First Stop - New York City
Thought I would change things up a little and post a photo blog of images from the last 3 weeks spent travelling through America with my husband. This was our first overseas trip together, and was also our year-delayed honeymoon. Our first of our three destinations within the U.S. was New York City, followed by Washington D.C. and finishing up on the West Coast in San Francisco, California.
So our first destination was NYC. After near 19 hours of flying, 2.5 hours in layovers and approximately 5 hours in transport/waiting time we finally made it to our hotel on 39th St, Manhattan which would be our home for the next 11 nights. You've probably all heard the phrase when describing New York as "The city that never sleeps" - my gosh is this accurate! Countless 24hr businesses, the constant noise of city traffic and sirens, people rushing off between places at all hours of the day... there really is never down time in the heart of Manhattan, or at least being as close to Times Square as we were anyway!
Over the next 11 days spent in NYC we explored quite a fare chunk of Midtown and Lower Manhattan. Times Square, Central Park, American Museum of Natural History, The Met, 5th Ave, Grand Central Station, Empire State Building, Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Centre), Madison Square Park, Flatiron District, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Wall St, Ground Zero Memorials & The 9/11 Museum, Various famous movie/tv on-site film locations (Including Sex & The City, Gossip Girl, I Am Legend, Seinfeld, Friends, Big Daddy, Spiderman, The Amazing Spiderman, Ghostbusters, and many more), Intrepid Air & Space Museum, Ripley's Believe it or Not, National Geographic Odyssey Ocean Encounter, Central Park Zoo, Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO, Williamsburgh, Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich, West Village - these were just some of the many things we did & areas we explored! For a relatively small island, Manhattan really is a concrete jungle (well said Alicia Keys!) just full of things to see and do!
Photographic representation of our NYC adventures:
Next stop, Washington D.C.
The best parts about our time in New York and Washington D.C. was the weather! Nearing Summer, and though we had many overcast and somewhat cooler days, the temperatures were still significantly warmer than the Winter we'd left behind back home. We had some days of 30ish degrees, and then come down in the low 20s - so very typical Summer weather for back home and given the 10-20kms we were walking each day these temperatures were actually pretty bearable!
We caught the train from New York to Washington D.C., going through New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware before arriving at Union Station in D.C. Being by rail there was only so much we could see of the states and cities we travelled through, but just the significant change in landscape of even Philadelphia and Baltimore was evident in contrast to the hustle and bustle of New York that we'd become so used to. Wider, less populated streets, a lot more urban landscape, agriculture and farmlands - and so much green! The landscape was just so lush and vibrant!
In D.C. we stayed in Dupont Circle, which is just a short metro trip away from Downtown where the heart of D.C. is situated. We enjoyed this change of pace after spending the last 11 nights in New York, as though we were in an area surrounded by nation's embassies, it was so quiet compared to what we'd just been used to!
Though only here for 2 nights, we managed to check out everything we wanted to, including the White House, International Spy Museum, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jnr Memorial, Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, Capitol Building, National Mall, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum & The Pentagon 9/11 Memorial. We certainly made use of our short time in D.C.!
Photographic representation of our Washington D.C. adventures:
Last stop, San Francisco, California
Well it was goodbye to the beautiful summer weather of the Eastern coast and over to the much more temperate West Coast! And weren't we hit with it when we exited the airport! With temperatures in the mid-high teens we were expecting weather similar to back home at this time of year, but the wind chill felt like a constant icy southerly and we weren't expecting that! We stayed in Union Square, in the heart of downtown San Francisco and we were quite central to transport, shops and eateries.
San Francisco is such a beautiful city! The thing I was looking forward to most for this trip was booked back in March, and was our night tour tickets for Alcatraz. Oh. My. Gosh. For anyone travelling to San Francisco this is a must! I've had an interest in the history of the prison for years, and going there just heightened this interest! Sunset wasn't until around 8.30pm so when we arrived on the island just after 6pm it was still quite light - so this time to head over is perfect as you have the experience of the day, then the sunset following on to night as the sun drops behind the oceanic horizon. With Alcatraz only being 1.25 miles (approx 2km) offshore, the cruise over is only brief and the island has amazing views of San Francisco city. From hearing about escape attempts & stories from past inmates and correctional officers, seeing the cells and learning about what life on The Rock was like, to the big highlight after dark where we witnessed and heard the eerie iconic sounds of the cell doors being opened and closed. The experience was unreal!
In our 4 final days of our time in San Francisco apart from Alcatraz, we also checked out Fisherman's Wharf in it's entirety including seeing the fur seals at Pier 39 frolicking and playing, headed out to the Californian Academy of Science, walked around the headland over to the Fort Mason Centre, travelled via Cable Car, saw the views from Battery Spencer in Sausalito and walked along the Golden Gate Bridge and ventured down the famous crooked section of Lombard St.
This was the end of our USA journey, and we've come home with memories and experiences we'll cherish forever. New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco are all so different and it was great to visit these places and tick them off the travel bucket list! As to where to next? Who knows!