Boston and New York

Published: May 18th 2017
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,Well hello everyone from sunny and WARM Palm Springs. It's good to pack the cardigan and jeans away for a change.

We were headed up to Boston when I last wrote and on the way there we stopped at a beautiful town called Wethersfield that had the most magnificent old homes that are still being lived in today and they are hundreds of years old. You would never guess how old they are as they are so well kept. I have included photos of just a few houses but there were whole streets full of these gems. Don't forget to look for the ghost house. After leaving Wethersfield we called in for a tour of Mark Twain's house in Hartford Connecticut and that is also a museum. Did you know that Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) visited Australia on a world tour when he was bankrupted by pouring all his money into his self typesetting printer machine? He did the tour to make some cash so he could retire in Europe. His old house is very grand, on a huge block of land, right in the middle of town.

So Noel and I had a huge jolt back into reality when we got to our Boston accommodation. We left a 3 storey, five bedroom, 2 living room, library, den, conservatory, triple garage house on acreage to a studio granny flat under a 2 bedroom house and we slept on a fold out bed!!!! Whoa. What a shock to the system. Don't get me wrong, the place was lovely, clean as a whistle and the owners were falling all over themselves to be kind and helpful but it was SMALL compared to the luxury we had become accustomed to in the previous week.

While in Boston we walked the "Freedom Trail" with thousands of other people and it was very interesting. Every part of me enjoyed it.....except for my feet. Top not ever, EVER drive your car in Boston. Those guys are CRAZY. Everyone, and I mean everyone, goes through red lights all the time. Every second person is talking on their mobiles while driving. Even the trolley car driver said there is no 10 and 2 o'clock on the steering wheel in Boston. Instead, it is left hand at 10 o'clock and right hand on the horn. is so true. Day 2 involved driving up to a seaside village called Rockport for lunch at a restaurant right on the break wall. We tried clam chowder but it tasted just like potato and bacon soup to Noel and me. Stopped at Salem on the way to Rockport to see where the witches got burned. Best part about Salem was the parking that only cost $1.50. Day 3 and we were back in the centre of Boston to do a hop on hop off trolley tour. This included a 45 minute harbour cruise which was interesting but people are right when they say Sydney Harbour is the best in the world. We found (eventually) both Cheers bars from the tv show of the same name. One was used as the fa├žade/stairs only in the show and it was pumping and full of people. They were even playing the theme music as you walked down the steps and in the front door. It's an old English style pub with stained glass windows. The Cheers bar where the show was taped is actually on the other side of town, in a mall, and has full length glass walls/doors all the way around. The stage lighting is still hanging up in there but it had no atmosphere at all. You could have been in any bar except for the fact that they had images of some of the shows stars plastered onto the glass walls so people could take selfies with them. We left Cheers and headed to the trolley stop and got the nicest driver who, although the hop on hop off had finished for the day, drove us all the way to the other side of town to drop us as close as possible to Fenway Park for the Red Sox game. The tickets cost a bomb but sport is Noel's "thing" so we lashed out and got really high seats right near home plate so we could see all the action up close. The game was boring until half way through when some runs started happening. Final score Tampa Bay Rays 5 Boston Red Sox 4.

Next day was a travel day back to New Haven where we had brunch with our Woodbridge hosts from the previous week and then caught a bus (packed and half hour late) down to New York. It rained all the way to New York. Our trip to the Statue of Liberty was looking very wet at that stage but we woke up to a glorious day. The visit to the statue and Ellis Island were excellent and highly recommended if you are ever in New York. The audio tour is so informative and the museum at Ellis Island is fantastic at providing information about not only the immigration processes of the day but about the people who came through it. After that we walked around lower Manhattan to the 9/ll memorial pools and then up to Greenwich Village for dinner. We were officially stuffed when we got back to the hotel. We had been walking around for about 10 hours. Next day....more walking. Noel wanted to see the Australian flag flying at the United Nations building. So we did. Next up was a long walk through Central Park. It was really lovely and very green with trees as far as you can see but, in all honesty, I actually liked it better when we saw it all barren and white with snow when we were there, with our boys, early 2011. Maybe because we see green trees all the time, the winter landscape captured an unusual scene for me and that is why I prefer the winter scenery. Walked to "Top of the Rock" at Rockefeller Centre for lots more photos followed by Times Square which we accidentally got to while trying to find a subway station. So weird that there are subway stations on EVERY corner until you try to find one on a map and then they can't be found!!!!

After 2 big walking/sightseeing days we needed an early night as we had to be up at 4.30 to get to JFK for a 7am flight back to LAX. Well Noel snored SO loud and for SO long that I was ready to cut his head off at 1am!!!!!! I was seriously considering a) getting another room...too expensive for a few hours or b) make a bed up in the bath and shut the door on him...too tall for the little bath. Needless to say I was NOT a happy camper at 4.30 when the alarm went off and I had only had 3 hours sleep. Five and a half hour flight followed by car pick up and 2 and a half hour drive to Palm Springs. We arrived at our beautiful Palm Mountain Resort and Spa after being up/travelling for 13 hours. Me, after 13 hours travel following 3 hours sleep is NOT a good sight and I promptly fell asleep at 5.30 (8.30 New York time) and slept for 13 hours!!!!!!!! Boy did I feel sooooo much better this morning but super hungry as I had not eaten any dinner.

Palm Springs is so clean and tidy. It's much bigger than I expected. A foodies delight. There are clothes shops and eateries everywhere you look. We did the aerial tramway up to the top of the mountain that looks out over Palm Springs and the surrounding area. It was a bit hazy due to dust as it's a bit breezy here but they said on a clear day you can see for 175 miles. We did our first "official" national park hike today. It was only about 1 kilometre long but hey, that still counts ok? Happy hour dinner and drinks then back for a swim and hot tub and now catching up on bills, emails and blogging. It's time for bed and guess who is snoring his head off again????? Just as well we have separate beds in this room.

Off to Las Vegas tomorrow. Next instalment in about a week. Take care everyone. xxx

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18th May 2017

Hi Margaret and Noel, we are enjoying reading your Blog. Thanks for sharing xx

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