Saturday, 5 February 2011

Dec 28 - Goodbye To The Big Apple

Good bye to the Big Apple and hello to Washington DC! We had fortunately booked train tickets rather than plane tickets for our transfer. The trains had only just started running this morning. Our friendly doorman miraculously fit all 5 of us, 4 suitcases, 4 carry-ons and a stroller into 1 taxi. Our taxi driver informed us that he spent the whole day shoveling his taxi free from the snow yesterday, and to expect traffic as there were several road closures.
The roads were still chaotic and we were relieved to reach Penn Station uneventfully. Once there though, we had to wade through a wall of snow to get through to the pavement. With children and suitcases this wasn’t easy! Thankfully we located the Amtrak Terminal easily. The station was just chaotic and disorganised. Track numbers were not announced until about 20 minutes before departure! Fortunately, we were able to find the Kohs. Malcolm, who will from here forth be known as Mr Sweet Talk, got us some red cap service, which saw all 10 of us being escorted to the train and our luggage put on the train before the stampede of the other passengers began. The train was 40 minutes late but it was running and for that we were grateful.
The train ride was quite peaceful. Jonah had decided to behave himself and I was able to read and surf the net! It was also nice to look out onto the snowy scenery. The three hours flew by faster than expected and we soon pulled into Union Station. Mr Sweet Talk again managed to get our group into the elevator when the other passengers all had to take escalators. Not quite sure why they don't have more lifts? We had to be escorted across a railway track to get into the lift but we weren't complaining as it meant we got to bypass the crowds.
Union Station was breathtakingly beautiful. The scale of the building was hard to capture on camera. We finally ventured out to catch a cab to the Holiday Inn. The sky was blue and the sun was shining. 5 degrees had never felt warmer after the biting cold of New York!
Leaving the traffic chaos of New York behind. The snow had melted into grey icy slush

The impressive ceiling of Union Station
Dwarfed inside the station
Happy to have made it to Washington DC
Organising ourselves into 2 taxis
The taxi ride to the hotel was short but we couldn’t work out why we were charged different rates. Very quickly we learnt to let the taxi driver know the children’s ages as the surcharges for children started at age 6 and the girls were on the cusp! We settled in to our rooms and the children were ecstatic that we had interconnecting rooms. Obviously they haven’t had enough of each other! We were pleasantly surprised to find the hotel very well equipped. They had several dining options, a coin operated guest laundry and best of all, free wi-fi!

Our hotel room at the Holiday Inn

We thought we’d explore the city to look for dinner and tried the Metro. It was not as intuitive to use as the subway in NY. Acquiring the tickets was a challenge! Somehow we fumbled through and found ourselves in...Chinatown! On the way home, we nearly got lost within a 2 block radius. It was frustrating to walk past 3 other metro exits of the same metro before reaching out hotel! It was then time to deal with our laundry mountain. Enough said..

Washington DC Metro

Comfort food at the New Big Wong!

No comments:

Post a Comment