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Old 3 Dec 17, 06:06 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Expedition East Coast

In 2018, we are off to the East Coast of the USA, visiting lots of states and taking in big cities and small towns, with plenty of seaside as well.

Meet the Cast

Here we are in Nashville Tennessee.


From left to right:
Hannah: ex-vegetarian, ultimate funky photo poser and the one who has all the sass.

Evan: carnivore, American sports expert and holiday bargain hunter extraordinaire.

Elizabeth: holiday planner and organiser, Queen of spreadsheets and the person who always ends up talking to random strangers.

Paul: King of the open road and guitar fan, leader of walks and grill champion

Read the Plan
Next year we are heading to the US in the relatively small window between the end of A-levels and Prom and results day in mid-August. We have booked with Thomas Cook and are flying from Manchester to JFK and back again. We got a good price and being able to fly directly from and to Manchester is a real bonus. We don't mind going from elsewhere if it makes a substantial saving but I think we will really appreciate being able to land in Manchester after that tiring overnight return flight.

We will have 4 nights in New York, staying in Queens, before getting the train to Washington DC. We will stay 3 nights in Arlington and then pick up the car for the road trip part of the holiday.

From DC, we head to Nazareth in Pennsylvania, stopping off at the Martin guitar factory nearby. We stay overnight in nearby Bethlehem before continuing to the Catskills in New York state, staying in Big Indian.

After this, we are off to Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains, staying overnight, before our next stop in North Conway.

The reason for this epic four day journey is because we want to visit Acadia National Park in Maine and it's quite a journey! We did deliberate for quite a while about whether or not we could fit both Washington and Acadia into one trip and in the end we decided to go for it. We don't mind a few long drives and one night stops and this looks like a good route for plenty of scenery.

We then have 4 nights in a cabin near Acadia. We loved our cabin in the Smokey Mountains and while this one doesn't have a hot tub, it does have a fire pit and looks very restful. We are planning some hiking and kayaking in and around Acadia and are really looking forward to the National Park.

After Acadia, we head down the coast, stopping off for a night in Portland before arriving in Boston for 3 nights. We found Boston very expensive but have got a nice looking AirBnB place a short way from downtown.

We then leave Boston and have one night on Cape Cod, followed by a night further down the coast in New Haven, before heading back to JFK to fly home.

It will be a bit different this time round - we won't have a car for the first week as we won't need one, so there won't be a first morning Walmart shop. But I think we'll manage!

Most of the accommodation is now booked, along with our train tickets. We are planning some baseball along the way - going to see the Yankees in NY and the Red Sox in Boston. Evan was originally sceptical about the whole trip as he isn't a fan of big cities and had no desire to go to New York, but once he realised the baseball opportunities, he was a lot more interested. He has also been researching the food options and is keen to try a Grub Tub!

We are also looking forward to lots of nice seafood in Maine and some deli sandwiches in NY. It will be a busy trip with lots of moving around places but that seems to suit us as a family, so we are quite excited about it. This is a big and stressful year, with A-levels and University applications, so it is nice to have something completely different to look forward to once exams are over.

Edited at 03:37 PM.
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Old 3 Dec 17, 07:30 PM  
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tocpe321
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Sounds like a lovely trip.

We did NY and New England a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Like the sound of the cabin in Acadia. We stayed in Bar Harbor and it was a lovely area.

We would definitely like to revisit New England and also would like to see Washington. Will be interesting to hear feedback on DC and Pennsylvania etc.

Thanks for posting and enjoy the planning.
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Old 3 Dec 17, 08:12 PM  
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Melbatb
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Hi

It sounds fabulous! We may cross paths - we are planning Acadia (about 10th -16th August) and Boston (16th-19th August!) Where are you staying in Queens?

Care to share your cabin in Acadia/airbnb in Boston - we have booked the first four nights in Hampton beach (Cape Cod was originally the plan but realised that driving there on a Friday afternoon may not be a good idea) then a horse farm in Vermont. Now I have ground to a halt as we have SoCal in three weeks and so I am concentrating on that!

This coyld be our last big trip as DS has banned me from any big trips next year as he will have mocks (indeed he has a big French oral mock two days after we get back from San Diego!)

Sorry - rather long reply
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Old 3 Dec 17, 09:52 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by tocpe321 View Post
Sounds liked a lovely trip.

We did NY and New England a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Like the sound of the cabin in Acadia. We stayed in Bar Harbor and it was a lovely area.

We would definitely like to revisit New England and also would like to see Washington. Will be interesting to hear feedback on DC and Pennsylvania etc.

Thanks for posting and enjoy the planning.
Thanks. I’m sure I’ll have loads of questions as the planning gets serious!
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Old 3 Dec 17, 09:57 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
Hi

It sounds fabulous! We may cross paths - we are planning Acadia (about 10th -16th August) and Boston (16th-19th August!) Where are you staying in Queens?

