Monday, 12 February 2018

America Trip 2 - Day 24 and 25

On Saturday we got up early and got on the road to go to Palm Springs. On the way we saw fake trees, which are actually telephone posts which look like trees. On our last holiday, we went to Joshua Tree National Park, thus driving past Palm Springs, but never going into it, so this was a new thing for us.

We stopped at the Visitor Centre on our way in, and decided to go to the Indian Canyons. We spent a good 2 hours hiking around there and having lunch, but went back into town for a ice cream. We looked at the place where Elvis Presley had his honeymoon, before going back to LA.

We then went back to La for dinner at Arby's (for the curly fries) before bed.

On Sunday, we got up and went to the Home Depot. We went so that Papa could see things he did not know he needed, and happen to buy them.

After that we headed to Venice Beach. We parked on one side of the canals, and walked across them.

However when we got to the beach, Papa took his top off in hope of getting a better tan, though I think that it remains the same still.

We then stopped of a mall nearby, so that we could sit down and have some hot drinks. We then returned the vehicle and headed to the airport.

So, 4 weeks away has come to an end.  Los Angeles, Boston, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Elkton, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles again.  Museums, parks, ferries, monuments and statues, churches, motels and apartments, cars, planes, buses and trains, people.  Pizzas, clam chowder, pretzels, curly fries, root beer, bagels, baby carrots. Over 1,800 photos - these blogs have contained just a small fraction of them.

America Trip 2 - Day 20, 21, 22, 23

On Tuesday, we jumped on the bus and jumped off near the White House. But first we went to the Old Clock Tower, which is in the now Trump Hotel. I loved the views that you could see from the top of the tower.

Our next stop was the White House Visitor Centre, where I got two Junior Ranger badges, which is one thing that I am happy about. When Andrew Jackson got ill, he ate squirrel stew.

The next stop was the Ford's theatre, which is the place where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The person who killed Lincoln, Booth, expected to be a hero in the South, but was condemned by all for his actions. Lincoln was taken across the road to the Peterson House after he was shot, so that his family could come and say good bye to him with little public attention.

On Wednesday, we welcomed Tante Thea before going to the National Museum of African American Culture. I saw some stuff which I had done researched or heard about in History last year. I saw the original casket on Emmett Till, one of the reasons why the Civil Rights Movement started. Mrs Bryant, one of the accusers, has recently said that she lied, and Emmett Till had done nothing.

We then had lunch in the cafe, and found the lemon pie very tasty.

The next stop that we went to was the National Museum of American History. It had items such as the Star Spangled Banner, the hat that Abraham Lincoln worn to his assassination, and dresses worn by first ladies.

We dropped Tante Thea back at Union Station before going back to the apartment and going to bed.

On Thursday, we left our apartment and headed to Union Station to get on the MARC Train. We headed to Baltimore International Airport, got on a flight to Detroit. When we arrived to Detroit, we rushed to our next flight to LAX.

We picked up our car and found our motel room rather easily. For dinner we went to Farmer Boys, a place right near our motel.

On Friday, we went to the Outlet Stores at Orange County, which is a place with lots of outlet stores. I bought myself a new teddy bear, which is something that I liked.

We went to the New Balance store so that Papa could buy himself sneakers, and went to see the Queen Mary from where she is now. We then went for a drive before going to look at the sunset at Hermosa Beach.

Dinner was at an Arby's near the motel, and we liked the Curly fries that they had.

America Trip 2 - Day 17, 18, 19

On Saturday we did the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress, and even got to go underground between them. On the way we passed Union Station, which is big and designed by the person who also designed Grand Central Station.

The US Capitol Building has hosted the Congress since 1800 and has grown when the country has grown. The right wing holds the Senate and the left wing holds the House of Representatives. The dome is actual made out of iron with the statue of freedom on top.

The plaster model was made in Italy and shipped to America so that they could make the statue. We also saw some statues, and later found out that each state has donated two statues of people that have done something good for the state or nation. There are additional statues like a statue of Rosa Parks as the country donated her.

 The rotunda holds state funerals, and rises 180 feet high to a mural. The mural is called The Apotheosis of Washington, and was painted by Constantinople Brumidi. He also painted the frieze, which is a lifelike mural showing famous scenes in American history.

We also saw important items in American history before we ended our tour.

We had lunch at the cafe in the Capitol Building, before going over to the Library of Congress, a giant library with amazing books. It beats the library at my school by far. There are 470 languages represented in the collection, 14 million photos, 5.5 million maps, 8.1 million pieces of sheet music, 70 million manuscripts, more than 38 million books and other print material.

We then wandered round the grounds near the Capitol Building, and saw things like Grant's memorial.

On Sunday, we decided to do some of the Smithsonian museums.

The first museum that we did was the National Museum of the American Indian. There were four floors in the museum, but I only got to saw one. I received the sad news that Opa had died, and that caused me to sit down and think about him.

We ate lunch outside the first museum before going across to the Air and Space Museum. Mama, Papa and Nana went on a free guided tour, while me and Karl did our own things. I meet up with Mama, Papa and Nana later, and joined them on the end of their tour. I enjoyed all the things that I did, including seeing the original Wright Flyer and one of Amelia Earhart's planes.

We watched the time when America stops, the Superbowl Final.

On Monday, it was a clear but cold day, which was something I was happy for.

We looked at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial first, and I found it ironic that he died 50 years after the signing of The Declaration of Independence. The statue was big and the scenery was breath taking. We then hoped on the bus again and went to the Lincoln Memorial. I stood at the exact stop Martin Luther King Junior stood when he did his "I have a dream" speech. Karl and I did the junior ranger badge for the memorials, and went to the Washington Monument.

