Glad I could two events of the past month together. Our final hours in the Big Apple were some of the most thought provoking and emotional. It began after we decided to have breakfast delivered instead of doing the hotel restaurant again. We made our way back across the river for another bus tour. This time on a jump on and off trek. Our hostess was a barrel of laughs and energy. At one stop, a vendor jumped on offering refreshments. The guide quipped that “this is not a movie theatre” in a decidedly Oriental accent. After 9 stops, we arrived at our destination.
Ground zero itself created a very heavy feeling within me. Seeing the empty skyline was nothing compared to actually being up close to the site surrounded by a fence behind which the memorial is being constructed complete with the 1776 foot tall Freedom Tower. The 9/11 exhibit was also an emotional journey. Artifacts on display recovered from the wreckage of the hi-jacked planes, the buildings, even a stuffed lamb that was buried and somehow survived intact (symbolism, anyone?). Video tributes of the tragedies and heroes. Downstairs, letters written by children of different culures were on display. Many of these were so heartfelt that it was hard to keep a dry eye.
Following the tour of the exhibit, we had to once again make our way to the pier to get back to the hotel. We thought we were in luck when were directed to the front of the Commerce Building where there was to be a dock where a ferry came and went. Not so luckily, the dock is closed on Sunday. SOOOO WE HAD TO FIND YET ANOTHER WATERWAY BUS to take us to the pier we were accustomed to. That is a story best left for another time… I may just let taylhis relate that adventure.
Finally, we got back to the Jersey shore and went to dinner before departing. On our way out of Jersey, we stopped for gas. Chris got out, started pumping gas, and was immediately confronted by an attendant who began shouting at him. Apparently, we had inadvertantly come across one of the few remaining full service pumps in existence. But outbursts like “Papi” were heard. I thought he was a fan of David Ortiz (wrong area to be one of those… YUCK). By the time the gas was pumped, Chris was promoted (?) to “Boss.” On the way out, it was discovered that we were unsure if the rattled attendant attached the fuel cap… sure enough after travelling a few blocks, we found out that it was not.