Pocono Speed Way 2018

After Dads class in New York, we all began the long trek home from our weekend excursion but little did we know we were to walk into a big surprise. About 3 miles of I80 is the Pocono Speedway and we thought we would stop in and check out the souvenirs. What a big surprise we got when asked if we wanted a tour of the raceway. When asked how much the tour cost we were told it was free. We went on the tour which took about an hour and boy was it ever great. The tour guide even gave us a ride around the track which we videotaped, and showed us everything about the race track including its self contained power source using a gigantic array of solar cells which powers everything at the race track. The Pocono Speedway is the last privately owned race track in the Nascar circuit which is why the tour was free, the owners want people to be happy and come back…and we will! (more…)

Edited: August 14th, 2018

New York Skyline 2018

No matter if we were at Liberty Park, on the boat, Ellis Island, or Liberty Island, the one constant picture was the fabulous New York Skyline. When last we saw it construction was still being done on One World Trade Center so this is technically the first time we saw it completed (it opened in 2014). The building has 104 Stories and is 1776 feet high (a symbolic height for sure). Also far to the left of the One World Trade Center is the Empire State Building which is actually taller than the One World Trade Center building minus the spiral on top. Regardless of who is taller, its a beautiful skyline and we literally could not get enough pictures of it. (more…)

Edited: August 12th, 2018

Liberty Island 2018

What a thrill it always is to see the Statue of Liberty on a beautiful day in August. While it was a bit hot, it made the cool breeze coming across the Hudson river that much better as we walked around the giant colossus and trying to get the perfect selfie with a structure so big (many of those selfies are in the gallery of this post). After our walk around the statue we took a break in a nice shady area of the park and James bought us all water which made for a perfect family moment. After relaxing in the park drinking our water we made our way to the souvenir stand where James got a hat, Mom got a T shirt, and Dad got a sweatshirt all featuring the statue of liberty! (more…)

Edited: August 12th, 2018

Ellis Island 2018

Ellis Island, in Upper New York Bay next to the Statue of Liberty, was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the U.S. as the United States’ busiest immigrant inspection station for over 60 years from 1892 until 1954. It was the first stop on our journey from Liberty Park to Liberty Island. While it no longer is a place where immigrants enter to U.S., it has been modified into a beautiful museum and a tribute to another era when immigration was done the right way. We included a pic of how the NY skyline looks from Ellis Island, taken from the boat docked outside the museum. One has to wonder what the immigrants of the past thought seeing the NY skyline as they awaited their entrance into the United States. (more…)

Edited: August 12th, 2018

Liberty Island Boat Ride 2018

A boat ride with the New York Skyline on one side and the Statue of Liberty on the other side on a beautiful sunny day in August sounds like a dream, and it is. On both the ride to and from the islands we were on the top level in the sun. The wind was certainly gusting up there so we had to hold on tight to our camera and “goodies” which we had purchased at various souvenir places. The Hudson river was full of activity with many boats including some which we remembered from our visit before (the Cutty Sark sail boat) just added so much to a fun atmosphere for everyone. (more…)

Edited: August 12th, 2018

Liberty Park 2018

Our journey to the Statue of Liberty both begins and ends at Liberty Park where an old train station is used for tickets to the boats that take you to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We had a long walk to get here as the place was very busy and we figure we parked about a mile away. We caught the 3:30 ferry from here (after going through security) and returned around 6pm. On exiting we visited the 911 memorial which has two parallel walls with the names of all those souls lost that horrible day. When looking directly at the memorial it creates an illusion of hose the NY skyline must have looked from that location before 911. At the front are twisted metal from the fallen towers on display which really brings the reality of the tragedy home. (more…)

Edited: August 12th, 2018

Jefferson Memorial Washington DC 2018

There were many places we did not get to see as we only had a finite amount of time in Washington before we had to drive to New York. One place we saw at a distance everytime we took a cab was the Jefferson Memorial which was located on the other side of the Potomac. This was as close as we got to the monument, although we did try driving there later, only to make a wrong turn and end up heading back toward the hotel (and NY so we kept on driving). The driving is not easy in Washington DC and we did not take the car out of the parking garage until we left for NY. Our apologies to Thomas Jefferson but we tried. (more…)

Edited: August 12th, 2018

Smithsonian Natural History Museum 2018

With rain in the afternoon on Saturday we spent the time exploring a couple of the Smithsonian museums. The Natural History Museum was very crowded and we had to wait in a 20 minute line to get in (they do security scans in all the museums). Dad visited the Smithsonian decades ago and wanted to see the dinosaurs, but that part of the museum was being renovated and he never got to see it, so this visit we made it up to Dad. The museum also hosted the Hope Diamond which was stored in the gem area of the museum. Awesome displays of animals and man were on display over several floors and they even had a butterfly exhibit with live butterflies, but we did not visit it since we see this on our Macinac visits and it had a long line. The ocean exhibit was fantastic with everything from whales to skeletons of whales which were hanging down from the ceiling. The mammal exhibit was like going to a zoo and we were thinking that probably is where many of the animals came from after they passed on. The dinosaur exhibit had a T Rex and Triceratop skeletons on display along with many smaller dinosaurs. You could also peer into the lab and watch the people work on fossils which was reminded us of a scene in Jurassic park. All in all it was very much worth the wait. (more…)

Edited: August 11th, 2018

Smithsonian American History Museum 2018

The forecast called for rain Saturday afternoon so we planned on visiting the Smithsonian during this time frame. The first museum was the American History Museum which had a variety of artifacts including the First Lady exhibit, Julia Childs exhibit, and even Archie Bunkers chair. Without a doubt the highlight was the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the National Anthem. It was in a special area and photography was not allowed to help preserve it so the only pictures we got are from the outside of the exhibit. So much to see and so little time while visiting the Smithsonian. (more…)

Edited: August 11th, 2018

Trump Hotel Washington DC 2018

While walking down the streets of washington DC we came across this beautiful building and we could not resist taking pictures since we heard so much about it during the 2016 election (it opened the same year after being renovated). This is the old post office building and is just gorgeous with the clock tower and fairy tale castle looks. Its 315-foot (96 m) high Clock Tower houses the “Bells of Congress” and is the third tallest building in Washington at the time of this visit. (more…)

Edited: August 11th, 2018