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  • Writer's pictureClaire

27/04/24 New Jersey

This morning there was no urgency to get up and going but nevertheless we were out before 1000hrs. Another splendid sunshiney day which we made the most of by exploring New Jersey City side of the Hudson River. More flowering cherry blossom trees lined the sidewalks, the dropped petals drifting like confetti on the breeze. I was surprised at how clean it is, for some reason I was expecting otherwise. The hotel is just a block from the river, and there is a railed boardwalk that would take you right down to the port if you so desired . 

Being a Saturday morning, people were taking advantage of the spring weather and out running and doing circuits. All ages shapes and sizes were going in both directions. We were amused by one female in particular. Rail thin, she was doing sets of jumping up onto a wall. Once she finished she lit up a cigarette and inhaled it within a minute, before lighting another from it and that one went the same way.  Nowt so queer as folk! 

We carried on to the Exchange Place, which had a memorial for 9/11. A statue of a first responder sat on a wall covered in dust, with bunches of flowers in his arms, looking like a broken man. At his feet were utility belts and shields of fallen comrades. Behind a large marble stone that has the names of the Jersey residents who lost their lives on that awful day, is  a massive chunk of twisted metal girder supported by two smaller lumps which came out of the towers. The jersey residents would have had a clear view of the towers being hit, and subsequently coming down, the horror of it must have been numbing. I can remember watching it and not being able to look away. 

We moved on down to J Owen Grundy Park that has a play area for kids, benches to sit on and watch the world go by, and space for little people to run around or ride their bikes on in safety. There was an indian girl, wearing  a fabulous gold tulle princess dress with gold thread embroidery  lots of diamantés and a tiara having a photo shoot. Her family were snapping away alongside the photographer and the poor girl never once cracked a smile, she looked like she wanted to be anywhere else than where she was. The photo session went on a good 45 minutes, mother floofing the frock out frequently and titivating her hair after every photo.  It amused me greatly but was really interesting watching the photographer trying to do her thing around the mother. 

From the Park we could see the Statue of Liberty in the distance, so got some pics of her before trundling onwards to Newport Mall.. and it was a Simons Mall!  It’s a substantial shopping place with all the stores you could imagine, I went into Macy’s to buy some makeup as I’ve not worn any for 6 months. Bloody hell it was so expensive!! I grabbed a lippy and some mascara and got the hell out of there. The staff were super friendly and really helpful and I came out with some little samples so the experience wasn’t all bad.  To recover from the shock of shopping, we went for some food in the food hall. We opted for burritos because everything else was deep fried or crumb coated with chips. They were cooked fresh so we had a short wait whilst they rustled them up and they were worth waiting for. They were bigger than expected but seriously tasty and that was enough food to last til tomorrow. I was approached by a bloke who was telling me a sob story that he was just out of prison and he needed $10 to get a bus home to his 6 kids and his 89 year old grandma, so I let him carry on for a few minutes, made appropriate noises where required, and when he’d finished said I don’t have any cash sorry. He just shrugged, said ok and walked off to bother another lady who didn’t let him get started with his spiel, just sent him off with a flea in his ear. 

After our substantial lunch we returned to the hotel and started to pack the sturdy one ready for the morning. We haven’t unwrapped the moving tote bag so was just a case of putting in what we’d used and zipping her up. Liv had printed out labels off for us and we had to staple them onto the bags ready for the morning, and that was it for the day.  

Much love 


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