A Travellerspoint blog

Ahhhh NEW YORK Then homeward bound.

18th - 22nd October

NEW YORK NEW YORK........

After a quick flight from Washington we arrived in NEW YORK and as expected G was blown away by her first visit to Time square. There were people and lights everywhere (the place was a buzz).
We have not stopped since arriving and have visited all the well known tourist attractions along with a Broadway Show. Although, we did take some time out and visited the 9/11 Garden of Remembrance, a truelly moving experience and quite beautiful. Tomorrow we are heading off to the Statue of Liberty, sadly the statue is closed for internal repairs and will reopen on the 28th October in time for it's 125th anniversary (just our luck!!!!!). The public are still allowed onto the island allowing us the opportunity to get up close and personal with Lady Liberty.

It has been a great trip and we have visited some amazing places, following are a few things that I have noticed about the States (Glenda)

- The people are really polite and courteous towards one another (they look after the elderly!!!!)
- Everyone queues in an orderly manner for everything, no pushing in or you are politely told there is a queue. Yes it happened to us!!!!
- Security is taken extremely seriously we had to run for our Washington Flight after being held up at security (not a pretty sight 2 middle age+
Grandparents running to gate number 42!!!!!)
- You open shop doors outwards
- Light switches are flicked upwards for on
- Most toilets are self flushing, some with such force, you do not want to lean forward at any time whilst seated.
- Hotel mixer taps have a mind of their own (and we are not just talking
about the 3 star hotels)
- Meal portions are usually enough for 2, with free refills of large soda, no wonder most of the population are overweight. New eating habits are
being encouraged with menus having a healthy option alternative
AND finally they drive on the wrong side of the road, very disorientating when you are tired!!!!!!

NOW for RICHARD's RAMBLINGS
-A business you want to be in is American Flag selling.
-A business you don't want to be in is fence building........... No one has
any over here!!!!
A good business to start up ...... A DECENT COFFEE SHOP!!!!!!
-I can't believe the number of takeaway food stores over here .......burgers, Dunkin donuts, burito's, tex mex,j etc etc etc etc. I' m no saint when it comes to eating habits ........... But I have felt like a juice drinking vegan as I have travelled around looking for a GOOD feed.
- Drivers have been quite courteous and understanding. Considering that they wouldn't know I usually drive on the left hand side of the road.
- I never thought I would visit an English speaking country and still be asked to repeat myself as many times as I have, as well as have to ask for others to repeat themselves !!!
- why is it that every time we sat in an New York restaurant, cafe etc I would have George Costanza's mother ( or someone that sounded like her) sitting behind me!!

23rd October
Well after nearly six weeks, thousands of miles travelled and many new places visited we find ourselves sitting in the Burger King at LA airport.
We have just arrived back in LA from New York and are now waiting for our flight home.
By the time you get to read this we should hopefully be home again.
Thanks for following our experiences and hopefully you can find something to replace this blog when you need something to help you sleep!!

SIGNING OFF............ And see you soon (hopefully)
The Naudi's

Posted by naudi's 22:20 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Rounding the home stretch!

Sorry to dump so many days at one time. I'm not sure why our last few postings haven't appeared.

7th & 8th October
After a quiet night in Harrisburg we headed for Gettysburg and our American History lesson. We started with a walking tour which gave us an insight into the workings of the very famous Battle of Gettysburg. We also visited a private museum which covered the civil war through to now. By now the weather turned damp and chilly (Only 50F) so we headed to a Diner for coffee and cake - we needed warming up!!!! G tried the famous Pumpkin Pie which is only made in fall (Very nice lots of spices and the texture of a baked cheese cake). A bit too much for R he ordered the apple pie.

Just in case we didn't have enough history yesterday, we tackled the guided bus tour through the battlefields. R Was desperate to do this tour by segway, (for those who aren't sure what a segway is it's a two wheel contraption for those who are not quite ready for their motorised gopher) thankfully for G the weather had not improved and the bus looked more comfortable. The amazing thing about this area is the way it has been preserved with local houses placed alongside monuments, a great tour which included a film and entry into a museum. We didn't end up leaving Gettysburg until late that afternoon so decided to spend the night in York before heading into Philadelphia. It is still freezing only 48F at least it has stopped drizzling, weather meant to improve, let's hope so!!!!

9th & 10th October

Philadelphia famous for being the Original Capital of the country, Independence Hall, Liberty bell, Sesame street (this is for Lily) and the famous steps in the Rocky Movie. An interesting city with lots of historic buildings and a nice feel, still not as good as Boston. We spent the first day touring the historic sights and learning more about American
history, also visited the famous Liberty Bell ironically made in Britain!!!!! America and Britain didn't have lot of love for one another in those days.

