Archive for May, 2010

Day 19 (Sunday 30 May) Washington

The big news over here is oil spill and BP’s inability to plug the flow. On the  news this morning is the fact that the latest attempt has failed and the next step is unknown.

Today we visited the Washington National Cathedral – caught the subway (we are really getting the hang of this!). It took 83 years to complete the cathedral and it is the second largest cathedral in the country.

We then caught the train back to the Capitol Building (couldn’t get too close as they had set up a stage in front of it to hold the Memorial Day concert which was being held tonight.

We then visited the Museum of Natural History and visited some of the relatives! Also saw the Hope Diamond.

Again – it was soooo hot – and tomorrow is going to be hotter!!!! Then out to dinner with Ceri and Allen again – we had a lovely time; it was sad to say goodbye but we promised keep in touch.

One more day in Washington and another action packed day planned. See you later. N&W

Day 18 (Saturday 29 May) Washington

Last night we had dinner with friends (Ceri and Allen) at a lovely restaurant called the Tabard Inn (very English). It was a lovely evening chatting and relaxing.

Ceri volunteered to be our Guide for today so we met up mid-morning and set off for the subway (we are getting good at this subway thing) with the first stop being Arlington Cemetery. Monday is a public holiday for Memorial Day (like our ANZAC Day) so many of the locals have gone away and a lot of tourists have moved in. One group that have moved in are former Vietnam Veterans (on their Harley Davidson motorcycles). In previous years around 16,000 motorcyclists have arrived to take part in a parade on the Sunday as a form of respect and acknowledgement for those who fought in the Vietnam war. They are expecting a similar turnout tomorrow (Sunday here). There were a large number of people at the cemetery and we saw John F Kennedy’s grave site. In addition we went through the house used by General Robert E Lee which overlooks Arlington.

We then went back to the subway and went out to Georgetown. Had lunch in a lovely little French restaurant and then wandered down to Washington Harbour on the Potomac River and viewed the Kennedy Centre and the Watergate building.

From there we went back into Georgetown and onto Georgetown University. The buildings in Georgetown are lovely and the University was impressive and expansive.

Another wonderful day. More walking and exploring planned for tomorrow. Stay tuned. N&W

Scenes from Arlington Cemetery, Washington Harbour and the Potomac River, Georgetown and Georgetown University

Day 17 (Friday 28 May) Washington

So today we have spent the day looking through some of the Smithsonian Museums – Aerospace, the Castle and the Archives (Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution). We also walked around and took in the buildings.

I forgot to tell you what happened yesterday. We walked to the White House initially on our afternoon walk. After a while Norm had developed a blistered so we stopped to put a band-aid. Just as we were putting it on security started yelling at us to move and that we had 1 minute to do so. We moved obviously and then we were told to get of the mall – again we did so – a few minutes later the President’s car came through flanked by the Secret Service – that created some excitement for us!

Presidential entourage from Day 16

We are now getting ready to have dinner with a friend who has moved over here – so that should be a very pleasant evening. (Now we are back on track with the blog too!!) Signing off for today. N&W

Day 16 (Thursday 27 May) Washington Part 2

Right so where did we leave off? Ok so we were up at 5:30am finalised packing and off to Penn Station to catch the 8:00am train to Washington. The train took around 3 hours and was very relaxing.

I digress for a moment – I haven’t said much about the weather – Wednesday in NY was very hot 92 degrees (3 degrees off all time record set in late 1800’s) when we left a cool change had come in. When we hit Washington was it hot – I know I am getting older and being hot is just one of consequences of the ageing process !!! but let me tell you it was warm here and the locals were feeling it too.

Anyway we arrived at Union Station – fantastic building and had lunch here – at the same time we got some tour brochures and decided to do the night tour of Washington starting at 7:00pm.

We then checked into the Hotel (very nice) unpacked and decided to walk around. That is when we noticed the heat and humidity – but we persisted. We walked around and ended up at Union Station where we took our evening tour of Washington which was great.

There are so many school students around at this time of year – doing end of school year trips.

So home really late (just as a thunderstorm was starting). That is all for now. N&W.

Day 16 (Thursday 27 May) Washington

Well for those of you following this blog you are going to have to wait for a detailed update on today’s adventures. After starting out at 5:30am this morning we have only just returned to the Hotel after a quick check in around lunchtime. It is now 11:00pm and I just need to get some sleep so the blog will be updated in the morning. Catch you later. N&W

Special Notice

Dear All

Thank you to everyone who has been sending in comments. I have been posting your comments on the blog with a comment to you from me. I hope you have been getting them. I have just realised that you have not been getting an email directly (maybe it is the way I set it up initially). If you make a comment on day your comments and mine will be shown on that day. If you make a comment under the button commenting on this blog your comments and mine will be listed here. Hope everyone is well and that you are enjoying our exploits!

