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Skycoastin' Steve's 2011 Season Extravaganza!!


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Nice report looked like a great day. TPR Bash days are the best way to do a park, I'm gonna try to hit more of them next year.

 

Love all the pictures of Storm Runner, that ride is amazing. I've always felt is was way underrated, it never seems to wind up in any of the top 10's.

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ECB was a great day (although the drive back to Virginia that night was torturous). I had been wanting to go to Hershey for a very long time so the Bash at the end of the NE Trip was the perfect opportunity. It was definitely a fun-filled day.

 

Oh, and you're welcome for winning you the concept art.

 

Another great trip and great report!

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The Storm Runner picture in the puddle is amazing. Great TR, got me excited for my first ever trip to Hershey next year (and Skyrush!!!). And from the night pictures, I think I'll have to agree with you about HP being the best-looking night park.

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Alright everyone, it's time to step away from theme parks for a moment and share another culture credit that Jen and I were able to get while in New York City the weekend of September 17-18. For a little back story, we were going to a Dave Matthews Band concert on the 18th that had originally been scheduled the weekend of Hurricane Irene. The concert was postponed a few weeks, so we were able to take the opportunity to visit the 9/11 Memorial, an opportunity we wouldn't have had if the concert had gone on as originally scheduled (it opened on the 10th anniversary, for those of you who don't know).

 

Visiting this particular memorial is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Usually, when you visit a memorial in Washington or anywhere else, it's a building or monument built in a separate location (i.e., the Vietnam Wall, Arlington Cemetery, etc.). In this case, the memorial is built on the very ground where the tragedy happened 10 years ago, which makes it infinitely more somber and humbling. I've also been to the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, and the feeling is the same. It's so difficult to comprehend the suffering and death that happened on the very ground where you're standing. When you go to either of the memorials, it's so peaceful and serene, which is obviously such a stark contrast to 9/11 itself. All I can really say to anyone going to New York City in the future is visit the memorial, it's something you absolutely have to experience in person. I know I'll make it a point to get back to the site when most (or all) of it is finished, because it's going to be breathtaking.

 

We also went up to the top of the Empire State Building the day we arrived in the city (Saturday), and did a return trip to Lombardi's Pizza on Sunday after leaving the 9/11 Memorial, all will be covered in the pictures. Please comment, and thank you for reading!

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Quick, who can guess which building is at this street corner?

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If you guessed the Empire State Building, you would be correct!

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I've driven by this building before, and for some reason, never realized just how massive it is.

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I mean really, how did King Kong climb up this damn thing?

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In case you already forgot which building it was..

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Famous lobby mural. I had to cut out the bottom because there were so many tourists posing in front of it.

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After waiting in some crazy lines full of annoying tourists, we have reached the roof!

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Lower Manhattan with some wicked clouds.

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The Chrysler Building, which held the record for tallest building in the world for a brief time before the Empire State Building was finished. For an analogy everyone will understand, the Chrysler Building was Millennium Force, Empire State was Steel Dragon 2000.

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Central Park and the Rockefeller Building, which is the building Jen and I went up in last time we were in the city with TPR!

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For what it's worth, I think the Chrysler Building is prettier than the Empire State Building, even if it's shorter.

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The very, very tip top of the building. You can pay extra to go up there, but we passed on that one. This is where King Kong died. :(

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First person to tell me how many buildings are in this panorama gets a million bucks!

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Sunday now, and much better weather for the 9/11 Memorial. This is the Freedom Tower, which is the new World Trade Center 1. It will be 1,776 feet tall when it is completed in 2013.

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Flag of Honor.

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Inside the Memorial now. They have dozens of trees, some of which were taken from the three crash sites.

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The South Tower site. It's tough to comprehend how enormous the buildings were until you're standing there looking at the holes where they used to stand.

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The names of all 3,000 people that were killed on 9/11 grace the walls around the two waterfalls, including the names of the 6 who were killed in the 1993 bombing of the WTC.

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The shorter building on the right is the future 9/11 Museum, which will open in 2012.

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I thought the design for this memorial was brilliant.

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It really was incredible to see these in person.

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I got a little artsy for a moment.

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These are two support columns, or "tridents," that were still intact after the buildings collapsed. They are the focal points of the Museum.

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A reflection of Freedom Tower in the museum glass.

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I was able to catch a faint rainbow in the waterfall.

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This is the North Tower site. You can see the bottom of Freedom Tower in the background, so that gives some perspective on where it is in relation to the original towers.

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I will say that Freedom Tower is going to be spectacular when it is completed.

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Looking back to the south from the North Tower.

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A reflection of the American flag hanging on the Freedom Tower in the water at the North Tower waterfall.

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This is the Survivor Tree, a pear tree that was crushed by the buildings after they collapsed. It somehow managed to survive, and they kept it alive and brought it back to its original home in the WTC plaza.

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Survivor Tree and Freedom Tower.

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I'm assuming the tree is not strong enough anymore to hold itself up, so they have cables doing the job for it. Either way, it's still living!

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They also have this cage around the tree to protect it from any tourists who think it's a great idea to climb it.

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Through the trees!

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Panorama of the South Tower. I absolutely love this, and may get it framed one day.

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So in summation, if you are going to NYC at any point in the future, go here!

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We also strolled by the historic Trinity Church, which is right down the street from the WTC.

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And I like this photo a lot, so I figured I would share it!

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And now for something a little happier.........

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LOMBARDI'S!!!

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And we ran into Scott's Pizza Tour! For those of you who followed along with the Northeast Trip, one of the early add-on days included this tour. Awesome!

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FYI.

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America's first pizzeria, and I would imagine still one of the best!

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I'm already smiling!

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Delicious!!!

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I agree that they did a great job with the 9/11 Memorial. It is a very elegant design that effectively gets the point across. We're probably going to check it out next year.

 

As for Lombardi's, I somehow managed to scorch my mouth on that despite Scott telling our group that you couldn't do that.

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I very much loved this TR of NYC. I've been there twice so far and I plan to go back someday. I feel like I have some bearing of the city now. I've actually driven through the city which was pretty cool except that parking around Broadway can be quite expensive. Next time I think I'll plan some use of public transport. I'll probably still stay in New Jersey since it's cheaper. For the record I love the 9/11 memorial and the new tower that's being built.

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I'll repeat what Steve said....if anyone is planning on going to NYC in the future, do yourself a favor and schedule at least an hour of your time to visit the memorial. It was beyond worth it. I visited Ground Zero in November 2001, when there were still shells of buildings and the smell was something that is forever ingrained in my mind. Walking around the area this summer before the NE trip and then visiting the memorial in September was something I was anxious about but now so happy to have done. It's extremely emotional, extremely powerful and extremely humbling. I would say this is the #1 must see in NYC now.

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