The next morning we set off early to explore the city sights, but first thing on the agenda was breakfast. We found a small cafe around the corner from the hotel and there it was !!!! .............The best coffee I've had in FOUR WEEKS and after covering 4500 MILES it was around the corner! We enjoyed breakfast walked a bit more then stumbled onto Rittenhouse Square gardens. A relatively small park where the locals play with their dogs and just sit to ponder life. Most of the seats throughout these gardens have been donated by families in memory of their loved ones who did just that regularly throughout their lives. It had the most peaceful feel and what a great way to remember your loved one. (I hope Sam & Kelly remember this ???).

Philadelphia has a noticeably large Afro- American population which is maybe why the shops down the famous South Street (similar to Brunswick Street) had a large range of bling in the shop windows. We voted the huge diamond clustered K on a long gold chain the most attractive???..... a lot of the pendants had rings to match as well !! We were expecting a big black Lincoln to pull up where a fur cladded dude jumps out. After meandering around the city for over 7 hours and a bit more shopping (not all G's) we headed back to our apartment for an early dinner and rest.

11th October

Started the day with another coffee and then a quick shop (R got a good bargain yesterday he was desperate to repeat). After another pair of Boss jeans we drove to the Philadelphia Museum of Arts, no, not to experience the culture but to run (perhaps walk) up the steps which appeared in the famous Rocky movie. We had a bit of fun, enjoyed the view back over the city and then headed towards Baltimore.

We drove through Wilmington Delaware, made famous by the DuPont Family, this city looked very depressing so decided to move on to the very pretty historical town of New Castle on the Delaware river. This town was originally founded by the Dutch in the early 1600s with a lot of the old houses still occupied. Some of the streets are still paved with the old cobblestones, the funny thing is if you stuck to the freeway you would miss this little gem. R stumbled upon it whilst reading a forum on Trip Advisor!!!!!. No hotels in New Castle so we decided to move on and spend the night at Newark.

12th October

As it turns out Wilmington also had a hidden gem......The Brandy Wine region. It appears we entered Wilmington on the wrong side of town. How easily you can miss a treasure if your research is not up to date. One of the USA TOP 10 scenic drives starts from Wilmington and winds its way through the Brandy Wine River Valley. The area was made famous because the river falls reasonably quick over a short distance so they were able to drive a number of industries from the power generated from the water flow. We decided to follow the track a few miles and then spent the rest of the day visiting the original site of the DuPont Gun Powder factory. The day was sunny, the site was picturesque and the working displays were really informative. R had a great time going through the Workshop and learning how the gun powder was made. I was surprised that DuPont, after all this time of being in Business (they supplied gun powder during the Civil War), still use their original Logo.

After a great day we headed an hour or so down the road to Baltimore for the night.

13th October
Baltimore is not an overly large city which can be easily navigated by foot so we decided to spend the morning walking the streets, literally!!!! It just happened to be the day of the Baltimore Marathon and a lot of the city had been blocked off for the runners or walkers. The variety of entrants was diverse with all shapes and sizes and levels of fitness, the highest entrants number we saw was 51,843. Not a bad effort considering the full marathon was 42km with runners being able to opt for the half marathon.

Baltimore is the home of George Washington who is buried there and not at Capital Hill,Washington DC in the crib that was originally built for him. The life of Baltimore is positioned by the waterside with apartment and dining areas being developed similar to Melbourne's Docklands. After wandering around we stumbled across a market place that is mainly frequented by Afro- Americans. I think that we were the only white people around, it least it felt that way! We could have sat there and people watched ALL day. We walked the food stall aisles and it was like strolling through a market place in Bangkok! After finding out what Hog Maws (pigs stomachs) and Chitterlings (chicken stomachs) were we headed to Washington (the land of the wailing sirens!!) that afternoon slowly via the traffic jammed freeway.

14 th October

Congratulations Dan on completing your very first Marathon (42kms in a very respectable time!!!!!). Sorry we weren't at the finish line with the rest of the family.

We are now staying in the U District. An area known as the soul centre of Washington. The area that the likes of Duke Ellington and Sarah Vaughn lived. We are experiencing life as a local as our apartment is in a lovely apartment block on T street between 14th & 15th Streets. While the apartment is on the small side, (we actually need to go outside to change our minds!) it is well appointed and in a great area. We have even discovered a supermarket called Whole Foods market that gives La Mannas a run for its money (I know thats a big statement!)

