Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Land of the Free… Home of the Brave

Washington DC

When Francis Scott Key penned those words he was not vacationing with family and staying in luxury hotels. Quite the opposite. He was inspired by the nation's flag flying victoriously after the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. A flag not yet as iconic as it was destined to become, and words that were not yet as well recognised as they are today. My trip to The United States of America has opened my eyes to much of it's history, it's spirit and it's breathtaking beauty. Forgive me peoples but an indulgent (oh so very indulgent) vacation calls for an indulgent blog post. So here goes…

The National Cherry Tree Festival


Soho NYC

The Highline

Brooklyn NYC

New York - outer suburbs

Central Park

Central Park - the pond

Manhattan Brownstones

American Museum of Natural History 

NYC - fire escapes

Top of the Rock

Rockerfeller Center

Grand Central Station

The Waldorf Astoria

The Bellevue Mansions - Rhode Island

Harvard University,  Boston Massachusetts

The Washington Nationals - Nationals Park

Cookie Monster at the American History Smithsonian

Boston,  Massachusetts

Adirondacks overlooking Newport Harbour 

Newport Rhode Island

Salem Massachusetts

Kangamagus Highway

If only these images could convey the epic nature of a family vacation that maximised every waking second of every day. I have edited well beyond my level of comfort and I have decided to leave a few highlights out since they deserve a post of their own. What these images surely will convey is the impressive diversity in our experience. We enjoyed history, architecture, scenery, sports, food, tourist hot spots, "off the beaten track" gems, nature and last but not least *luxury accommodation. 

America you are fabulous. A land of contrast, contradiction, charm and diversity. Your history is impressive and sobering, your cities are bustling and vibrant, your hospitality is gracious and your food is um… how to put this politely… FULL ON! You do nothing by halves and you have the balls to prove it whenever given the chance. You are familiar through popular culture yet elusive in your history and politics. You stand up for that basic human right  - freedom - and you don't mind being ostentatious whenever the moment allows. You can be bright, bold and belligerent as well as calm, cooperative and clandestine. I have only scratched your surface and yet I feel full to the brim with inspiration and awe. Thank you. We will be back! 

Thank you to those who followed my adventures on Instagram. It was exciting to think that I was actually only a train or bus ride away from some of my favourite fellow bloggers. I felt utterly spoilt and quite emotional at times. My boys took such great care of me and watching them bond was an added bonus. Seeing the USA through the eyes of a teenager is quite an education let me tell you. We returned grateful for our spacious and sparsely populated city. We returned richer within our souls, inspired and if at all possible closer as a family. Travel imparts a treasure unlike any and for this experience we are truly grateful. This is not the last you'll be hearing about my EPIC adventure and for your patience I thank you in advance. Til then I'll stop nattering and leave you with one of my favourite  images …

 * can you imagine my reaction when Hubby and Young Prince take me to the Waldorf Astoria and pretend that we are only staying for a fancy high tea, only to surprise me by telling me that we are booked to stay there for the last week of our trip. The WALDORF ASTORIA!! Needless to say it was a fabulous treat and a memory I'll cherish forever. 

♥♥♥To both my dudes… Thank you guys. I love you to the moon and back. Always. ♥♥♥

PS - I still have to tell you about the Chelsea Flower District (swoon), the Mount Washington Hotel (swoon & faint) and The National Cherry Tree Festival (swoon, faint and drool)  and The Museum Of Modern Art (swoon, faint, drool and cuss) … like I said. EPIC.

Oh and one last thing… I've captioned & provided links to all but one photo. So that you can read and explore these amazing places as well. If I were to even try I'm sure my tongues would fall off. 


chasing lightning bugs said...

I am so glad the trip of your dreams was such a wonderful one. It sounds as if it lived up to your expectations. Your photos are just gorgeous!!!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Angy,

The images you show here really do capture the excitement and diversity of your big American adventure. What tales you have to tell and what extraordinary memories you will keep in your heart for ever.

And, how wonderful to be able to experience all this as a family. To be able to look at everything from such very different angles can, surely, only have added to the richness of every event.

We have never visited the USA but do so want to go there one day. We can well see that we should be of the same mind as you when you applaud Americans for their boldness in expressing their individualities and beliefs. This does add a spice to Life that really makes it worth living.

And, perhaps best of all, is the homecoming knowing that in your family you take the best parts back home with you!

Diana Studer said...

We have 2 Adirondacks dreaming on our verandah. MOMA, Central Park and the High Line for me.
Does one of your sons live in the USA?

Diana Studer said...

or is 'my boys' husband and son?

terlee said...

You are most gracious in what you've written about America, Angy. Often we're judged by politics which oddly say almost nothing about us, the real people.

I'm so glad you and your guys had such a great holiday...and looking at your photos, I don't think you missed much!!

Neesie said...

Oh Angy what a special time you've experienced. So many treasured memories that you'll surely revisit over and over.
I feel privileged to have been able to visit along with you and your precious boys.
I'm so happy that it was all you wished for and so much more. You certainly were spoilt and rightly so.
Fantastic photos and I can't wait to see more ♥

Katie said...

wonderful pictures so glad to hear about your trip, it looks wonderful. And what an amazing surprise to end your trip.

I think my favourite picture is the pigeons!!