2022 USA

Iceland #1

USA ‘22 #1: Stopover in Reykjavik

Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd May 2022 In the spring of 2020, Robert had planned an extensive trip, loosely based on Phinneas Fogg’s journey Around the World in 80 days. The plan was to circumnavigate the globe without flying. However, when cases of Covid were first being reported he re-routed several sections and was forced to […]

USA ‘22 #2: Fit to fly

USA ‘22 #2: Fit to fly

Tuesday 3rd May 2022 Under current restrictions, passengers are required to test negative within the 24 hours prior to boarding a flight to America and so we had independently verified Covid lateral flow tests arranged for 15:00. As rain was forecast we had booked a guided coach tour, which would keep us inside and out […]

USA ’22 #3: A quick stop in New York

USA ’22 #3: A short stopover in New York

Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th May 2022 After receiving our test results yesterday, Robert successfully completed on-line check in for Matilda but even after multiple attempts, found he was unable to check himself in. This should have rung alarm bells. Next day at the airport seemed to be a training day: we felt that this […]

USA ’22 #4: Boston’s Freedom Trail

USA ’22 #4: Boston’s Freedom Trail

Thursday 5th May 2022 Having arrived in Boston and deposited our bags, at the hotel, we took the Red Line subway from Andrew into the centre of Boston to walk around and get our bearings. Boston is proud of its revolutionary credentials and is full of landmarks and historical sites. The Freedom Trail is a […]

USA ’22 #5: Boston day 2

USA ’22 #5: Revolutionary Boston

Friday 6th May 2022 Boston is justifiably proud of its role in America gaining independence and there are plenty of informative plaques and signs around the city celebrating this. We decided to save some walking time and complete the Freedom Trail by taking the Red Line subway route into the city and picking up the […]

USA ’22 #6: Boston 3

USA ’22 #6: Glass globes and printing presses

Saturday 7th May We had remembered using the GPSmyCity app during a visit to Madrid and decided to try inputting all the places we still wanted to visit to generate a route for the day. Our first stop was to be the Mapparium at the First Church of Christ, Scientist. Christian Science was founded in […]

USA ’22 #7: Boston to Chicago

USA ’22 #7: Boston to Chicago

Sunday 8th May 2022 Having travelled on the Amtrak Acela train from New York to Boston, today we started our coast to coast trans-American train journey. Over the next three days we will be taking two trains to travel the 2,911 miles from the east to the west coast of the USA. The journey starts […]

USA ’22 #8: Three hours in Chicago

USA ’22 #8: Three hours in Chicago is not enough

Monday 9th May 2022 We arrived at Chicago Station, which like so many we have seen, is grand, gorgeous and very clean. It was designed by Daniel Burnham and opened in May 1925. Once again we were able to use the Metropolitan Lounge and so could leave our luggage and spend a few hours acquainting […]

USA ’22 #9: The Empire Builder [Chicago to New Orleans]

USA ’22 #9: The Empire Builder [Chicago to Seattle]

Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th May 2022 The Amtrak service between Chicago and the Pacific northwest coast is called the Empire Builder which seemed a strange choice of name to us having spent several days in Boston learning about the American struggle to escape the shackles and restrictions of the British Empire. Empire Builder was however […]

USA ’22 #10: Seattle

USA ’22 #10: Seattle

Wednesday 11th to Friday 13th May 2022 A friend has recently visited her daughter who relocated to Seattle before Christmas so we were able to ask for their recommendations of places to go. Ruth Jewell suggested that the Space Needle was a good place to start as it would help us to orientate ourselves. We […]

USA ’22 #11: Seattle to New Orleans

USA ’22 #11: Seattle to New Orleans

Friday 13th May 2022 We had better views of the mountains from the plane than we had had on the Empire Builder as we flew from the north west down to the south east. But Robert deems flying to be cheating in this respect. We had pre-ordered our in-flight meals and Matilda was pleased to […]

USA ’22 #12:

USA ’22 #12: Laissez les bons temps rouler

Saturday 14th May 2022 Bourbon Street was considerably emptier and much quieter when we set off on our sightseeing walk the following morning. This makes it far less hazardous when you stop suddenly to gaze upwards and admire the beautiful buildings and balconies although we did have to avoid stepping on a few revellers who […]

USA ’22 #13:

USA ’22 #13: Au revoir New Orleans: we’ll be back

Sunday 15th and Monday 16th May 2022 Our first stop on Sunday morning was to be Coterie, the place where we were recommended to have breakfast. We both opted for Eggs Benedict and were not disappointed [see Dish of the day]. We were required to have proof of an independently verified negative Covid test before […]

USA ’22 #14:

USA ’22 #14: All aboard the American Queen

Monday 16th May 2022 The American Queen is said to be the largest river steamboat ever built. Completed in 1995, she is a six-storey recreation of a classic Mississippi riverboat. At 418 feet (127 m) long, 89 feet (27 m) wide and with 222 state rooms she can accommodate 436 guests and a crew of 160. Having settled in, […]

