Tuesday, 16 October 2012
So we got a lot done in the last five days of our trip, despite the fact that I was so excited to come home I couldn't really concentrate on much! The day after I last wrote was spent in Salem (I have never seen so many pumpkins in one place) and in Boston. Both places were really enjoyable, after so many interstates and theme parks it was really nice to see a bit of history and something a bit different. Salem was really beautiful and old fashioned and obviously had witchy stuff EVERYWHERE including a statue of Samantha from Bewitched. We saw the memorial to the people that were killed in the witch trials and it had fresh roses on it and the final words of the victims so it was really interesting. Driving between there and Boston was a bit of a nightmare but I used the time wisely and spent the 15 miles counting how many Dunkin Donuts we drove past - I got into double figures. It's true what they say, America runs on Dunkin.
Boston was really nice too, much more Italian then I realised it would be, and all the historical stuff was going on about somebody called Paul telling everybody that the British were coming, so I took that a bit personally. Other than that awkwardness it was a really nice place and we enjoyed strolling around the streets until it got too chilly and we retreated.
The next day was our last big drive between there and New York, and in honour of this fact it poured it down all day long. We did decide to treat ourselves to huge hot chocolates/coffees and were so pleased when we took them up to pay and we were told it was complimentary! Absolute highlight of the day! The drive into and through NY was as horrific as I thought it would be and we were very pleased to get to our motel at the end of it. We spent Thursday being massive tourists and trying to dash round all the things we wanted to see. Managed to see the Met (or some of it as it is huge!) as well as watching them film Gossip Girl for a while. We then went for a stroll in Central Park as it was a beautiful day, and had a trip on the Staten Island Ferry and gawped at the New York skyline and at the Statue of Liberty as well as making friends with a nice old couple. From there we went to see Ground Zero and despite normally having to apply online for a visitors permit it was quite empty so we managed to get in. It was surprisingly subtle considering the memorials we saw in Washington but it was really moving and also quite peaceful. We were near Chinatown and also dinnertime at this point so went to explore the dumplings. I mean area.
I will be honest now and say that although we did have one more day in New York it pretty much passed by in a complete daze because all I could think about was the fact that we were actually coming home! My tummy was so full of butterflies that I didn't eat or sleep from Thursday evening onwards and Saturday was hell because our first flight wasn't until 850pm and I couldn't wait. My only consolation was that once we were on the plane they had all the Lord of the Rings films on the little screens so I was able to watch that and doze a bit. Our second flight was slightly delayed and caused me no end of frustration when it looped round Heathrow FOUR TIMES before finally landing and bringing us home! Sean's entire family were there to meet us off the plane and it was so exciting to see them all and have lots of cuddles and kisses from all the kids. Just as exciting was the roast dinner waiting for us... I've never been so pleased to see broccoli after the delights of American cuisine!
It is really weird to be back, although a good kind of weird I think. Am really looking forward to getting round and seeing everyone and then I think I will really feel like I'm properly back home and back in the real world. It has been a really amazing trip and I'm so glad that we went and saw all these things that I never knew existed, but there is definitely no place like home, and no bed quite as nice as mine!
Thanks to everyone for reading my blog, I hope my obsession with toilets hasn't been too annoying for anyone!
Lots of love
Monday, 8 October 2012
I have to confess... I thought it had been about 4 days since my last blog, and then this morning Sean informed me it has actually been well over a week! I have lost all concept of time I think.
So, we were in Florida last time and had driven 6500 miles. We have now achieved 8500 miles and in all that time you would think that we would have become accustomed to American driving. However, not a day goes past where we don't have a near death experience or at the very least have to use some pretty rude words (I never aim them at the people in case I get shot as you never know in this country).
Since Florida we have been working our way north, and one of our days driving was along the blue ridge parkway, which is apparently one of the most scenic and beautiful drives in the country. I say apparently because we didn't see any of it. After 2 solid months of sunshine the weather finally caught up with us and threw everything at us. We spent the whole route stuck in cloud so thick that we couldn't even see the trees at the side of the road. The only plus point was that it provided excellent cover for toilet breaks as it is pretty remote round there.
Our next big destination was Washington DC, which I was pretty excited about as I was looking forward to being a proper tourist, walking around taking pictures of everything and getting in everyone's way. I wasn't disappointed, and we had a great day looking at the White House (Obama wasn't at home, he was in Denver for the presidential debate) and I have to say it's a pretty nice house. We also saw the Washington monument, the Vietnam War Memorial, and my favourite which was the Lincoln Memorial. Size really does matter over here, and I'm not sure if they've heard the word subtlety but it was all very impressive anyway. We also went to the natural history museum, where we didn't learn anything at all. Wished we had gone to the gallery next door as it looked amazing but we had already run out of time. While we were in the area we also went to Annapolis, where we saw the state building and a hand-written draft of George Washington's resignation speech. Plus we saw the hugest bug I've ever seen. All in all a successful day trip!
From Washington we drove onwards to Ohio to a theme park (last one I promise!) This was my chance to understand what I had put Sean through at Disney as we were there for 13 hours and it was FLIPPING FREEZING. We had to run back to the car at one point to dig out our gloves and more layers as the park is right out on Lake Erie. To be fair the rides were brilliant but it was a long day!
Next day we went to Niagara Falls, which I was actually a bit disappointed with at first as it didn't look that big from where we were standing, but then we went on the 'Maid of the Mist' which is the boat trip which takes you right up to the falls and I had to change my mind after seeing them properly- they were amazing! Despite the woman who used the top of my head as a tripod to lean on while she took pictures.
I'll leave it at that for now, as I only have 5 days left of the entire trip and I'll need something to write in the final episodes!
Lots of love