Philadelphia – In the ball park

This was one very short stop over. We got to Phili and I wasn’t feeling too well due to all the pollen in the air and it was making me sick. So I opted to take a time out and rest in the room and sleep

The others went to the ball game. It was flippen cold and the wind was howling! Andre took time do find out how the game work and watched eagerly. Mom got given a nice big hat which Dad ended up wearing to show it off. Good laugh!

Phili’s beat Washington and they all came back home. We had dinner in the bar downstairs which was terrible ūüôĀ Everyone went to bed and Andre & I stayed on for a bit for another drink. Is Sunday night at early 22h00 when all the tables get moved around and they start a salsa class. Bit strange we thought but afterwards the music was turned up and people poured in for some “dirty dancing”. Sunday night………………next day work……………..mmmm a bit strange!

Off to bed……………….next stop…………………..New York!

Too see the pictures – click here …¬†PICTURES

New York New York, the town that never sleeps Day 1 & 2

We arrived mid afternoon Monday 5th May. This is the final adventure for the entire family. We have accommodation on the other side of the island, New Jersey side with a beautiful view of the Manhatten sky line.  we would have to take pictures there later.

We had to say our goodbyes to Andrew as we were about to board the ferry to the Island of New York to start the adventure. On arriving in the Big Apple you are blown away it is truly fantastic. After getting off the ferry on the otherside there were busses to take us to the to several destinations midtown. We opted 5th Avenue baby. Macey’s department store was massive with some 9 floors of shopping

Washington day 3 & 4

It’s was all about catch up after the first 2 days if rain. We booked the bus tour of the capital. Capital Hill was under renovations but that didn’t stop us from doing the tour. Under the rotunda which is the centre of the building is an un used grave that was supposed to be for ¬†President Washington, after his term he went back to farming and died before the capital Hill building was completed. The senate asked the family if they could move his remains to the crypt but the refused. ¬†The rotunda had so many beautiful paintings depicting times in history. We got to go into the old House of Representatives ¬†and heard how the sound travels in that room.

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We got. We got on the bus and went to the Jefferson mamorial, Roosevelt mamorial park, Korean  mamorial.  The Lincoln mamorial was one that I would never see and it was as impressive as it looks on TV. Sitting in that massive chair and looking down the long reflection pool and the  obelisk  called the Washington monument. At the Vietnam mamorial where we searched for Wissler, Goddard & Stone surnames.  We found several of them.

Then it was the whitehouse, Arlington cemetery, the pentagon. At the pentagon you can clearly see the section that was rebuilt because of 9/11.  Getting back to Union station we took at  at look the restoration process, there was damage to the roof because of the earth quake in 2011. Union station was built in 1905 and it a stunning structure indeed.

Packing up and leaving today we opted to go toMadam Taussauds for a bit, which was awesome. So life like!!! Wouldn’t want to be left in there at night.

Last stop was the fantastic war memorial Iwo Jima that commemorated the US marine corp.

Now we are in the national park for the next 2 days and it’s off to Gettysburg battle site tomorrow.

Washington Day 1 & 2

RAIN !!

We arrived in Washington after a long drive and it was raining a lot. We got some food at the local market and settled in for the night. We were watching TV and saw on the news that there were Tornado’s, interested, we discovered that they were in the same area that we were in the day before. We were all astounded to say the least that we missed it by 1 day. Thank goodness!!!!

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The news warned that there would be flooding in Washington in the next few days and that we need to be careful of where we go. We discussed our options and decided on the Smithsonian – Air and Space museum.

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The next morning, in the pouring rain we set off on our first part of our journey to see Washington. Figuring out how the underground worked was a bit of a challenge but we got there in the end. Getting to the museum with the rain still pouring we sought out the tour guide and started the highlight tour. Starting with the Voyager airplane that went around the world in 9 days, the Wrights Brothers airplane, World War 1 & 2 planes and the new modern ones. Then the space one was less impressive considering we had been to NASA in Houston. They did have the Apollo 11 Command unit there and also the Felix Baumgartner RED BULL capsule where he sky dived from the edge of space.

We spent the entire day there and there is so much that I cannot begin to tell all. You will have to look at the pictures.

Both Dad and Andre are under the weather with a bad cold so we decided to spend the day at home on Day 2. The only thing that we had to do was go and vote at the Embassy.

voting

Washington DC is having flood warnings but this didn’t deter us from getting up, finding the Embassy on the GPS and making our way there. Walking up the road in the pouring rain full of excitement about doing our civic duty and casting our vote. We got to the embassy and they were all set up in reception and ready to go. We were greeted with a big smile and we were all excited about voting. While my husband and I were filling in our forms to vote more and more people started to make their way into the embassy. There is such a sense of patriotism, it was fantastic ! We were checked off the voting roll, had our thumb market with ink and then handed the stamped ballot sheet with 2 envelopes. I went behind the screen, cast my vote, put it into one envelope then the other and put in into the ballot box. Having pictures taken with the SA flag we got photo bombed by a fellow SA voter not wanting to miss out on the pictures. Everyone was happy about doing their duty to the country, and taking pictures to prove it.

