Friday, April 22, 2011

Atlantic Coast Roadtrip, Day 1-6 : Princeton (NJ), Arlington (VA) & Washington D.C. (DC)

We finally set off for our month-long roadtrip down the Atlantic Coast on the 15 Jan 2011.
We decided to track our mileage for the entire trip. We had started off at the 17,464-mile mark.
From our home in Southern Massachusetts, we drove past Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York without stopping. The very first stop of our trip was Princeton (NJ) and it took us slightly less than 5 hours to reach. After we had checked into Hampton Inn Princeton, we had a very quick lunch before joining the Princeton campus tour which was at 2.45pm.

Below are some of the sights during the 1.5hr walking tour around the campus.

On day 2, we spent the earlier part of the morning exploring the Princeton campus district where we saw many interesting sculptures and monuments.
We started heading towards Arlington (VA) before noon time on I-95.
When we reached Delaware, we decided to drop by the Delaware Tourist Info Center which is located on I-95 for lunch, refuel and to grab some maps/brochures.
By the time we reached our hotel (Hilton Garden Inn Arlington), it was already getting dark and we were a little tired. So we decided to just grab dinner at the nearby Ray's Hell Burger before turning in for the night.
We figured if Ray's burgers were fit for President Obama and the Russian President Medvedev, they should be really quite good.....and indeed they were tasty and very reasonably priced too! The sweet potato fries were especially addictive. The portions, as you can see, were HUGE. We both weren't able to finish our burgers.
On day 3, we left our car in the hotel and took the subway to Washington DC so that we don't have to worry about parking and being stuck in traffic. We spent the entire day walking around the National Mall and the memorial parks.
We also visited The Old Post Office Pavilion as we read that it's a good place to have a bird's eye view of the area from the Observation Deck.
Well actually, even the interior of the Old Post Office is a sight on its own!!
From the 270-ft Observation deck, we had nice views of the US Capitol and the Washington Monument.
A kind tourist helped to take a photo of me and RG.....the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool are in the background.
Since we didn't make an advanced request to tour the White House, we decided to just drop by the White House Visitor's Center to view photos of the White House as well as learn more about its history through the exhibits.
Of course, how can a trip to DC not involve taking a photo of the White House.
Right outside the White House, we saw people picketing for various causes.
We also saw the Obama motorcade!!!
Lincoln Memorial
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Sad but so true!
The Three Soldiers - Vietnam Veterans Memorial
War World II Memorial

We spent Day 4 exploring Arlington (VA). Despite the lousy weather (we had an icy storm the night before!), we stuck with our plan to visit the Arboretum.
To our surprise, the ice covered plants actually looked very beautiful!!
We also visited the Arlington National Cemetery.
Eternal flame at the grave of JFK.
Iwo-Jima Memorial
We were back in DC on day 5 to visit some of the national sights and museums. Our first stop for the day was the Library of Congress. It is such a magnificent building and a true piece of art!
We also made a stop at the Supreme Court.
Again, as we hadn't made an advance request to visit the US Capitol, we could only tour the surrounding grounds and took pictures of the building.
There were many people picketing (health care issue) right outside the US Capitol.
Next up was the US Botanic Garden.
It was amazing to see a "rainforest" within the building!
Ulysses S Grant Memorial
RG wanted to visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and so we did. We also watched the Legends of the Flight on 3D at the museum's IMAX.
By the time we were done at the Air and Space Museum, it was already quite late. While strolling through the park to get to our subway station, a brave little squirrel came up to us to say "hi"!
We managed to capture some of the pretty night scenaries with our cameras. Below is the silhouette of the Smithsonian Castle.
The sun setting behind the Washington Monument.
We chose to visit the Newseum on our last day (Day 6) in DC. Unlike most of the other DC museums that are free admissions, there's an entrance fee of USD21.95 (+tax) to visit Newseum. However, we figured it would be well worth our money.
The exhibits and shows turned out GREAT!!!
The below is a portion of the antenna on one of the twin towers.
The belongings of a reporter who was killed in 911 while trying to photograph the twin towers after the planes crashed into the towers.
Photos of a truck that reporters had used while covering stories in a war zone...the black dots are bullet holes!
All the reporters who had died while on their job.
There were exhibits that we could touch and play around with.
Here's a game where you try to take the best photograph that can capture the essence of the headline story. Here's my photograph (on the right)....not bad huh?! It was all great fun!
You can also try your hand at news reporting! No....we didn't try....we were too shy :P
I really enjoyed the Pulitzer Photograph Exhibition.
Hee hee.......a girl can dream right?!!
One of the exhibits is a huge World Press Freedom map...and it depicts the level of "freedom of press" in each country.
And here's how Singapore fare in the rating.....NOT FREE! haha
On level 6 of Newseum is an outdoor terrace where you could get very nice views of the US Capitol and the surroundings.
We also got to watch informative and tear-jerking documentaries on the Holocaust and Katrina. I must say my money was very well-spent at the Newseum and I'd recommend everyone to visit it if you have the chance.

After leaving the Newseum, we headed over to the National Gallery of Art which is just opposite the Newseum.
And with that, we ended day 6 of our tour in DC.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome pics. Interesting and insightful commentary on the places to visit. Washington DC is on my list of must visit places. One day I'll get there.