Friday, November 18, 2011

NYC - Day 3

I am skipping day 2, because you’ve already read about my race day. I will say that after the race I was nauseous for a little while, but eventually felt good enough to go out to dinner. We went to this amazing little Italian place right down the street from our apartment, then followed up dinner with drinks at another local place.

On day 3 (Monday), I felt pretty darn good. Sure I was sore, but once I started moving, I was fine. The worst part was going down the subway stairs. Up was fine, down was HELL. We had 10 am tickets for the 9/11 Memorial, so I woke up around 6 am and headed over to Central Park where the NYCM finisher’s gear was being sold. While waiting to get into the tent, I ran into Vincent, our French friend we met before the race. He had finished in 4:30-something and was feeling great. It was great swapping war stories about the race. Finally, we were allowed to go into the tent….OMG, there was some great stuff and I had a hard time deciding what to buy! I ended up getting the short sleeve official finisher’s tech shirt, a long sleeve finisher’s tee (to wear with jeans) and a sweatshirt (great for after an OWS before the weather warms up), and a NYCM baseball cap for the Hubby. Lots of folks were wearing their medals, so when I got back to the apartment, I made sure to put mine on.

Next, we headed to the 9/11 Memorial. Among all the hustle and bustle of the financial district, the mood for those of us waiting to enter was rather somber. We arrived about 30 minutes early and were allowed in only after going through all kinds of security and ticket checks. The memorial is beautiful. As you’ve seen on TV, there is water cascading down into the ground and the mist from the water caught the morning sunlight just right, making it even more gorgeous. In the shallow pools of water, you can see the reflection of the buildings surrounding the memorial. There are two of these waterfalls, each one sitting in the footprint of where each of the twin towers stood. We walked slowly around each one, reading the names, recognizing a few of them from interviews we’ve seen over the years. The most moving thing to me was seeing a woman’s name etched on the stone followed by “and her unborn child”. Ugh, it still tugs at my heart, as there were many of these. The story about how these names are arranged is amazing and touching. Another amazing thing was seeing the one and only tree that survived the 9/11 attacks…it is now planted among the trees on the memorial grounds and has an amazing survival story as well.

The names of the 1st responders...and the names go on and on and on...

The Memorial...I love the mist and the way the surrounding buildings reflect in the pools of water.

The "and her unborn child".  So sad.

The little tree that could.  This pear tree was originally in the WTC plaza before.  After the 9/11 attacks in was planted in a park in the Bronx and finally ended up back in the WTC plaza.

After seeing the Memorial, we went to see this FDNY Memorial Wall near “FDNY Ten House”. FDNY Ten House is directly across from the WTC site and this station was among the first responders on 9/11. FDNY Ten House lost 6 fire fighters on that day. Afterwards, we walked over to the 9/11 Memorial Visitors center and saw some items on display and bought a few souvenirs – since my Brother-in-Law is a firefighter and the Hubby is a police officer, they wanted to take back a few things to their peeps back home.

The bronze NYFD memorial

A picture of each of the Firefighters who died on 9/11.

Well, nothing can bring you out of a somber state like NY-style pizza and we wanted the real deal, so we headed to Brooklyn! We got a little turned around after our subway ride, but eventually found Grimaldi’s. There was a wait, but it was well worth it. Now, we do have a Grimaldi’s not far from our house in TX, but the ambiance at the Brooklyn location just oozes NY and we loved it! After stuffing ourselves eating lunch, we headed over to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Company and indulged in dessert. Yeah, this isn’t something I’d normally do, but hell, I just ran 26.2 freaking miles the day before!  (See I can justify any dessert!) We took our ice cream over to the East River, where there’s a great park and just admired the view of Manhattan. Then, we trekked over the Brooklyn Bridge to get back to Manhattan…hey, gotta work off some of that pizza and ice cream! Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge has been on my “to-do list” since our trip there in 2003. And, it was one of the highlights of my trip! The views from the bridge are amazing and you can just feel the history of this mammoth structure. I loved it.

Me and my sister-in-law on the subway headed to Brooklyn

Grimaldi's, yum!!!

The awesomeness that is the Brooklyn Bridge!

Me and the Hubs near the East River

My coffee ice cream.  Nom, nom, nom!

Next, we were supposed to go see a live taping of David Letterman, but we got a little carried away in Brooklyn that we missed it. Doh! Instead, we walked over to SoHo and Chinatown…to me, part of enjoying NYC is just walking the streets and soaking it all in.

The streets of SoHo

Chinatown...where women walk up and whisper, "Prada, Dolce & Gabbana handbag?"

Later, the Hubby and I headed to Times Square to meet up with my Jersey friend, Jenn and her awesome hubby and adorable daughter for dinner. This is going to sound weird, but I met Jenn on-line on a mommy-type discussion board way back when I was pregnant with the Kiddo. Jenn and I have been “friends” for all these years, but we had never met in person. Until now. It was so awesome finally getting to meet! After dinner, we did a little shopping at the Disney Store for the kiddos and called it a day. It was an incredible day!
Times Square...overstimulation for the eyes and ears!

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