Saturday, October 22, 2011

2300 Miles US Road Trip - Part - 2

As mentioned in the previous post, we recently took a vacation in the US.  The previous post is about, my experiences on the trip in the first week.  In this post, I plan to share my experiences on the trip for the second week.

On a nice Sunday morning we decided to start our road trip. 

Destination Niagara:

We started our road trip from Chicago towards Niagara.  The distance of about 570 miles.  We were 4 adults and one kid traveling in an Honda Odyssey.  The drive took around 10 hours.  On the way we saw some very beautiful landscapes.  Here are a few images
Giant White cloud

Moon in all its glory

Metal Bridge on the way
Finally, at about 2030 hrs we reached our hotel at Niagara Falls.  I was really exited to finally see the Niagara Falls, I had read about them seen them on Discovery Channel, but as they say
Seeing is believing!
We decided to freshen up and grab a quick dinner and go straight to the falls to enjoy the night view of the falls.  I could hear the falls when we were at a distance of 0.5 miles (approx), simply thinking about the force of the falls was making me even more curious and exited.

When we reached the falls, I could not believe my eyes!  The falls were Beautiful, Gigantic, Fast and I don't have enough adjectives to describe them.  During the night, the falls are illuminated with lights of different color.  The lights, along with the mist created by the falls, make falls an amazing site to see.  Here are a few images
Fast moving falls along with very powerful floodlights

The lights keep changing their color which makes the scene even more beautiful.

On the other side where you see a tower like structure is Canada.  The two friendly countries are seperated by one bridge of around 0.2 miles.

The Bridge That connects US and Canada

The side from where the lights are flashed is Canada

The big tower on the Canadian side is a revolving hotel
After spending quite some time at the falls, we decided to head back to the hotel so that we can catchup on some sleep, the next day was going to be a long day

The next day, we start on a mission to explore Niagara Falls.  We decided to see a documentary on the history and mystery of Niagara Falls.  It was quite an interesting movie, did you know that, One Ms. Annie Edson Taylor, locked herself and her pet cat in a barrel and fell over the Niagara Falls and survived the fall! The movie was well scripted and was a fun watch!

Next we took a ride on the Maid of the Mist.  Its basically a boat ride that takes you very near the falls so that you can enjoy the view of the falls from its basin.

The Maid of the Mist boat that takes you near the fall

The American Falls And Bridal Veil Falls

The Horseshoe Falls

The Horseshoe Falls
 The boat ride was fun not only because we got to enjoy the beauty of the falls from very near but also because of hundreads of seagulls were flying around the falls. The entire landscape was really beautiful!
Seagulls flying around the falls
Next adventure was to go as near the fall as possible.  This time, a walk in the Cave of the Winds.

The Americans have build a wooden platform, just about 3 meters away from the falls, once you are there, you are bound to get completely drenched.  We experienced the force of falls pounding on top of our heads even when we were 3 meters away!

Cave of the Winds - The wooden platform 3 meters from the falls

Nearest point - You can't go any closer to the falls.  The force of falls was enormous.
As you can see from the images there is no way one can get out dry even with a raincoat on.  It was total fun!

We decided to spend the evening at the falls and enjoy its beauty, did a nature trail around the falls, overall had a fun filled day.  Here are some evening snaps of the Niagara Falls.

You can even see the dark spots on the moon

Destination Virginia Beach:

Next day, we decided to continue our trip.  Today's destination was Virginia Beach.  The distance of Virginia Beach from Niagara Falls was about 640 miles.  The journey took around 12 hours.

Our Hotel room had an awesome view.  The hotel was right in front of the beach.  There was nothing in between the hotel room and the beach!  We could see the beach from our hotel room terrace.  It was an amazing site!
Snap click from the hotel terrace
We could hear the waves from our room, the feeling was fabulous!  Next morning, I woke up early so that I could click some snaps of the sunrise 
Beautiful dawn at Sea
The sunrise and the reflection of sun in the ocean
Watched people feeding the seagulls, cycling at the beach, we even saw a few dolphins

The lady feeding the Seagulls

People cycling by the beach side

The small black spots that you see, are dolphins
I was pretty interested in doing some adventure activities at the beach, one activity that I wanted to do since a long time was Parasailing, we found a place and went for it.  The best part of Parasailing activity was when they dip you into the ocean!

Getting our feet wet while parasailing

Once we were back on solid ground, I saw my second love

Nice and Shining Harley Davidson
Yes, Harley Davidson, I had an opportunity to ride this bike once and from there on, I have fallen in love with it!

Destination Washington D.C.:

On the same day at about 1700 hrs we started our journey towards Washington D.C.  A journey of about 230 miles took us around 5 hours (caught in a jam on our way).

Next day we had a big list of places to visit.  We started early we saw the Capitol Building, White House, Lincoln Memorial, World war II Memorial, Washington Monument and finally the Air and Space Museum.

All these places are pretty close to each other.  One can easily walk and visit them.  But at the end of the day, I felt like I had no legs, I was dead tired.
The Capitol Building

The White House

Lincoln Memorial

Big Statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial

World War - II Memorial

Washington Monument

Air and Space Museum
Out of all these places, I liked the Capitol building and Air and Space Museum.

End of Journey:

Could not believe that it was already time to head home.  After a week of fantastic trip and wonderful memories it was time we start our journey towards Chicago.  A journey of about 750 miles took us around 13 hours.  On the way back, we also got a ticket for not wearing seat belts!

Had lots of fun with some very different/beautiful experiences (one of the "different" experience on the way back was, I lost my checked-in bag!)

Overall it was a fantastic and memorable trip!
Have some Fun!