A two week trip featuring New York
  • Day5

    July 4th in Washington, DC

    July 4, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Today we continue our touring of the Capital. We have a tour of the Capital Building pre-booked for 11:40. On arrival we encounter the inevitable security check.

    I am told that I can’t bring in fruit. I have three beautiful green apples in my daypack. I can’t bear the thought of throwing them into the trash can so I put them on a ledge, hoping a poor homeless type might come along and appreciate my offering.

    Unfortunately, a stern faced security officer with the build of a jungle gorilla, isn’t so thoughtful and repeats his demand that I throw them into the trash!

    Once inside the building we need to go through an airport type screening. My backpack gets red flagged. After searching frantically through the 14 pockets I have in my backpack, they find my weapon of destruction - a small, but very dangerous pocket knife. They don’t want it. They insist that I go back outside and throw it in the trash can along with my apples. Apparently, they don’t allow knitting needles either!

    By now we are ten minutes late for our guided tour. Luckily, they sympathize and allow us to join the 11:50 tour. We start with a very informative video on the history of the USA and how the current system of government came to be. We then go through the beautiful interior of the building. Our guide is very knowledgeable and we learn some more historical facts. I’m impressed with our guide’s knowledge. But I suppose I’d know a lot too if I did this numerous times a day time for years.

    After the formal tour ends we continue on our own to the Library of Congress. It too is a spectacular building. And contains millions of books and documents, many rare, many dating back to the 1800’s.

    It’s now time to go for lunch. We find a nice little, organic restaurant serving prepared sandwiches and wraps. It is just a short walk away which takes us through a beautiful, historic neighbourhood with heritage houses dating back to the late 1800’s.

    From here we decide to head back on the Metro to Arlington, where our hotel is located, to check out the Arlington Memorial Ceremony where JFK and 100’s of thousands of servicemen and their families are buried. It’s extremely hot but we make the pilgrimage to JFK’s gravesite.

    Back at the hotel, some of us go for a swim or workout and then enjoy the 5:30 - 7:30 Happy Hours. Around 8:00 we walk to Longbridge Park to take in the July 4th fireworks. They were spectacular, however, we were a bit too far away to get the full effect.

    Our day ends with a stop at Whole Foods near the hotel for cold and healthy beverages.
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  • Day4

    Visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum

    July 3, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Today we started with our Embassy Suite all you can eat gourmet breakfast spread. Absolutely love the custom omelette offering. Soon after we walked a short distance to catch the Metro train to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. A bit crowded at the start, but a very interesting (albeit, at times, very disturbing) account and display of the events leading up to the holocaust and the atrocities that occurred during that time.

    When we left the museum, although it was still at least 90 degrees outside, it was also raining! Didn't last long though. We walked to a nearby mall where we found a food fair and had our lunch. The Columbia vs England group of 16 game was on and we were able to watch it for a short time. Until a fire alarm went off and we were all evacuated. We headed back to the hotel and arrived just in time to watch the penalty shootout at the end of the game.

    At 5:30 we went down to the hotel lobby to enjoy the free drinks and snacks which are offered daily at Embassy Hotels every day between 5:30 and 7:30. To end the day we walked to Fashion City where the kids and Laura shopped for an hour or so.
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  • Day1

    We Arrive at the Big Apple

    June 30, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Today begins our 18th consecutive summer vacation. It could well be our last as a full family with Emma moving on to university and the boys both getting busier in their personal lives.

    It's just after 7:45 and we head out for our first stop. The Tim's in Mill Bay. With our food and coffee to go we continue on and arrive in time to catch the 10:00 ferry out of Swartz Bay. From there it's to Park 'n Fly and then to check in with Phillipine Airlines for our 5 hr flight to NYC.

    The flight is awesome. Non-stop to NYC. Lots of leg room. Good food and drinks. Departure and arrival on schedule. Then a hiccup. We are stuck on the plane after landing for about 1 1/2 hrs before the plane reaches the terminal and we can leave. Then we still need to clear customs, board the Airtrain to get to our car rental company, fill in the paperwork to get the car and drive for over an hour to get to our hotel in Jersey. By the time we do all that it is now 1 am! We are exhausted. I am too wound up to sleep so I watch some World Cup soccer before finally calling it a night around 2:30.

    The following morning we struggled a bit to get going but made our way down to the Statue Cruises departure point to catch a boat to tour the Statue of Liberty. The heat is overwhelming already, even though it's only 11:00 am. After clearing the checkpoints and a short wait we are on the boat. The first stop is Ellis Island, the point of arrival for an estimated 12 million immigrants into America. We decide to continue on to the Statue and visit the island later.

    After another security check we walk a corridor and enter the base of the enormous Statue of Liberty structure. We climb the first set of steps to the viewing platform where we take a short break before going up the steeper, spiral staircase that takes you to the crown. Although the inside of the statue has AC, it gets progressively hotter as you climb higher. Finally, we reach our destination and enjoy the view before heading back down. At the base there is a small, but interesting museum outlining the history and work involved in building this amazing structure.

    Next stop for our first day of travel was Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, nearby. It took a bit longer than expected to drive the short distance because of the heavy volume of traffic and numerous traffic lights. We lucked out and were able to find a free parking spot near the bakery. We each picked out a pastry and headed back to the hotel.

    By now we are all hungry so we head a short distance to have dinner at Top's Diner. We all picked an item off the menu which must have had at least 50 meal choices. Our meals arrived quickly and we were all very impressed with the quality and the quantity of our meals. Most of us struggled to finish.
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