A Whirlwind Tour of the USA
We’ve been very busy these past few weeks! In mid-June, my fiance Amrit came to the U.S. for the first time to meet my family (He had lived in Australia for ten years, so was very accustomed to “western” culture, but had never made it to America). Since this was his first visit to the United States, we thought that we would also try to fit some sightseeing in! We made a plan to hit a few of the hot spots in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and on the East Coast, including Washington, D.C., New York City, and Niagra Falls.
For his first week in the States, though, we took it easy. We made a brief trip to Michigan to visit relatives, but otherwise we relaxed in the Ohio countryside, and even went on an Amish Tour!
Amrit’s second week in the U.S. was our big travel week. On Monday, we drove six hours to reach Washington, D.C. area. The next day our sightseeing began. We visited Arlington National Cemetery, The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, The White House, The Capitol Building, and an handful of the Smithsonian Museums. It was a busy day, and we probably walked close to five miles! It was also very hot and sunny, and Amrit and I returned that night with the tan lines to prove it.
The next day we left for western Pennsylvania, slowly making our way towards New York City. We stopped at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor along the way, and spent the afternoon ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the colorful fish, tropical birds, and fun-loving dolphins at The National Aquarium.
The following morning, we reached New Jersey, dropped our things off at one of Amrit’s cousin’s homes, and then took the train into New York City. We spent two days sightseeing in New York (and also got my Indian visa – another important reason to visit the city.) We saw nearly all of the first-time tourist sites including Central Park, The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building (where we waited to go to the top in a two-hour line that looked deceptively short from the ticket counter), Rockefeller Center, Wall Street, Macy’s, and Times Square (where we enjoyed a hot dog from one of the vendors – another “must-do” for tourists.) We even happened to stumble upon filming for the David Letterman show as it was happening outside of CBS studios!
That weekend we relaxed with family in New Jersey and took a day-trip to the Jersey Shore, where Amrit saw the Atlantic Ocean.
On Tuesday morning we left New Jersey to make the long trek back to Ohio. We stopped by Pittsburgh on the way to visit more of my relatives, and finally reached home by 9 pm.
Our sightseeing still wasn’t over, though! The next day we drove to downtown Cleveland, about 45-minutes from where I live, to visit The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and to see Lake Erie. The next day we drove two hours to central Ohio to visit my college, and two days after that we drove three hours with one of Amrit’s other cousins to visit Niagra Falls. The Falls were beautiful. We saw them from both the American and Canadian side, and enjoyed getting thoroughly drenched on The Maid of the Mist.
The next day, lo and behold, was already the 4th of July (how time does fly), and we were leaving for India on July 6th. We spent the holiday with family, and in the evening watched fireworks at the local fairgrounds.
The next two days were devoted to packing and spending time with my family. We’ll be seeing them all again in December when they come to India for the wedding, but we all wanted to enjoy each other’s company before Amrit and I left for our big journey.
Amrit’s first trip to the U.S. was a short one, albeit, but in that time we saw and did A LOT. I think he got a good sense of the U.S. (we had fun comparing U.S. cities to ones in Australia), and I was so happy that he was able to meet my family and see where I grew up.