Discussion in 'Travel' started by candycorn, Mar 22, 2017.
On our way to see Waitress!
Our trip to the NE almost didn't happen. I was in Vegas for a couple of days prior to taking off from Phoenix for Liberty Airport in NJ. They were supposed to bring just a bare amount of luggage with them so we could check two bags each and then carry on a small bag. Somehow they thought that meant 4 bags each (their pillows in one suitcase). So instead of flying from Vegas to PHX, we rented a car that gave us a very close rate to the air fare + baggage penalties on Southwest. Though I've lived here extensively, I've never had to return a car to the airport rental car area. It's not marked very well and I had to jump a curb to get to the lot. I was worried about damage to the SUV they gave us in Vegas!!! Turns out there was no big damage and we made our flight easily.
Once at EWR, I learned why the rec's and ratings for Advantage Rent-a-Ca were so low. After standing in line for what seemed like 20 minutes and not moving an inch, I walked over to the Dollar Rent-a-Car counter and got a nice Sonata for approximately the same rate. Driving through Manhattan wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be once you racheted up your own aggression. We saw a lot, missed a little, and made numerous invasions into the city. I found Brooklyn to be amazing. Good restaurants. The trip up-state was aborted for my group. The group we were traveling had plans to stay upstate near West point. We didn't. So they went on their way and we made it as far as Scarsdale. We found a great place to eat in White Plains and came back to the Hotel after the drive through Yonkers, White Plains, and a few other places.
After a few days in NYC, we headed down 95 to the DC area to have dinner with some old friends. She lives about 1/2 way between Richmond and DC but was kind enough to come up to the Chantilly area to meet us. After supper, I got up early the next morning to tour the Hazy center of the Smithsonian. Not to inject politics into it but I wonder how many know that the Smithsonian got $840 Million (at least) in funding from Uncle Sam; about twice what Big Bird got. Whatever they got, they spent it well with displays too numerous to list here but there was an Air France Concorde, the Enola Gay, a Boeing 707, the Space Shuttle orbiter discovery, the CSM of Gemini 7 (where Lovell and Borman spent 2 weeks in space in a craft the size of a mini van, an F14 Tomcat, a Raptor, and of course the SR71. To top it off, free admission and simulators on site. The simulators are hard core…you can almost go totally upside down in them!!!!
Amazingly, the center also had some vintage aircraft from Japan and Germany and Russia on hand; highlighting their military prowess The Germans had this one plane that had a propeller in the front as well as in the back—facing 180 degrees away from the front one. Never saw anything like it.
Later that day, we hit DC and saw the national archives display of the founding documents. They need to be put on a wall somewhere and re-transcribed so they can be, you know, read. I know I was looking at history there and what have you but the documents were in such bad shape, they should really be retired as a service to them. The Archives themselves would be better spent as the focus of the entire trip but I think it was well worth it.
Just to finish the topic….
The following morning, we got on the freeway, found a convienent Chik-Fil-A that had eluded us the previous day and took off for Niagara Falls. We hit Gettysburg. I will return. I want to re-read the great novel, The Killer Angels once more before going back. I could have spent the entire vacation there. One should always remember what a great service the National Parks are… After watching the film and viewing the Cyclorama, we made our way to the Turnpike. SIRI sent us on a route that was at least 50 miles out of the way it turns out. We could have gone back to Carlisle and made better time to suburban Pittsburgh. What was even worse was that the delay put us in the middle of a hail storm on the Turnpike. The next day, off we went to Niagara Falls. The crossing into Canada was fine. Making it to the Falls was wonderful. Once there on the Canadian side, it was grotesque. There are wax museums, casinos, a TGI Fridays, an IHOP, all right there at the Falls. America does a much better job taking care of it’s natural wonders. Canada should be admonished for it. The Hotel (Embassy Suites) that offered us a “falls view” room was a bust; our “view” was standing in front of the window and turning extreme south with your head. The restaurants were overpriced.
Flying home wasn’t bad all things considered. We laid over at Midway before catching a late flight home.
Great places to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there….
Little Round Top
Nice place to see the battlefield, there was a massacre all around there
What I hated about Niagara Falls was what they charged you to park and the way they nickel and dime you. The city is very tacky. We did eat at a restaurant that was maybe 30-40 feet from the edge of the falls. That was pretty cool
Both of us had soft drinks at the TGI Fridays in the hotel. $12.00 Tacky is the perfect definition. The American side looked a lot more “respectful” to the surroundings.
Sorry you didn't like Niagara Falls. Long ride to be disappointed! I have been seeing it since I was a preschooler, so to me the "tacky" is part of the charm and I don't even think about it. It's like an amusement park of a town.
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