When: April 22 – May 4 2014
Where: Shannon’s House, Philadelphia PA, Washington DC, Frederick MD, Virginia and West Virginia
It was goodbye to the west and hello to the east! It was also goodbye to Andrew and Jono who were going home, but it was hello to Shannon, one of my best friends who had recently moved from the GC back home America.
I would be staying with her at her mums house for the next two weeks, over these two weeks we would also make a number of side trips.
I spent a lot of time at Shan’s house recovering from the past 2 months, it was so lovely to sleep in a comfy bed, have hot showers every day and have a fridge full of food! I also got to spend a bunch of time catching up with Shan and meeting her family. Shan and a I went to Valley Forge with her sister Ashley and boyfriend Paul for a picnic. It is the beginning of spring here and my first real spring, all the trees were so green and there were so many flowers coming out to bloom! We also went to Rita’s, outlet shopping and to Wagmans which is a ridiculously large grocery store haha.
In this time I also decided that I would not be returning home so I booked a ticket to Canada!
Side trip 1: Philadelphia City
We caught a train into Philadelphia and Shan gave me a walking tour of the lovely city. We begun by going to love park and then made our way to South Street which is an artsy area. Quick pit stop at Jims Kitchen so I could experience a Philly Cheesesteak (yum!) and then the walk continued through old town where I saw the liberty bell and where the Declaration of Independence was signed. We stopped last reding terminal which was a big food market inside where you could get any food imaginable! Made a quick trip to the Free Library and then to the front of the art museum where we channeled our inner ‘Rocky’ and jogged the steps. Dinner time, we went to a bar called ‘London Grill’ that was next door to the old Eastern State Penitentiary. Had dinner and drinks with a friend of Shannon’s and then went for after drinks pizza at a pizza shop nearby! Cannot get over the size of the pizza pieces over here, so large! We went back to stay the night at Shan friends Amy’s house, she lived on a street which was lined with cherry blossoms! Before we left the next morning we went for breakfast at a cute place just near Amy’s
Side trip 2: Washington D.C.
Shan and I caught a train to Philadelphia and then a bus to DC. Arrived in DC at Union station and it was raining! We asked a lady how to get to the Capitol building, she told us not to walk and to take the metro because of the rain…sometimes in life you need to listen to people. Shan and I were too stubborn to take the metro so we walked, 20 minutes in the pouring rain with canvas shoes and 1 small broken umbrella. Yes, we got saturated. But none the less we made it to the Capitol Building and then continued on to walk through the Air+Space, Indian America and Natural History museums which are all part of the Smithsonian institute. Afterwards we headed towards the Washington monument and saw the White House! I imagine that in the sun DC would be a very beautiful city. We walked to the National Geographic museum where we met up with Shans friend Lauren who took us through the 125th Anniversary Exhibit. Afterwards Shans friend Matt picked us all up and we went for dinner in Arlington, Virigina at a place called Atown. Lauren left after dinner so we grabbed some beers and headed to Matts place where we drank with his housemates Jason and Paul. The next morning we grabbed coffee with Lauren and then ate some food from one of the numerous food trucks around the city.
Side trip 3: Maryland and West Virigina
After Shan left DC, I was picked up by Cody and taken to his house in Maryland. I met Cody and his sister Cori a month earlier in Guatemala, so it was awesome to catch up with them again. Cody, Daniel and I hiked up a small hill to see the view over Harpers Ferry which is an old historic town left in original condition. The view was amazing and finally the sun was shining! Cody also showed me where the Appalachian trail is.
That evening we all went to Sleepy Creek, West Virginia for a music festival! It was a blues grass festival, and was defiantly a true country experience! I stayed Thursday night and all Friday. The music was awesome, we danced in true country style and there were a bunch of cool instruments; banjos, harmonicas, double bass and mandolin. When bands were not playing everyone else was jamming at different spots on the campsite. It was so much fun and I am glad I got to see a side of America that not many people do!