A great week in North Carolina!

After a great trip throughout New England, it was time to head back South. Our first stop in North Carolina was Asheville.  We stayed at this great campground called Campfire Lodgings.  We secured one of of spots that overlooked the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We found a couple of great hikes when we visited the Blue Ridge Mountains visitors center. An Asheville visit would not be complete without a visit to the Omni Grove Park Inn for cocktails and appetizers on the veranda. The hotel has such great history and is a great place to visit while in the Asheville area.

It was time to stop by the house to see the progress. Wow! Things were moving right along. The superior walls were already up and they were getting ready for the lower level slab. So exciting.

Mother’s Day was a beautiful sunny day!  We took the Harley into Blowing Rock for lunch and a walk through the town.  We stopped off at Sunset Vine and picked up an array of cheese and meats for a charcuterie dinner on the property.  A bottle of Caymus, desert from Kilwin’s, a fire and magnificent sunset.  Mother’s Day was a success.

New York City, the city that never sleeps

We decided to take a break from nature and head to NYC! A two day diversion that included a Broadway show, Rockefeller Observation Tower, a stop at FOX News, NBC Studios, St Patricks Cathedral, 9/11 Museum Tour and the Statue of Liberty Ferry Cruise. We crammed in a lot in a short weekend.  NYC is an experience, even if you just walk around the city.  We stayed across the Hudson at Liberty Harbor RV in New Jersey. A 15 minute ferry ride and whah la! we were in the City.

Broadway – Six Degrees of Separation

Great show. We are a fan of Allison Janney and she did not disappoint.

 

Rockefeller Observation Tower

The ticket gets you up to the observation tower (which is pretty cool) and a walk through history that tells you about the Rockefeller family, the building, the artwork that fills the halls and the famous lighting of the Christmas Tree each year.

 

Photo ops along the way 

St Patricks Cathedral – So beautiful 

 

National September 11 Memorial Museum 

Statue of Liberty/Manhatten Ferry Cruise/Fire Boat 343

She is more grand then you can imagine. A picture does not do her any justice. The boat’s name, Fire Boat 343, comes from the number of FDNY members were killed in the line of duty on September 11th, 2001.

 

 

Maine-Acadia National Park-Sunrises and Hiking. Definitely one with nature!

Acadia National Park-Cadillac Mountain

You cannot plan a trip to New England without going to Maine.  All blogs, Trip Advisor, travel guides and people said sunset on Cadillac Mountain is a must! Dress warm, get there early, find a good seat, and bring a camera. We arrived at 4:30 a.m. The sun was already peaking through behind the mountains emanating a beautiful bright orange as we arrived. It is an incredible experience. A sunrise to remember.

 

Acadia National Park- Hikes – Gotham and North/South Bubble Trails

There are no shortage of trails in Acadia National Park.  You get the best of both worlds, woods and water. The hikes are breezy and refreshing along with being a visual wonderland. We chose two moderate hikes.  Perfect way to get a great work out for 2 hours in the fresh air.

Gotham Trail

North/South Bubble Trails

Lobstah Dinner

We ended our Maine trip with a relaxing, delicious dinner at Galyn’s Bar Harbor. Yummy!

Photo May 04, 6 23 11 PM

Lake Placid- Another Mountain Hike and some great Olympic History

Mount Van Hoevenberg

We really enjoyed Lake Placid. Such a special little town, filled with a bunch to do and lovely people. Ted and I spent 6 days there and did not run out of things to do.  It is an area of the United States bejeweled in the most beautiful waterfalls, lakes, rivers, forests and mountains as far as the eye can see.  There were so many trails to hike, it was hard to decide which ones to do in such limited time.  We had already hiked Mount Jo.  This particular day we were onward and upward (literally). Our next hike was suggested to us by a trail guide.  Mount Van Hoevenberg is home of the Olympic bobsled and luge run. The opposite side of the mountain are some incredible hiking trails. Along the way, you run into the most awesome beaver damn.  You just cannot believe this amazing creation was completed by these little animals. The hike itself was muddy, cold and wet. Half way up the mountain, I asked Ted “the” question, “Are we there yet?”.  He responded with, ” We are about 1/2 way there, however if you want to QUIT at any time, let me know and we can turn around”.  Hmmm, challenge on.  Needless to say, we made it up to the top.  It was worth it! What a view!

