Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I spent my Labor Day weekend in New York, New York. My 2nd Cousin (my mother’s cousin’s son), who is also a 1st Lieutenant of the United States Air Force, was getting married to his long time girlfriend. We left on Saturday morning at 5am – yes, that’s right – 5am. My father was doing the driving, so it did not matter to me what time we left. The trip was not so bad, since no one is out on the road accept truckers and others that want to get an early start. My father has a navigation system similar to mine ( and it shows you exactly where to go, as long as you have the correct address. Actually, even if you sort of know where you are going, it will get you as close as possible. Anyways. The trip took a total of 4-1/2 hours. I sometimes wonder how my father doesn’t take his hands off the steering wheel and strangle my mother. She is completely nutty when she’s in the car in the co-pilot seat. She’ll be sitting there talking to you and then all of a sudden she is pumping her right leg up and down and telling my father to “step on the breeeeeeeeeeak!!” Because a car is slowing down 1 mile away from us. Or she will point to something and my father will turn to look and then she will scream at him to keep his eyes on the road. She has a theory that my father is secretly trying to kill her using the Expedition as a weapon. But I swear, when I drive with her, I want to just very nicely put her in the back seat with a blind fold and a gag. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother so very much, but man, she can drive the normal mind to a dark place. =]

The hotel we were staying at ( is located in the financial district of downtown New York City. We arrived so early that we were not able to check in. So we dropped out luggage off with the front desk and then headed out into the city!

My parents, me and my fiancé took the Staten Island Ferry around the Statue of Liberty and to Staten Island – the ride is free! The ferry ride was absolutely beautiful, though, plus, it always helps when there isn’t a cloud in the sky! The weather was perfect and it gave us some good views of the New York City skyline and a couple bridges. The ride was super smooth and it wasn’t all that crowded. But since we were taking a round trip, we had to get off the ferry, re-route in the ferry station, and then get back on board of the same ferry that got us there. I believe that it was because of the security that you couldn’t just stay on board and wait to ship off. I got some pretty good pictures and it was pretty cool to see the Statue of Liberty so close up!

The whole trip, though, was only about an hour – so we had to try and think of other ways to use the time until we could check in. My dad had suggested that maybe we should go to Ground Zero. We weren’t sure where that was, so we actually ended up going to Friday’s for lunch. $93 dollars for lunch? Someone should check my jeans and make sure there isn’t a hole there from being f-ed over. ANYWAYS. I’m not bitter; I’m just amazed at the expense of eating or doing anything in New York.

So after lunch, we started walking back towards the hotel. As we rounded the corner, we noticed that there was a lot of construction going on across the street from our hotel. Then we noticed a sign that said, “WTC Pathway.” And then it became crystal clear that we were staying right across the street from Ground Zero. Yikes. Once we were able to check-in, we went to our rooms – my parents stayed on the 49th floor and we stayed on the 48th floor. The view was…well, astonishing. If you looked directly down, you could see the entire base of where the Twin Towers used to be. When you look out onto the site, in many ways, it takes your breath away. There is this feeling of heaviness as you gaze out onto an area where many are still buried and will never be found. The view is different – where there once were these massive towers for buildings, there is nothing. In about 7 days, we will be remembering September 11th, as it happened 6 years ago. People always say where they were when they heard about the 1st plane…I was in Waltham, MA – my friend had IM-ed me to tell me what happened. At first I thought he was joking…But then I came to realize that it was true. Time sort of stood still that day and for days to come after. But I believe that this is to be saved for another blog.

So later that night, we all went out to dinner at a restaurant in the South Street Seaport Historic District. The restaurant, Sequoia, was located on the pier and we had a great view of the harbor ( Dinner was good, and when we were done, there were lots of stores to shop in. We only went into a few of them, though. The night was getting late and it was already a pretty long day. Our hotel room was beautiful, though. There was a 42” plasma screen television and a king size bed. What more could ANYONE ask for? =]

The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel restaurant ( ): Church and Dey. They offered a buffet or menu ordering – I went with pancakes and a side of bacon. After breakfast, my fiancé needed to go to the ATM and then to Modell’s ( The main reason we had to go there is because the Modell’s that is located near us doesn’t have New York Mets stuff. So he was a happy guy when we walked in and he found the hat he was looking for and a new t-shirt. The only down side is that the store smelled like some guys old basement where he worked out and sweat a lot. Pee-yewww. But as long as my fiancé was happy, that’s all that really mattered.

