Sunday, 13 April 2008

01/04/2008 - 13/04/2008

02/04/2008 - This morning we found out that we couldn't insure our RV in NY state without a NY drivers licence. After much Internet research from Lisa, we managed to find a state that would allow us to register and insure our motor home with an out of state address. Finally we were able to Register and insure in Vermont.

03/04/2008 - Today we took ownership of our new motor home. We spent our first night at the dealers yard which gave us a chance to find out how to operate the motor home. The next morning we decided we knew enough and headed off down the highway. As I drove, Lisa was busy in the back closing cupboards and stuffing stuff back in so it wouldn't fall out again. Needless to say it was a bit of a comedy show. We made it through the first day even though we had to return back to Albany to collect our mobile phone. We spent our second night at a Flying J road house along with many other sophisticated RV'ers. It snowed during the night which tested out our furnace. All is well and we are now heading down the east coast looking for some warmer weather.

Surprisingly enough the motor home is very easy to drive and is extremely powerful. The only real difficulty is the width. When we get on tight roads it gets a bit scary however we are now managing to get ourselves around the shopping centres etc... I'm sure we will get smarter with our driving and directing - like not asking the height restrictions of a bridge after we've gone under it.

04/04/2008 - 07/04/2008 - We have spent these couple of days getting used to our new home and stocking the shelves.

08/04/2008 - We spent this day driving to Washington DC. We travelled over the longest bridge-tunnel structure in the world Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, whilst going over this bridge we noticed the speed signs have a maximum and a minimum speed. (Chesapeake is also the name of Brant's business back in Canada...) On the way we were learning about the history of the US. We have now called into a RV park that is fairly close to Washington DC city. After settling into the park we have given our motor home the name 'Stubbie' - what we thought was a large motor home (just over 32 feet) seems quite small in the park. You know how they say to have the worst house in the best street. I think RV parks allocate sites according to value of your motor home. We seem to be upper class however we are in the bottom end of upper class. Some people drive some amazing motor homes.

09/04/2008 - Today we headed off on a hop on hop off bus tour of Washington DC. Our first stop was the White House - we were bit disappointed that we couldn't get too close - but apparently you need to book about 3 months in advance. Our next stop was the Washington National Cathedral - St Peter and St Paul Protestant Episcopal Cathedral. Although this was not one of our planned stops - the bus tour advised us that this was worth seeing - so off we hoped. We were really glad that we did, the church was really interesting. The centre piece of one of the stoned glass windows was a piece of rock from the moon - representing an eye. Our next stop was the Arlington National Cemetery, the home to the grave sites of some of America's service men, women and their families including JFK his wife Jackie and their two young children. Also at the Cemetery is the grave of the unknown soldiers. At this sight they have a changing of the guard every 1/2 hour - this changing of the guard is done with absolute precision and includes the inspection of both uniform and gun. After the Cemetery tour we visited the National Air and Space Museum, one of the sights to see was the pod of Apollo II, this museum is dedicated to the many forms of flight and space exploration - unfortunately, due to time limits, we didn't get to see all that we wanted to see here - so we will be back.

10/04/2008 - Once again we were up early (Dave is struggling to get out of bed at 5:45am to catch the 6:45 bus) and heading of into the city. We decided we would like a bit of exercise so decided to do mostly walking. Our first stop was the Capitol Building, well the movies etc. that I've seen don't do this building justice, it really is an impressive and large piece of architecture. The building is guarded by many police some of which carry machine guns. Whilst there is a lot of security and police present - it isn't intimidating. After the Capitol we headed off to see some of the many monuments present in Washington DC. Our first was the Washington Monument built for George Washington other monuments included the World War II memorial, Korean War memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln memorial. As well as these memorial we were able to stand on the same spot that Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous speech 'I have a dream ....'. Some of these memorials made you stop and think about the number of men, women and children who have been killed in the wars. One that I loved was seeing the pool of reflection - this is were from Forest Gump - Jenny comes running through the pool to see Forest. Whilst other memorials are inspiring like the Lincoln memorial. From these memorials we headed to the Ford Theatre, this is the Theatre were Lincoln was shot, unfortunately this theatre was not open. We then crossed the street to the Petersen House, the house were Lincoln was pronounced dead. From here we headed to the Arts Museum to see some famous paintings from Da Vinci, Renoir and Monet. From here we headed to the Natural History Museum where we saw such items as the Hope Diamond, Dorothy's shoes (from the Wizard of Oz) and the original sign post used in MASH. We then headed back to the Air and Space Museum were we sat and had a coffee and our legs let us know that enough was enough.

11/04/2008 - 13/04/2008 - We have spent these couple of days enjoying the motor home and pottering around.

After looking back at the stress (and cold sores) and numerous discussions (that's what Dave likes to call them) and with the problems of the US Visa -we have decided that it was all worth while - we have learnt many things about travelling and Visa's and will be a lot more vigil next time we travel. To my surprise I have been interested in learning about the American History, it's a pity I didn't have this thirst for knowledge of history when I was back at school. We are having an absolutely fantastic time and are looking forward to seeing more of the States and then catching up with the Gantt family in Texas in June / July.

1 comment:

Storm and Matt said...

Omigosh Elfies - driving across the States in an RV, that sounds like such good fun! Don't worry about being bottom of the middle class ladder, that's where all us cool peeps hang out ;-)
love lots!