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|
|New York - outer suburbs|
|Central Park - the pond|
|American Museum of Natural History|
|NYC - fire escapes|
|Top of the Rock|
|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|
|Adirondacks overlooking Newport Harbour|
|Newport Rhode Island|
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.