USA trip preview
It’s nearly time! Years in the pipeline and months in the planning will next week see Mike and I arrive in the US for three intensive weeks of… stuff.
The focus is east and south, the original scope included west as well but anticipated work pressures forced us to jettison that part. (This time.)
Unfortunately the political nonsense going on seems likely to have an impact. It’s a frustrating coincidence that our trip should coincide with the first Federal Govt shutdown in 17 years. Sigh.
Anyhow this is a rundown of what’s ahead…
New York City (4 nights). Three full days isn’t nearly long enough but we’ve spent a lot of time reading and planning (we’re that type of people). Highlights will include the High Line, Brooklyn Bridge, Top of the Rock, Central Park, World Trade Centre Memorial, Roosevelt Island, Coney Island, various neighbourhood walks and a preseason NBA game. I’ve been here twice before, the last time fleetingly…
Washington DC (2 nights). This will be my third visit to DC and Mike’s first. I like the place (clearly!) but much of what we want to do will probably be closed. We’re especially disappointed about the National Mall Monuments & Memorials, but we’ve also organised visiting times in the Capitol and National Archives. Never mind, we’ll still make the most of it. One highlight will be an NHL match – I had wanted to see hockey on my last trip, but managed to coincide those travels (anyone see a pattern?) with the 2004-05 lockout which cancelled the whole season.
Virginia (1 night). We pick up a car in DC (must remember: keep right!) and will make stops at Arlington, then Fredericksburg for some Civil War trail exploration. From there it’s a short hop over to the Belle Grove Plantation, a renovated historical plantation mansion recently opened as a bed and breakfast. I found this place via fellow WordPress blogger, Michelle, one of the proprietors. I’m looking forward to meeting them and experiencing some grandeur and history!
North Carolina (2 nights). We start the NASCAR theme of the trip here :). A few hours drive south takes us to the area around Charlotte where many teams are based. A few race shops will be receiving visits from us…
Alabama (3 nights). A massive sporting weekend will begin with a sprint down to Talladega to catch some of the practice day. We’ll base ourselves in Birmingham from where we’ll head south on Saturday to Tuscaloosa for college football. Sunday is race day! Back to Talladega we go. Seeing a NASCAR event was our no.1 priority for the trip, preferably at this track. (This will compensate for missing the Bathurst 1000 race in Australia which is usually my most sacred television day of the year.)
New Orleans (3 nights). As far west as we’ll go. On the way down we’ll catch up with my relation Dave and his wife MaryAnn who I stayed with in Florida nine years ago. It will be great to see them again. The two full days in NOLA that will follow doesn’t give us long to get to know her but a half-day small tour by van and a short-list of what we want to see and do on foot will give us a flavour of the place.
Miami Beach (3 nights). We fly to Miami and pick up another car. Staying in South Beach means we can suss out that famed Art Deco architecture as well as get a teensy bit of seaside r&r. The next day we drive roughly one-third the way down the Florida Keys with bookings to go snorkelling and kayaking. An early start the following morning is required to get over to the everglades for an airboat tour. That night I have a NASCAR ride experience booked at Homestead Speedway!
Daytona Beach (1 night). On the way north we stop at Kennedy Space Centre and Govt shutdown permitting, we have a tour booked. (And if not – I wonder if we’ll get a refund? That place ain’t cheap.) The next morning our NASCAR theme endeth with a visit to the Daytona Speedway. Or in my case, another visit.
That afternoon we fly home out of Orlando. Shattered, quite probably!
With so much wifi around, if not much time, my plan is to blog a summary each day and catch up on things in more depth when time permits.
And now there’s nothing for it but to get through these last few stressful days of work – it’s not a good time to be going away, but that’s life – and make sure I leave enough time to pack.
See you soon America, even if you are partially shut. (Grrr.)