East Coast

Trip Start Mar 17, 1996
1
4
7
Trip End May 23, 1996


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Where I stayed
Thousand Trails Campground

Flag of United States  , Maine
Sunday, May 5, 1996

We left Atlanta April 23 and drove through the Carolinas north to Lynchburg, Virginia, to stay at a Thousand Trails campground there. The campground was closed so we just put up our tent by the entrance. It was kind of in the middle of nowhere with only a little market across the street.

Continued north to Washington, D.C. Got a hostel there that would reimburse us for parking so that was cool. We went to Capitol Hill and into the Senate to try and get White House tix from our state's representative (didn't work) then to the House of Representatives. Checked out the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, ... There's a lot to see here! Back at the hostel we met some people from Italy, Israel and Australia.
We woke up early to stand in line for White House tix. Got pictures around the Lincoln Memorial then went on a tour of the White House. They just kind of herd you through like animals and there are tons of people so it's hard to really see much. Visited the National History Museum, the National Gallery, American History Museum and did a tour of the FBI.
Drove out to Arlington Cemetary. It has JFK's grave and eternal flame plus the tomb of the unknown soldier. Also stopped by the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Driving out of D.C. we were in stop-and-go traffic. I noticed the guy behind me wasn't paying attention and often slamming his brakes. I knew it was inevitable before he hit me. He did. We both pulled over and I got out and just let the expletives fly. Someone else stopped to see what was going on and I think I told him to get the f*** back in his car. Being pissed off and yelling seems to work. Anyway, there wasn't any real damage but I still got his insurance info. We drove west to Gettysburg and checked out the battlefield and memorials there. We camped at a Thousand Trails near Hershey, Pennsylvania.
We were up early to Hershey the next morning and went to their Chocolate World. There was a little ride/tour that told the story of how they make their chocolate. At the end, we got a free piece of candy and were going to go on it again to get another free piece of candy but there was a long line. Instead we went to the shop and bought some candy (it wasn't really discounted though). Drove to Philadelphia and saw Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. We didn't find much else that we wanted to see in Philadelphia. Drove into New Jersey to the Chestnut Lake campground. There was some dog convention going on there.

Drove up to Newark and parked the car at a hotel garage. We took the train from there into New York City (we didn't want to have to try and drive in NY). We found a hostel and wandered the Greenwich Village area and up Fifth Ave to the Empire State Building. In the evening, the hostel had free pizza and beer night (sweeeet!). We met an Aussie named Kylie and chatted with her.
The next day we went to the New York Stock Exchange. It wasn't particularly exciting. Took the ferry over to the Statue of Liberty. Climbed the stairs up to the crown. Went to Ellis Island and met a couple women from Seattle. Back to the hostel. We went out with a group of Aussies in the pouring rain to a comedy show that was lame. Had a late dinner and back to hostel.
Another day in NYC. We went to Times Square, Broadway, the 5th Ave area and all around. Saw Rockefeller Center and got into see the Late Show with David Letterman with standby tickets. It was cool to see Dave live.
The next day we went up the Empire State Building for views on a sunny day. In Times Sq, we got tix for a show at one of the cheap ticket outlets. Had dinner and beer back at the hostel then went to see "How to Succeed in Business" with Josh and Kylie.

The drive north to Boston took longer than I expect - 6 hours. Found a hostel in the Irish part of town, parked the car in another hotel parking lot and wandered around a bit.
We followed the Freedom Trail around Boston seeing many of its historical sights. The trail took us by the State House, Paul Revere's House, cemetaries, etc... Boston has ethnic districts like the Irish area and Italian area. In the Italian area, there are restaurants all over. We found one and had a good dinner. The people working there were very friendly and asked were talking to us during dinner. Went to a pub afterwards for a couple drinks.

Kept driving north up to Portland, Maine. We stopped at Two Lights State Park to check out the coast and lighthouses. In town, we went to the Old Port area which was cute. Got some laundry done and watched the Sonics in the playoffs.

We missed quite a bit along the east coast - Carolinas, Virginia, Appalachian Mts. We did get to some of the more well known places though. Washington D.C. had a ton to see. The Smithsonian would take ages to see it all. Both New York and Boston are cool cities that I'd like to go back to. I'd also like to go to the New England area in the Fall someday for the colors.
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