People want to tell me that I’m crazy. When they hear our adventure plans, they say, “IN A WEEKEND?!”, and I proudly say yes. Some say I’m a dreamer and it is true. I’ve come to terms that I am an idealist lost in a world full of realists. It’s just how I am but I found out that it influences my every decision – such as traveling to NYC and DC from Florida in two days. And guess what? Here I am to tell the tale and the incredible views I saw spending one day in each place.
And I can say with some time and dedication, you can accomplish anything. We didn’t even really plan it financially or any other way. In fact, the night before we weren’t sure we were even going and a week before, our destination was New Orleans.
Our system was simple. I’d sleep all day so I could drive all night until I got tired. Then I’d switch with my husband. We drove from 9 PM one night until 2 PM the next afternoon. On the way home, he drove for six hours while I slept, then I drove for four hours while he slept, and then him again after four hours, and then my last driving shift was six hours. It was a total of twenty hours but I went to a big place I had never been, shared it with my best friend and love in the entire world, and witnesses some surreal sites.
Our first day was spent in Washington D.C. We went to the Smithsonian, visited all of the monuments, and stood in front of the White House. It was just incredible to see the Lincoln Memorial. They’re just so big and mighty. All of them were incredible but just to stand there meant so much to me. It was pretty nifty being in the same location of the president of the United States also. I was able to touch the Washington monument. Oh and there was an added bonus of ducks everywhere. There were babies and then yards full of huge ducks. Everywhere.
Our second day was spent in New York City, which was one of my biggest travel dreams. I was squealing when I first laid eyes upon the skyline. It was my first time in such a big city. We pretty much ventured around the city in a massive tourist scavenger hunt. I made a list of major sights to see and we Google mapped via our phone for hours. The only regret we had was not bringing our bicycles. We visited Central Park, the Rockefeller Center, Saks at 5th Avenue, Times Square, Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden (where I rode my first subway!), the Statue of Liberty from a distance, and the 9/11 Memorial.
Each place has a different memory and a story that I could go on for hours but quite frankly I don’t have the time right now and I’ve been dying to get these photos up.
I can tell you that while looking at my phone at the fence in Times Square, I heard a voice behind me, and realized it was Elvis practically begging me to take a selfie since I had my phone. I asked him if it costed money because of the time I got tricked in the Florida Keys by taking a picture with some guy’s parrot. He didn’t answer my question and just kept insisting. Stupid me went ahead and did it, then he said he works off of tips and accepts all bills higher than a dollar. I ended up paying FIVE DOLLARS for a selfie with an Elvis impersonator in Times Square. It wasn’t even a good selfie.
Oh, ten minutes later it happened again with a Monk who walked up to me and gave me a ‘peace’ paper and a bracelet. When I tried to ask how much it cost, he said it was for me. Silly me, assumed once again people were just trying to be nice in New York, I took it. Then he made me sign a paper and one of the boxes was a donation box. That’s when I told him I didn’t even have any money. He took the bracelet back and kept INSISTING. Even when I said no. He kept saying, “change”. Over. And. Over. And. Over. I ended up paying a dollar for this stupid piece of paper. I learned my lesson but yeah, I have to stop being SO NICE.
The most powerful moment was witnessing the 9/11 Memorial. I teared up a bit and I didn’t directly lose anyone. My husband and I were discussing where we were when it happened, I visualized the photos and news reels, and the live feeds. It was heartbreakingly powerful. It was Ms. Lyon’s fourth grade class when everyone started gasping and we didn’t quite understand yet. That day forever changed history and here I was, bracing my hand across the just rained on engraved names who lost their lives. I just couldn’t handle it.
It was an amazing experience and so worth the long drive, the tiring days, and the weird sleep schedules. We plan on doing this every month now, just to different states (that we can swing anyway- nothing on the west coast yet!)
I fell in love with new cities this past weekend and I can’t wait to tread across new grounds.