A catch up post about the final leg of the USA road trip portion of our journey! We depart tonight to kick off the international leg in Tanzania. Not expecting to have any service once we are outside of the city centers, but we will post again as soon as we can!
From Atlanta, we made our way towards Washington DC via Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Being October, it was one of the park's busiest times of the year as visitors flocked there to enjoy the beautiful Fall colors. Compared to the national parks out West, GSMNP is very evidently the most visited park in the entire park system, giving it and the towns which flank the entrances a Disney-esque feel - tons of cars, traffic jams, and many more conveniences inside the park.
Highlights - the autumnal scenery with the leaves changing colors, hiking a very small bit of the Appalachian Trail, and Mingus Mill, built in the 1880's to mill grain for the families who lived in the area.
We made our way to DC (and stopped for some fall apple picking!) An amazing mix of family, good friends, and 'Murica!
Highlights - We saw the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, spent some time with Kim's cousin Vy and her family, saw beautiful pictures of Iceland at an exhibit in the Natural History Museum, caught up with Jake's awesome cousin Charlotte who lives in DC, and had all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ with the unstoppable Cronin family.
Although skeptical about the warmth of the people of New York, the city was phenomenal and the people even better.
Below we have photos of "Psycho Barn" art exhibit at the Met Museum (based on the Alfred Hitchcock house in Psycho)
--Also, look at the little kid "mean muggin" us in the back of the photo
Time Square-- one of the top 5 places on the planet for number of selfies being taken in a day.
A huge shout out to Kim's sister Anne who spent the entire weekend with us and graciously took us out to some of the best ramen places in the USA--YOU ROCK ANNE!
If you are lucky enough to visit Maine in the fall, you are in for a treat. We got to see all the beautiful foliage changing colors and go "leaf-peeping" as they call it. As well when low tide hit at approx. 2PM we went tidalpooling---SO MANY SNAILS.
Right outside of Acadia NP is a town called Bar Harbor (or as they pronounce it "Ba-Ha-Ba") where we enjoyed our first delicious lobster rolls.
SALEM -- HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!
For anyone who is a fan of Disney's cult classic "Hocus Pocus" this is a MUST!
We were joined by a celebrity visit from friends Marco and Amani to join what would be an epic search for the Sanderson Sisters and all around mischief. The magic paid off as the Chicago Cubs ended up winning
First picture = Wynott's wand shop. The people selling the wands really look the part.
Picture Two = Salem is an overall gorgeous town; Amani claims "I'm going to buy a Fall house here"
Picture Three = "Max's house" from the movie
Picture Four = "Allison's house" from the movie
We bade the East Coast goodbye and headed back to the midwest to see two very special ladies at our Alma Mater.
Thank you Ana and Isabel for hosting us for an amazing fall experience at the University of Illinois. The campus always brings the nostalgia full force when a former student visits.
Hail to the Orange
Hail to the Blue
Hail (our awesome picture in front of the) Alma Mater!
Shout out to Isaac Ngo (Kim's cousin) who pulled himself out of bed after a long night of studying (read partying) to meet us for coffee/tea at 9AM before his first class.