Parul and I travelled to USA in the May of 2017. It was not a vacation, rather some family time coupled with remote working. I managed to see three very distinct parts of the huge country with very different weather, sceneries, people and food. Here is an attempt to document it all in a photo-blog.
The Banks of Hudson
This was the second time I was coming to Jersey City.
The view of the Hudson and Manhattan beyond.
Time with family was one of the major agendas of this trip. We did not have a big to-do list and the idea was to work during the daytime and spend the evenings and weekends with Di, Priyank and Ila.
My favourite part of the day was getting Ila from her school. It was a difficult task striking friendship with her. We hardly got to spend time with her when Di and Priyank got her to India. The fawning elders took the lion’s share of her attention. So these school pick ups, walks to the park and racing the stroller back home, everything contributed to us spending more time with her.
Parks were a part of our daily routine
Looking for Mister Moon
We also got to explore the part of Jersey City that we were in.
We went out to do some sightseeing on the weekends and the evenings as and when our schedule permitted.
Brooklyn Bridge as part of Priyanko’s famous walking tour.
Occulus at the new WTC subway station
A Broadway show is one of the quintessential experiences of Manhattan.
Di booked ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ for us and we absolutely loved it!
Walking around the Central Park
A Veritable Gotham
After a week well spent in Jersey City, Parul and I took a flight to Chicago, where Parul’s brother, Praval, was graduating from UIC.
Graduation Day was a grand affair.
Parul’s parents were there as well and we made the most of the weekend by walking around Chicago.
Cloud Gate or The Bean
Yacht Club and Lake Michigan
Chicago Skyline from the Navy Pier
Navy Pier Photoshoot
We went to see the sunset from 360 Chicago which, as the name suggests, affords a beautiful 360 degree view of the city.
From up above
Parul and I went out once more to wander around the streets and identify the shooting locations from Nolan’s Batman Trilogy.
Chicago’s skyscrapers are much more tasteful than New York’s
Perhaps not all of them #eyesore
And of course, there is the signature food of Chicago.
Loaded Hot Dog!
The famous Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at Giordano’s
A Hike in Olympic
Parul stayed the rest of the week with her family and I took off to Seattle to meet Deva. The long flights made me truly realise that USA was a whole continent in itself.
Colours at the Seattle Airport
Bright and sunny day in Seattle
The buildings were a disappointment after Chicago and Manhattan!
Deva and Venky, another friend from college, had planned a hike in the Olympic National Park. We took off the day after I arrived in a rented car.
Taking a ferry from Seattle
The drive to the National Park was along well paved green roads. Every road that we went on was well made and maintained. But somehow I found the signboards a bit superfluous. Every turn was marked with warning signs as if it was the end of the world!
We picked up information and permits from the National Park office and rented out a bear can. The threat of bears seemed real enough out here. The hiking trail was well marked and I was quite impressed with the entire way the National Parks were organised in this country. There was this real feeling of experiencing nature.
Entrance trail to the Coast
First beach that we hit.
We were probably the only people on the beach all day…
…so we decided to indulge in bufoonery!
Second beach. We had a clear day contrary to the forecasts.
It was not just a beach hike. We also had to cross cliffs that separated the beaches.
The beach where we finally camped.
The clouds came around towards the evening.
The next morning was rainy as we made our way back to our car.
Ozette Lake was not a hike but just a camping place. Would have been wonderful had we had a kayak with us.
But we made do with some camp fire and legal marijuana. ?
On the way back, we drove along the Strait of Juan where Canada was visible on the other side.
We also stopped at Cape Flattery, the western-most point of American mainland.
For food, we stopped at a typical American Diner. The hamburger was mind-blowing awesome!
When I left Seattle a couple of days later, I realised that I had not seen any of the tourist attractions within the town. ?
Another time maybe
East Coast Again
I flew back to New Jersey for another week with Salsa. Parul flew in from Chicago on the same day. It was back to the old routine of spending the days working and fetching Salsa from the school in the evening.
Back to the parks…
It took a while to make friends with her again, but it did happen.
Bribery had a big part to play.
We ventured to take her to the Central Park Zoo one day. The project was not a complete failure. ?
We got to have some more amazing Italian food during the week!
At the end of the week, we took a flight back to India and took another week to recover from the jet-lag. We had come back with fresh memories of the country, an ability to identify skyscrapers of Manhattan and Chicago in movies, and (hopefully) a lasting friendship with Salsa. It was three weeks well spent. ✌
Whether you enjoyed the post or not, do leave a comment!
And here is the complete album of the USA trip.