It has been nearly a decade since we began traveling outside our homeland. A visit to the United States was long due. We landed in Houston to blast off the vacation of a lifetime!
Our first evening was spent at Galveston beach. It was a full moon unlike any other. We enjoyed the seaside taking in a beautiful view of the silvery moonlight cast on the Gulf of Mexico. The next day morning we were off to do a quick photo-shoot outside Johnson Space Center before proceeding up North.
We managed to visit Sea World at San Antonio, the Austin Capitol and got some great views of the Dallas skyline en-route to Frisco. The drive itself was unforgettable. Seeing huge American flag waving so proudly on those broad unending highways was a sight to behold indeed.
After being around Texas for a couple of days we proceeded towards Bay Area to seek our next adventures. There wasn’t a clear plan for San Francisco like what we had for Texas, so we went to a famous chocolate & ice-cream shop in downtown. Then we passed through the famous Lombardi street and had a distant view of Alcatraz.
Next up was a visit to the enthralling Muir Woods. We were only there for a couple of hours, yet it seemed magical. Words won’t do justice when I say we felt insignificant while standing next to those ancient giants; they were not just trees, but witnesses to birth of civilizations!
While going back to our hotel, we stopped for a quick photo-shoot at the Golden Gate bridge viewpoint by sunset. Now, we did pass through the gate while going towards the redwood forest, but to see its color lit up so at dusk was scintillating – what a marvelous piece of engineering!
I got to catch up with a bunch of my college buddies working in San Jose after nearly a decade. We managed to have sumptuous dinner & then spent a couple of hours reminiscing our teens. It just felt like hanging out in our campus. What great memories!
Being right at Silicon Valley we paid a quick visit to Google HQ at Mountain View & I traveled alone to Apple HQ at Cupertino to do some shopping! Since we were staying at Belmont, we managed to glimpse glorious sunset views of the Oracle HQ as well. There is no dearth to IT giants in this part of the world, but we wanted to show our kids, the birth place of most start-ups – the sprawling Stanford campus.
The evening we visited some friends and relatives living in SFO. The last day was quite adventurous for my wife as she ended up doing sky diving. Overall, this part of our USA trip was jam packed with get-together and doing something fun for the adults. We were off to Frisco again leaving Bay Area with very vivid memories.
We rested for a few days at Texas. Then caught up with some relatives living nearby. Although farther to India than Europe we were able to spot more temples in The USA. Our short stay in TX ended just like that & we were off to the east cost for the final leg of our trip – we were off to a city that never sleeps!
With so many must see places and sight-seeing hotspots New York felt like a bundle of energy packed in a tiny space. Fortunately our stay in NY was long enough to visit the places we had planned to.
We arrived by late afternoon, and had tickets to the Top of the Rock. We spent some time loitering around Times Square, got educated at National Geographic Encounter and then went to the very top of Rockefeller Plaza for a spellbinding night view of Manhattan. The night had transformed the Square into an unrecognizable mush of advertisements and blinding show of light and sound!
Day two was a bit of a stretch since a part of it was spent traveling by boats. We went to see the symbol of American independence – The Statue of Liberty. We got immersed in selfies and photo-shoots for next few hours. We took the afternoon boat to Ennis islands and were quite surprised to see the amount of research gone into making the nice immigrant museum. The kids had a great time looking into well presented notes and documentaries.
We landed back in Liberty Island and spent a short time walking around Wall Street. This was followed by a long walk up the Brooklyn bridge and we ended the day at the stunning hub called Grand Central. We also had plans to go to individual buildings like Empire State, Flatiron, Chrysler & UN HQ but had to skip for lack of time & energy.
Day three took us out of NY and towards DC. As tourists we couldn’t resist making visits to the many monumental landmarks that chiseled America’s great history. But first we had some old friends to catch up with!
The third day of the final leg was bright and hot and so were our curious minds. We visited the Smithsonian Air and Space museum followed by Museum of Natural History. The Capitol was in quite some distance, but still presented a fantastic view We slowly walked towards Washington monument and then took a cab that took us to Lincoln monument passing via The White House. The view from the top of the stairs in Lincoln monument was astounding indeed!
The same evening we were back to NY for our last night of this trip. There was still so much to see, learn and witness. Coming from The Netherlands and hearing so much about The Starry Night, The Museum of Modern Art was an obvious choice. We spent an afternoon staring at Van Gogh’s canvases and mulled over Picasso’s masterpieces. Like what we had experienced in Louvre, although our mind kept telling us to move on our heart dwelled for some more time to be lost in the world of art!
We went through the heart of Manhattan to do some quick shopping before making a very short stop at Central Park. Having a park as large as this in the middle of New York made it possible to witness some very unique views. It was soon time for our flight and we hailed one of those famous Yellow Taxis, collected our bags from our hotel and were off.
We lived a fortnight in The USA. It was for us a trip of a lifetime. While this write up may have made it sound like an exhausting affair, we were quite fortunate to have managed to pull this off almost as planned. Someone at work asked me, having seen so much there already, would I like to visit America henceforth?
If luck favors, I am confident that we would love to go back to this great country many times over. There is simply too much experience in The USA! Hopefully we will be able to visit again!