NYC2NOLA Road Trip 2011

Great American Road Trip 2011: Washington, DC

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Rain, rain go away…With the approach of Hurricane Irene, the weather in DC and everywhere on the East Coast has been wet and gray. What was a sunny morning turned into heavy rain by the time we were ready to go, but instead we stayed in an re-arranged plans for the road trip through the Carolinas. We won’t be able to visit Virginia Beach, the Outer Banks and some other coastal stops on the way down to Charleston. Stay tuned for where we are headed next!

Luckily, the rain stopped this afternoon, and we headed down to Obama’s house…

On our walk over, we discovered that DC has the same exact bike rental system as in Montreal, which we loved and used the whole time we were there. Dozens of Capital Bikeshare stations are spread throughout the city, and users have unlimited 30-minute bike rentals for $5 all day.

So we hopped on our bikes and rode through the neighborhoods of DC, finishing the evening with a visit to the National Mall and saw the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building and all the grand buildings along Pennsylvia Avenue regally lit under a clear night sky.

Tomorrow, rain or shine, we’ll be out again for our last day in DC. We’d love to hear your rainy day suggestions for DC just in case, or ideas for where to spend the day in the neighborhoods of the capital.

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Great American Road Trip 2011 – Philadelphia

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Yesterday in Philadelphia was all about the food, so today we dedicated ourselves to discovering the role that Philadelphia has played in US history. Both of us knew about the main attractions/events like the Liberty Bell and the signing of the Constitution, but we were actually very surprised to understand just how much of the American way of life is revealed in the city.

The morning started with a spontaneous walk through Chinatown. As Dani was taking shots of the friendship gate, I was eavesdropping on a pair of women – one black, mid-40s, the other Chinese-American, early 70s – discussing the plight of the Irish during the potato famine, each of their relatives who passed through Ellis Island, and current immigration policies. All this in the heart of Chinatown on a Wednesday morning.
The architecture of the charming buildings throughout the Old City and South Philly are gorgeous, and we were both so interested in the similarity to the streets of some neighborhoods of London.

philadelphia brick housesPhilly is very tourist-friendly, and in addition to what must be a multi-million dollar Independence Visitors Center, these Walk! Philadelphia signs guided us around the city. What caught our eye about these signs is just how much they represent the principles on which America was founded. The religious freedom which attracted both the Quakers like Mr. Penn who founded Pennsylvania and Jewish settlers is prevalent, along with the melting pot of cultures in Philly which are celebrated prominently alongside a more textbook look at American history, including like Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Constitution Center and the U.S. Mint.

Philly is also playful, artistic and cosmopolitan… the mosaics, the street art, and music played on so many street corners, like Geoffrey here outside of Reading Terminal Market…

In the end and above all else….Philly is still, for us, a foodie paradise! We finally had one of those delicious Philly pretzels that came highly recommended to us – so good!

And before we left Philadelphia for Washington DC, we stopped to eat again at the Reading Terminal Market. We loved the variety of food there – Classic Philly cheese steaks (not for us vegetarians though), quite possibly the world’s best cookies, Mexican, Vegan, Indian and this very funny fish restaurant below.

No question about it – we will definitely be back in Philadelphia again one day soon! The city is a historical gem and a true reflection of the melting pot that is America! We write tonight from Washington, DC. We’ll be exploring the nation’s capital for the next two days, so stay tuned for more about our Great American Road Trip 2011 as we make our way from New York to New Orleans.

What should we do in DC? Let us know must-sees and must-dos on our Facebook page, or tweet us!

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Great American Road Trip 2011 – NYC and Philly

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One of the key characteristics of a Great American Road Trip is how many miles you manage to cover, but that usually refer to miles, on the road, in a car.  Today we racked up over twelve miles on foot with some urban hiking through some very important stops in New York and Philadelphia. Along the way we were reminded yet again exactly why our city rambles through ‘real’ neighborhoods make for the best discoveries!

NYC2NOLA Photos of the Day: NYC and Philly

Leaving New York today meant we had to squeeze as much in as possible – which is why we found ourselves in Central Park this morning at 8am.It was just us, herds of joggers and hundreds of dogs and their owners, frolicking and licking (the dogs), and gossiping and chatting (the owners). Who knew Central Park was so incredibly dog-friendly?

Then it was on Greenwich Village to explore two very important addresses: 90 Bedford Street and 66 Perry Street, better known as the Friends building and Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in Sex and the City.

Before racing off to Philadelphia in the afternoon, we high-tailed it over to the Highline Park, a green, urban space along what was an old Manhattan train line. Love this space!

Highline Park New York City

Our Philly experience today has been a foodie one, with a visit to the Reading Terminal Market, the Italian Market, and an incredible cheesecake churro at the Hawthorne’s Beer Boutique and Eatery.

philadelphia cheese cake churro at Hawthornes

During those brutal 7 miles on foot through Philly’s charming side streets, not one but thousands of sparkling glints of sun caught our eyes – and we unexpectedly discovered an entire alleyway filled with mosaic art by the famous local mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar who incorporates everything from mirrors and tiles to beer bottles and iron wheels.

philadelphia Isaiah Zagar mosaic

Tomorrow we forgo exploring local culture in favor of matters of national significance: here in Philly, we’ll learn historical details related to the constitution and the Liberty Bell before setting off for Washington, DC for three days of adventure in the nation’s capital, so stay tuned!

