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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Driving Six States in One Day

Another exciting day is ahead of us. We woke up early and got ready for the road trip. We drove through New Jersey to reach our first destination, Philadelphia. On a pit stop for gas in NJ, we also bought some breakfast (was starvin'). Al bought some Roy Rogers fried chicken for me (my first time ever to try this and I like), and he got a croissant sandwich for himself.

We knew we had reached Philly when we saw the Ben Franklin Bridge and crossed it. We drove around, defying our GPS navi so we can get a good shot of the bridge. A few blocks was a Christopher Columbus Memorial near the Independence Seaport Museum and across a Hyatt chain by the water. We walked further and saw old ships and a submarine that actually reached the Philippines! I think it was the USS Olympia and the submarine Becuna. We drove by Penn's Landing, the Old Town District, and then the Jeweler's Row (America's oldest diamond district est. 1851). We reached our destination, Independence Hall and Liberty Bell. We took pics (also of the distant Bourse Building), bought souvenirs at the gift shop across the street (Public Ledger building). Al bought a Philly mug while I bought much needed mints, hehe, and a small replica of the liberty bell (consider it paper weight). For lunch, we ate by a cart across the street, claiming to be voted as the Best Philly Cheese steak (Al's fave sandwich). So you know he has to have one. We both did and it was a good lunch - the sandwich was huge!

Al also made a bet. He said the Rocky Balboa scene were he was training and running up steps was in Philly and I said it was at the Lincoln Memorial. The bet was $50 and he asked this info lady who confirmed that the movie scene was shot at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Argh! I lost $50 bucks! Anyhoo, we drove there (wasn't part of our itinerary) and we're glad we did. We also saw a Rocky statue and took pics.

We were running behind our schedule, so we drove to Washington DC, hoping it doesn't get too dark when we get there. We made a pit stop in Delaware for gas (kinda got lost a bit because Al exited another freeway). We also drove by Baltimore, Maryland and saw their stadium from the freeway (but skipped visiting Inner Harbor and the Edgar Allan Poe house because it was getting too late). I also wanted to visit the Ace of Cakes shop (Charm City Cakes) in Baltimore but maybe next time.

We finally reached DC and our first reaction was it seemed like a scary area, with dirty streets and houses, helicopters in the air, and sirens everywhere. Al didn't like the vibe at all. I liked the downtown area though, were the federal buildings and monuments are (btw, our GPS wasn't working around the White House). We took pics of the US Mint (Dept of Treasury) and the White House. It was smaller than I imagined, and there were lots of squirrels running about. There was also a hunger strike outside, lots of tourists taking pics, and the fence was getting a bit rusty. Federal buildings were next to each other, some blocks apart, such as the Dept of commerce, Agriculture, Health Services, Transportation, etc. We walked towards the Washington Monument and passed by vendors selling souvenirs. Of course Al bought his DC mug, haha. I was awestruck at the Washington Monument, and then hiked some more to the Lincoln Memorial (a must for me to visit, I told Al). It was a far walk, but a good one, plus it was getting late. After taking pics, we decided to ride a cab back to our car because we had just walked too far! It sorta felt like a pilgrimage walking to the Lincoln Memorial. We were so tired, that we just drove to Capitol Hill. It was a nice building, especially with the light on at night.

Driving back, I was napping. As usual, we went through lots of tunnels and passed by lots of tolls. But at least the weather was good to us. We were going to pass by Atlantic City on the way back, but decided to do it another day, sacrificing our trip to Niagara Falls (we'll just do that trip another time, plus a Canada tour).


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