Lake Placid Olympic Museum and Olympic Ski Jump Complex

Lake Placid was host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.  Such great history.  They converted many of the competitive sites to tourist attractions.  The fees to these attractions continue to support the local athletes.  Speaking of “local athletes” Lake Placid has 3 generations of Olympians from the Shea family.  Grandfather, Jack Shea won two Gold metals for speed skating in the 1932 Olympics. His son, Jim Shea Jr competed in the 1964 Winter Games and grandson Jimmy Shea competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics brining the U.S home a gold in the skeleton race.  Super cool!

The olympic ski jumps are HUGE! You can see them from miles away. As you approach the facility they just engulf their space.  For a small fee,

We visited the hockey arena, olympic museum and the Olympic Ski Jump Complex.  They olympic museum is filled with very interesting tid-bits of history going back to when the Olympics originated. They have the coats on display from the opening ceremonies, the Olympic Torches and many other interesting pieces of ceremonies.

We met some really nice people, ate some really good food and needless to say, tried out the delicious local brew (shout out to “Jersey John” at The Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Restaurant) Lake Placid was a success!

Mount Jo Loop-We reached the Summit!

We made our way to the Adirondack mountains and settled in Lake Placid. Yes, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. We may be a little early for the “season”, but we are definitely enjoying this area already. We found this fantastic hike , Mount Jo Loop, on Trip Advisor and decided to take it on (once I purchased my bear bell and bear whistle). At a crisp 44 degrees, the hike was a perfect way to start off our time in Lake Placid.  The actual hike is just over 2 miles and the summit 700 feet.  A very beautiful and peaceful trail. A bit challenging due to the rocks, mud, and melting snow.  You definitely have to watch your footing as you ascend up.  It was an invigorating hike up and it was worth every step.  When you reach the top, you have a magnificent view of the forest and lakes.  The best part was the workout the and feeling of accomplishment when we were finished!

Of course we had to reward ourselves with a trip to the local pub.  We landed at Lake Placid Pub and Brewery. We are really enjoying meeting the locals (usually the bar tenders 🙂 and trying the local beers.  All in all, a perfect day (again)!

Oh Canada!

What better way to follow up Easter in Niagara Falls then to head over the border for  a quick visit to Toronto Canada?!

We headed over to the CN Tower for lunch at Restaurant 360 (for those of you from Fort Lauderdale, it is like Pier 66 and spins as you eat 🙂 As we sipped on our cocktails (mmmm good), we enjoyed the view of the city.  It was really nice to see a beautiful body of water and boats just below us.  Felt like a little piece of home.  The weather was spectacular and the sky blue and clear.

We could not leave without going down to the observation deck.  Step outside onto the deck outside (it is gated in) and feel the cool breeze as you look over the city.  If you are afraid of heights, this may not be for you.

One floor down you can stand on the glass floor that looks straight down 1,122 ft!  The total area is 256 s/f with people fighting to stand on the panels to take pictures.  Ted and I we very cautiously stepped on, took pictures and got the heck off!

On our way to the CN Tower we passed a local pub with the name Loose Moose. The sign on the outside reads, ” 26 years of Unproductive Mornings”.  Now that’s funny. Many of you out there know exactly how that feels! You know we were not leaving Toronto without stopping in at the Loose Moose.  We tried some yummy local beers and watched the local news (same crap just a different Country).

These are two must visits next time you are in Toronto.

What better way to end the day then with a campfire by Ted. Toasty toes 🙂

Photo Apr 16, 6 21 25 PM

Harley Davidson Production Plant- York PA-If you have a Harley, you have to visit

We passed a “Harley-Davidson” highway street sign that was the size of one of the overhead signs on 95. We knew it was more than a dealership. So glad we did a bit of research.  We found out it was the Vehicle Operations Division of Harley Davidson, basically, where the bikes are produced.

