A road trip across the US, from New York to Los Angeles, can be completed in as little as 3 days, or at a more snail like pace if time is on your side. I opted for somewhere in between and devised a plan that spanned 10 days of driving and sightseeing. In hindsight, this resembled the European-city-sampler cruise ship itinerary my husband and I experienced last year. Trust me – you cannot see Rome in a day. Same goes for Washington DC, Charleston, New Orleans…
Nevertheless, a cross country trip is a journey I would recommend to you, readers, despite its inherent double edged sword. The cities leave a lasting impression – they inspire you long after you’ve left, but you will yearn to return and explore them some more.
I’m so grateful for what I’ve seen, and would like to share some thoughts, scenes, and experiences with you. I hope you’ll enjoy.
PART ONE: WASHINGTON DC – A DAY IN OCTOBER
Cloaked in vibrant autumnal colours underneath an overcast sky, the moodiness and architectural beauty imparted by the US capital on this particular day felt very Parisian; it looked as if Washington DC had fashioned itself on the City of Light. Walking through the grounds of its vast Mall, lined on either side with elms shaded yellow by the season, I was reminded of the Place de la Concorde but without the car traffic. Here, in place of Paris’ Obelisk, the Washington Monument dominates the landscape.
These grounds served the military during the Civil War. Today, The Mall is anchored by the Lincoln Memorial at one end, and The Capitol Building at the other. The Smithsonian museums, galleries, and memorials – along with tourists – are scattered in between.
The images below focus on the Western end The Mall, where we spent a number of hours at: The Lincoln Memorial, The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
TRAVEL TIP: To save money, stay outside of DC and avoid high hotel and parking costs. We stayed in Arlington, Virginia – I scored a great deal at the Hyatt through Priceline.
It took about 20 minutes to get to the heart of The Mall via subway, including waiting time. The method of buying a Metro ticket seemed nonsensical to us at first, so ask for help to save those precious few minutes if you’re in a rush.