USA ’22 #15:

USA ’22 #15: Marshmallows and swamp ’gators

Tuesday 17th May 2022 One of our top priorities on our first full day on the American Queen was to get some laundry done. Since we have found hotel laundry services to be expensive everywhere except India so far, we had found out in advance when we would be able to do washing for ourselves […]

USA ’22 #16:

USA ’22 #16: Swing low, oxbows and plantation life

Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th May 2022 Yesterday morning had been taken up with laundry but on Wednesday we booked places on the daily ‘hop-on-hop-off’ coach. This takes passengers into the closest town for sightseeing and you are provided with a map of the stops and the local places of interest. Our destination was Point […]

USA ’22 #17:

USA ’22 #17: Goodbye Mississippi

Friday 20th to Monday 23rd May 2022 The hop-on-hop-off tour for the day was to Vicksburg but since we could see the first stop from the boat we decided to walk straight there. This time we seemed to avoid the crowds by being the only people who were choosing to visit the Old Depot Museum. […]

USA ’22 #18: Graceland, home of The King

Monday 23rd May 2022 We had originally planned to make our own way to Graceland when we docked but the house is about nine miles south of the centre of Memphis and so we felt it was too far to walk there and back. By booking on the disembarkation tour from the American Queen we […]

USA ’22 #19: We’re walking in Memphis …

USA ’22 #19: We’re walking in Memphis …

Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th May 2022 Our hotel is opposite the famous Peabody Hotel which opened there in 1925. Jefferson Davis, the former President of the Confederacy had lived in the original 1869 building. By far the most famous residents now are the Peabody Ducks who march through the lobby daily at 11:00 to […]

USA ’22 #20: Chicago: low cloud and smelly onions

Wednesday 25th May 2022 We had originally hoped to start the day by going up the Willis Tower but the weather had different plans. The forecast did not indicate much improvement for tomorrow so we will need to save this for a return visit. As Chicago is a major railway intersection, and Robert is planning […]

USA ’22 #21: Chicago 2

USA ’22 #21: An unexpected home visit with Frank Lloyd Wright

Thursday 25th May 2022 Today was going to be a day exploring some of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, a temporary building was constructed around a large masonry water tank that had survived the fire on the site now occupied by The Rookery. Following a campaign by […]

USA ’22 #22: Washington 1

USA ’22 #22: Memorial Day build up in Washington

Friday 26th and Saturday 27th May 2022 Robert had not realised when he was planning this trip that we would be in Washington for the Memorial Day weekend. In fact, this proved to be a mixed blessing. The city was busy with visiting families but there were also activities and celebrations afoot along the National […]

USA ’22 #23: Washington 2

USA ’22 #23: The fate of the Native Americans and two more states 

Sunday 28th May 2022 Robert realised that Washington adjoins two other states and that by doing a little extra travelling during the day we could add these onto our US state map on the beenApp. First we took the Metro to Alexandria Old Town in Virginia. King Street leads straight down to the harbour.  This […]

USA ’22 #24: Philadelphia 1

USA ’22 #24: Philadelphia, the site of Independence

Monday 30th May and Tuesday 31st May 2022 Leaving Washington, we took the subway, which is extensive and has tracks on multiple levels. The subway took us to Washington Union Station. This is another great example of American railroad architecture, both inside [above] and out [below]. It also has sweeping staircases to rival those in […]

USA ’22 #25: Philadelphia 2

USA ’22 #25: Curtis and the Masons

Wednesday 1st June 2022 We set off for the Free Library of Philadelphia to join the 10:00 tour where there seemed to have been some confusion over timings – we were the only ones there and it later transpired that the guide was expecting it to take place in the afternoon. When our guide, who […]

USA ’22 #26: New York 1

USA ’22 #26: A Manhattan in Manhattan

Thursday 2nd June 2022 A short Amtrak ride from Philadelphia brought us back to our starting point in New York. Although we could not do so in Chicago because of the cloud cover, we continue to try and take Ruth Jewell’s advice and start our sightseeing by going up the city’s best observation point. So […]

USA ’22 #27: New York 2

USA ’22 #27: 13.75 miles around New York

Friday 3rd June 2022 Robert had planned a route, taking in many of the long list which Matilda had compiled of places to visit, for our first full day of sightseeing in the Big Apple. First we planned to walk the High Line. On our way however, we came across Vessel in Hudson Yards which […]

USA ’22 #28: Cheesecake and turtles

Saturday 4th June 2022 Matilda had decided that, after our New York deli breakfast, she would sample her cheesecakes, so when we returned to the hotel, she sliced them both in half so that she could compare. Even though she had carried them round New York for several hours the day before, she was not […]