#15 – Exploring the US Capital, some country music, and learning about the Civil Rights movement. Washington DC, Nashville TN and Montgomery AB!

Exploring the capital of the USA

After a very exciting and fun filled three nights in New York City, we headed the truck south towards Washington DC to explore the capital of the US. The weather was nice, but chilly, and we spent two nights camping out about 10 miles outside of downtown, in Maryland.

The main mall is huge! We walked the entire length, from the Capital building all the way to the Lincoln Memorial. It was really interesting to see the Washington Monument, the Capital building and the White House. The Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting pool were very powerful experiences and opportunities to reflect on some of the great people of US history.

Smithsonian Museum Elephant

We also enjoyed checking out the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, a free experience as are all the museums in DC. It has some incredibe exhibits on climate change, natural history, geology, gems and minerals and African orgins, and Human history. It was a great way for us to spend the morning, and we definitely learned a lot.

Breakdown in Roanoke Virginia

After Washington, we continued to head southwest, and worked our way through Virgina. Caroline happened to be driving and we were just pulling off the highway for our stop for the night when our truck complety shut down! Turns out our Alternator went bad and then our battery drained and we were stuck on the road, needing a tow. We got all fixed up in a couple of days and headed out back on the road after exploring Roanoke, Virginia, the “Magic City” for a day!

Checking out some country music in Nashville TN

Our next stop was Nashville Tennessee, where we got to enjoy some tasty BBQ and good country Music. This city definitely had a “Vegas” vibe, with the downtown Broadway street very busy with people, bars, restaurants and live music all day and evening! Most bars were three stories, with live music on each floor! We had a fun evening exploring downtown after leaving our truck and camper back at the KOA campground in Music Valley.

Learning about the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery AB

After our visit to Nashville, we headed south in Alabama. We wanted to visit Montgomery, to learn more about the history of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. We explored the city and found many useful and insightful plaques the described the important events, people and history of this city. We talked with some locals and did a self-guided walked tour around town. We also complemented this with a visit to Selma, a very important town nearby where the march for voting rights began. It was a powerful experience and we are so glad we got to witness this historical place.

Photos from this part of our trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/m4yeP7jHurKAHe149

Overall, this segment of our trip was great, despite the breakdown. We learned a lot of new history, witnessed interesting events and locations and explored some new music. We had great new southern food, met lots of very friendly people and made it deep into the southern US. Our next phase of the trip is to head west through Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas!

#14 – New York City!

Taking the ferry over from New Jersey

After waiting for what seemed liked forever, the USA border opened up at last and we were able to cross over on Nov 8th. Despite lots of hype, it was quite easy and fast for us to cross over and begin our long way home.

We spent our first night in the US boondocking at a Walmart near Kingston, NY. The next day we drove into New Jersey and where we were parked for the next 3 nights, at Liberty Harbour RV Park, essentially a parking lot near the Statue of Liberty that allowed us to stay in our Camper, but still be very close to the City. We had two options, a ferry across to Manhattan, and a subway PATH from Jersey City into World Trade Center.

Times Square Giant Panda

We walked about 30,000 steps every day, and explored as much of the city as we could in 3 days. Lower Manhattan, Broadway, Hudson, Central Park, Little Italy, Brooklyn Bridge, 9/11 Memorial, the MET Gallery and so much more. It was beautiful, unseasonable weather for early November, most days were clear, sunny and above 20 degrees. We rented bikes, took the subway, ferry and walked our way around this giant, busy island.

The stage for “Come from Away”

We were very excited to be able to get some 1/2 price tickets to “Come from Away”, an excellent Broadway musical all about the town of Gander, Newfoundland, and how they helped and housed over 7000 stranded travellers after the 9/11 attacks. It was a heartfelt and emotional experience that resonated with us a lot, especially when we also were able to spend some time at the 9/11 memorial at the World Trade Center.

9/11 Memorial

The city that never sleeps is always busy! Even on a weeknight, we found New York to be energetic, exciting and engaging. People were friendly, talkative and welcoming for us, as visitors. There was lots of attention to making sure everyone was safe, wearing masks when required and checking our vaccine passports when neccessary.

Taking the ferry back to our RV after a long day of exploring.

One of our favourite days was spent walking and exploring Central Park and the adjacent MET Gallery of Art. It was so full of interesting exhibits, displays, collections and pieces of art. We saw so many beautiful things, evidence of past civilizations, examples of transformative art, and engaging stories of history.

One of the many exhibits in the MET Gallery

We happened to be in NYC during Remembrance day, or as it is called in the US, Veterans day. They had many examples and displays of the sacrifices of their soldiers and people during the past world wars. It was an interesting for us to see the subtle differences between Canada and the US on this important day.

World Trade Center Station lit up for Veterans day

Overall, our New York experience lived up to our expectations and more. We were very lucky with our timing, had great weather, a very close place to park our truck and camper and easy access to the city. With good walking shoes, google maps, and a bike and subway pass, we were able to go anywhere we wanted. We had amazing pizzas, dinners and street food, saw an amazing broadway musical and fully explored Central Park. We got to do all the things we planned and more, yet still, we hope to come back again one day!

Below is our video from this part of our trip and below the video is a link to more photos of our time in the Big Apple!

A collection of our Photos from New York City https://photos.app.goo.gl/c4Y4gpQcKKSF9s459