Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dover to New York City

Woke up today (5/17/14) to wonderful sunshine and headed over to the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover Air Force Base.  The PT Cruisers were out there too and I got some fun pictures of them.

John worked on turbine helicopter engines
in Vietnam, now Robert is going to
be an aircraft mechanic

Huge Cargo Plane

Over 100 PTs
See FB album for more 

Lots of money went into this PT

Sunday, drove to Washington, DC.  Spent the afternoon in Alexandria, looked around Old Town, went to the Torpedo Factory, which was an armament factory begun in 1918.  Is was remodeled into a great group of shops housing over 82 artists - paining, photography, jewelry, ceramics, fabric - a super place to shop (if you like shopping).  Then had a great al fresco dinner.  I had She Crab soup again.  Drove to our hotel in Arlington.  We didn't want to try to park or stay right downtown.

Got on the Metro Monday and went to the Washington Monument.  I love that monument that you can see from almost anywhere in the city.  

Beautiful view from the Washington Monument

It was such a beautiful day

On to the Spy Museum where we spent a few hours.  Very interesting museum jam packed with spy items of every type.

Took a cab to the Bureau of Printing & Engraving and took their 3:45 p.m. tour (we had to get tickets for the time -- even though they were free).

John's worth more than me

At least I haven't shrunk yet

Cab to Lauirol Plaza, my favorite restaurant in DC.  It is Latin food and delicious.

Yum, best salsa ever

Tuesday, Museum of American History.  Dorothy's red ruby slippers.  Saw the original flag that inspired the Frances Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner and it was wonderful.  The museum had a great display on the longshoreman, ILWU, the history and virtual disappearance due to container shipping.  We really enjoyed seeing that display though since John was a longshoreman for 21 years on the docks in Long Beach.

Dorothy's shoes from
The Wizard of Oz

Modern art flag

John's union for more than 20 years

John was on strike 5 months

Wednesday we drove to National Cathedral so John could see it.  After that we headed out and got lost several times due to quick turns and bad signs.  We had just missed our second turn and I looked up and thought that building looked familiar.  I saw the name and I could not believe that it was my favorite restaurant.  I told John, circle the block and we had our last lunch there.  It was a miracle that we passed by that restaurant then.  Oh how I wish they were close by.  Had a perfect lunch and then took off to Annapolis, MD to see the state capitol.

Outdoor seating, restaurant is 4 stories high
Amazing Latin food, my favorite place

When we arrived in Annapolis the Blue Angels were putting on an air show and I got a few not great pictures.  You can't tell where those plane are, you hear big noise in one direction and there they go, five of them off in another direction.  They were so fun to watch though.  It was Annapolis graduation week and huge traffic jam after air show.

Lucky to get this shot

Capitol was not spectacular and absolutely no place remotely close to park your car, long walk. Walked around and took some photos. Then drove to Philadelphia airport, parked in long term, and cabbed into Philadelphia.

Maryland State Capitol

Arrived in Philadelphia Wednesday night.  This is the city where my mother was born.  Thursday, found a great Market, had donuts and coffee for breakfast.  We ended up eating here twice.  The market opened in 1892.  I love these kinds of markets and all the different food and shops they have.  Amish restaurants, seafood (beautiful shrimp), bakeries, coffee, candles, candy - everything you can imagine.   A foodie paradise.

Walked all over town.  Saw where Liberty Bell is, but lines were just so long with all the students in town, they were everywhere, in huge groups.  Saw Betsy Ross home, first U.S. Post Office, Benjamin Franklin neighborhood, Christ Church where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin attended church, had a Philly Cheese steak, saw Independence Hall, and the original capitol of the United States.  Went to the U.S. Mint and took a tour.  Saw the grave of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier.  Exhausted, totally exhausted.

Chinatown - Philadelphia

Independence Hall

Curtis Publishing Company
building, built 1910

Christ Church, built 1727-1744
Still an active Episcopal congregation
Was the tallest structure in North America

Friday we drove to New York City, but made stops along the way.  First place was the church my great grandmother attended in 1922.  Had no idea what to expect and was overwhelmed with the beauty of this huge stone church.  It was amazing to be able to walk where my family had walked.

St. Asaph's Church, 1888
Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania

English Gothic architecture
Still in use today

Next stop was the New Jersey statehouse where guided tours were mandatory.  First time I found mandatory tour, so passed on seeing inside.  Photographed the outside and headed to New York.

New Jersey Capitol

WW II Memorial across the street
from the capitol 

Had some rain on the way to New York  They had some different roads, lanes where only trucks can drive, a freeway that had cars on the right going one way, we were going the other way and to our left traffic was going the other way.  It felt very odd to be in the middle of cars going the opposite way.  What they say about New Jersey roads appears to be true -- potholes.  Certainly not the best roads we've seen.

See cars left coming toward us and cars over
in right lane come (the big white truck) opposite 
way - weird

Arrived and lots of kids staying here at the Hilton.  Seems there is an Electric Daisy multi-day techno music event across the street at Meadowlands.  Pretty noisy at 2:00, but security came and talked to them.  Looked out the window in the evening and they had some great fireworks for the festival.

Fun times and lots of kids every place we went.  I can't imagine what this will be like in a month when more vacationers are out.  We sure packed a lot of adventure in and now we are headed for The Big Apple.  I'm a little nervous about this city, but we'll see how it goes.