We had some time to spare before the wedding, so we walked down to Ground Zero and up the street where there is a church that has been there for a very long time, since the 1700’s, I think. My fiancé and I walked through the cemetery and into the little church – they were having a service there, but they allowed people to come in and walk through as it was going on. There were several little tables with pictures of the people who were lost on 9/11 and there was a stand with a lot of badges from different fire departments around the United States and some from different countries. I don’t know if it’s the guilt of not going to church or feeling like I’m missing something, but as soon as I stepped into the church, I felt a weight on my mind. It’s almost as if I was some place I was not invited. The words, although heavy, ring true for me as I stood there looking at pictures of people who are no longer here. People came to that little church and prayed and left messages and left pieces of the people who are gone. Often times, things are shown on television and that distance is what keeps you from feeling the raw emotions of actually being there. So, as you can see or feel from what I am writing, what you see on television is no where near what you can feel in person. As I was saying earlier, I’ll have to write a different blog about what I was feeling later on.

The wedding was held at Our Lady of Victory Church ( My 2nd cousin and his fiancé are Catholic, so it was done by a priest, or Parochial Vicar – whichever is more politically correct. There were 5 bridesmaids (including the maid of honor) and 5 groomsmen (including the best man). Although, the sad part was that the father of the bride was not there in protest. You see, my 2nd cousin is ½ Chinese and apparently, since his daughter is Japanese, that is ½ too much. I find is very unfortunate that he could not look past the race and instead look to the future of his daughter’s happiness. The bride’s mother escorted the beautiful bride down the isle – the mother was wearing a very beautiful kimono – which is traditional Japanese wear for an occasion like this. Everyone looked so great! After the ceremony was over, the bride and groom walked down the isle under a saber guard! My 2nd cousin’s sister got married a couple years ago, and they did it to her and her husband, too. She is a Captain in the Army and her husband is a black hawk pilot, so you can see why they did it. The walk under swords that are crossed over head and just at the last one, the two saber holders bring their swords down and spank the bride and groom. =]

We actually had about 2 hours to kill before the reception was to begin. I am not sure why there was such a long time between the ceremony and reception – I hope that I booked enough time! So we took a cab to the South Street Seaport Area, where the reception was held ( – its funny we were there the night before. We ended up going to a corner bar and getting some drinks and some appetizers ( It was a pretty busy and cool place.

The place where the reception was held, as you can see from the website, is very upscale and very extravagant with a beautiful view of the harbor. We had cocktails for about an hour with an open bar – actually, I think the bar was open all night – and there were these fancy hors devours that I couldn’t pronounce or tell you what they were. The reception began with introductions of the bridal party and then introductions of the bride and groom. Everyone looked so great! Then they had the 1st dance with the bride and groom and then everyone was asked to join them. They had a live band, who was actually pretty good! Sometimes it can be a total gamble on whether you get Adam Sandler from the “Wedding Singer,” or someone who can really sing. The lady had a great voice and the band played a lot of songs that are typically heard at a wedding. Dinner was cooked to order – so it took a while for people to get their meals. I had the filet and my fiancé had the salmon. There was more dancing, and then they did the wedding cake thing – I’m thinking that for our wedding, we’re going to have a small wedding cake made and then everyone will get a small piece of a sheet cake – because no one really eats it anyways. After the wedding cake was cut, the bride’s bouquet was thrown, we left. My father was getting tired and we had an early start the next day.

So over all, the wedding was great! The views were spectacular, everyone looked fantastic and I was so happy for my 2nd cousin and his new wife. They looked so very happy together! =] The ride home was uneventful – which is good. We made it back home by 12:30pm and just like that, the long weekend was over. But guess what? We’re going to have to do it all over again in January. My 2nd cousin’s brother is getting married in the Central Park area. Eegad. But this is the last of those kids to get married. After I tie the knot next August, there is only 1 other cousin who won’t be married! But it should be a great time! So for now…that’s all.

TTFN! =]

1 comment:

Hanh said...

im surprised you didn't go to any boutiques to look at awesome million dollar wedding dresses while you were down there! =] sounded like a great wedding though i didn't quite get the 1/2 chinese dad and japanese daughter thing...

paying 90 dollars for lunch is nothing...but paying 90 dollars for lunch at Fridays!?

You guys should've went to a little corner restaurant, guranteed better food! even if it is just chicken wings... =P