A Travellerspoint blog

Canada - Hatfield Point, New Brunswick

semi-overcast 23 °C

We crossed back over the Canadain border on the last day of our 3 month USA visa. It was a little sad to leave a country we've enjoyed so much. It really outdid any expectations we had, and the natural wonders of America are endless!

Torrential rain welcomed us back to Canada, which was quite fitting it was heavily raining on the day we left! Luckily we were able to dry out with friends at Hatfield Point, a holiday spot known locals of New Brunswick, where the days of riverboats still ring strong. We stayed in a former Riverboat Inn, on the banks of the St. John river system. The ten bedroom inn which dates back to the 1800's still opens it's doors to visitors and was a pretty special place to stay. Tug boats still run across parts of the river system to transport cars back and forth.

We had a great stay, playing cards in the evening and kayaking on the river during the day. A big thanks to Dave and his family for inviting us into their family getaway!

large_Hatfield_Point.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 07.08.2014 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

USA - Acadia National Park, Maine

sunny 25 °C

Acadia National Park is on Mt Desert Island in the gulf of Maine, only just separated from the mainland by a bridge.

large_Acadia.jpg

It features beautiful rugged coastline and rocky cliffs against the open ocean. Evergreen trees interspersed with granite peaks and stunning views from Cadillac Mountain, a great area for hiking and biking. There are also a few stunning lakes and ponds inside the national park. Bar Harbour is the main town on the island, which is filled with small eateries and tourist shops during the summer. We had a fun game of minigolf at the Pirate's Cove where Paul only just won!

large_Acadia1.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 04.08.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - Old Orchard beach & Portland, Maine

sunny 26 °C

Driving north we pretty quickly arrived in Maine, the very last state of our American adventure. We stopped in at Old Orchard Beach, a coastal holiday spot, with an arcade hall on the pier.

A couple of years ago when we were in Chile, we saw an episode of the American show Man Versus Food, where the host takes on an array of food challenges. Anyway, one of the restaurants is in Old Orchard Beach, so we couldn't resist popping in to try one of their famous Mother Futcher milkshakes - a big shake with coffeecake mixed in - yum! Hoss and Mary's - thank you!

large_Old_Orchard_Beach.jpg

Portland is a larger town nearby, and with a historical centre. It's another popular holiday spot for locals, with numerous piers jutting out into the harbour, and a bounty of fresh seafood.

A little further up the coast we stopped in a Young's Lobster Pound, a shack on the water, with a large deck. You go inside, pick your lobster and take it out on the deck when it's freshly cooked for a meal with your BYO salad and drinks - a great idea, we just forgot about the BYO part! It was a beauty of a spot to sit back enjoy the sun.

large_Portland.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 02.08.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - Boston, Massachusetts

semi-overcast 26 °C

We really underestimated how long it would take us to drive to Boston - it looked so close to NYC compared to other distances we'd travelled, but the roads were chocker block with traffic!! Friends we met when travelling in Bolivia generously offered up their house as a place to stay, and it was great to catch up with Alicia and Chris who were super hosts.

The freedom Trail runs through the historical sites of Boston, which weaved us amongst Churches, markets and burial grounds, and was a great way to visit the city whilst learning some history. We jumped aboard the USS Constitution, a warship launched in 1797 fitted with 44 cannon guns, and is still afloat in the Charles River today. We stopped in at Little Italy in Boston's North End for lunch before making our way through the city to the Boston Common Park.

large_Boston.jpg

We met our friends in the Common for a picnic where we were treated to some lobster rolls, a local New England speciality, and they were delicious! We were then in prime position to soak up the evenings live performance of Shakespeare in the Park in a pretty magical setting.