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Great American Road Trip 2011 – New York City

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When the day starts with a trip out to see the Statue of Liberty and ends with the flashing lights of Times Square, there is no mistaking where in the world we are. New York, New York is easily one of our favorite cities on Earth, and we love it more with each day we spend navigating the subway, hopping into yellow cabs and pounding the pavement through Manhattan day and night.

NYC2NOLA Photos of the Day: New York City

Recognize this flame? The day began with a trip out to visit the Lady of the Harbor – better known as the Statue of Liberty. We learned a lot of little known facts – that Lady Liberty was actually shiny copper for her first 30 years until turning green, her face was modeled off the artist’s mother, and that from the beginning, this symbol of America was an international effort – copper from Norway, Italian sculptor, French designer, American soil.

Next was lunch around the corner from Wall Street – and this ain’t no ordinary pizza. This here is an eggplant Parmesan slice, with a super-thin layer of perfectly prepared breaded eggplant Parmesan layered onto the dough, sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese on top. When in Rome….

This reflection in the building across from the roof-top terrace at The Library boutique hotel in Midtown shows the scene of a typical Monday midday in Midtown Manhattan…

…and this is a packed Times Square at 10:30pm on a Monday night. New York truly is the city that never sleeps! The wait for the Empire State Building at 11pm was over an hour (on a Monday night!). In Times Square it looked as if a concert had let out, but really, this is what is happening every day of the week in NYC, as the rest of us go about our daily lives elsewhere. We are going to miss you New York!

Stay tuned for more – tomorrow we head to Philadelphia! Find out what it’s really like for us as a couple out on the road together! Check our the Art of Couples Travel ebook by Indie Travel Podcast (to which we contributed the chapter on LGBT couples travel!).

We’d like to thank for providing us with the CityPASSes, which made our trip to the Statue of Liberty a breeze today, and to the Casablanca Hotel (one of four HKHotels) for making our stay so comfortable!

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Great American Road Trip: NYC2NOLA 2011

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New York to New Orleans

It’s a giant week for us GlobetrotterGirls, and we want to share it with all of you! First off, there’s nothing we love more than a good summer road trip and this week we are kicking off our Great American Road Trip: NYC2NOLA 2011! Right now we are in New York City, and we will be road-tripping through Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Richmond, VA and Colonial Williamsburg, followed by stops in North and South Carolina, Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia and finally ending up in New Orleans by mid-September 2011.

We are ready to soak up local culture, learn about local traditions and fill our bellies with as much local grub as possible! We’ll stop at those crazy roadside attractions (we’ve heard rumors of a Lost Luggage Museum?!) and take the back roads as often as possible.

At the same time, we are going to be witnessing some pretty major national events. In Washington, DC we will be present during the week that the brand new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is officially revealed. Just a week later, we will spend Labor Day in Savannah, Georgia and our NYC2NOLA road trip will officially end on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in New Orleans – one of America’s most exciting cities, still coming to terms with its own tragic fate.

We want YOU to follow along with our journey – Every day we will be posting at least three pictures from wherever we are that day – food, city shots, or bizarre things that catch our eye on the road. You can also ‘like’ us over on our GlobetrotterGirls Fan Page for our Facebook Photo of the Day, and follow us on Twitter @travelworklive and #NYC2NOLA (or #roadtrip) and although we did get quite a few suggestions for places to stop at from Caz & Craig of yTravelBlog who shared their East Coast Road Tripping Highlights with us, we would love tips on what to see and what veggie-friendly foods to eat on our stops, too!!

The Art of Couples Travel eBook launch

Second, we’re very excited to reveal that this Monday sees the launch of the Art of Couples Travel, a brand new eBook by Craig and Linda of Indie Travel Podcast…and us! We’ve contributed a section to this excellent inside look at what it is like to pack it all up and head out on the road to travel long-term with your partner. Our section covers what it is like for LGBT couples on the road– the good, the bad and the ugly! We earn a commission on each book purchased through our site, so if you’d like to pickup a copy, check our the Art of Couples Travel here!)

NYC2NOLA Photos of the Day – New York City

Here we are, on the Top of the Rock, looking out over Central Park.We loved this experience, and found it much cooler than the traditional trip up the Empire State Building, plus you can see the Empire State from up there.

A Great American Cow on the streets of Greenwich Village at night…not exactly what we expected to see while exploring last night!

In Coney Island, we came across a fine American tradition today: The Hot Dog Eating Contest held by Nathan’s…what you might not be able to see is that in 1998, the record was 16 hot dogs to win, whereas in recent years this number has gone up to 68. Not sure if we were impressed or grossed out by that information, but it was fun to see the Coney Island fast food institution!

And last but not least, we loved this sculpture we spotted today on the street in Brooklyn…

We’d like to say a special thanks to for two CityPasses to see so much of the city so smoothly and easily, and to Hotel Elysee, Hotel Giraffe and the Library Hotel for making our nights in New York so comfortable so far!

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