With the weather being so good 20 degrees and sunny we decided to walk the famous mall between Capital Hill and the Lincoln Memorial. A good walk which took, us most of the day. We spent the last few hours visiting the Amerian History Musuem (another Musuem, this place is full of them!!!!!) and then headed home so we could get ready to visit some more museums tomorrow!

15 th October

Up early and headed off to Capital Hill (parliament house). An interesting and historic building to go through but the security screening processes were actually longer then the tour (nearly)!
After the tour we walked around for the obligatory photos and then headed over to the National flight and aeronautical Musuem for the remainder of the day. We viewed some interesting exhibits including the Apollo 11 module, various launch rockets and planes and a replica of the Wright bros. original plane. We then left and headed back to U street for a lovely dinner (finally not the usual fare)

16 th October.

Had a lazy day today which started with a sleep in.
We left home around 11 and made our way to the White House. Somehow they weren't expecting us, so we just had to wander the boundary taking all of our photo's. We made our way to the front to take some more photos when a couple of ladies were quickly shuffled into the secret service cars that were waiting and in true Hollywood style the seven or eight cars sped off past us. A couple of the cars even had their windows down with the secret service guys with their machine guns at the ready .......quite impressive !
After leaving the White House and all the excitement we walked to Georgetown.

Georgetown is the historic part of Washington where a lot of famous people lived. Amongst other important things, It's where JFK purchased a house for Jackie after the birth of their first child, it's where Liz Taylor and the author of Little Women whose name I can't remember lived. The steps that appeared in the last scene of the excorsist movie are also located here, not to mentionn the historic Georgetown University.
The area is also a big shopping area for Washington and believe it or not we only went into a few of them. More importantly we didn't buy anything!!!!
We walked home from Georgetown through DuPont circle and past our favorite supermarket where we purchased a two inch thick New York rib- eye that we BBQ'd for dinner. Our first home cooked meal since we have been away, it was delicious. We deserved it after all the walking we did!!!!!!

Posted by naudi's 18:55 Comments (0)

Amish country

5th October

The following morning we set off to tour through the Ohio chapter of the Amish community. There are two main areas where the Amish communities settled early in their history. One of those areas is the Lancaster area which is SW of New York city. This area, because of its proximity to NY., has been commercialized over the years. It sees big numbers of tourist buses out of NY, so we decided to head SW from Niagra Falls into Ohio.

The day was about 18-20 deg. With the sun shining so it was quite pleasant driving through the green rolling hills admiring the views. We had to drive carefully so as not to come over a hill and straight into the back of a horse and cart that the Amish use for transportation. We passed a teenage boy cutting the corn using a horse drawn slasher, local schools with the children dressed in their Amish attire and mums and dads doing their daily business. We visited the towns of Sugarcreek, Berlin, Millersburg and Charm. (Which was a bit out of the way and definately had the largest number of Amish out and about). That afternoon we made our way across to the town of Washington Pensylvania where we bunked down for the night.

6th October.
We originally wanted to make Gettysburg today, however the town was booked out and being a Sat. Night we had to book into a town called Harrisburg Pensylvania. Harrisburg is the capital of Pensylvania and like Canberra not a great deal to do there (R's perspective). So after arriving there around two o'clock and doing a quick drive around we decided to park the car by the river and go for a walk in the Autumn sunshine. As we were walking around we came across the home ground of the Harrisburg Senators, the local baseball team. There was a crowd gathering so we decided to investigate and found that they were holding college scholarship trials for the states highschool hopefuls, it was by invitation only. With nothing better to do, we found a seat in the sun and watched a trial match amongst the talent scouts from universities all over the country. It was great to just chill out and watch these guys who were in either year 11 and 12

Posted by naudi's 17:41 Archived in USA Comments (0)

New England to Amish country

23 °F

1st October
We left Boston around 2-30pm and made our way north west approx 150 miles up into the New England region. We settled in the small township of Lee in a motel with a room overlooking a small picturesque lake. Lee gave us the opportunity to get some laundry done as well as G nails and R an opportunity to have a look through a hardware and lumber yard...yeah!!

2nd & 3rd October.
After our easy morning in Lee we set off on our scenic tour of the Berkshires. A small county in New England littered with these tiny pretty towns straight out of Hollywood movies. Every second house displayed the American flag, with the occasional residence having set up for the Halloween festivities coming up on the 31 st. The whole area is set in low hills covered in trees that are presently changing to their Autumn colours, literally a sea of reds, browns, yellows and green.
After touring the district we began a 5 hour drive, eventually making our way into Canada and Niagra Falls. We booked into the Marriott hotel with a huge room (suite) overlooking the Falls. We were on the 20th floor with an amazing view of the Horseshoe falls, you could here the roar of the water when standing near the window. We spent sometime the next morning walking to different vantage points and soaking up this amazing spectacle.

