Welcome to Bob & Susan's Northeastern Sojourn
We left July 22, 2001 for Buffalo, New York to see Niagara Falls. We immediately rented a car, and drove to Niagara, Ontario to see the falls from the Canadian side, and to sample the "Casino Niagara" as well. We saw the sights, and Susan scored on a slot machine before we left (don't get too excited... $100 in Canadian money is not the same as U.S. money!).
See our Niagra Pictures
We then drove across upstate New York from Buffalo to Albany (the capital) to see the sights. We drove the smaller highways to get a feel for the natural New York countryside. We saw lots of agriculture, waterfalls, and finger lake sights. It was thoroughly enjoyable. The town of Ithica, home to Cornell University and Ithica College, was partucularly beautiful, as were the sights along the banks of the finger lakes. Nauganook Falls was a postcard perfect scene I felt priveledged to see.
See our agricultural and Women's Hall of Fame pictures
We stopped at "Turning Stone" Indian Casino outside of Oneida, New York, but other than the beautiful flowers and greenery, were not impressed with their casino games. One bright spot though was the discovery of a new-to-us game called "SIC-BO" which deals with estimating the possible faces on 3 dice that are shaken in a canister then presented. We enjoyed learning that game.
See our Finger Lake and Turning Stone pictures
When we arrived in Albany, we drove directly to the downtown area to see the state office buildings. I was originally confused as to which building was which, mistaking the wrong building for the Capitol. After we were straightened out, I set about photographing the different locations, and exploring this most historical capital. Their Department of Education building was huge, with dozens of ionic pillars surrounding it like the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. Its architecture was unique to downtown Albany. We were off again after about a 3 hour visit.
We decided to take a short side trip into the Catskills, to look over the place where so many people used to vacation. It was gorgeous, and seemed not to be so commercial and built up. We drove through several little mountain towns and villages where the falling waters, and mountain views were spectacular. After spending the night at the "Trail Motel" and enjoying a good breakfast, we were off once again for a straight through trip down the New York Throughway to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
See our New York Capital and Catskills pictures
This was a long drive, but the scenery was nice, and we arrived before dark. Seeing the Trump Taj Mahal beckoning us was a real thrill for me. We drove to the Roadway Inn, a small hotel at the end of Atlantic Avenue, and rented a room for 2 nights.
We then set about hitting all the big name casinos. Taj Mahal, Trump Tower, Trump Marina, Harrah's, Hilton, Tropicana, Ballys... they became a blur, but it was exciting to see this historical gambling mecca up close. Susan was much more fortunate than I was in the gambling department, so I did not enjoy this part of the trip as much, but all in all, I enjoyed finally getting there to see things for myself. We ended our Atlantic City adventure at Caesar's Palace. We spent the morning playing games and shopping in the oceanside mall on the boardwalk. After picture taking, we left for Washington D.C. This was also a long drive, but we had plenty of time, and made the trip safely.
See our Atlantic City pictures
Unfortunately, we arrived in DC at rush hour, and had to drive (crawl) through downtown traffic, causing us to miss the Bureau of Printing & Engraving's tour. So we headed out to Falls Chase, for a hotel room, and a visit to Tillman's Corner Mall where we saw one of only two Apple retail stores in the USA. Now THAT was a real thrill for me! It looked just like the WEB page said it did, and I enjoyed seeing mall folks popping in to see Apple's products. We even called up the T-Apple WEB page on one of their display computers, and photographed it! *grin*
We woke up early, and headed to the Mall in downtown DC riding the METRO train. That was fun, and was much faster than driving in from West Falls Church, Virginia. We disembarked at the Smithsonian stop and went topside to catch the tour bus that shuttled us all over the downtown area, stopping and describing all the buildings and memorials.
Our particular shuttle tram broke down, so we changed trams at the Lincoln Memorial, but otherwise, all went well. We returned to the Air and Space Museum for their excellent luncheon meal.
After eating, we explored the Smithsonian Castle, and seeing "Women in Sports" a fantastic photographic exhibit on display there. Next we hailed a taxi for a drive out of the downtown area, to see one of the reasons for this particular vacation... the National Cathedral.
See our Washington D.C. pictures
This was a most awe-inspiring visit to one of the greatest architectural endeavors in the American elcesiastical architecture domain. We were both awestruck with the sheer size and magnitude of the edifice, as well as with the treasures of historical value housed within. My camera was a-clickin' almost nonstop!
We toured the building, and shopped in their gift area before leaving DC for our last part of our driving journey, that being finding Dulles Airport, and getting a room for our last night's stay.
We were delighted to find a Hilton right there at the airport, and quickly booked our room, which by the way, included a sumptuous breakfast buffet in the morning. After eating breakfast, Susan finished packing up as I returned the rental Ford Taurus to the Budget rental lot a few streets over from our hotel. The Budget rental shuttle returned me to the hotel, and the Hilton Shuttle took us over to the departure terminal for our flight back to Jacksonville.
We returned home tired from all the traveling, but had a delightful time exploring the wonders of upstate New York and the north east of our country.
See our National Cathedral pictures
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