Monday, December 27, 2010

Catching Up - October anniversary trip

25th Anniversary Trip - Part III
We arrived in New York City, rented a car and started driving out of the city. It was rush hour and it was raining, so it took a LONG time, and we remembered why we left the city...

Our first destination was the highest point in Delaware. We found it, although it was dark and raining!

The next day we started driving down the DelMarVa Peninsula. Here are some views along the way, ending with the bridge that crosses the Chesapeake Bay, going under the water partway (to let boats through)

Traffic delayed our arrival in Yorktown, so we missed the museum, but had enough daylight to see the battlefield and call Isaac to tell him we were there (he is totally into the Revolutionary War)

We spent the night in Williamsburg, and the next morning drove to Old Jamestowne. Ironically, this is the day we decided to wear shorts, and as you can see, it rained all day. I switched into pants and closed shoes as soon as I could, but we should have stopped at the Goodwill to buy raincoats (saw one, but decided not to stop....)

After Jamestowne, we got on the road and drove to Monticello, hoping the weather would clear up. It didn't, but Monticello is still impressive.

Then down to Charlottesville, to see if we could find the original university which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. They don't make it easy to find, but we did!

We drove north hoping the weather would clear by morning so we could enjoy the scenery from Skyline Drive. It didn't. So we stopped at a ranger station and watched a video, because all we saw was mist and fog from the scenic view spots.

Drove on to Harper's Ferry. No pictures because we forgot to charge the camera batteries. It was wet, but very historic and interesting. The day was perfect to visit Antietam Battlefield. Apparently, it was rainy the day before the big battle, so we toured the battlefield in the rain. Did get to the visitor center in time to see the movie and see the famous mural painted by an eyewitness to the battle.

Ended the day by driving through Harrisburg, PA and stopping to see the capitol building, which was completely lit up and beautiful in the rain.. then on to Lancaster, PA where we spent the night hoping for sunshine for a day in famous Amish country.

We started the day with a stop at the tourist center to get an idea of how could get an overview of the area, and decided to go on a tour of covered bridges. We were warned that some roads may be closed due to flooding from the days of rain, and we did, indeed, see a lot of high water, but we were able to see all the bridges and a lot of beautiful country. We stopped for lunch at an Amish buffet and then, lo and behold, the sun came out!!

Our final stop of the day, an old Lutheran church in the city. I guess all the church from revolutionary days had the boxes you paid to sit in.

After touring Lancaster County, we drove to New Jersey and were pleasantly surprised to find it is actually a beautiful state. We headed immediately to Liberty Park, the departure site of our ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We enjoyed the views of New York without the rain this time!

Our ferry was supposed to leave at 8 am sharp. We arrived before 7:30 and before the staff! This is an old railway station which was the departure place of many of the immigrants who went through Ellis Island and serves as the ferry depot.

Pictures can't do Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty justice. We spent 7 hours on the two islands, enjoying the museums and the sunshine! Incredible.

After returning to Liberty Island in New Jersey, we crossed over to Manhattan Island and crossed the island in our rental car, navigating through the famous New York traffic. We returned our rental car, checked into our hotel by the airport and then got on a bus to head back into the city. With the help of some regular Metro riders, we got to our destination, ground zero. We visited the storefront explaining the 9/11 memorial plans and walked right by St. Paul's Chapel, which is the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan. It survived the NYC fire of 1776, and George Washington worshiped there after his inauguration, and then became part of history when it became a makeshift memorial after the towers collapsed on 9/11.

Then we got back on the subway and headed to the Gershwin theatre where Wicked! was playing. We got into the cancellations line, and to make a long story short, got 2 tickets, one of which was in the front row. We sat down and the curtain opened. It was a magical, once-in-a lifetime experience.

We ended the day walking through Times Square before getting on the Metro again to head back to our hotel for a few hours sleep before our 6 am flight!

We flew out of LaGuardia Airport before scheduled -- apparently Michelle Obama was flying into the city that day, and they wanted to get us out of there before they shut the airport down. We were very glad!!

We had a long layover at the Detroit airport, and our friend Jim Pinard came to help us pass the time -- so good to see him and catch up after many years.

Our final flight to South Bend was without incident. The Grobien family brought our car to the airport for us and we took off, stopping in Forrest to pick up Elizabeth and Isaac before heading all the way to Rolla. It was good to be home.

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