We went to the Natural History Museum and we saw heaps of stuff and if you have any questions ask. This blog is misbehaving and captions are just too hard today.
Phenomenal place. We walked around for hours and saw things like the live butterflies, dinosaur bones, the Hope diamond,
crystals, rock formations, gifts from overseas, a mammal display, egyptian mummies and artifacts. Wonderful stuff.
We then wandered across the “Mall” – a long strip of grass down the centre of Washington- to the air and space museum, another of the 19 Smithsonians around the country.
We had lunch there and there were 3 restaurants combined but I think Macdonalds (Mickey D’s as they call it here) was running the show. Hundreds of tables and chairs – truly amazing.
We caught the red Circulator bus to Union Station where Didi bought some cloth patches for her suitcase. I took some photos too. Beautiful building.
After that we caught the yellow Circulator bus back to our hotel.
The Circulator Bus is a service similar to our CAT buses in Perth only the service costs a dollar per ride but you can go a long way for a dollar. We lept off at 14th and K Streets and found our way for one block back to our hotel.
The dinner we had was at the hotel at their restaurant called Grist Mill.
We arrived by train the day before yesterday and walked the 4 blocks from Penn Station to our hotel on 37th St. By the time we had arrived we knew we had too much stuff, but what can you do – if it fits in the bags it comes for the ride. The traffic for a Friday was what we expected. Only that is not true – I had no idea what I was expecting and so I enjoyed every aspect of the scene. Even the grime, the aged tiles in the station and the homeless pregnant girl or our corner.
The noise was an assault on the ears but, at the same time, exhilarating. I know this place has been done to death in movies for decades but the reality is different, yet not. I am enjoying the constant noise, split between muffled sounds that filter through the thick glass in our room, past the double blinds and my ear plugs. Actually its not noisy in our room. We hear sirens , but 8 floors up we are off the street, well and truly – as my mother would say.
We went back to Penn Station and headed to Lower Manhattan to the Financial District towards the 9/11 Memorial. Very confronting and saddening. I looked at the pictures of some of the people who had died and their employers were listed on screens near one of the memorial pools. We signed the wall in the street along with thousands of others. I took a photo.
We then walked to a new shopping centre called Brookfield something and on our way we passed thousands of runners who had been involved in a Tunnel to Bridge run. Every type of personnell were represented. Firies, Nurses, Police, Army, etc It was amazing!
After this photo we went to the new Westfield where “millions have been spent on it” We saw three coloured polished marble tiles and sweeping stairs. There were about 15-20 metre tall living palms too, inside the centre. Beautiful.
After our snacks with a view of the water – we headed to Wall St, then the Bull and then to Staten Island and back.
The street names make you smile.
Dont know if I will eat the offerings here but one could I’m sure.
Our flight to Dallas was uneventful, except for two things. Andrew our Customer Service Officer was fantastic. He was smart attentive and knew his job. He was very helpful and was very easy to get along with. The second thing was the fresh berries we had for breakfast. Stunning! One raspberry, one strawberry, two blackberries and some other fruit pieces. They were so fresh and absolutely delicious. I continue to be impressed with all service personnel I have dealt with. Everywhere I go they are on the ball, happy to help, and generous with their time. Really great.
After all that excitement we arrive in Toronto. A lovely looking city if you can judge from a ride from the airport. Past Lake Ontario and into Downtown Toronto to stay at our lovely hotel, the Doubletree. We were asked at Customs where we were staying and we couldn’t remember the name so all we could summon up as two trees?? But after checking with our companions we established it was Doubletree. There was a broad smile on the face of the customs officer.
Next we went to our carousel to collect our bags. They did not show. looks like the tag was only through to Dallas, so we are waiting 24 hours or so without luggage for it to arrive. It is due in on the same flight as we arrived on so whould be at our hotel around noon.
Went out last night looking for food and electrical things. Went to a huge chain store called Canadian Tire. Combination between Kmart and Bunnings all rolled into one. Started as a Tire store and grew I hear. Also 90% of Canadians live within 15 mins of a Canadian Tire store. Asked three people for help in Canadian Tire and all were on the money for directions and help. After that we went to a market one block away. Fresh food and packaged delicacies. Even when I tried to outsmart the checkout chick and get into the wrong line, she corrected me politely. I ended up being served by a lovely young man who actually smiled and made eye contact as he handed me my receipt and change. Really refreshing. In Australia, I often feel like I am an inconvenience or invisible. Sigh!
I bought fruit and veg and some cheese and cold meat for tea. It was so fresh and yummy. Also bought some guacamole. Best I have ever tasted!
The market’s name was Longo’s Market and the guacamole was ‘zesty’. I was so enraptured with the flavour so I have photographed the list of ingredients. May try and replicate it when I get home. So nice.