vacation in-summary


 The end of a vacation is always a bittersweet time for me. Although it's nice to get back to our homes and regular routine, there is a brief period where I resent that return to the norm. Thankfully though, I can prolong some of that vacation euphoria through the editing of my vacation photos and video. Since I was already bogged down with camera gear, the gentlemen elected to bring along his laptop and let me use it throughout the trip. I had thought I might have a bit of downtime in the evenings to post updates of our american adventures, alas internet access was sporadic and we were busy all the time. I'll probably write up a few posts to provide more detail about the specifics of the trip as I add more photos, but for now you will have to suffice with this summary. Consider this the highlight reel.

a capitol idea grand central station late night at the White House

Our ten day trip covered two cities, with travel by foot, bike (well Sarah, Don and Tom all toured about on bicycles at some point during the trip), car, train and plane, as well as an accidental encounter with American cheese (tourists beware, American cheese is not cheddar, rather this horrid abomination). Most people that I've spoken to about my trip have asked me the same question, "Which city did you like best?" I find it difficult to pick one since the two cities we visited were vastly different - one being the political capitol and the other the cultural capital of the world. Travel wise, it made a lot of sense to pair the two together, both from a geographic and economic perspective. A ten day trip to Washington would have been exhausting. Even in ten days you couldn't do all of the museums justice and you would surely be suffering from information overload. A ten day trip to New York would have been prohibitively expensive, unlike Washington where the museums are free, New York is a place where you want to spend money (oddly enough I didn't really buy anything in New York, although I did do plenty of window shopping). That said, I would do a ten day trip to New York if I could afford it, for the shopping opportunities but also because I felt like I could have spent more time there to explore some neighbourhoods that I missed.

Anyhow, here are the two cities in very brief summary.

Washington = monuments + museums + interesting architecture + the much anticipated blossoms + meeting up with my long-time flickr friend

classic Washington view the old executive office building trainspotting

Washington was also very clean and quiet, despite it being a very busy tourist season (aligning with spring break and the cherry blossom festival). Our New York experience is a bit harder to describe because our activities were so varied in comparison to Washington. The streets were much cleaner than I expected and I only saw one rat scurrying through the subway. But I was prepared after seeing much larger rodents on display in the Natural History Museum in D.C.
So, how to best summarize New York...

New York = opera + alec baldwin + random urban explorations.

30 Rock soho shopper bethesda fountain
14th Street Station

In all, for my first visit to the States I think it went pretty well. I had a little taste of Americana (and by this I am not referring to the gastrointestinal error that was American cheese), experienced cultural differences between the US and Canada that were both slight and painfully obvious (healthcare reform bill). Both cities I want to visit again. I'll tell you why in forthcoming posts.