Monday, July 5, 2010

Posting from the US: North Carolina edition!

Greetings all! I am officially still alive, and haven't been swallowed up into the pit of travel oblivion. Right now I am in the abode of the lovely Rebecca, resting after a spot of baking. Oh, and it's the 4th of July, which is a complete novelty to someone not from America, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the day holds. But first, a (brief!) outline of what I've been up to.

Alas, my experiences in New York City were not what they could have been. I believe I mentioned in the last post that I was experiencing blisters? Well, they only got worse, until it finally got to the point where one got kind of infected, and I actually couldn't walk more than a block or so. If that wasn't fun enough, I also managed to come down with a very lovely case of strep throat (which eventually meant a trip to the doctor, something I had very much been hoping to avoid, as I am a spoiled - and obviously not insured in this country - Aussie who is used to free health care). Still, what are you going to do? Not much, really. I did my best to enjoy what I could of NYC. On the day I couldn't walk, I took the subway down to the Staten Island ferry and rode that around for a little bit. On my last day I went out to see the Chelsea Market and the Highline Park (pictured above), as these were two things I'd had my heart set on, and they were a short train ride from my hostel. Alas, I didn't get to do museums, or even see as much of Central Park as I wanted to, but these things happen I suppose. Guess I'll just have to come back!

After NYC, I made my (feverish) way to Washington DC, where Rebecca finally carted me off to the doctor and supplied with antibiotics (and man, was I grateful). The next few days were spent convalescing and staggering my way feebly around the Smithsonian museums and the Botantical Garden, but by the weekend I was well enough to take in some of the sights properly. We were there during the Smithsonian International Folklife Festival, which was fun, and we got to see some traditional dancing, cooking, and even spinning (which was exciting to two fibre nerds like us). We also checked out the American History Museum and the Holocaust Museum. The thing is however that I don't tend to take many pictures in museums - I've never really seen the point. You can find a much better picture of a triceratops skeleton by Googling it, after all. So above is a picture of the DC subway system, which I thought was super cool and vaguely reminiscent of the sets of 1970s/80s British science fiction shows.

Oh, and we went kayaking on the Potomac, which was as awesome as you'd expect.

After DC it was off to North Carolina and then to the Smoky Mountains National Park, which was just as awesome as I'd hoped. We camped and hiked our arses off - we did over 20 miles in the three days we were there, which is none too shabby considering I'd been feverish and virtually unable to walk only a little over a week earlier.

I took a whole pile of photos, but all you really need to know is that the mountains are completely gorgeous. Go see if you don't believe me. We even hiked a small part of the Appalachian Trail, which was completely awesome. And, as you can see, I did not get eaten by bears. I didn't even see one, and I'm still not sure if I'm relieved or disappointed about this.

Anyway, so now we're back in North Carolina. We went to the baseball last night. Baseball! Can officially say it's more interesting than cricket! And then tomorrow it's off to New Orleans for a few days, and then to Texas for the last leg of the trip. Can't wait!

Oh, yeah, and I've knitted stuff too. I promise! I'm still going on my shawl, but I've finished two other pieces - I'm just too lazy to take their picture, or rather, I've been saving my camera battery for things like the Smoky Mountains!

And apologies to all of you whose blogs I haven't commented on in a while - there's just too many other things to do here, but I'll catch up when I get home, I promise!


Abby said...

Omigosh, what a busy tourist you've been! And what with the strep and blisters and all.

Several of these things are things on my own personal to-do list.(minus the strep and blisters...). Shame that I am (for now) experiencing them through someone else, but so be it!

Anonymous said...

Jeebus, woman! I lived in Washington, DC for 7 years and barely did any of what you did in 3 days! Kudos to you - and the Smokies are beautiful. Happy that you're enjoying your time here! Happy Travels!

Cadence said...

It was great to spend the day with you two in New Orleans! I hope that your travels are going very well. Take care, and talk to you soon!