Friday, March 28, 2014

My Dream Vacation


This is how it starts.  My dream vacation.  On Amtrak.

While many people would choose to fly, I want to see things along the way, not just clouds.  Driving would work.  That's the way it was done when I was growing up.  Our family vacations were often two weeks, and stopped at all kinds of places on the way.  My mother enjoyed waterfalls and caves.  We stopped at them all.  I swear we did.  After a while, one waterfall looked much like the last one, at least to me.  The same for caves, mountains, and the usual nature things.  But I did see a lot of this glorious country.  Looking back to those long ago decades, I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I want to do it by train.  I'll start out by travelling to Chicago, the real point of departure to my trip back into history.  With luck, I'll take my youngest daughter with me.  The others have responsibilities.  We don't.  Of course that isn't true, but they've had the advantage of being older and traveled some before baby sister was born.  It's her turn now.

After a quick tour of Chicago (I was there in 1999 and saw virtually nothing), we'll travel to Boston.  I already have a list of things to see and do.  In no special order:
  • Old North Church
  • Boston Harbor
  • Beacon Hill
  • Boston Athenaeum, the oldest, largest, independent, private library in the U.S.
  • Boston Commons
  • Boston Light, 2nd oldest lighthouse in the U.S
  • Fareuil Hall
  • Freedom Trail
  • Harvard
My oldest visited Boston a few years ago.  A work-related trip, she didn't get to see much.  In fact, it was so late and so dark, they weren't sure where they were.  Come to find out, the were behind Old North Church, where dog tags of veterans hang.  It took some time for them to realize that, and also to discover they'd also driven by Harvard Library.

After Boston?  We'll ride on to the Big Apple.  New York City.  I've been there twice.  The first time with my parents in 1964. I was a preteen and remember Radio City Music Hall, climbing the winding iron steps to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, the U.N.,and going to the 1964 World's Fair.  We stayed at the historic Plaza Hotel, across the street from Central Park.  My second trip was in 2003, and I can now proudly say that I managed to navigate the subway and even rode it on my own aka no friends along.  The subway took me from near the hotel where I stayed to Ground Zero and three blocks away to Harlequin NY Headquarters at the historic Woolworth Building.

This dream trip will include the following:
  • Empire State Building
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Grand Central Terminal (a given, since riding the train)
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Broadway & Times Square
  • The Neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan
  • The World Trade Center Site, because I saw it in 2003 when it was Ground Zero.
After NYC, we'll travel south to Philadelphia, the cradle of our democracy.  By now my feet will be hurting, but the things to see will far outweigh a few blisters.
  • The Franklin Institute
  • Liberty Bell Center
  • Independence Hall
  • Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church
  • National Constitution Center
  • Everything possible on Independence Mall

Last stop of the trip.  Washington, DC.  This is a can't miss.  I've been there twice, the first visit as a small child.  All I remember is the Lincoln Memorial, so the trip in 2000 with Kathie and Charlie DeNosky was a joy.  I had the opportunity on this second visit to break out of my mold of not straying at the RWA Conference hotel and do a little sightseeing.  I hopped on the Metro, but forgot my camera, with a zipped storage bag of momentos.  My destination?  The National Mall, and especially The Wall.  This dream time will include many, many more things to see.
  • The entire Washington Mall:  Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial (an absolute must-see, breathtaking memorial), Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, WWII Memorial, Washington Monument
  • The Smithsonian
  • The Capitol
  • The White House
  • Every other memorial on the National Mall
  • Holocaust Museum
Then comes the trip home, and I haven't decided which kind of transportation we'll use.  That will come later.  Whatever it is, we'll need time to digest all the wonderful and historic places we've seen.

Do you see a pattern in my choices?  DC, Philly and Boston?  The places mentioned in those three cities were part of the movie, National Treasure.  I through NYC in there, because why miss something when you're that close?

Will we ever take this trip.  Yes!  I don't know when, but I do know we will.  But first we'll need to watch National Treasure and National Treasure 2 again, for a brush-up.  Then do some studying.  History will come to life.

Who wants to come along?
Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done. ~ Louis D. Brandeis

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