Back to being touristy! NY, DC, North Carolina, Virginia...we are doing them all!
1st Stop: Washington, DC
We hung out with M's Aunt Janie and Cousins Stoll (Adam, Anita, Izaama, Naomi, Malakai, Reuben, Dan & Teresa) over several days and had fun catching up, esp.with the kids. D.C. in the summer is a bit steamy, but since we just came from nasty, humid Texas..it wasn't so bad. We visited the National Cathedral (gorgeous), the Holocaust Museum, Smithsonian- Natural History Museum, the Capital, Whitehouse, Washington, Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean, and FDR Memorials, the International Spy Museum. Also, we did quite a bit of just walking around, as cousins Dan & Teresa live right near downtown. Aunt Janie, Dan & Teresa could have a very prosperous 2nd career as knowledgeable DC tour guides!
2nd Stop: Charlottesville, VA and Chapel Hill, NC
Being on the east coast made it easy to take a sidetrip to see our friends Joe (old LAX buddy of D's), Carrie & their pooch Lunain their new home just outside Charlottesville. We spent a relaxing weekend catching up and then hit the road to visit the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The town was very green, the b-school top knotch...who knows? Maybe we'll live there!
3rd Stop: New York City
We boarded the cheapo Chinatown (DC) to Chinatown (NYC) bus expecting the worst and were pleasantly suprised with the comfy seats, air-conditioning, and two movies provided on our 5 hour journey. Highly recommend the bus! On the other hand, the SHIT HOLE we stayed in for our 1st night in NY does not come highly recommended.
*****start of long rant***** WOW... For ~$65, we stayed in a closet. Lets just say this hostel was really small, depressingly dark, had the requisite noise in multiple languages, but was randomly, very clean. The rooms were about as big as a double bed. Dave barely fit through the door to the room and his ankles hung off the bed. Our room was one of the 50 partioned off on this small floor. The walls don't go all the way to the ceiling, but have lattice that covers the rest of the distance which was great for adding extra light to the dank whole, but bad because you can hear people snoring, farting, laughing and talking at all hours of the night!
To top it all off, this morning someone left their room early and forgot to turn off their stupid beeping travel alarm that doesn't ever go off on it's own. This occured about 6:32 in the early morning. We joined the rest of the irritated travellers for an early breakfast after listening to expletives and "shut the alarm off" in about 7 or 8 languages.
*****end of rant...we realize that it's not that bad considering that we don't have to work in the mornings for a while!! ha, ha!*****
We look forward to the next couple of weeks of hanging in the city. There's SO MUCH energy here!