Washington, DC

When we arrived in DC, it was pitch black and time for bed, so we decided to get an acai bowl for dinner and call it a night.

We were there for four days and spent the entire time walking around the Memorials and Smithsonian. 

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Our hotel was across the river, so each morning we hopped on a shuttle that took us to the train, where we had about a 10-minute train ride to the Mall.

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Caleb and I have both been to DC before, but each of us went with groups.  This time we were excited to spend the time there in the way that we wanted to.

We were both anxious to see the memorials that have opened since we had last been there.  Both the WWII and MLK memorials are well worth the trip.  The WWII memorial is almost completely silent.  That may have to do with its size because you would have to have quite a lot of people there in order for it to be loud.  But I think it’s mostly out of respect.  There were many people seated around the walls of the memorial who were simply sitting quietly in thought. 

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The MLK memorial was not at all what I was expecting.  I had heard that it had opened late in the summer, but had not yet seen any images of it.  I had a friend advise me not to look at it in advance and to just see it when I got there.  I’m so glad that I did.  There was such an energy to the people there, in part because there were a lot of school groups taking about Marin Luther King Jr.  But the monument didn’t evoke an atmosphere of silence like the WWII memorial did.  People milled about, laughed, joked, read the quotes on the walls aloud and talked about them with their friends.

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We also wanted to see the Lincoln and FDR memorials again, since they had been our favorites the first time around.

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I love the sculpture of the breadline at the FDR memorial.

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Some of our favorite quotes from the FDR memorial:

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We went to the National Portrait Gallery, the Holocaust Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the American History Museum, the National Archives, walked to the Capital, walked around the Washington Monument (it’s still closed due to the earthquake), and the National Gallery.  I was in MUSEUM HEAVEN!

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We also met up with Caleb’s friend, Reed, who works at the Capital.  We had dinner at a local pub and a great time just hanging out and catching up.

Be sure to head over to Flicker for all of the photos!

On the last day, we went to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home.  But that’s tomorrow’s post!  Happy Thursday!

Philly

Neither of us had been to Philly and I’m such an American History nut that I just had to go.  We decided to stay for two nights to make sure that we had plenty of time to see everything. However, since we were there in the off-season for tourists, we made it through Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and all the other sights relatively quickly.

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I think my favorite part was the tour through Independence Hall.  We had a guide that was clearly very passionate about his job and very knowledgeable.  He painted quite the picture as we walked through and was able to answer all of our group’s questions.

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Whenever you see a place in person, it always seems smaller than you imagined, and that was definitely the case with the room that the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration in.

The next day, Caleb spent the morning working while I went to the Philadelphia Art Museum.  (Are you seeing a trend here?)  We then got a Philly Cheesesteak at John's Pork Roast and it was DELICIOUS!  Probably one of my favorite regional things we ate on the trip.  Next time I’ll get it with Ketchup though.

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Next up is DC!

New York City

So I think we can all agree that I failed miserably at keeping up with the blog while Caleb and I were on the road.  We are now at home in San Diego, but more on that later.  There are tons of photos in this post, so bear with me til the end! Once we left Boston, we were moving so quickly from place to place.  We had so much to see that we would collapse at the end of a jam-packed day.  And when we got to Michigan, all we wanted to do was spend time with family and relax.  Any time I had to spare was spent on photos and my photography blog, so that's why these posts fell so far behind.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t want to share the end of our trip with you though. 

So, where did we leave off?  Oh yes, a blackout in Boston.  After two weeks in Boston, we spent a couple nights in New Haven, CT.  Caleb worked during the day while I went to the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale British Center for Art.  Both were incredibly amazing!

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From New Haven we went to New York.  Caleb and I have never been and I was very excited to go to the Met, Ellis Island, see a Broadway show and experience the city.

We were there for four nights and stayed right near Times Square.

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The first night we spent walking around after checking into our hotel room.   We found a delicious Chinese restaurant to eat at and then saw the New York Public Library, Rockefeller Plaza, Grand Central Station, the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, and the U.N.  We also grabbed some late night cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery

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Our second day was spent meeting up with Caleb’s friend, Nick, visiting the 9/11 Memorial and then heading over to Brooklyn for some amazing pizza.  The memorial was packed and you had to go through many security checkpoints, but it was well worth the wait and the trouble to get there.

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After walking though the memorial we went to Brooklyn for some pizza at Grimaldi's.

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We spent an hour waiting in line and then were seated at a massive table, family style with other patrons.  It was very clear that this place was not only a local haunt, but also a tourist destination.  It was delicious and well worth the wait!

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The third day, was spent entirely in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  That’s right, my poor husband spent almost 10 hours in the Met with me.  He’s a keeper. 

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On the fourth day we went out to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and saw a Broadway show.  We got off to an early start, but managed to hop on the Staten Island Ferry instead of the Liberty Island Ferry.  Whoops.  We lost an hour and were worried we weren’t going to have to time to see everything we wanted to during the day and get back in time for the show.  We did though, and I’m so happy we made it to Ellis.

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I have a few relatives that came through the Island and I was in awe of the feeling you got when walking through those halls.  It was incredibly humbling.

That night we saw Rock of Ages, which has been made into a movie and will be in theaters this summer.

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It was a lot of fun, but not at all what I was expecting from a Broadway show.  The theater was incredibly tiny and it felt more like a rock concert when you walked in the door.  There was a bar in the lobby and people walked up and down the aisles with Jell-O shots and drinks.  It was basically a night of crazy 80s music and a lot of laughs.

On the morning we left, we walked through Central Park and stopped one more time at Magnolia Bakery.  I couldn’t help myself. The cupcakes are so good!

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Overall, I really liked the things we did and saw in New York, but I don’t think that I am a city girl in any way.  I found it overwhelming, loud and dirty.  I know some people consider it the greatest city in the world, but I don’t think I could live there.  The occasional visit to the Met will do. 

There are far too many photos to put up in the post, so head on over to my Flickr account to check them all out.