Sunday, April 15, 2012

Church, Cherry Blossom Festival, 9/11 Memorial

Brother Salanoa made sure that we went to church today.  I thought for sure that because we were on vacation that we would spend the day in Time Square... but Brother Salanoa don't play that...lol... I should have slapped myself.  I'm so grateful that he keeps me in check when I need it.  Tino got one of the members he converted while on his mission to pick us up and take us to church.  It's always wonderful seeing a new member of the church.  She cried telling us about her conversion story and how Tino and his companion showed up like an answer to her prayers.  Maria (Next to TJ) may have a hard time letting go of her sleeveless shirts... but we were happy she accepted the gospel.  Madeline and Gabi came along with us to the Cherry Blossom festival after church.

I was sooo excited that the trees were blooming the same weekend we were there.  The Cherry Blossom park in New Jersey is absolutely amazing.  It goes on for miles and there are nothing but Cherry Blossoms.  My hair was on point when we got here on Monday.  But with the humidity and heat.... I've just given up and gone au naturel....  There were both pink and white trees in the park... so of course we had to take photo's by both.


After we left the festival... we decided to take a few photos of the infamous Hudson River.  We've seen this river in almost every episode of Law & Order...  So it was nice being able to see it in person.  That is Time Square right across the river.

After the Cherry Blossom festival. We went to the hotel and changed.  Since we were flying out tomorrow morning, we decided to take the subway downtown to see the 9/11 memorials.  The subway experience was definitely interesting.  People smash in to these things like sardine cans.  The extra leg room that people usually have in movies is not the case in real life.  We caught the subway directly to the Twin Towers.  I could only imagine how many people who worked in the twin towers took this route to work.  The platform underneath the towers where the employees would usually exit the subway still looks like a war zone.  It didn't dawn on me to take a photo at the time.  I think TJ and I were just soooo stunned that after all these years, it still looked the way it did.  You could tell the New Yorkers from the Tourist.  Like us, the tourist took a minute to take in what was left of this platform.  The New Yorkers immediately walked through the chaos and onto the rest of their day.

TJ and I got there right before it closed.  I was sooo happy we made it.  Thank goodness there was no line.  I couldn't imagine having to wait in this maze.

What amazed me most about this enclosed memorial was how quiet and serene in was.  They are building towers all around the entire circumference of the memorial.  But in this space... it was sooo quiet.


The two memorial pools were so big.  We got there right when they turned the lights on and it made the experience that much more special.  Its hard not to get emotional here.  I may have not known anyone who lost their lives here, but being here makes me so much more grateful for the plan of salvation.  I can only hope that those who lost loved ones here can find peace somehow.

These past two days have been soooo exhausting... But we got to see so many great sites... so it was all worth it.

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