New York, NY - It's a helluva town according to the song. And in this the songwriters are right. There is no other place like Gotham City.
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For some reason, I awakened at 5 am - just before the ship made its inbound trip into New York Harbor, guided by the local pilot. Like many harbors and waterways, there exists a special group of pilots who know the fine details of moving a large ship in and out of the harbor safely. At 5 am, the NYC harbor pilot came on-board to guide us into port. Unfortunately, my being awake awakened Lili, and she became upset. This was an omen of the day to come.
Since I was now wide awake and unable to sleep, I started taking pictures through a dirty glass window and got what should have been a picture post card of the Statue of Liberty as seen above. The few pictures I took of the ship coming into port were just as gloomy, including the one that I took of the Lackawana Terminal below.
Strangely enough, I'd want to get a similar effect if I were to paint a picture of this place. There is something interesting here that I can't get a handle on.
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Eventually, 7:30 came, and I had to start getting ready to leave the ship. So I took my shower, and started getting ready to leave while Lili rested in bed. She wasn't feeling that great, but would be once she got on solid land. When I was done, I said that I was going for breakfast, and she asked for a cup of coffee. After I was done with breakfast, I returned with the coffee - and she wasn't able to drink it. We both finished what little packing we had left to do, and started to leave the ship for the last time around 9:30.
Lili expected customs to take much more time than it did in processing us. I figured that since immigration already processed us in Portland, all customs wanted to do was to inspect our declarations and make sure we paid any duties we owed to the government. This is where customs could have caused Lili a problem - she was carrying 2 bottles of booze, and currently, each person is allowed to bring in only one duty free bottle of booze. I don't know whether she paid the duty or not, but I came home with the bottle of bubbly they gave Lili for being a loyal customer of the cruise line.
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We were out of customs in less than 15 minutes, and ended up waiting until 11 for her boyfriend to pick us up. Lili again didn't want to listen to me after her boyfriend told us that he was waiting near pier 92, when I knew how to get there. She kept asking for directions, as well as being confused when there was no clear sight line between us and her car. Although a button fell off of Lili's dress, she was still more than presentable. And she did enjoy wearing the dress. I think that she overcame her fear of looking bad, and started to enjoy the comfort that only a dress could bring a woman - and I think her boyfriend enjoyed it too when he came for us.
Eventually, we got in the car, and Lili dropped me off at my place. The mail I asked to be put on hold (and delivered today) wasn't delivered, so I will need to pick it up on Monday. AARGH! But once I got upstairs, I started to feel ill. And this was the beginning of a day where vomiting and diarrhea would become my primary focus. I was just as glad that the Cat Lady was not free to get together tonight, as my GI Tract would not have been cooperative. And if this were not the case, the severe thunderstorms we had would not have made driving anywhere a pleasant experience. So, laying in bed and trying to rest was the smartest thing to do - and I did that.