We then went to the Holocaust Museum, which is something that I found quite devastating. I stayed with Papa most of the time, and looked in the younger children area with him because I was scared of what I might see. Papa told me that he had asked, and 80% of the museum was in one exhibit. We only managed to do the top floor of the main exhibit before having to leave.

We then went back to our apartment so that we could go to bed.

America Trip 2 - Day 13, 14, 15, 16

On Tuesday we woke up, and were amazed by the fact that there was snow everywhere on the ground.

We headed out to see the Raging Bull, the Wall Street stock exchange and the Federal Hall where George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of America.

We saw the Tiffany's store, so Mama and Nana went in for a look.

Next we went on the free Staten Island ferry, got to look at the Statue of Liberty from a distance and had lunch at Gavel's Grill on Staten Island. We ran round in the snow and got nice and happy.

We then went back to Manhatten, looked around Castle Clinton and getting a Junior ranger badge in the process, before going to the 9/11 memorial, which is something that I found quite horrible.

We grabbed some soup and heated it up at the apartment for dinner - a late night for all of us after a day filled with views and snow and noise and cars and statues and people.

On Wednesday, we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge, which was the first bridge to be built across the Hudson River.

After that, we made our way to Saint Paul's Church, near the Twin Towers and a haven for rescue workers that helped after 9/11. I found it surprising that it only suffered one broken window when it was less than a kilometre away from the Twin Towers.

We then went to the African Burial Ground, which is a massive burial ground that was around when the slaves were, and the Africans had themselves buried there. I felt that the entire thing was interesting and liked going there.

We then went out for a slice of pizza, and they came from 18 inch pizza's, which got me very full.

We then went to the Rockefeller centre, and to the top of the rock. We spent some time up there, before receiving the news that Opa was sick, and Oma had been advised to go home. We went down before going into the Lego Store in New York, and each getting a free mini-figure because we completed a quiz.

On Thursday, we took Oma to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, so that she can go back to Tante Thea, before flying back to New Zealand to see Opa. We then went off to Grand Central Station, with all its beauty, missing Oma very much. I liked the style and design of Grand Central Station. We then hopped on a train to the UN, but took a wrong train, and instead went to Queens. We got off, walked around to the other entrance, got back on and went to the UN actually this time.

We then went to Central Park via Times Square. Papa changed into his running clothes, and went for a run around Central Park, while the rest of us headed to the place to meet Papa. We played checkers at a place in Central Park and had a hot dog from a vendor in Central Park after we meet up with Papa.

Then we went back to Times Square to see it in the dark, then back to the apartment.

On Friday, we got out of bed early, and caught the bus (rather than walking) to the train station. We then got on the subway and went to a different station, waited in the freezing cold for our bus to arrive, and then got on our bus to Washington DC.

 When we got to Union Station in Washington, it was only a 5 minute walk to the apartment we were staying in. I was impressed by what was in the apartment, and the building even had a games area, with a pool table and a poker table. The building also had a gym, a kitchen for shared use, a gym and a pool (which was closed).

Mama and Papa went out grocery shopping, Karl and I went on our netbooks, we had dinner then we went to bed.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

America Trip 2 - Day 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

On Thursday morning we left the hotel, and headed towards a lighthouse so that Mama could take a photo of it. The place was in a good area, so we took a photo of it, before we headed to Newport.

Newport is a town, which has a district called Mansion District, and is called that because it has large homes belonging to rich families such as the Vanderbuilt's. We took a look around the district and were impressed by the houses which were there. We had our lunch there before continuing on towards Elkton.
The Breakers, the grandest of the summer cottages, once owned by the Vanderbilts

We stopped at Yale to see if Karl or I wanted to go there, but unfortunately I felt it was too cold.

We then stopped at a place for dinner, kept driving for a bit, and eventually stopped in Middletown for a room and bed.

We had gone from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to Connecticut to New York state - 4 in one day!

On Friday we got up, and headed straight for Hershey, so that we could meet up with a friend of Mama's, and had lunch with her. I think that Mama and the friend enjoyed seeing each other again.

Then it was in to Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, and time for a quick look through the State Museum.  Some interesting exhibits on the Civil War, coal, and the animals in this state.

Silverware off the USS Pennsylvaia

Replica of the Liberty Bell

We reached our final destination later that day. We saw Tante Thea and Oma later on, before going to Regina's apartment, met Ken, Coco and Tatiana and having dinner. We stayed at there house for the night, and enjoyed seeing them all.

Saturday and Sunday was spent exploring Elkton and the surroundings, and spending time with our family. We visited the Amish village in Pennsylvania, took a tour around the Amish house and village. The house has modern appliances converted to different ways to power them, as Amish can only use some items.

We saw lots of horse and buggy's on all of our journey's through Amish country.

For lunch we had soup at a nice place, and we all tried a piece of shoe fly pie.

We then went to a place where Regina often rides her horse Blue John, looked at the ruins of an old house, saw one of the markers from the Mason - Dixon line, and saw Blue John where he stayed.

We went back to Regina's for dinner, before going to bed.

Sunday was a wet day, but we went to look at a statue made for Oom Franz, Tante Thea's husband, before going to the pool with Regina, Coco, Karl and Tatiana.

We ended Sunday with the news that Oma had felt unwell, and went to the hospital, though we never went to the hospital with Oma, we were worried.

On Monday, Mama and Papa picked us up from Regina's after we had dropped Coco off at school and gotten donuts. We took a look at a covered bridge (which is a bridge with a roof on it. We then went into Delaware to a Lego store, an official Lego store, so I bought some lego and Karl bought some lego.

We stopped in New Jersey to stretch our legs, and made it with plenty of time to the Thrifty car drop off, where we dropped of the car, got on the train and went to the apartment to meet Oma. We had pizza for dinner then bed.