I realise that with my children being educated in a French-language school, they are more comfortable writing in that language, so I’ll do my best to write in English for our English-speaking readers. 😊
Our round-the-world trip started in Washington DC on July 3rd. We had planned to start our trip with the US capital city because we wanted to visit the famous Smithsonian Institute. Kean had visited the Smithsonian before and knew that our kids would have a blast there.
The Smithsonian Institute is a gathering of various museums, located in multiple buildings. We were interested in many of them but unfortunately time was short and we had to focus on only two exhibits. The kids chose the Natural History Museum and the Air & Space Museum but I hope to come back soon to visit, among others, the Museum of African American History and the Museum of American History.
Being the 4th of July week, it was a very busy time in Washington DC. Crowds of people were queueing up to visit the famous museums; next time, we’ll make sure to visit them at another time of year but we all thoroughly enjoyed the exhibitions nonetheless.
On our way, we briefly saw the White House, the FBI building and other governmental places of interest.
We left Washington DC on July 5th, from Union Station, a beautiful and very impressive train station. The Amtrak was a very comfortable ride all the way to New York City, our next destination.
New York City
After dropping our bags, we hit Times Square. Impressive place. Big screens, crazy ads, crowds of people, everything was rather remote from our personal interests but that’s also one of the goals of our trip… to shake things up a bit… So Times Square was quite something for our children… I think they were impressed by the grandeur of things but also freaked out by this sudden turmoil of things they had never seen before. It was an experience and that’s what our round-the-world trip is all about.
The next day was much quieter, looking at the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. Prior to our departure, I had read a bit about NYC. Of course, the Statue of Liberty was high on the list of things to see in the city but we didn’t want to take a tourist tour and waste too much time to see it. So I found out that the Staten Island ferry ride was passing by the famous monument (although not as close to it as the tourist tours) and that it was a quick (15 minutes) and free (!) ride. That was a perfect option for us. The views of the Bay of New York were great, we saw the city from afar and the Statue of Liberty, it was perfect.
Back in Manhattan, we took a quick subway ride from the Whitehall Terminal to Central Park North. We walked from the north end to the south end of the park, enjoying its diversity. Our children ran through the paths, played on the playgrounds and admired the various birds, turtles, squirrels and other wonders of the park. That day, we walked about 8 to 10km in total… So a delicious slice of New York-style pizza was well-deserved. We found this amazing tiny authentic New York pizza shop in our neighbourhood in Queens. Our favourites were the eggplant parmigiana pizza and the fresh tomato & basil margherita… mmmm… absolute delights!
On the morning of the 6th, we all woke up wanting more of the delicious pizza… so we went back for more 😊 – yes, it was that good! We got our quick fix before our bus ride from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Hartford, CT, where we were going to meet our very good friends, Duncan & Eugenia and their 3 fabulous children: Emilia, Matteo and Santiago.
West Hartford, CT
It was so good to meet our friend Duncan and his wonderful family in their home in West Hartford! We stayed in their lovely home for 3 days. The children immediately connected and became friends, it was great!
We also visited Cathy and "Pinball Bob" one afternoon. Bob restores and collects old pinball games… “What is pinball?” asked one of our kids. We tried to explain to them that they were games we used to play in arcades, before video games existed but the best was for them to be able to try them... When they discovered the pinball machines, they were all fascinated and really enjoyed the games. Kean and I had forgotten how elaborate those entertainment machines were, with intricate and complex mechanisms. I remember when pinball machines were popular, before video games appeared. It was interesting to be able to show pinball machines to our children.
Cathy then took us to visit a traditional US farm, it was absolutely lovely! It was a very instructive and fun visit, thank you Cathy and Bob!
Kean et Celia
Nous sommes les parents de 3 merveilleux enfants.