Published: December 26th 2006December 26th 2006
George W Vs Rocky
Sick on the concrete jungle we decided to head for the Shenandoah National Park, near the boarder of Virginia and West Virginia, for some fresh air and hopefully see some live animals. Ian was keen to see the Natural Bridge which is a naturally formed bridge first discovered by George Washington, his initials were carved in the side of the arch, or at least someone pretending to be him. It was suppose to be on the scale of the Grand Canyon and though I haven’t seen the Grand Canyon I don’t think it would compare. We drove through Skyline Drive which winds through the Shenandoah National Park. We stopped off at a few of the more impressive lookouts, we even considered going on a trek, but than we realised that we were ill prepared and it was really cold. So the hunt will continue for live wild animals…
We arrived in Washington, DC and in the first ten minutes we had seen all the monuments, because to get to our hotel you had to travel down the main street. Little did we realise that our hotel was in the bad end of town, North East
is not the place to be in Washington. The first night we were too scared to leave our hotel, though it didn’t seem much safer, the entrance roof was falling down, so we just stayed in and watched CSI: Miami. The next day we were off with the Stewies in hand to see all the monuments. We started off at the Arlington Cemetery, where JFK and Bobby were buried. If you look from General Robert E Lees house at the top of the hill in the Cemetery, you will look straight down Abraham Lincoln bridge, which connects to his monument which connects to the reflection pool which than leads to the Washington Monument and in between that is the WW2 (1941 - 1945) memorial erected by Bush, only dedicated to the USA. (Obviously no one else fought in the war, thanks George W Bush) And than right down the end is the capitol building, by far the prettiest building. Each building is extraordinary they certainly know how to promote themselves and their dead presidents, speaking of which, we went and saw Ab up close, and we tried to get the Stewies on his lap but had no luck. After walking
to all of these places all we wanted to do was grab a beer and have some food. Unfortunately the place that Lonely Planet recommended was closed till six, so we headed next door. Inside was all middle aged men sitting at a bar that had no tap beer and listening to Beyonce Knowles…yes it was a gay bar. I didn’t believe Ian and Gell but it was confirmed when Ian went up to buy the next round and a guy at the bar asked him if we knew we were in the biggest gay bar in Washington, no we didn’t but we did now. He ended up being a pretty cool guy but as it turned six o’clock we headed back to the Brickseller next door which served food and 800 types of beer which spent the rest of the night sampling. The next day we hit the Smithsonian Museums, which were huge but free so we got cultured. The boys liked the air and space museum so much they went back out to Virginia and did part two which had the Starship Enterprise. Sick of pretty buildings we hunted down movie history finding Watergate and the Exorcist house
and staircase, though it had been renovated and didn’t look as scary. In the boys desperate search for Bundy and maybe the Ashes they located the Australian Embassy and decided to pop in and say hi. We got to the front door and two American security guards told us we could not go in unless for official business.
“It is a nice barn but it is no pool.” On our way to Philly we dropped in to Intercourse where the Armish like to hang out and drag their buggies. We stopped briefly on the main drag and went Armish hunting, Gell was the first to spot one yelling “there’s one!” They seem to have embraced technology more than they let on, their buggies have indicators and I even spied a child armish wearing Reebok shoes. Having taken a few photos we grabbed a pretzel and left.
We left our car in Cherry Hill New Jersey just outside of Philly, a place that should have taken us 20 minutes to find took us 2 hours. But the guy David was such an awesome guy he told us all the cool places to go and than gave us a lift
in. Philly was not the most exciting of cities and seemed to have a tough guy vibe but the people really friendly and knew how to drink. Two out of three nights we enjoyed the Philly hospitality and $1 pints so the days were taken fairly slow and easy. We of course attended the historic sites the most important being Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the constitution were signed. What would have been just another old building was made very interesting by our guide Ranger Gus, who believes that unless something important happened in an old building it should be torn down. Despite his radical views he was very animated in his story telling and kept us captivated despite fighting our hangover. We followed David’s advice and went to the Reading Terminal Market which is an old train terminal converted into a market. It sold fresh fruit and veg, the best ice cream, chocolates and bread; we were so inspired we bought ingredients for our first home cooked meal. The next day was all about the real reasons we came to Philly, one the Rocky Museum, also know as the Art Museum. Hours were devoted to trekking
out there and than posing for the perfect pictures, with Rocky, running up the stairs, celebrating at the top of the stairs. Two, Philly cheese steaks, an artery clogging concoction which is shredded beef fried by the ton slapped onto a long bun than smothered in your choice of cheese, the cheese of choice Cheese Whiz. I’m still debating whether the 40 minute round trip in pissing rain was worth it.
There are more photos below