Coming back we got soaking wet ūüôĀ ¬†Andrew, Claudia and Christopher went to do the Smithsonian Natural Science ¬†Museum. Mom and I watched a movie while the boys slept. We had our usual family dinner and caught up on the day and made plans for the next day. Tomorrow the rain due to stop during the day so we are doing a Bus tour of the city.

 

Uncle Jack

Jack Daniels Distillery

In the farmlands of rural USA, we found ourselves in a place that doesn’t sell any liquor. Since prohibition times, 1910 this county has not had the sale of liquor. Thank goodness we were told this by the people in the previous place we stayed at, so we were well prepared. Checking into the old farmhouse that was built in 1910, it had a wonderful home feel to it and the other guests welcomed us and wanted to know where we came from and where we are going.

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We slept so well! The breakfast was outstanging… No Gritts! Eggs and Bacon, thank goodness!! Gritts… that is a corn mixture and is a bit like Millie Pap but very soft. Yuk! We planned to go to 2 distilleries today. Jack Daniels and then George Dickle. We got to the JD Distillery and we were told that we cannot take any pictures inside because of the fumes… Very nice smelling fumes they were.

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So we got a history tour of JD and Uncle Jack himself. He started making whiskey when he was 13 years old. I am sure it was moonshine! ūüôā He was one of 13 children and was never married. He was the first person to open a official registered distillery. this is why one of the buildings has a 1 on the wall. The reason for the square bottles was because he wanted to convey fairness and integrity.

The “Old No 7” brand name was assigned to the distillery for Government registration due to the district. The district lines were re drawn ¬†later and the 7 changed to 16 but they chose to stick with the Old 7 as it was already known. When he died, his Nephew took over. He was a very clever man and ¬†when the county became dry he moved the distillery all over until prohibition became law in ¬†1910. He went into politics and came Tennessee state senator and got the law changed so that they could brew the whiskey 1938 so it was a long wait to get things back on track again.

It was a very interesting tour and the next distillery was was just as old. We didn’t do that tour however.

Next stop… Washington DC!

Memphis 4 Elvis!

The King of Rock and Roll

TOO SEE PICTURES CLICK HERE:  MEMPHIS PICTURES

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We have had 2 days of driving about and it was too short for me to do the bloging and the internet was not so good.

We arrived just outside Memphis to a beautiful guest house and conference centre. True to our nature, Mami and I spotted the German shepherd and the rest was not important. We got of the car and went straight over to play and love the 9 month old boy. Very Very cute!

We checked in and we had a nice glass of wine and aimed to relax, this was short lived as we met a very nice couple that told us that at big storm was coming and it wasn’t going to be pleasant. So what we had planned for the night we had to change and to do dinner close by. We got to the resturant and the food was fantastic! Way too much of course, true to the USA way. When we decided to leave the heavens opened and it was flooding like mad. We took a very slow drive home to the hotel and went to bed.

Up early and met the owners of ¬†Bonne Terre and gave them the Mandela coin that we have ceremoniously been handing out at each place we have stayed at. She was so taken aback that she gave us a big hug! Then the trip to Graceland was on. Driving in you get to Elvis Presley Blvd. You just knew that this was going to be something to behold. We took the VIP tour and drove with the bus into the gates of Graceland. It is too beautiful and the stunning gardens! The house is exactly the same as it was before he died. Seeing the lounge, Kitchen and then the Jungle room. ¬†Hearing how they turned the Jungle room into a recording room and Lisa Marie was sitting in the big round chair. Moving through the house we got to the rooms where they had set up the records, letters, Grammy’s, clothes just took my breath away, this was even bigger than I had imagined. There is simply too much to tell, the pictures will have to tell you that story. Walking outside again you see the garden of remembrance and this is where his Mother, Father and Elvis himself is laid to rest. There is a small plaque there too for his twin brother that died at birth.

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Getting the gifts for those back home was really hard to do. Once that was done, we went into Memphis to the Hard Rock Cafe in Beale street, which is very much the same as Burbon street in New Orleans. They have a big Elvis Expo there too amongst the other stuff like Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison to name a few.

Now the long drive to Lynchburg. It was a scenic drive through Tennessee. Rolling hills (even though small) and the green lands of the country. We arrived at our new home for the next 2 says in the country side. Tomorrow it is the Jack Daniels Distillery.