After clean cut, prim and proper Washington DC, we were ready to get down and dirty in Louisiana’s best known city; New Orleans. The first thing you notice (after the smell, seriously, what is that?!) is the beautiful, quaint buildings. The architecture in the French Quarter is to die for. It’s charming and one can almost imagine the days of yesteryear when the cowboys would ride up on their steeds. What you aren’t expecting is the party atmosphere.
We headed to Washington DC for a quick two day jaunt, on a train travelling through Philadelphia – it was great to get a glimpse and so nice to avoid the airport. I’d recommend a train over a plane wherever possible (and if the length of travel doesn’t become too extreme).
After falling in love with Toronto and wishing we’d added more days, New York was like an all night party of which we were sober for. Don’t get me wrong, we loved New York, but the vibe in both the city and Brooklyn were just so busy, and aggressive. They made London look like a chilled out surf town. Our first five nights we stayed in another AirBnB in Brooklyn, specifically, Crown Heights. My oh my what a place. The house was absolutely beautiful and very comfortable, however as soon as you stepped outside the front door it felt like a different place. We didn’t have any problems, but we also didn’t hang about to see if we’d get any. The commute to the city was very easy on the subway from there though, so it worked.
We flew to Toronto on Tuesday morning from Manchester, after spending the weekend with the in-laws (both mine and Phil’s – meet the parents event). Our flight was a reasonable 12:20 time, with us arriving in Toronto at 15:00 local time. I was so impressed by how easy everything was (we were let in the country!)
Having now seen most of Europe, Phil and I have decided it’s time to branch out to a brand new continent. One that neither of us have set foot on. NORTH AMERICA. Fuck yeah!
On September 26th we start our three week jaunt down the east coast of North America, with our first stop in Toronto, Canada. I’ve been planning for MONTHS on what we will do and see and eat and experience and of course, have time for any unplanned excursions or sights that we want to do once we’ve arrived. We’ve finally secured all our hotels, B&Bs, flights and even a train from New York to Washington. We figured we could see the sights and EVERYONE recommended it. You know when you start planning a trip and you actually don’t know where to start and you ask a few people and then they all give you opposing suggestions? Yeah. That happened and it confused the hell out of me.
I mean, it’s slightly my fault as we’d thought we would be heading to NZ by this point but then quickly changed our minds and decided we weren’t ready when we moved into our own place. Now this trip has changed several times as we were originally going to do the west coast and fly to NZ direct from LA or Hawaii. Now, because we’re coming back to London, we’re only doing the east coast and will go back to do the west coast at a later date.
Our rough list of to-do’s in each spot are below; these are things Phil and I have had the desire to do and see, and also suggestions from friends who have been and lived in these locations. I wanted to tap on a bit of Mexico at the end too, but Phil nearly had a hernia (I have already squeezed New Orleans in) so I thought I’d let him win this round. So while we only have four cities to see – these are big cities, with SO MUCH to see. We didn’t want the trip to end up being a drive-by situation when we drop in for only a night or two. We want to immerse ourselves in the day to day and the culture. Sleep in, get up and stroll down Bourbon Street, picking up fresh coffee and beignets before dancing and drinking the night away in a jazz café or an impromptu party in the streets of New Orleans. Just typing that makes me weep and sizzle with excitement.
- See: CN Tower, St Lawrence Market, Toronto’s Harbourfront, Entertainment District, Dundas Square
- Do: Ice Hockey game, Casa Loma, Niagara Falls day trip
- Eats & drinks: Bang Bang Ice Cream & Bakery, Woodlot, The One Eighty (for the view), Carisma, Rooster Coffee, Wish Restaurant, The Captain’s Boil
New York City
- See: Fifth Avenue, West Village, Times Square, Little Italy, Chinatown, Battery Park, Wall Street, Greenwich Village, Grand Central Station, Walk The High Line, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, The National 9/11 Memorial
- Do: Chrysler Building, New York Public Library, Rockerfeller Center, The MET, Madison Square Garden (basketball), Staten Island Ferry, Broadway show
- Eats & drinks: The Rooftop, The Egg Shop, Murrays Bagels, Cheeky Sandwiches, Katz Deli, Tacombi
- See: Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, US Capitol, Supreme Court, The White House, Arlington National Cemetery
- Do: Nationals Park (baseball), Capital Hill tour
- Eats & drinks: Whaley’s, Hazel, La Puerta Verde, The Bird, Colada Shop
- See: Bourbon Street, St Roch Market, French Quarter, Jackson Square
- Do: Plantation tour, jazz cafes
- Eats & drinks: Morning Call Coffee Stand, Domilise’s Po-Boys, Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge, Café Du Monde
Tell me your suggestions, please! Are you a local to one of these cities? Any tips or recommendations?
I’m a planner. I fucking love it. I blame my job. I draw up spreadsheets of costs, days, nights being stayed, and what we will see and do. The lot. I love being organised. I love lists. Scraping your pen across something you’ve just completed is a huge accomplishment in my world. Even if the item stated “drink water”. Small wins.