Friday, January 02, 2004

[Continental Drive: day 10] From New York to San Diego

Back to San Diego!
It was the final day of our journey. From San Diego to New York. It was really exciting and impressive experiment for me. Though we still worried about whether our flight was safe or not for terror, once we were on the flight, we can do nothing. Actually our flight was comfortable and arrived at Las Vegas, which is our transit airport, and San Diego on time. I thank all people to exert themselves to keep airlines, roads, and cities safe. We were also very lucky about whether condition. Though it was sometimes cloudy, we didn't have any snows or storms.

Lastly, I recorded our travel imformation.

Start: San Diego, Stop: El Paso
Visited: Downtown of Tuson, Saguaro National Park, Whitesands National Monument, El Paso Intl' Airport, Downtown of El Paso
Departure time: 1:00am Arrived time: 7:30pm
Mileage: 925miles

Start: El Paso, Stop: Houston
Visited: Mexico, Ozona, San Antonio (The Alamo, Canal Street), Vicinity of W.P.Hobby Airport
Departure time: 7:00am Arrived time: 7:30pm
Mileage: 800miles (1725miles)

Start: Houston, Stop: New Orleans
Visited: Galveston Island, NASA Johnson Space Center, Uptown of Houston, French Quarter
Depature time: 8:00am Arrived time: 8:00 pm (Return from French Quarter at ???)
Mileage: 470miles (2195miles)

Start: New Orleans, Stop: New Orleans
Toured New Orleans & around Mississippi River
Departure time: 8:00am Arrived time: ???
Mileage: 260miles (2455miles)

Start: New Orleans, Stop: Savannah
Visited: Lake Pontchatrain, Jacksonville, Atlantic beach
Departure time: 6:30pm Arrived time: 9:30pm
Mileage: 740miles (3195miles)

Start: Savannah, Stop: Washington D.C.
Visited: Downtown of Savannah, Fayetteville, Alexandria Old Town
Departure time: 7:30am Arrived time: 7:30pm
Mileage: 620miles (3815miles)

Start: Washington D.C., Stop: Maryland City
Visited: National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, Dulles Intl' Airport, Sheridan Circle
Departure time: 9:00am Arrived time 8:00pm
Mileage: 125miles (3940miles)

Start: Maryland City, Stop: Edison, NJ
Saw: New Jersey Turnpike, Manhattan, Liberty State Park
Departure time: 8:00am Arrived time: 7:30pm
Mileage: 410miles (4350miles)

Start: Edison, Stop: New York City
Visited: Highlands Beach, Asbury Park, Palisades State Park, Westport, Manhattan (Ground Zero)
Departure time: 6:00am Arrived time: 5:00pm
Mileage: 290miles (4640miles)

Start: New York City End: John F. Kennedy Intl' Airport
Departure time: 6:00am Arrived time: 6:30am
Mileage: 20miles (4660miles)

Back by Flight JFK - LAS - SAN

Thursday, January 01, 2004

[Continental Drive: day 9] New York

First sunrise from the Atlantic Ocean @ Highland Bearch, New Jersey
Instead of countdown in Times Square, we slept early and got up early in the New Year's morning to watch the first sunrise!
Last night we stayed the motel in Edison, New Jersey. One of the reasons was to avoid terror related troubles and another reason was easy to go beaches in Atlantic Ocean.

For Japanese, first sunrise of the year is special. It is a kind of spiritual event called "Hatsuhi-no-de" in Japan. Many Japanese wake up early in the New Year's morning to watch the first sunrise and pray to sun for their annual fortunes or wishes. Many places which have a great view of sunrise are always crowded with many people at New Year's Day in Japan.
I also like to go to see "Hatsuhi-no-de". Especially, I like sunrise from the ocean!
Now, I live in California. So I can never see the sunrise from the sea in the west coast. (I can see sunset to the ocean everyday.) But at that time I was in the east coast!

We went to Highland Beach in New Jersey. There were a few Asian people at that time. I felt I kept whole beach to myself. It was good weather condition. The sunrise was really beautiful one I have ever seen.

Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ
Asbury Park is also located in the east coast of New Jersey. I wanted to visit there, because there is famous as hometown of Bruce Springsteen, American popular rock singer. I love his songs and his live performances. The Stone Pony is known as the live house he has played many times. Out visiting time was morning of New Year's Day. No one was in there. But I was happy to visit that town.

Palisades State Park
In the daytime we drove along the Palisades State Park, which is in the opposite side of the Hudson River from Manhattan Island. We saw great views with George Washington Bridge. After that, we re-entered Manhattan Island from north side because we found free route in north side. (You have to pay some toll fee to enter NYC from other directions.)

Manhattan, again (Ground Zero: site of World Trade Center)
We had reserved the hotel in the south downtown area of lower Manhattan. The hotel was close to Wall Street and Ground Zero, the site of World Trade Center. We parked our car in hotel and then we walked around Ground Zero.

I seriously mourn for the dead people.

I hate all kinds of terrorism, murder, war and every killing incident.
In front of Ground Zero, the list of victims of 9.11 is displayed. But I felt something wrong when I found the word "list of heroes" in that board.
They were not heroes. They were victims. No one wanted to die at September 11. 2001.
They were victims of terrorism. They might be victims of International conflict.
I know, it is a kind of propaganda. But I have no idea why New Yorkers still allow such propaganda.
Recently people in US are easy to set up someone as "hero".
Now, I hate that word.

We also walked around Buttery Park. I found the impressive icon there. It was conceived as a symbol of world peace and stood in the plaza of World Trade Center at first. Now, the Sphere is placed as a memorial to all who lost their lives at 9.11.

I want to believe this Sphere will be unbroken and exist as a symbol of WORLD PEACE, forever.