Care to share your cabin in Acadia/airbnb in Boston - we have booked the first four nights in Hampton beach (Cape Cod was originally the plan but realised that driving there on a Friday afternoon may not be a good idea) then a horse farm in Vermont. Now I have ground to a halt as we have SoCal in three weeks and so I am concentrating on that!

This coyld be our last big trip as DS has banned me from any big trips next year as he will have mocks (indeed he has a big French oral mock two days after we get back from San Diego!)

Sorry - rather long reply
We’re staying at the Best Western Plaza in Queens - it looks ok and wasn’t a bad price. NY is expensive!

Alas we won’t cross paths as we’re going earlier - need to be back for 16 August as that’s A-level results day. I’ll pm you the AirBnB info.

Hope you have a lovely time in SoCal. I understand how hard it is when there are exams - we were going to go away at Easter for a few days next year but in the end decided against as it is too close to A-levels and Hannah wouldn’t be able to enjoy herself.
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Old 3 Dec 17, 10:07 PM  
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Melbatb
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Originally Posted by CrispyA View Post
We’re staying at the Best Western Plaza in Queens - it looks ok and wasn’t a bad price. NY is expensive!

Alas we won’t cross paths as we’re going earlier - need to be back for 16 August as that’s A-level results day. I’ll pm you the AirBnB info.

Hope you have a lovely time in SoCal. I understand how hard it is when there are exams - we were going to go away at Easter for a few days next year but in the end decided against as it is too close to A-levels and Hannah wouldn’t be able to enjoy herself.
Thank you! Shame our paths won't cross!

My DS is in the equivalent of year 12 (lower sixth for us oldies!) but this year he has to do his French Bac - one four hour written exam and an oral which will be on one of 21 texts! For the oral we only know it will be the first week in July!

What does Hannah want to do?
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Old 3 Dec 17, 10:35 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
Thank you! Shame our paths won't cross!

My DS is in the equivalent of year 12 (lower sixth for us oldies!) but this year he has to do his French Bac - one four hour written exam and an oral which will be on one of 21 texts! For the oral we only know it will be the first week in July!

What does Hannah want to do?
Hannah is applying for Physics - she is a bit of a super nerd & she gets really excited about it all! We’ve really enjoyed our tour of university Open Days - I just can’t believe she’s old enough to go!
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Old 28 Apr 18, 07:15 PM  
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CrispyA
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80 days to go! It's always the same - we book well in advance and have a humungous countdown, then the holiday actually sneaks up on us.

Of course, we have A-levels to deal with first, so we will start properly getting excited once those are over. All the accommodation is booked, along with car hire and train tickets. We've got Yankees vs Mets tickets (holy guacamole, those were expensive!) and tickets on the first boat of the day to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I've signed up for some Broadway emails in case of a bargain and we are still eagerly awaiting the release of single game tickets for Red Sox vs Yankees while we are in Boston. Typical, the ballpark Evan is desperate to visit is hosting the biggest game of the season while we are there and tickets appear to be like gold dust at the moment. Hey ho, we can always get a tour of Fenway Park but it would be good to see an actual game.

We still need to book Top of the Rock as well and properly work out the New York and Washington transport passes. I'm very tempted to get the Subway to our hotel from JFK in New York as we're staying in Queens so wouldn't get the benefit of the going over the bridge to Manhattan anyway. We'll see. It all depends on how tired we are when we land.
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Old 30 Apr 18, 08:23 PM  
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floridafan101
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Sounds great! We are heading back to UK on the 16th for exam results too! Been a bit of a squeeze between end of term for 2 youngest and getting back for eldest to either commiserate or party with his friends on A level results. Hope the stress of waiting for them doesn’t get to him though! 😱
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Old 2 Jun 18, 10:50 AM  
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CrispyA
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So, the trip is getting closer and so I went to check what time our plane lands on 9 August so that I could book our train tickets back from Manchester.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that we fly back on 9th and land on 10th. Not the 8th as we had on our spreadsheet. After double checking with Thomas Cook, who must have thought I was a complete idiot, we were assured that yes, we did have an extra night of holiday. Ooops!

Well, an extra night is better than one night fewer. The cattery can keep the cat for an extra day and we now have an Unexpected! night in New York. Ideally, I would have added a day to Cape Cod but the booked hotels are all unchangeable and I really don't want to lose the money, in addition to then needing extra nights.

So we are going to return the car to JFK as planned (as changing the car hire is a pain and we didn't really want 2 nights in New Haven) and then get the train to Brooklyn and have our last night in New York. There weren't many options for reasonably priced hotels as it is so close to the date, but this one looks good and is in a good location near the river.

It's all working out okay, even if I do feel like a bit of a div.

In other news, Red Sox vs Yankees single game tickets were finally released and we managed to get some. The Sunday game hasn't got an agreed time yet but that's the only game where we could get 4 seats together, so we went for that one.
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