On our way out of Boston we stopped into Harvard University and took a walking tour, and ours was actually led by an Australian student! It was great to see inside Harvard, and learn some of the history of the Ivy League.

large_Boston1.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 01.08.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - New York, New York!

sunny 27 °C

New York has to be the most talked about city of all time. Despite our inhibitions, thinking surely one city can't live up to be as amazing as it sounds, I'm pleased to say we adored our time in this magical place. We could list off everything we did, but really there's too much we packed into our five days and instead I think you should just go!

large_New_York.jpg

We stayed in a spacious apartment in Upper Manhattan and had a short ride on the steaming hot subway to get into the downtown hub. The ferry to Staten Island was a great (free) way to see the Statue of Liberty. The 9/11 Museum has just opened, which has been built below the memorial sites from the two world trade towers - it's an extensive and worthwhile place to visit. We popped up the Empire State Building to watch sunset over the city and the lights come on! And loved the change in Time Square from day to night.

large_New_York1.jpg

We enjoyed a afternoon bike ride through Central Park and some authentic New York Cheesecake at a small bakery called 'Two Little Red Hens' tucked into a suburb nearby. (Delicious!) The newly developed High Line was great. It's an old rail line suspended above the city which was no longer needed. Instead of tearing it down they elected to create green space, and have made it a walking spot full of plants, greenery and some pop up stores. Strolling along it in the evening we could see the lights of Jersey City over the Hudson River.

large_New_York2.jpg

We couldn't leave without sampling some of the New York staples; pretzels, bagels, hot dogs and a pastrami sandwich. We drove out through Brooklyn, which seemed like a great area with a nice farmers market down by the water. Oh and yes that is Lady Gaga in the photo above. We became groupies as we stumbled across a large crowd of people and asked what was going on. (She'd just performed on the Today show). It really is a must see city, and allow at least a week!

large_New_York3.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 30.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

sunny 29 °C

Philadelphia is another fantastic US city we could move to. We found it had a livable yet gritty feel to it! Our host Tiffany (through Airbnb) was fantastic and full of tips and suggestions of things to do and... importantly, eat!

We cycled into downtown from West Philly where we were staying. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is on a hill, with a great view down to the City Hall in downtown, the road is adorned with international flags. Philadelphia served as the temporary capital of the United States while Washington D.C. was being built, and has the original Capitol building in downtown. We visited the Reading Terminal Market for lunch - a foodies dream! A large indoor market with an array of food choices, and a buzzing atmosphere with business people popping in on their lunch breaks and friends sharing meals over counter tops.

large_Philadelphia.jpg

We cycled around the city for the afternoon, and loved the Spruce Street Harbor Park , which has a gorgeous waterfront public space, decorated with shipping container eateries and hammocks! The smaller busy streets of South Street were nice to weave through and Philadelphia's Magic Garden, decorated with walls of mosaic art looked like an interesting place to pop into for a drink.

large_Philadelphia1.jpg

We couldn't leave Philadelphia without trying the famous Philadelphia Cheesesteak - a sub full of thin steak strips and smothered with melted cheese. Ishkabibble’s was a great spot to pick up an authentic cheesesteak, and they had a vegetarian option too!

large_Philadelphia2.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 25.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - Washington DC

sunny 31 °C

We descended from the mountains and arrived in Washington DC. We stayed in the suburb of Hyattsville in a super Airbnb accommodation, just a few hundred meters over the Washington DC state border as it's such a small state!

Washington DC is a planned city, and has a generous strip of monuments and parkland. We took our bikes in to explore, which were perfect to cover the sprawling stretch of monuments. Spotting some food carts on our way, we couldn't resist stopping off for a bite to eat from the 15 carts clustered together....now we just had to choose one! We munched down lunch with the Capitol Building as our backdrop, and spent the afternoon exploring the shady monuments, which were a nice shelter from the heat of the day.

large_Washington_DC.jpg

The Lincoln Memorial is impressively situated overlooking the National Mall strip and Washington Monument. Inside it houses a giant sculpture of Abraham Lincoln who saw the states through the Civil War and was ultimately assassinated for his attempt to abolish slavery and achieve equal rights. Two other monuments honor past presidents; The Washington Monument for the first president of America, George Washington, who chose the site where the capital of America would be built, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Before the day ended we made it to the well guarded White House, which permanently has two police cars pulled up at the front gate. We didn't manage spot President Obama - maybe next time!

large_Washington_DC1.jpg

The following day was an early start for our tour of the United States Capitol (although this is free, you need to book it in advance). It's a splendid building, and was great to visit the inside with a guide. After the tour we had the opportunity to sit in on the Senate and House of representatives as they were in session. (International visitors can pick up tickets on the day). The Library of Congress is another impressive building worth popping inside to check out, just over the road from the State Capitol.

