9/11/2001 started off as a beautiful morning for my wife and I. We have been honeymooning in Florida and it was our last day in a warm and relaxing place. We finished packing up early in the morning and decided to go out for some last minute shopping before heading to the airport to catch our flight home to Boston. Things spiraled into a frenzy from there when we found out while at a shopping mall that 2 planes had hit the World Trade Center.
Soon after the 2nd plane hit the building, we knew that our flight would be impacted. We just didn’t know at that time by how much. We quickly decided to go to the airport to see how we can deal with the situation. Once at the airport, we returned our rental car. Our flight was marked as delayed on the departure board. As we waited at the airport, the FAA announced the grounding off all planes in the US. That was when we saw army personals with large assault riffles marched through the airport and order everyone to evacuate the airport. Everybody went into a panic mode and we were asked to walk and stay on the highway leading to the airport while they combed the airport for explosive devices. After couple of hours, they slowly let people back into the airport. We were told that we could go to the boarding gate only to have to turn back to the outside of the security areas. The airline literally had no idea when our flight could take off and so we waited. We ended up sleeping at the airport that day because the airline kept thinking that we could take off as soon as they get a go ahead.
We had no luck re-booking any flights back to Boston and we were stuck in Florida for 3 more days. On the 4th day, we determined that flying from FL to MA is not going to happen so we made up our mind to rent a car and drive back to Boston by ourselves. The entire trip back to almost 3 days. During that long journey, we drove though a strong storm with hails. What made the trip unforgettable was that during the drive through Pennsylvania and New York, we could actually see some lingering smokes from the plane clash sites and the demolished World Trade Center from far away. It was such a sad and surreal moment that made us reflect on the magnitude of the event even more.