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Today the brave group Lexi, Sam, Erica S, Jenna and I (Max) took the PATH to Hoboken, New Jersey to score some of the one and only Buddy’s, the Cake Boss, pastries. The Cake Boss is a show on the TLC network that showcases the trials and tribulations of Buddy Valastro and his family of running this ever busier bakery; Carlo’s Bakery, where they make amazingly creative and delicious cakes for their customers. Some of  the things that were bought among group members were Lobster tails (the pastry, because everyone keeps thinking we got up at 5 in the morning to go get real lobster tails from a bakery….in New Jersey), donuts, cupcakes, two pound tray of cookies and a individual cheesecake. Since Hoboken is across the river from Manhattan, we were able to see the skyline during the sunrise on a clear day. T’was glorious. The other members of our group had other plans. Trina and Erica W went out to breakfast at Good Enough to Eat, with Erica’s cousin. Gary and Kateri seized the opportunity for some additional much needed shut eye.

Constant running around and little sleep finally caught up with many. Getting this much done on 5-6 hours of sleep is exhausting, but with a little help from good ole caffeine we manage.

The group of 10 returned back to GMHC on Tuesday to get a little more hands on volunteer experience. We, alongside regular volunteers, served lunch to the members of GMHC. Assembly line style, we each manned a certain station and got the chance to chat with people there. GMHC generously offers all of their volunteers free lunch, which as we all agree is delicious. Our lunch breaks us gave an opportunity to really connect with people; to hear their stories and watch them as they light up to hear ours. Everyone has a story and they are all different, because HIV/AIDS has no face. Me personally, I really loved how an awful disease/condition could really bring people together. Everyone was social and nice. But what really stuck out was their appreciation. They always went out of their way to genuinely thank us and were so happy to have us there.

Next on the list was the 9/11 Memorial. On Tuesday nights the museum is free but that also means that is becomes full very early on, even 14 something years later. This really speaks not only to the quality of the memorial, but also the impact it has had not only on New Yorkers but Americans as a whole. Unfortunately, we did not get in. But outside still stands two massive pit fountains which are encircled by marble which bares the names of the 3,000 of the lives lost etched into its cold surface. It was truly touching and moving with its quite, yet powerful symbolism. Weirdly enough Brussels suffered from a terrorist attack on the same day we visited the memorial, and in the survivor tree (the only tree that survived the 9/11 attack) were a letter of condolence and the flag of Belgium.

The rest of the night also followed suit and did not go to plan. The restaurant we planned on going to was far too busy for a group of 10, but being the resilient Midwesterners we are, we found another place to eat; the Shake Shack. The name of their game is simply awesome burgers and decadent shakes. There seems to be a pattern when we all sit down to eat. We talk waiting ever so patiently until our food arrives, as soon as it arrives the sound of people trying to get that last bit of food into their mouths is the only hear you’ll hear. I mean do you blame us with the amount of walking we do on a daily basis here?

Stomachs full and eyes glossy, we all decided it was time to retire for the day.