The American spirit & NYC.

This blog must have timed itself for the bigger picture. I wrapped up all of the California blogs, the new website launched, and it just kind of works out for this one to be posted today. Most of my New York trip with the hubs was for the purpose of attending some of our good friend’s wedding and celebrating. Of course the two of us had small lists of things we’d like to visit while in town. We decided to drive to New York instead of fly. Therefore allowing us to see more of the Country and make a few stops along the way. Our first night the goal was to make it to Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We barely did… Driving at night I do not recommend. We got in super late, but had plans to stop at the Flight 93 National Memorial. It was absolutely amazing and I’m glad we did.

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I’m sure all of you remember where you were today back in 2001. I had the good fortune of ending up in the best two classrooms my Sophomore year I could have been in. We first got word a tower had been hit my a plane in 2nd period. Which was my color guard class with Michael Clark. I grew up with him in my life since I was born. His daughter was in the waiting room the day I was born waiting for me, and to this day we are BFF’s. I was with my best friends, and people I felt safe with. By the time second period was over they still allowed us to walk to third period as usual. I got to my 3rd period class which was Health Occupations. One of my favorites. My teacher was a God driven woman, who also happened to have been my girl scout troop leader for many many years. I’m still not sure what all she said to us that day in class, but I know it was the kind of things we probably needed to hear. I remember not panicking, and remaining relatively calm. It wasn’t far into third period that we realized just what all was happening. Our school did allow us to watch the news – which in a way I’m thankful for that. I think the World to me seemed pretty mundane up until that point.. That was the day I realized it was a much bigger World than I had realized. A much more imperfect World too.

2013-09-10_0005.jpg This left hand photo is a clear view of the direction the plane came from.  The line of names on the memorial are the flight path.
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I realized homework wasn’t my biggest enemy like I thought it was.. I think I became an adult that day.
After third period my memories of 9/11 become kind of scattered. I don’t remember if I left school early, I vaguely remember watching TV on our tiny kitchen monitor at home still trying to understand how things like this happen. How there is so much evil in people. After that I remember nothing.

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This memorial was absolutely breathtaking to see in person. The firm that built this project really did a phenomenal job. It is such a peaceful please, and I can’t really think of any other design elements that could improve it. It just radiated serenity.

2013-09-10_0008.jpg This is the direction of the planes flight path.  The row of victims/heroes line it to the field. You can vaguely see the large boulder that now marks the site of the crash.
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So many brave people were on this flight. Seeing their faces and names on the plaque at the crash site really brought it all home for me. It made it even more real. I’m glad I went there, it had a profound impact. If you’re ever passing through I highly recommend making the stop.

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We kept up with the trek after spending an hour or two at the memorial. We crossed into Jersey heading off to Long Beach Island for time with friends. We got together with some of the wedding party and bride’s family before the big shindig. It was a great little break, and I thoroughly enjoyed my runs on the beach, and laying in the sun for a change.

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Sue’s Aunt Lisa hosted us in her beach house and we all had such a great time. (Aunt Lisa if you find this post… I really am going to come live with you.) We did a lot of eating, drinking, and laying in the sun. I can’t think of many better ways to kick off a wedding week. We held a little impromptu photo shoot.

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I made many many stops at Rita’s for Coconut Ice! YUMMMM

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Our last night there we had some heated rounds of Scattegories, and popped some bubbly in celebration of Mike & Suzanne!

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The next morning we were off to the city! The girls split up from the guys. The guys went off for the bachelor parties and the girls slipped off for some cocktails in Central Park, and sightseeing. (I did stop by Laduree too… Ooops)

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Carol and I had a great day just meandering through Central Park, and chatting the day away. We also might have made a 3AM shopping trip. No judgment folks!

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Jon and I found time somehow the next day to go to NBC and take a tour of the studios. With plenty of time to make it to the rehearsal dinner!

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I’m sure y’all have heard me on either Instagram on Facebook raving about some gnocchi I ate while in NY. Well, it was at the restaurant the rehearsal dinner was at. It was absolutely ridiculous. You can find it here : Baci & Abracci.

The next day was Wedding Day! The guys got ready at our hotel – since it was so close to the Church. Here are a couple of getting ready photos I snapped. You can tell we are all friends here… haha.

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They are crazy, right?

Here is the reception site Mike & Suzanne built. It’s standing at MoMA PS1 in Brooklyn it’s absolutely amazing in person. They worked so hard on it and their work paid off. It was absolutely engaging, and unlike anything I had ever seen. It was complete with water reservoirs and misting stations.

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Suzanne & Ashley did a great job planning out what they wanted to reception to look like. It all flowed together so well.

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Here is a look up into the structure and under the misters.

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The wedding was a whole lot of fun, complete with an oyster shucking station and good wine. Did I mention they had Macrons at the wedding?! Oy Vey!

The next day we just kind of meandered around, and started the day off at what was Ground Zero. I had seen it a few months after they collapsed, and knew I needed to get a different picture of it in my mind. The sight of it rendered me speechless. You can’t even caption photos like these.

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I’m so glad I replaced the last image I had of it with this. It’s gorgeous, and just so still.

We took the subway up to a spot I have been wanting to go visit for years….

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I stopped by Carrie Bradshaw’s of course. That is a woman after my own heart… She loves her some shoes too. I’ve definitely had daydream fantasies of living in this apartment while being a writer with a closet full of designer duds..

We hopped back on the subway to head to 30 Rock. We wanted to go to “the top of The Rock”.

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When we came back down we thought… What do we have to lose? Let’s try to get into see Jimmy Fallon… Bada bing bada boom…

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Mission accomplished. It really was just dumb luck, and a whole lot of being nice to interns… They’ve always got those damned golden tickets! Thanks guys!!! We loved it!

We had a nice steak dinner, and a stroll through the Upper East Side after dark. We finished the night off at Serendipity 3 where we split the infamous frozen hot chocolate. Delish.

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I don’t know if any other folks have crammed as much into a NYC trip in 3 days as we did! But, we had a ball. Can’t wait to go back!

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