July 19–21, 2002

Spent an action-packed weekend in New York City with the family.

Early on Saturday, we spent some time at South Street Seaport, then visited the site of the former World Trade Center to pay our respects. Even though I’d seen Ground Zero hundreds of times on TV, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer size of the void. It was difficult to shake feelings of profound sadness, anger, and disbelief while staring at the gaping hole where the Twin Towers once stood.

During the afternoon, we took a Circle Line cruise around Manhattan, passing underneath the Brooklyn Bridge and in front of the Statue of Liberty. Later, after a wonderful dinner at Tavern on the Green, we saw a great production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway.

On Sunday, we attended Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, then spent the remainder of the day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was very impressed by the wide range of exhibits ranging from Egyptian artifacts to colonial furniture to Impressionist paintings. And I could’ve easily spent three hours in the gift shop alone — tons of great art books, posters, and prints.

All in all, a great weekend in the Big Apple.

[ No. 23 ]

July 3–7, 2002

Enjoyed the Fourth of July weekend at our group’s shore house in Avalon, New Jersey. Spent a large portion of the weekend aboard our housemate’s boyfriend’s boat — watched distant fireworks from the Atlantic and made trips to the Lobster House in Cape May and the Deauville Inn in Strathmere.

Carver 350 Mariner

Prior to this weekend, I never knew how hard it is to operate a motorboat. You have to regularly monitor the sea depth to avoid running aground, navigate among hard-to-read buoys and markers (which is especially challenging at night), and finally park the boat in a narrow slip at the marina.

To give you some idea of this last task, imagine backing a large truck into a parking space that you can’t fully see while the surface beneath you constantly shifts with the wind. And I thought parallel-parking my car on a city street was tough.

So, for one weekend, I resembled a millionaire celebrity on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Or at least some guy on a late-night infomercial who assures his viewers that, if you act now, you too can be fabulously wealthy if you purchase his guaranteed “plan for success.”

[ No. 22 ]

Photo credit: Carver Yachts