Washington is full of museums, and many are founded by the Smithsonian Institution, making them free to enter. We passed a few hours very easily in the National Museum of American History and rubbed the nose of a giant bronze sculpture of Albert Einstein perched on a nearby street.

large_Washington_DC2.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 23.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - Blue Ridge Pkwy & Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

semi-overcast 26 °C

Time to hit the road again and say goodbye to our German friends. We drove inland to the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A long scenic drive winding it's way along the Appalachian Highlands through North Carolina and Virginia.

The route is dotted with walking tracks and campgrounds. We hiked up to humpback rock, a jagged precipice for some great views out across the mountains, which had a gorgeous blue tinge to them! Our campground for the first night was at the warmest point along the ridge, which meant it was buzzing with 'critters' - spiders, fogs, toads and snakes to name a few... Nothing like a spider hovering over you on a night time trip to the toilet!

large_Blue_Ridge_Parkway.jpg

The next day we drove further north into Shennandoah National Park for some more scenic views of green hilltops weaving their way across the horizon. We stopped off for some hikes as we wound our way north on the picturesque route. We pitched our tent at another great campground and a started a nice campfire to warm us up. It was a cold and foggy night, and we could hear deer rustling around our tent!

large_Blue_Ridge_Parkway1.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 20.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - New Bern, North Carolina

sunny 29 °C

We stopped in New Bern, North Carolina to visit a friend we met during our time in Vancouver. Ollie and his girlfriend from Germany were fantastic hosts and we really enjoyed our stay with them. New Bern was settled by Swiss immigrants, who named the town after Bern, the capital of Switzerland. Bern, meaning bear in English has led to the presence of multiple bears sculptures throughout the town, which are pretty cute. New Bern also lays claim to being the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola and has a small museum store in town, which was fun to check out.

large_New_Bern.jpg

On Friday evening we joined Ollie and his work colleagues at a beachouse for a night with the locals and had a great time. We were taken out on the water for some Friday night drinks as the sun went down on a friend's boat. After dinner and a night on the town we all jumped back on board to be ferried home again to the gorgeous beach house. The night was followed by brunch in a classic American diner, a bottomless jug of coffee and omelette, just what the doctor ordered! We felt like real Americans after our time in New Bern...

large_New_Burn2.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 18.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - Savannah, Georgia

semi-overcast 30 °C

Savannah is a gorgeous historic town, with many squares scattered throughout the lush, historic district. Known for its long and almost tropical summers it's a very popular tourist spot, with some nice beaches nearby. We camped outside of the town at Whispering Pines campground and had a chorus of insects singing us to sleep in the evenings! Being the oldest town in Georgia, ghost tours seemed to be the thing to do here - we spotted many different carriages, hursts and trolleys taking visitors around the haunted spots in Savannah.

large_Savannah.jpg

Savannah is where the movie 'Forrest Gump' was set and filmed. We checked out Chippewa Square which is where the park bench was in the famous scene "life is like a box of chocolates....", but is has recently been removed due to vandalism! Nearby Tybee Island was also very nice, with the best beaches in the area although the weather wasn't ideal!

large_Savannah2.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 16.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - Pensacola, Florida

sunny 33 °C

This was the first beach we visited on the USA's southern coast. It was beautiful, with extremely white sand and warm clear blue water. Fort Pickens (old fort built in 1829 ) is in the National Parkland on the tip of the peninsula, and after exploring this in the heat we went for a dip in the Gulf of Mexico - very refreshing in the warm water! We really wanted to camp in the National Park here, but had to hit the road to get over to the east coast…America’s a big country!

