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Published: March 22nd 2011
This is going to be a little strange, as we arrived home three weeks ago. But, after publishing 40 blogs I think we need the final instalment. I think Americans call it ‘closure’. So if you’ve heard all this already – tough shit. I’m not making you read it.
Ok, where were we? Oh yes, Washington DC. I really liked it as I’m a bit of a history buff. Lou didn’t mind it, which is a compliment in itself. We had a nice hotel in the Foggy Bottom area (seriously, google the name if you don’t believe me). We were really close to Pennsylvania Avenue and therefore the Whitehouse, so off we went for a fun-filled day of historical monuments. Yeah baby! The Whitehouse was cool, although it was a surreal experience. The famous side is actually the rear, so as we approached the less-seen front we were a little unsure if it was the right place, hehe. But it was, and it’s a big white house.
Then we went off to see the Lincoln Memorial. Pretty impressive stuff, but I expected Lincoln to be much bigger. Damn you Night at the museum 2! The 2000ft long reflecting pool
is an impressive sight….normally. Unfortunately for us it was a muddy puddle-like stretch of a building site. I should have told them we were coming so they could have got it ready for us. The Washington Memorial was much bigger than expected. I’m often impressed by massive erections and this was no different. Overall the whole touristy area is pretty impressive and fairly close together.
On the second day we went to the Library of Congress and the Capitol Building, the latter being especially impressive. We then spent the rest of the day at the Smithsonian Museum. It was one long party. Seriously, I really enjoy this stuff. I even think Lou enjoyed all/most/some of it. We packed a lot into two days and I think this was enough for us.
The next day we got on the Greyhound bus to New York…..concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do!!!!!! I can’t utter the name without bursting into that song. I’m such a closet gay. Seeing Manhattan stretching out in front of us, just before going through the Lincoln Tunnel, was a highlight of the trip. Unlike Lou, I had never been to NYC
so was pretty excited. What a way to finish our trip. That and my birthday. Oh yes, that and getting married of course.
We got off the bus and headed straight to the City Clerk’s office to get our marriage licence. Ten minutes and $35 later we had it. Simple. We had a few days before the wedding, which we spent with Lou’s friend Gill who had flown out to see us (Gill had also joined us 6 months earlier in Thailand). Our hotel was up by 110th street, right next to Central Park. It was pretty decent for the price, but we both wished we had stayed at Pod where Gill was bunking. It was really nice and in a much better and more interesting area. On the way to the hotel , on the subway, we stood right next to Big (aka Chris Noth) from Sex and the City. Very New York.
We did the touristy stuff like seeing the Statue of Liberty. Many people pay for the boat/tour, but many more do it the cheap and cheeky way, which is to get the Staten Island ferry. It’s free and it goes right past. Pretty good view
too. We spent ages walking all over NYC in the next couple of days. It’s all pretty cool and you end up with a sore neck due to all the looking up. I really like the vibe of NYC. It’s crazy busy and I even found New Yorkers, contrary to their reputation, to be a really friendly bunch.
Sunday the 27th was Gill’s 30th birthday. It was also our wedding day. The big event was to take place on top of the Rockefeller Center. We met Elizabeth, the lady who was going to marry us, in the reception . Her age was a bit of a shock. Turns out she’s 82. We were worried she wouldn’t make it through the ceremony. We were both a bit nervous, me more about the height than the wedding (see our Langkawi blog). We picked the perfect location, day and time. We chose sunset on a perfectly clear NYC winters day overlooking the Empire State building and the rest of Manhattan. The ceremony was spot-on. A few of the other tourists noticed and realised what we were doing, but on the whole we were left alone. The views were spectacular and we couldn’t
Not sure which one
have imagined a more perfect setting. The whole thing cost less that £100.
Afterwards Gill, Wifey and I headed to a nearby Irish bar and got pretty drunk. Elizabeth even joined us for a Guinness and a shot or two. Afterwards we found a great burger joint which was showing the Oscars. A good way to end a great day. The next day was my birthday, which was a bit of an anti-climax. I didn’t mind too much. I knew it would be tough to beat the previous day. New York, what can I say, just brilliant.
So that was it, not just the end of the US leg of our trip, but the whole trip. 310 fabulous days. There have been highs and lows, but thankfully few of the latter. On one hand it’s flown by, but on the other hand our first stop, China, feels like it took place 3 years ago. If we did it again we’d do it a little differently. We definitely be more ambitious and visit more countries, particularly in Asia. We’d spend less time in places like Australia, which was obscenely expensive. On the whole we can’t complain too much. We
Just before I shat myself again and had to turn back. I think I have a bridge phobia.
had such a great time, met so many fabulous people and have returned home with so many great memories. Isn’t that what travelling is all about?
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