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Old 14 Aug 16, 03:04 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Triple Treat Tour July 2016 Day 5 Amtrak to Washington DC , Hilton Connecticut Ave & Fat Pete's BBQ

The day before is HERE

Thursday 7 July

Today we leave New York and move on to Washington

Before we do that , it feels right to just go back to our first day when we tied that hairband on the bridge for Andy’s Mum who was constantly in our thoughts on this holiday and who loved America so much.

Sadly, she passed away 10 days ago on August 3rd.

We were able to share our holiday stories and pictures with her and she talked a lot about her trip with us to WDW a few years ago – particularly swimming with the Dolphin at Discovery Cove and the Butterfly House at Epcot Flower Festival.

These were some of her happiest memories.

Here she is dancing with Tigger at Animal Kingdom


She was a wonderful lady, taken far too soon and very much missed. Heaven’s gain of an angel is certainly our loss.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


And so to the day ahead

I have an epic 6 hour round trip commute to work on the trains.

This year it has been a real endeavour with strikes, delays, and the random timetable.

So you can imagine I was thrilled to wake up today at the prospect of spending even more of my life on the railway on holiday.

We were awake at 6 ( see, it IS just like commuting!) and had our last hotel breakfast.

Checkout was fine – we had paid in advance so our only item was $17 to dry clean the dress that I had dropped my shake shack fries onto – not that they did a very good job, in the end I stuck it in the wash at home and its come up better.

Pah to these dry clean only labels !

We are out at 0845 and of course not a cab in sight , normally they are everywhere.

I am getting a bit twitchy about the time – the train is at 0930 and we have no idea of how the traffic will be.

The concierge eventually flags us a cab but he will only take 4 of us – so myself and the boys set off with the cases and Andy will follow – I am shouting instructions that its Penn Station and not Penn Street ( as that’s the subway). I do hope he makes it !

In the end it takes only 10 minutes and costs $10.

As we are rounding up the cases, Andy’s taxi arrives – who apparently had no change on him so the $10 fare actually ended up costing $20 as that’s all Andy had on him. What a scam I say :angry:

We take the lift up to the station – ewwww, it smells, Saturday night Stairwell ….

It’s a busy station but we find the seating area – you just have to show your ticket to get in

Andy approached a redcap who must have been having an off day as all he said was “ your train is late” and walked off. Great !



It really IS like commuting



And just to confirm it, our train is indeed late – first by 15 minutes and then by 30.

Sigh

We pass the time twiddling our thumbs and watching the departure board and finally it messages that boarding will take place soon so we trundle out to the waiting area.

When they do announce it as track 13 , there is an almighty squish for the escalators with bodies and bags all trying to get down two escalators with ticket checks as well.

We did pretty well though and were soon all the platform – just about all in one piece = all that practice for Toy Story Rope Drop clearly paid off

Andy finds a nice empty coach and we settle in there – only realising a little later it’s the Quiet Coach , which is why its so empty

I am glad I had the strapping chaps with me as the cases have to put up into the overhead space – yes that’s 23kg cases up over your head – fine if you are a Romanian weightlifter but not a 5’3 midget granny like me !

The seats are very spacious – lots of legroom



The conductor come round and checks the tickets and we settle in for the trip – there is a restaurant car and loos – not that we made use of either of them

High points of the trip – when the conductor and co worker were discussing when they wanted a coffee -one of those “ oops, I left the mic on open” moments

And the lady who got on at Philadelphia and spent the rest of the trip vigorously defending her quiet coach rights every time someone’s ipad beeped with a message or a phone rang.

She made more bleddy noise bleating at everyone than the whole blessed coach did put together

Its not the most scenic trip ….. but here are a few of the sights

A big bridge



Buildings



The front of the train – I love how they curve round the track !



Water



Roads ( and water !)



Coming in to Philadelphia



Sign !



Penn State University Football Field – of the NFL draft fame





Random buildings





More bridges and water as we pass by Wilmington





Could quite fancy a pad along here



Coming in to Baltimore





See





Love the double deck trains



And the street art ( or is that upmarket graffiti ?)



Ending up at Union Station at 1.40 pm , about 30 minutes late.





It’s a huge station




And then you exit into the most magnificent entrance





It was stunning




Edited at 03:13 PM.
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Old 14 Aug 16, 03:11 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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I hadn’t pre booked a shuttle so we took our chances here



If we thought it was hot when we stepped out in New York, wow, this was something else – it was HOT , and what a sight ahead









The taxi queue was random and chaotic -mainly as there was no actual queue just people stood around not knowing what to do or where to stand

Happily, Andy flagged a cab down who was willing to take the 5 of us and were off.

