
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