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New York to Florida – Our East Coast Trip 2010
New York to Florida – Our East Coast Trip 2010
Last October my Husband Dave and I took a trip to see the sights of New York followed by a drive down the East Coast to Florida. We took my close friend Fiona on what she terms as her trip of a lifetime! ! ! ! Poor Dave had 2 women and a Sat Nav to contend with on the trip but he did make it to Florida! ! ! ! I hope you find this resume helpful if you are considering a similar trip or it brings back fond memories if you have been fortunate enough to have already visited these areas.
Sunday 17th October
We flew to New York landing at Newark early afternoon. We called a yellow cab to take us to our hotel on 42nd Street, the Travel Inn. As expected no bed bugs to be seen! ! ! ! The hotel was moderately priced with good, clean accommodation.
In an attempt to stay awake we headed for Times Square and ordered Starbucks coffee, we sat in the afternoon sunshine and then headed for Central park to get our bearings. We passed Carnegie Hall, a catholic procession like something from the Godfather and passed Radio City. We had little energy or appetite by 7pm, so grabbed a quick pizza before bed at 8! ! ! !
Fiona tried to get her room changed at 2130 due to the vibrating walls! ! ! ! After a look at a room on the 7th floor she decided to stay in her room on the 4th floor, unfortunately the reception had relocated her to the 7th floor and someone else was trying to get in her room with her at 0130am! ! ! ! !
Monday 18th October
Jet lag had us all awake by 630am! ! ! ! We were out early for breakfast at the deli next door and heading off to Macy’s to shop before 10. A look at Madison Square Gardens, we then set off up the Empire State Building! ! ! Fiona was happy to enjoy the view from the 86th floor however Dave and I decided to brave the view from the 102nd! ! ! WOW what a view! ! ! ! !
We continued our tour walking up 5th Avenue to Grand Central Station where we stopped for a well deserved lunch. The station has some beautiful architecture and is now a great, unique place to eat and shop as well as catch a train! ! The afternoon saw us taking in the other sites in the Midtown area; Chrysler building, Tudor City, Bloomingdales, coffee stop at the Trump tower then a relaxing horse and carriage ride through some of Central Park.
By this time we had seen almost everything on our list apart from the view from the Top of the Rock Rockefeller centre, this was like a “Disney experience” and a contrast to the view from the empire state as it was at night and showed the city in a very different perspective. On our way back to the hotel we paused a while sitting in Times Square to take in the night atmosphere. By now we were all feeling very tired and hungry and needed food and alcohol! ! ! ! We found a great Applebee’s off 42nd Street, great Long Island Tea! ! ! ! ! Believe it or not we were still in bed before 10! ! !
Tuesday 19th October
Today took us to Lower Manhattan, firstly to Battery Park to catch the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and then on to Ellis Island to the very interesting immigrant’s museum. We spent a few hours here and had coffee before taking the ferry back to Manhattan. The sun was shining by midday and we headed to Ground Zero. Very mixed emotions here and it is good to see that at last the site is being reconstructed to include a memorial park. We paid our respects in the visitors centre and visited the local church. From here we walked back up to midtown through China town and Greenwich Village, not so impressed with these areas we headed back to Times Square. We had walked a few miles by teatime and enjoyed a meal at Ruby Tuesdays before hitting the sack again! ! !
Wednesday 20th October
After checking out of our hotel and picking up our rental car we were leaving New York by midday. Who forgot to add DC to the Washington address we had put in the Sat Nav? ? ! ! ! ! ! ! The sat nav took us off the main highway and we were driving into a small town that we hadn’t planned to visit, as we began to head towards downtown we realised our mistake and realised we were heading for another Washington! ! ! !
With Washington DC now in the Sat Nav we were back on the Interstate 95, heading for our evening destination. We arrived in Washington mid afternoon and checked into our hotel, the Kellogg Conference Centre, the accommodation was very reasonably priced, staff were very helpful and the price was very reasonable for first class accommodation. We were only a short distance from the city centre so jumped on the free university student bus for an early evening stroll around the capitol building and supper in Union Station. What a fantastic building – as well as a station it had shops and lots of lovely places to eat.
Thursday 21st October
The following day we took the Old Town Trolley Tours Bus around the major sights in Washington, WOW what a beautiful city and so little time to even scratch the surface. We were driven past the Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln Memorials, the White House and Capitol Building. The tour was very informative and we learnt so much about American History – great for the pub quiz! ! ! ! !
By early afternoon we were back on the road heading for the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Virginia Mountains to stay at the Dutch Haus in Montebello, Virginia owned by Lois and Earl. We did get a little lost as we headed for a very rural area and the Sat Nav and mobile phone wouldn’t work. It was now down to Debbie’s map reading skills and guess what? Yes we were lost in the mountains and it was dusk! ! ! ! ! Thanks goodness for a couple driving towards us in what looked like a vehicle from “The Waltons” Thankfully they knew where we were heading and pointed us in the right direction! ! ! This is a great way to appreciate the real American lifestyle, they made us feel very welcome and had supper ready for us when we arrived that evening and cooked us a hearty breakfast before we set off for Charleston the following day. Unfortunately we didn’t see any bears! ! ! ! !
Friday 22nd October
Today took us through some beautiful countryside, mountains in the fall are a spectacular site, and I have never seen so many different colour trees, pink, yellow, red – amazing! ! ! As we drove through the Carolinas we passed cotton fields, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw little cotton balls on the plants! ! ! ! ! I managed to convince Dave to get out of the car and pick one for me; I now have it as a momento of our trip. We booked into another traditional bed and breakfast for our last 2 nights before heading down to Florida. We stayed at the Plantation Oaks Inn in Mount Pleasant and would recommend it to anyone considering a trip to this historic area. Again the accommodation was first class and the proprietor and his wife were very friendly, helpful and made us feel very welcome in their home.
Saturday 23rd October
We spent a full day in Charleston today, taking in the sights of this beautiful and historic town. We took a tour around the town on a horse and carriage and were given a very detailed history of the British landing in Charles Town in the 17th century, the American War of Independence, the American Civil War and the abolition of the slave trade.
Following a steak breakfast on Sunday morning we set off for Florida for a few days chilling out in the Florida sunshine before flying home.
This East Coast Trip was definitely a trip to remember, it gave us a comprehensive history of the US, travelling through 7 States. We travelled 1260 miles in total, averaging 5 to 6 hours in the car on the days we drove. The total driving time was approximately 25 hours. Along with the history of the states we travelled through, each had its own uniqueness and the added bonus of getting warmer as we travelled south! ! !
Here’s to our next adventure! ! ! !
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