Just before school started this year, Victoria Alvarez-Brito and her husband, Mario, took their children on a weeklong vacation to Cancún, Mexico. It was a yearly ritual: pick a part of the world and explore it.
In the past, the family had traveled to the Dominican Republic and to Disney World, in Florida. Next year, the Britos were planning to visit the Netherlands. 'She wanted to get to know Europe, and we have relatives in Holland, so that was a good place to start,' Mr. Brito said.
During the Cancún vacation, the Britos took pictures and made a video. Watching the video or putting the pictures in the album with the children, Jamie, 8 and Raúl, 5, was sometimes as fun as the vacation itself. On Monday, Sept. 10, Mr. Brito took the pictures to be developed. On Tuesday, Sept. 11, Mrs. Alvarez-Brito, 38, left home early for the long commute from Elmhurst, Queens, to her job in the finance department of Marsh & McLennan in the World Trade Center.
Mrs. Alvarez-Brito promised her daughter she would get cod on the way home from work that night to cook her favorite meal, cod and potatoes in a thick creole sauce. 'She didn’t get to see the pictures,' Mr. Brito said. 'Now we can’t bear to watch that video.'