Subject: Last installment - NY - 3 Amigas
Hello Ziners: Last go round.

Saturday, we took a bus to Central Park as we wanted to do more of that and to see the architecture in that area. Also thought we might see a celebrity or two out running, but no such luck. For a while we were reading the park benches which had In Memory plaques on them. Many were of beloved animals. One in particular said "Take Care of Each Other". Some were in memory of the Firefighters of 9/11; the Police; Blood Donors; Hospitals; the Clergy, etc. We did see Ground Zero but from a distance on the bus. There were hundreds of small tiles with the names of those who died there attached to a fence around the lot. Opposite that were pictures of those who were still missing. Very moving. After touring the Park and the surrounding area looking at the architecture of the very expensive condos were the very rich live, we walked to Rocker fella Centre. Beautiful there. The day before, no ice was down. This day, they were there and skating! The Centre is surrounded with bare trees with mini-lights, like a fairly land at night. Took another bus (great way to travel around, once you get comfortable with it) and we went on the Staten Island Ferry, out to see the lady with the points on her head (inside joke here) and had lunch on the other side. As we were starting out, so was this hugh Cruise Ship. Ever see on up close? They are big! It was cold and breezy on the water, but refreshing. Once we got off on the other side, we found a non-descript little restaurant who served the very best leek and potato soup I've ever had! Back to the dock and we took a bus up-town somewhere. We got off the bus and our *leader*, led us far and wide and no where near where we were supposed to be going! Poor Marilyn's feet had just about had it and she was praying that the next corner would be ours...but oops! we were going the wrong way!!! Instead of the street numbers going up, they were going back down.... Later, we had a few hours left before the Shuttle came, so the girls walked the two blocks to the Empire State Building and as luck would have it, there was no line-up. This elevator goes up 86 floors in a little over a minute. That was NOt for me. I don't have a healthy relationship with elevators, let alone them flying up like that! They couldn't go out on the observation deck because of a faulty wire hanging down out there but were glad they went up anyway. We heard that Grand Central Station was a must see, so we did and were sorry we didn't have more time to look around. Discovered later that there were lots of restaurants and shops underneath the station. But what we did see was quite impressive and quite transformation from the old Station I'm told. A complete renovation overseen by Jackie Kennedy. Luckily, I bought a picture book on New York. My small camera wouldn't have done it justice. Our ride back to JFK was calmer than our drive in. Only 1/2 hour on Sunday afternoon on the Expressway. But JFK Airport itself was chaos!! A holiday weekend, not enough Agents working and construction made it a nightmare! I ceased to think at that point! We were up, down, up and around and into a different Gate than what was on our ticket! Wanted to get some duty free but no, I didn't want to lose my place! My friends got some liquor and Marily (who else?) wanted a drink! (ha) By this time she was deprived of a smoke since we left the Hotel and was in serious withdrawal she said. She disappeard for about 20 minutes. Said she was going outside to have - 20 cigarettes,or however many she could consume in that time. Ya gotta laugh.... So, between the laughs (and there were many), the lack of sleep (mostly me), the aches and pains (mostly me) I can honestly say, I would never have missed this trip for the world!!!! Thanks again Travelziners for all your input. This trip was meant to bond with friends, and do what women like to do best. Thanks, my Amigas!!!

sincerely, Nancy/Marilyn/Marion PS: I forgot to add, that we had a little bit of a thing as the pilot going home. She must have weighed in about 100 lbs! Petite and blond - I don't want to ever hear blond jokes again....!!!!! lol!