large_Pensacola.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 14.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - New Orleans, Louisiana

sunny 34 °C

The drive in on stilted roads high over the wetlands set the mood, with lightning and thunder clapping overhead as we arrived in this crazy, interesting city. Ruled over by the French and Spanish, and more recently devastated by hurricanes, the worst being Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which flooded the city when levees failed and water reached 7-8 meters high in some areas, causing massive destruction and many fatalities. The city is still recovering, outside of the touristic ‘French Quarter’ which is bringing some money back into the New Orleans.

large_NewOrleans.jpg

We did not feel like we were in America during our time in New Orleans! It’s a hot and tropical city frequented by a daily storm, with music pouring onto the street. We loved Frenchmen Street, The Spotted Cat music bar, and the way you can walk the streets with a drink in your hand, how civilised! Our experience was even more enriched by catching up with a friend from Australia who lives here - a big thanks to Yanti and Alex who were amazing hosts and took us to some great local spots!!

large_NewOrleans1.jpg

On our last day we visited 9th Ward which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and didn't get nearly enough government support in the aftermath. One of the residents Ronald Lewis decided to setup his own tribute to the event with a museum on his property called the 'House of Dance and Feathers'. It also shares information about the vibrant New Orleans culture. The nearby wetlands was another must see, buzzing with wildlife, it felt as though we’d stepped into a jungle. Massive spiders, lizards, and even alligators were visible in the swamp water which the boardwalks passed over, a little too close for comfort!

large_NewOrleans2.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 12.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - Houston, Texas

34 °C

Our next stop was Houston, mainly so we could check out NASA's famed Johnson Space Centre which is located nearby. We spent the day learning about the space program from the early years, the missions to the moon and current activities such as the International Space Station and the Mars exploration. It's well worth seeing with loads of interactive exhibits, films and plenty of actual articles used in their missions. We were even able to touch some moon rock!

large_Houston.jpg

Tours to mission control, a visit to the facilities that are producing future space equipment and viewing the actual Saturn rocket from the 1960's was fascinating. The Saturn rocket was massive and the robots that are being engineered to be sent on the next exploratory mission to Mars were very cool.

The following day, we checked out downtown before heading further west towards New Orleans.

large_Houston1.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 08.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - Austin, Texas

semi-overcast 35 °C

A night stop over in Austin gave us a great feel for the city. Again it was very hot and humid, but we enjoyed sussing out 6th Street which is packed full of music venues and tattooed musicians! We heard some great blues improv at Friends café and had a ridiculously giant pizza in a spot nearby…I guess we’ve arrived in the ‘supersize me’ part of the states…no complaints from Paul!

large_Austin1.jpg

Austin is the State Capitol and we visited the Texas Capitol building the following day. It’s an impressive building, and celebrates the six nations which have ruled over Texas – Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, The Confederate States of America and finally The United States of America.

large_Austin.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 06.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

USA - Dallas, Texas

semi-overcast 37 °C

After spending the last few weeks camping it was a welcome relief to stay with some family friends in Dallas, Texas. A massive thank you to Celia and Anthony who made us feel like we were at home in their beautiful house. We spent 4th of July at a BBQ with friends of theirs, where we had rooftop views of the downtown fireworks celebration!

large_Dallas.jpg

We were expecting Texas to be dry, but the climate was very humid. We made our way into downtown along a great shady bike path called the Katy Trail. The 6th floor museum covered all the details of the shooting of President John F. Kennedy, which happened in Dallas in 1963, supposedly from the level where the museum is now housed. It was a great insight into 1960's America at the time of the assassination and an interesting spot to visit. Downtown was pretty quiet on the weekend, although there are a few neighborhoods dotted around outside of downtown with artisan cafes and shopping strips. We enjoyed the Dallas Heritage Village, a living museum housing 19th century homes which gave us an insight into what life was like in Texas over 100 years ago.

We couldn't leave Texas without going to a Rodeo and visited the Mesquite Rodeo in Dallas on our final evening. It was really interesting to see and forms such a big part of the farming/cowboy life in this part of America. However, Paul and I couldn't help but cringe at some of the things the animals had to endure, and I guess being a vegetarian doesn't help!

large_Dallas1.jpg

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 05.07.2014 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 15 of 144) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »