Monthly Wrap #14: 27 July 2015 – 26 August 2015

14 months equals 427 days and sees us end a month that both started in (up in Haines, Alaska), and concluded in (New York City, New York) the United States.

We still managed to squeeze 8 more night out of Canada in between, although half of those found us busing our way back from Whitehorse to Toronto!

It was many a Canadian that referred to us as crazy as a result…

Ending the month in New York City, we have company, in the form of Sarah’s mum who will be travelling with us for the next seven weeks!

Dipping our toes into Alaska to kick off the month

Dipping our toes into Alaska to kick off the month

Countries Visited:                           2 (USA, Canada)

After last touching US soil last on the morning of day 11 of this trip, day 397 saw a brief return, before the last 22 days saw us well and truly re-entrenched within the land of the brave, and the home of the free…

Cheapest Bed(s):                            $15.00 US, Chilkoot River Campground, Haines, Alaska, USA

We were treated to free beds again this month, thanks to our friends up in Whitehorse, another friend in Toronto, and yet another in semi-rural Pennsylvania (in Kennett Square).

So technically this wasn’t the cheapest, but of those we’ve had to pay for, it surely is!

Most Expensive Bed(s):                $66.00 USA, St Nicholas Avenue, Upper Manhattan, New York, USA

Suddenly we are a party of three, so it’s become a little harder to find ourselves anything cheap… but then, we are in the USA and it’s difficult here at any time!

Highlight:                                          Seeing a Grizzly Bear and her two cubs in the wild

Before we’d even arrived in Haines or set ourselves up at a campsite on Chilkoot Lake, we were told, “You will see bears on the Chilkoot River!”

Just over an hour before our ferry was set to leave for Skagway, we still hadn’t… then this happened!

Up close with a Grizzly on the Chilkoot River

Up close with a Grizzly on the Chilkoot River

Let's not forget her little ones!

Let’s not forget her little ones!

Lowlight:                                           Leaving ourselves too little time in Chicago’s Field Museum

The particular day we visited this place was our last in Chicago.

We dragged our heels in the morning, relaxed, had a sleep in… had we known how good this place was going to be, we’d have been there when the doors opened!

Favourite New Food:                     Donut Ice-cream Sandwich

Served with a surprise drizzle of chocolate sauce, this gem from ‘Firecakes’ in Chicago is made using a rectangular shaped, frosted donut (Sarah says the donut itself was one of the best of the trip).

It was as good as it sounds!

Donut, Ice-Cream and Sanwich. Nothing more need be said!

Donut, Ice-Cream and Sanwich. Nothing more need be said!

Best Beer:                                         Blue Mountain Kolsch

When there are over 40 micro brews to choose from (at DC Beerweek), you hope that something or someone will rise above the pack.

This one did…

Most impressive Church:              Washington Memorial Chapel, Valley Forge, USA

This church within the bounds of the Valley Forge National Historical Park was not only a beauty from without, but once you got within it had another, very non-religious element.

It may look a little dark within this almost 100 year old chapel, and that’s despite its four walls being covered with a network of lead light windows, illustrating the lives in wonderful detail of independence luminaries such as George Washington and Paul Revere.

In Valley Forge, a lasting monument to the general and first president

In Valley Forge, a lasting monument to that famous general and first president

Bucket List Items:                           1 Visit New York City

One of the most famous cities in the world, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere…

We’ve given ourselves nearly two weeks in the ‘Big Apple‘.

Finally making it to the 'Big Apple'

Finally making it to the ‘Big Apple’

New Bucket List Items:                  0

Highest Elevation:                          1,070m

Days in thongs (flip flops):           30

A lot of days/nights on buses, as well as a good chunk of hot weather in the USA has seen our feet get a nice flip-flop tan again!

UNESCO Sites:                                 3 (Kluane National Park, Independence Hall, Statue of Liberty)

Pretty light on this month, and it would have been even less but for the fact that we accidentally stumbled upon the fringes of the amazing Kluane National Park (which is spread across both US Alaska and the Canadian Yukon Territories), home to the largest non-polar ice fields in the world!

Still, the other couple we did see are pretty iconic pieces of history…

The home of the brave?

The home of the brave?

Number of towns:                          20

Number of beds:                            7

Nights in transit:                             6 (6 buses)

Randoms:          

  • North American vehicles often have their brake lights and indicators the same colour (red) making it difficult to distinguish what action is occurring (in Australia, brake lights are red, indicators are amber).
  • It was difficult not to laugh having overheard an American ordering Fish & Chips in Haines, Alaska, proceed to ask if he’d be getting fries with it (for those not understanding the humour here, please Google ‘Fish & Chips’).
  • New York seems home to actors, both good and bad, who have followed their calling and now work as… tour guides!
  • A myth that we’d been lead to believe prior to visiting the biggest city in the United States was that New Yorkers are simply not friendly. Our experience has suggested that these claims, are miles from the truth!!
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2 Responses to Monthly Wrap #14: 27 July 2015 – 26 August 2015

  1. thatsbalogna says:

    cool pics, nice to see home again, albeit virtual ^_^

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