The “steel toe tour” starts off with a 10 minute movie about the history of Harley Davidson. That in itself was so interesting.  Makes you want to buy one right there and then 🙂 Our tour guide was super entertaining. A frustrated comedian who does stand up while guiding us through this super huge, super awesome facility.

It is a 2 hour tour. They bring you through the entire factory (except painting booth) to show how the bikes are assembled from start to finish.  By the time we left, 16 bikes were assembled and ready to ship out to a dealership.You don’t need to own a Harley to take this tour. It is worth the visit.

 

Slowing it down in Amish Country

Photo Apr 10, 7 40 34 PM

Ok we sold it all and went on the road.  Some would say that is slowing it down and simplifying things.  Well, as we pull into town with our big ole’ RV, truck, motorcycle, cell phones, satellite dish, etc, we pass an Amish guy in his horse and buggy.  It put’s in perspective a little.

I have spent a lifetime looking at incredible oceans and beautiful beaches across the globe, but I am truly awestruck by the beauty of the Pennsylvania hillsides.  There is no doubt why they named this Peaceful Valley.  We have roamed over 150 miles of countryside road the past two days on the motorcycle and never grew tired of the scenery.

We had the most incredible soft pretzels at the Countryside Roadstand just outside Intercourse PA.  That’s right, an Amish town is called Intercourse.  It’s just down the road from Bird-in-the-Hand.  Things are different here!

 

We continued the day with some more riding, in search of covered bridges.

After a long day, our campground is a beautiful place to catch up on a little emails and blogging….

Historical & Fun Washington DC 04/03-04/07/17

Washington DC was an “absolute must” on our trip schedule. The Cherry Blossoms were calling my name.  I have always hoped to be in DC during the blossoming of these beautiful trees.  On March 27, 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City gifted 3020 Japanese Cherry Trees to the city of Washington DC to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan (find out more on wikipedia.com).

 

Our Florida Marlins were at the Nationals for the opening day.  What better way to ring in our DC visit then to go to the Nationals vs Marlins game.  Although we did not bring home the win, we had a great time kicking off the week (beer, hotdogs and peanuts were a bonus)!

 

Ted was very interested in visiting the monuments (especially the Lincoln Memorial), so we did a night tour, which took us to the White House (super cool), Lincoln Memorial, FDR Memorial and Iwo Jima. Washington DC is really amazing at night. Our tour guide was super informative of the entire city, which helped us make decisions as to what we wanted to do the next couple of days.

It was an absolute must to visit the Library of Congress.  Trip advisor raved about it and many people said it was one of the best spots they visited while in DC.  No appointment necessary. We took one of the tours that are offered.  Our guide was very attentive, informative and was able to answer all questions our group threw at her.  After the tour we went on our own and visited some of the high lights at the library.  The Library of Congress is free admission.  They rely on donations and or gift shop purchases. I did not disappoint 🙂 The Library of Congress collection contains 17 million catalog records for books, serials, manuscripts, maps, music, recordings, images, and electronic resources. You can access these records at no charge at the Library of Congress website.  Our next stop was the National WW II Memorial. Hard to believe that over 400k American soldiers lost their lives during that war. Very grateful and proud moment to visit the memorial.

 

 

 

On Wednesday night we decided to do a date night at the Ford Theater.  The musical, Ragtime, was performing that evening. With the purchase of our theater tickets, we were able to get into the Lincoln museum prior to the show. That in itself was worthy of the visit. The show was amazing. There is not a bad seat in the house.

Thursday was our last day in DC.  When it was decided we were going to DC, it was top on the bucket list to visit Arlington National Cemetery.  We both felt we had to pay our respects to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  We made sure we witnessed the Changing of the Guard. This ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 365/24/7 rain, sleet or snow. A very meaningful experience.