The traffic was much worse than New York – it seemed to take an age to get to the hotel and my heart sank a little as it felt like we were right out of the city – but it seems not as it was way quicker on the metro than in the car

We arrived here at the Hilton , near Dupont Circle at 2.15









Inside the coffee shop


Which is here and was really handy



The boys had a queen double at the back of the hotel



And a great view !





We had a king at the front





Time is pressing as the chaps want to see the Euro semin final .

I had painstakingly researched sports bars and found one on the same street as the hotel, about 30 minute walk away.

We caught a cab up to the Cleveland Park Sports Bar and Grill to discover that it was closed – as in no lights on, as shut as a shut thing can be. Whaaaaaatttttt

We are in the middle of goodness knows where and no idea where to try next – but happily, just 3 doors down, Andy spots this place – and its perfect



It reminded us of 4Rivers.







The boys all had pulled pork sandwiches with waffle fries.
These were the saltiest fries ever ... But they loved them



Andy had the brisket platter with mash and boston beans



I had the pulled pork platter with mac'n'cheese and cornbread, with apple honey butter( omg, that was amazing)



I had the Cookie Monster sundae .. With cream



Connor had it without




The sodas and water were served in jars. I had a lovely glass of Pinot Grigio and Andy had a few beers





$140 after tip.

We had a very pleasant couple of hours watching the game and enjoying the food.

Everyone felt a bit tired by the time the match was over and the walk back to the hotel pretty much finished us off, it was nice , but hot !





Past the zoo





Reservoir Dogs ponder bus shelters



Loooong bridge



Very grand buildings







Reservoir Dogs do lifts



The boys wanted to crash out – after stocking up on cold drinks from the coffee shop place .

There was no way anyone wanted to go back out for any evening sightseeing

We popped up to unpack a few things and then went back down to the bar





I had a Strawberry Daiquiri, a scandalous $14 but delicious – so I had another one !



And the nomlicious bar mix



Super salty to make you order more drinks obviously but it was yum
It was around $40 for two drinks each, but we did enjoy it.

It was noisy in the bar and by 9pm we were flagging

I wrestled with the bathroom plumbing for about 20 minutes trying to work out how to get the water to run into the bath rather than the shower – seriously, how hard can it be people.

We dropped into bed around 1030 and were rudely awoken at just after 1am by noisy neighbours who thankfully went quiet around 1.30.

The room was very comfy and the aircon super quiet after the Broadway Plaza .

A day of sightseeing ahead tomorrow so a good night sleep definitely required ...
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Old 14 Aug 16, 03:56 PM  
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Pussycat Doll
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Lovely day, your photos have made me want to visit Washington! Love the food photos and the Daquiri looks gorgeous! Pussycat
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Old 14 Aug 16, 05:55 PM  
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Zomax25
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Lovely day. Very sorry to hear about your sad news.
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Old 14 Aug 16, 06:07 PM  
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SEAWORLD FAN
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I'm sorry to read the news about Andy's mum. Lovely though that you got a chance to tell her about your trip and reminisce about old ones.

I have been looking forward to this part of the holiday so get posting the next few days quickly, pretty please! We got the train back to Newark to catch our flight to Orlando and it was a double decker. I was so excited (and sad I was told!) Who knew such a thing existed? Probably should admit at this point that I've always yearned to be a train driver. I'm serious. Unfortunately there are no trains where I live. Don't think it's ever going to happen for me!

Anyway! Hope you enjoyed Washington. Can't wait to see the photos.
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Old 14 Aug 16, 06:55 PM  
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Looks like a good day all things considered! Excited to read more!
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Old 14 Aug 16, 08:34 PM  
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Oh Amanda. Andy's dear mum. I am so sorry. Glad you got to see her when you came home and share your holiday stories one last time. That's a lovely photo of her with tigger too. Sending love to you all.

Glad you got a few hours to relax on your first night in Washington after your whirlwind trip to New York. And a couple of sneaky daiquiris too. Perfect xx
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Old 14 Aug 16, 09:16 PM  
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So sorry to hear Andy's mum has passed away

That food looks lovely
What a price for your cocktail
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Old 14 Aug 16, 09:27 PM  
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Huge condolences to you both 💜
Enjoying this report so much and can't wait for the rest. Thank you for all your hard work xx
Best wishes
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Old 14 Aug 16, 10:15 PM  
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Sorry to hear your news.such a lovely photo of her with Tigger ❤️ Double decker trains... who knew? Your 6 hr commute to work 😢😢😢 is it as bad as it sounds ?
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