WOW! What a week! My ship was moored in Uptown Manhattan, right across from the Intrepid at Pier 88 for Fleet Week 2006. It was awesome. I did so much stuff, all in uniform, wearing the crappiest dress shoes of all time. It all started with the primere of X Men 3 on the ship the night before we got there, and 3 days before it was in theaters. I never saw 1 or 2, so 5 minutes into 3 I was lost. So instead I took advantage of an empty berthing and shaved my legs. The next day was the trip up the river to NYC, and 3 of the stars of the movie - Hallie Barry, Hugh Jackman and Kelcey Grammer - came on board to ride with us. It was really cool - I met all three of them and got pictures with them. (see it here: 'http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-24-xmen-fleet-week_x.htm?POE%3dLIFISVA'); Then we went up to man the rails (on the ship). We stood up there for 3 hours, but it sure looked cool! That picture was taken as we passed downtown Manhattan. That night we went to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner - some of the people we went with collect the t-shirts and stuff. It was pretty fun. I think the best part was when we were milling about outside and tourists wanted to pose for pictures with us! Suddenly we were a tourist attraction!
The next day I had duty - and we had about 1000 civillians tour the ship. Little did we know that would be the lowest number of any day; we had a total of more than 40,000 people tour by the end of the week, upwards of 10,000 a day over Memorial Day Weekend! After getting off duty (Allow me to mention that my family visited on my duty day - I will write more about that later!) I was with a group invited to attend the live taping of the View. You know, that lady talk show with Barbara Walters and Joy Somebody... It was great! Hallie Barry was the guest, and she actually spoke about being on the ship the day before! After the show I talked my liberty buddy, Sonya, to go to the MoMA with me. On the way we stopped for lunch at an Italian resturant. Just as we were ordering a woman walked over and Thanked us for our service and told us that she was paying for our lunch! She was so generous that while we were waiting on our meal and eating bread she brought over the pizza she had ordered and insisted we each eat a slice as an appetizer! A very touching gesture! To walk off our delicious lunch we were off to the Museum (of Modern Art) It seemed like I had already seen all the pictures! There were Dali's, and Monet's, and Van Gough's! Andy Warhal and fabulous sculptures and photos! It was inspiring. (I would put a photo here but the blogger is acting funny - I'll finish this on Saturday; I have duty again tomorrow!)