That afternoon we headed south through more picture postcard country (fall really is beautiful in this part of the country). Had lunch in a small country town diner in Warsaw (another first for this trip) and generally meandered our way to Williamsport for the night. There is not much happening after dark in this town, however, we managed to stumble upon this very tiny cafe that specialized in Greek food, another first for us in the US as Greek food is not that popular with the Americans. The lady that took your order, served you the drinks and cooked your food, she did an amazing job. R said the baklava was as good as his mums!!!!!! During summer she shuts shop and takes a small group of locals on a tour of Greece. Once she has finished the tour she goes back to her little villa on a small isolated island and spends the rest of the summer painting and relaxing.
After dinner we spent about half an hour just drinking our coffe and chatting with her.

4th October

Started the car this morning to find the Maintenance Required light on, not a good start considering we were in a relatively small city. Made the call to the Rental Company only to be told the car was not due for a service so we could either go out of our way to a depot and change the vehicle, organize to have the oil changed or just keep driving as no harm will be done. Guess what option we took ....yep, we are still driving heading for the Amish community in Ohio a good 5 hour drive.
Since arriving over on the east coast we have visited the states of Conneticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Ontario (Canada), Pennsalvania and Ohio, We have only been traveling in the east since the 28th.
Halfway through our drive we stopped in Hubbard for lunch. Again a small town, so we picked a small (so we thought) cafe in the main street. We walked in and to our surprise it was like the local RSL. Groups of old ladies playing bridge, Mothers having lunch and students sitting in the middle of the cafe doing homework while on the Internet....a real town hub!
We left Hubbard and a couple of hours later arrived in New Philadelphia, settled into a motel ready for our drive around the Ohio state Amish community tomorrow.

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Posted by naudi's 20:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

East coast touring

19 °F

28 th September

We spoke too soon!!!!!!! Once we collected our hire car the heavens opened up, it was pouring with rain and our trip to Newport was very slow and dreary. It was a difficult drive with R only having had a few hours sleep and the weather causing all traffic to slow down to 20 mph.
We shouldn't complain as up until today the weather had been great.

We finally arrived in Newport and bedded down for the night we were both exhausted. Newport RI is such a picturesque town, we thought it may have been a bit glitzy considering it's notoriety, we were surprised. It is a Tourist haven for the locals, however, it has all the charm of a small seaside port. A few of the old mansions along the cliff face are open to the public others remain in private hands. If you picture a row of Werribee mansions one after the other you will get the picture. R was suitable impressed with the Yachts in the harbour and not to mention the ones that were for sale!!!!!
After wandering around for most of the day we headed towards Boston.

29th & 30th September

Boston -a sister city to Melbourne and very similar in many ways, a city steeped in history, what can we say, we loved it. G's oncologist spent a year here doing research at the renowned Cancer Research Center a couple of years ago and he said we would enjoy Boston, how right he was!!!!!! It was still raining so we started our day off with an on/off tour to get our bearings and found that it was easy to get around on foot. Our first stop was a tour of the USS Constitution which R found intriguing, he was in awe of the ships workings and mass of sails. The weather had improved by early afternoon so we decided to walk back to our hotel which was situated a block back from the popular Common Gardens. The Cheers Bar is also sitauted across from the Gardens so we popped in there for a trip back into memory lane.

Most of the houses in inner city are very similar to east Melbourne, so you can imagine how enjoyable it was to walk around. As it was still early and the although a bit cool, the weather has gone from a hot 36 to a cool 15 in only a matter of days, we decided to do the 3 mile Freedom Trail walk. The Bostonians do the tourist thing really well!!!!!! Whilst we were on the walk we came across a Police Road block with around 30 onlookers on one corner and the same kind of press numbers on the other corner. R asked the police officer what was going on and to our amazement Romney was in the building across the road. Who would have thought!!!! We continued along the trail over the river and found that the back of the building was also being patrolled by the water police. We completed the walk and was heading back when as we passed the road block again Romney was leaving, with a wave to the media he jumped into his vehicle and was off with a full Police and security escort. R managed to get a couple of photos, who knows if he is elected President in November? it will be the closest we ever get to a US president.

Prior to leaving Boston we had another quick walk around the site of the Boston Tea Party and then we drove off to the Berkshire area in New England

Posted by naudi's 06:30 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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