Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Manhattan, Family and Friends.

As this wonderful trip ended, the final highlights occurred.

On the last day at sea, we were informed that we would pass under the Verrazano Bridge at 5:00 am the next morning, and that there was a 6 meter clearance. That’s about a 36 FOOT clearance from the top of the smokestack to the bottom of the bridge. And then steaming into New York harbor past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. But… it was 5:00 am… I thought about getting a wake up call, and then re-thought that idea. The best thing then happened, my eyes flew open at 4:45 am! I threw on some clothes and ran up to the top deck, and missed going under the bridge by about 2 minutes, the ship was early. Still very moving, especially as David loved that bridge. He used to point it out every time we even came near that bridge on every trip to the city.

Then the Statue came into view in the distance, along with the New York skyline. I realized our cabin was on the right side to see the statue from our balcony, so I ran back down and woke up Mom. She was so moved at the sight, she cried, and I took her photo.

Getting back to Manhattan, and the US, was really coming home. It was exciting, as our last night would be at the Waldorf Astoria (I got a really good deal!). I called the family from the back of the cab, no more dollar a minute charges on the cell phone, and started making our last day plans.

We checked in, and met Melinda and Ryan for breakfast, I went to a yarn shop and met my shipboard friend at my favorite yarn shop, then I went out to buy more luggage (!) avoiding the Puerto Rican Parade on 5th Avenue. Dinner with Mom at her favorite, a sushi restaurant, then meeting Neil for drinks.

The next morning found us having the Breakfast Club at the Waldorf (how cool!!) and then Neil surprising us with lunch at his club, The Friars Club. What a send off to end the trip of a lifetime!

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