Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cape Cod to Washington, DC

If you are ever camping/RVing in Rhode Island (and I suggested you go), do stay at the Wawaloam Campground in West Kingston. This is by far the prettiest , most comfortable place I’ve stayed since I started this adventure at the end of May. It’s been run by the same family for 40 years and currently three generations are involved in its operation. Rhode Island itself was gorgeous - friendly people, beautiful scenery. We programmed the campsite address into Bossy and were rewarded with a cross country trip on little travelled back roads.

The next day we decided to drive along the coast of Connecticut and into New York. As the day progressed, we decided to get on I-95 to make certain we could reach New York in time to find a camping site. Who knew that I-95 slows down to bumper-to-bumper traffic on Friday afternoons? It was after 6 pm when we crossed the Tappen Zee Bridge pulled into Nyack, NY (just past White Plains).

The first order of business was to eat – then we discovered that there was not a campsite for at least another 50 miles. What to do? We called the local constabulary to see where it might be safe to park over night. Alas we got a voice mail message referring us to a dispatch centre in the next town. So we headed for the fire hall. After we explained our plight, we were invited to park in the parking lot where we would under their watchful eye over night. A bonus was finding an unsecured wireless site in the neighbourhood so we could check email and I could sulk over the state of my RRSP.

First thing in the morning we headed for Washington,DC. Cherry Hill Campground in College Park, Maryland had been recommended to us by some helpful folks Sandra met at the Rhode Island Campground so we programmed the address into Bossy and headed off first thing in the morning. Cherry Hill has the most amenities of any campsite we’ve stopped at including two swimming pools, hot tub and sauna, conference centre where they run sessions on site seeing in Washington, a cafĂ©, full RV store, free cable TV, wireless, etc. Also has the priciest entrance fee: $55.00 per night. We booked in for two nights, went to the sightseeing orientation session, did laundry and met some of our neighbours.

Today we took a bus to the subway and arrived at Union Station in downtown Washington. We stopped for a quick bit to eat – and the emergency horns went off and Union Station was evacuated. We were only told that there was an emergency situation in the building and we must leave immediately. We did. What surprised me were the number of people who ignored the whole thing and went on eating. We never did find out what the emergency was but it was short lived and we picked up our tickets for a “trolley tour”. These tours let you get off and on at various spots along the tour route.

Washington is an amazing city. Except for a couple of really old buildings (I saw three), all the buildings are built of white stone, mostly in a neoclassical style. Interspersed among the many federal government buildings are monuments honouring former presidents, war veterans and other significant people such as Ben Franklin. Smithsonian museums line the Mall. Like most tourists, Sandra and I walked up to the gates of the White House and saw for ourselves the building that represents the seat of power in the US.

Speaking of power in the US, it’s been interesting to look at the election signs on lawns. Obama/Biden signs definitely won in Massachusetts although Mike had pointed out that Massachusetts is famously Democrat (think Kennedy). It’s been hard to tell in most of the other states we have driven through.

Tomorrow we’ll sit at the picnic table, spread out the map and see how far we want to go. Finding a place with a campground will be a priority!

Travel Tip: Do not buy a prepaid cell phone from Net 10….Sandra has spent hours on the phone (land line) trying to get her cell up and running. As I write this, Sandra is using my phone to talk with her son – hers still is not working.

And did I tell you that the temperature has been in the late 70s and low 80s?

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