Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Probably one of my favorite snapshots from the trip.

So Day II was packed with a lot more.  I loved how there were food stands everywhere.  My kinda place!

So our day pretty much started on Wall Street at the New York Stock Exchange, which was so fitting since these are Finance Academy kids.  There wasn't a whole lot to actually SEE there -- just the famous floor.  And the floor looks nothing like it did in the old days where men and women (mostly men) yelled and and ran and yelled some more the whole day.  Thanks to technology, it was actually super quiet and calm.  I'm not sure if they were traders, but there were actually two men watching football on their computers down there.  So they ARE human.

Here are the four adults that chaperoned the trip -- three of which are actually not Finance Academy teachers (one of my teacher friends who was supposed to go on the trip got sick a couple of weeks before and stayed home following the doctor's orders).  The curly blonde in the back is the Finance Academy director at our school, and quite frankly, is a business education rock star (think former president of the national association -- yep).  The white-haired young'un on the right is a first-year retired business educator who taught at our our school her entire teaching career and taught those crazy hard classes like AP Computer Science (I wouldn't even know where to start with that).  And the big guy in the front is just a cool dude who's a business teacher and a basketball coach. It's interesting being around him because he reminds me a lot of DK.

And this guy?  Rock star status, too.  He's over operations at the New York Stock Exchange.  He talked with the kids a lot about doing what you are passionate about (something I believe through and through).  He wasn't "all talk," either. This man does exactly what he wants -- he's associated with operations for the SUPER BOWL and the PGA TOUR.  The kids thought he was great.  

We also did the Federal Reserve Bank of NY this day, but I have no pictures to show for it.  They were super tight on security and didn't allow photos.  I wish, wish, wish, I could've taken pictures of the several floors below ground where they store the tons and tons and tons of GOLD.  I'd never seen anything like it.  

We also did the World Trade Center Memorial on this day.  Words cannot describe what I felt being there.

Here's one of the new buildings.

...and the other.

They're not built in the exact same location as the destroyed buildings.  

In the footprints of the destroyed buildings stand twin reflecting pools that just take your breath away.

And the pools are surrounded by bronze panels that have the individual names of those who lost their lives in the 2001 attacks.  It also includes the names of those who lost their lives in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

I was 18 years old on September 11, 2001. It was my sophomore year of college, and I was in my suite getting ready to head to class.  I'll never forget that morning as my eyes were glued to the TV, and I nervously eyed one of my suite mates who was from NYC.  Visiting the memorial brought back memories that I never wish to relive.  I cannot begin to imagine that morning for the people that stood where I was standing that day just 10 years ago.  Cannot begin.


Dinner that night was here:

And then we headed here to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.

I've seen the Rockettes in Nashville a couple of times, so I was familiar with the show.  But it never gets old!

Especially the nativity scene with the live camels and sheep and Baby Jesus.  Gives me chills.

And then to end the day, we stopped over in Jersey (where we stayed) in a neighborhood that looked straight out to NYC.  It was gorgeous because the houses (which are nonexistent in NYC) reminded me of homes down here in the south with big wrap-around porches.  The only difference is they walk out of their front door to the NYC skyline. When we asked the tour guide how much we could get one of the houses for, she just sorta mentioned that they were a cool 14 or 15 million.  Ah, well.  It's still fun to dream!

(By the way, I should say that I would never, ever, EVER want to live in the actual city of New York.  Way too much concrete, people, crazy drivers, etc. for my tastes.  But it sure is fun to visit.)

Tomorrow -- the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Spiderman on Broadway.  

Hope everyone's having a great week!  

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