Goodbye New York....Hello Washington!

Trip Start Sep 07, 2009
Trip End Nov 17, 2009

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Friday, September 18, 2009

17/09/2009 - Checked out (reluctantly) from East Village Bed & Coffee and jumped in a cab to Penn Station to catch the Amtrak down to Washington DC. Our stay in NY had been one of the most exciting and surreal experiences of our lives. We loved it, who wouldn't? Such a unique, wicked city. Back to the train...once on board (no reserved seating on Amtrak, so was a bit of a free-for-all!), we settled in for the 3.5 hour journey. It was great to finally see more of America, we had been in our NY bubble for too long. The train travelled down the East Coast through Philadelphia and Baltimore. The short route cuts through five states; New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, before reaching DC. The train also stopped off at a number of smaller industrial towns with slogans such as 'Trenton Makes, the World Takes'. The scenery was jaw dropping, not because of beauty, but because of how rundown some area of America really are. The outskirts of Phili and Baltimore were half derelict. Endless rows of burnt-out, boarded-up houses, but with people still living in between. We were shocked at just how low the standard of living is for some Americans. The were some more picturesque places though, with gorgeous traditional clapboard houses. The wide estuaries we travelled over along the coast were also stunning. Arrived at Union Station in DC to a very wet and gloomy afternoon. Caught a cab to our B&B in Dupont Circle and were cheered-up when we saw the huge sleigh bed in our room! Went out for a bite to eat at a French restaurant and discovered that, unfortunately, DC seems to be as expensive as NY.

18/09/2009 - Woke up early to our first 'free' cooked breakfast. The dining room has just one large table that all the guests sit around. This was a bit weird at first (a few tumbleweed moments as Jim would say), but actually we got talking to some really nice people (a couple from Denver, who recommended a route for us to take from Denver to Las Vegas, and an Australian lady who is travelling on her own for 5 weeks). Now for the bad news. As we left the dining room and walked up the stairs to our room, I suddenly felt my back go and I basically haven't been able to walk upright since! Not sure what happened, it just went! Decided to carry on with our sightseeing plans, in the hope that the pain might ease off. Caught an open-top touring bus from right outside our B&B, that took us round all the sites that DC has to offer. The city has such a huge political history (that it is obviously very proud of!). The endless monuments and government buildings we drove past were very impressive. We stopped off for a while at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King gave his famous 'I have a dream' speech and the site of the inauguration of Kennedy and Obama, which was pretty inspiring. With my back still hurting, we didn't get a chance to visit the White House, but Jim got a quick passing picture form the bus!

Back home, my back was no better, so we got a takeout and a strapped a heatpack to my back in the hope that it will be better in the morning for our long train ride down to Savannah...fingers crossed...
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