 LoL. N&W

Day 15 (Wednesday 26 May) New York

A change of pace today. We took a tour of Harlem this morning  visiting a local church and participating in a local gospel service. The singing was very uplifting. After the service we had a tour of area and given a commentary on the area. Today the population of Harlem is now 30% white and other nationalities and the remaining 70% consists of African and African-Americans. The area is now becoming a sought after location for many people to live as housing is more affordable here.

We then returned to the city and had a further look around visiting Saks and Macy’s and I visited the Girl Scout shop. We are now in the process of packing up as we leave New York early tomorrow morning as we travel to Washington. So on that note we will sign off and our next post will be from Washington. Bye for now. N&W

Day 14 (Tuesday 25 May) New York

Well today was certainly a day and a half! We were up at 6:00am and after an early breakfast started out for the subway! A couple of false starts initially and then we were right. We went to South Wharf and caught the ferry to see the Statue and Ellis Island (so many people – and it was early!) in the end we decided not to tour Ellis Island instead opting for the subway again and a trip to Brooklyn. We came out near the Brooklyn Museum and found a small Greek cafe called Teddy’s where we had something for lunch. Then we walked around the outskirts of the Botanical Gardens and the Prospect Zoo until we came to some strip shopping and some fantastic brownstone residences/apartments (where people in Brooklyn live). The street numbering here is similar to New York proper 1st, 2nd, 3rd Avenue etc. We walked down a part of 7 th Avenue and back up 5th Avenue and then got back on the subway and back to Manhattan Island – we then decided to visit the Rockefeller centre and take a look at the city skyline (the photos taken unfortunately were not as good as I had hoped as I needed to use the video camera as the battery on my camera had run out! and don’t bother asking how this happened – this question has already been raised here – as brilliant as I am sometimes I have a lapse in concentration!!!!!!) anyway it was still great to visit. We then walked back to our Hotel and had half an hour to freshen up before heading back up to Broadway to see Mary Poppins. The show was fantastic (amazing stage settings, props and technical work) and the performers were brilliant.

So all in all a great way to spend my 52nd birthday (and one I am sure to remember!). I am a bit tired now (Norm has nodded off) so goodnight from here (and more things planned for tomorrow!) Love N&W

Scenes from New York and Brooklyn

Day 13 (Monday 24 May) New York

Well today Norm and I visited Kathy Cloninger  (CEO) of Girl Scouts of the USA at their Head Office. It was great to catch up with Kathy and Lynn Cothryn. During my visit I was able to meet with a number of their senior staff; this was a great opportunity to discuss a number of issues and it was interesting just how similar some of the issues we are facing in Australia are to the ones that they are currently addressing.

After my visit – which lasted around 4 hours – I met up with Norm who had been out and about organising our next adventures, and we had a further walk around 5 th Avenue. At the end of the day we met up with Kathy and Lynn and had a very pleasant social get together. They are both off to Washington tomorrow where Kathy will meet with the First Lady (Michelle Obama) with other  senior people from major nonprofit organisations to discuss issues facing young people today. Michelle Obama is the equivalent of the President of Girl Guides Australia.

It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to catch up with Kathy and to meet with a number of her senior staff. So all in all another great day! Signing off for today. N&W

Meeting with Kathy Cloninger, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA

Day 12 (Sunday 23 May) New York

Well another day of walking – I think my knees are feeling it most! We started out at around 10:00am and arrived back at our Hotel at 9:00pm. We walked to the Financial District which is Downtown – saw all of the sights including the Flatiron Building, City Hall, Ground Zero, Trinity Church (where we heard a local youth choir sing some lovely songs) and Wall Street; we walked through Soho and Greenwich Village and visited Bloomingdale. We also walked the Brooklyn Bridge. We had dinner at a lovely little French restaurant in Soho on our way back to the Hotel. 

Norm has obviously picked up all of the local habits of walking against the lights (something I must say that I am struggling with!) but he persists and I follow – as he keeps telling me if we waited at all of the lights it would add an extra hour to our walk if we were to cover the same distance! Norm also wants me to put up more photos and video!!!!! – as I have explained to him it actually takes a bit of time to out put this together so you are only getting a smattering of what we are collecting. Hopefully it gives you a bit of an idea of what we are up to. That’s enough for today.

One last thing – I wasn’t overly descriptive yesterday about what we saw – we did see Grand Central Stationand Norm wanted me to put up a piece of video he took while we were there. I don’t think it is going to win any prize for best amateur video etc but to humour him I am putting up this clip from yesterday.  Signing off now. N&W.

Some of the sights from today's adventure

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