Last night I arrived back in Richmond after a phenomenal 4 days vacation with my wife, mother-in-law and my parents who are visiting from Scotland.
As part of the trip we decided to surprise my parents with the tickets for this trip when they arrived in Richmond. We had been hinting to them that we would be going on an adventure while they were in the states and in my mother’s truest fashion she responded to constant mention of the trip with freaking out and stating that she didn’t want to go camping.
I have never been camping in my life and I am not exactly in a rush to do it anytime soon. I am definitely more of a city boy than a country boy. And thankfully for my mum, the adventure was not camping but was a 4 day trip spending 2 days in New York and 2 days in Washington D.C. It has been a lifelong dream of my parents to go to New York City and go up the Empire State Building. And along with this we wanted to let them see Washington D.C. and give them a chance to see the American Capital city.
We went by Train from Richmond to New York on Friday and arrived early afternoon. It was a quiet first day with going to the hotel, dinner in an irish pub/restaurant and looking at souvenir shops as we had a pretty big evening planned as that night we had tickets for the Imperial Theater to see Les Miserables on Broadway.
What an absolutely phenomenal show this was and what an amazingly wonderful and talented cast that it has. I would say if you have the opportunity to see this show before it leave Broadway next month then please go and see it as it is absolutely worth every minute. I am glad that I got to see Les Mis as my second show on Broadway, one of my favorite stories, some of my favorite songs and one of my favorite fictional characters, Jean Valjean are all housed together in breathtaking performance.
And an even bigger highlight to the night is knowing how much my parents adored this show, as unlike Hannah, Julie and myself, they not only had never seen or read Les Miserables prior to this but they didn’t even know what the story was about.
Day 2 was a pretty packed day. That morning both Hannah and I woke up early and decided since we needed a couple of things we would walk to Times Square (just down the street from out hotel) and pick them up at Walgreens and go to the Jamba Juice in Times Square for a smoothie for breakfast. We successfully made it to Walgreens and enjoyed seeing Times Square again on this beautiful quiet Saturday Morning, but the Jamba Juice was no longer there. We the proceeded to walk to the nearest one at the bus station, where Hannah was worried that the drink we were getting for her mom would get too warm, so we decided to walk near Radio City to one closer to the hotel.
On arriving at the destination we couldn’t find a Jamba Juice anywhere close to where we were looking, and with the temperature increasing dramatically, I took one last shot at fining one and we found a Jamba Juice in the underground at Rockefeller Center (which I had never see before). So after seeing a majority of New York on foot that morning, we headed back to our my parents.
My mum wasted no time in seeking to see her dream realized as the first thing we did that morning was visit the Empire State Building, and with our VIP passes in hand, made our way around the building and to the observation deck at the top. The view from the top of The Empire State Building is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful and stunning views in the world and has to be seen in person to be appreciated. This was only eclipsed by seeing my mum’s dream realized as she looked out over New York City from the top of the building she has spent her whole life dreaming that she might see.
After the lifelong dream had been realized we visited a little restaurant, Metro Grill, for some lunch, and then made our way to the Stanton Island Ferry where we would be able to get a clear view of the Statue of Liberty and let my parents see her as more than a dot on the horizon. They thoroughly enjoyed seeing her and I enjoyed the ferry ride, it is such a peaceful and relaxed way to travel.
After this we planned to surprise my mum and dad again. They are both a fan of the show Cake Boss and of the work that Buddy does, so we decided to take them to the Carlo’s Bake Shop in New York, just off of Times Square.
They absolutely loved seeing the Bakery and we all decided to try our very first cannolis. It didn’t taste quite as I expected but it tasted very good, especially the butter cream that filled it which was phenomenal.
The next part of the trip in all honesty was all for me. One of the stops I have always visited at least once when I am in New York City is Midtown Comics at Times Square. 2 floors full of Comics, Graphic Novels, Collectibles, Statues, Action Figures and T-Shirts. I held back from buying A LOT while in this store including a Spider-Gwen pop, which I should have trusted my instinct and gotten.
But I came away with Thor Vol. 1: The goddess of thunder, A Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Midtown Comics Variant cover, Nightwing Rebirth #1, Injustice #14 and unfortunately they didn’t have Spider-Gwen Vol. 0 but instead I got Superior Spider-Man Vol. 2. And a big thank you to my parents who stepped in and decided to treat me to all of these on our vacation.
We then ended our trip to New York by hanging out in one of our Hotel rooms and order traditional, proper, real New York Pizza. First time ever having New York Pizza (as I was Gluten Free last time I was in New York) and it was HUGE and tasted absolutely amazing. I will 100% be getting pizza like that every time I take a trip to New York.
A perfect end to Part 1 of the trip.
Following our trip to New York, we made our way to Washington D.C. We had a vague plan in place of how our 2 days in the Nation’s Capital would go, but upon arriving in D.C. the temperature had reached 95 degrees with a heat index of 102 degrees. This was the hottest temperature some of us have experienced and with Hannah being pregnant and more susceptible to the affects of the heat (as well as concerns for how it would affect our baby) we decided to change our plans.
Our day started with the thought of getting lunch, walking to the nearest tour bus bus stop and taking it to see the Lincoln Memorial as that was the main thing my parent’s were excited to see in Washington. But after walking in over 100 degrees for a number of blocks, waiting in the heat for the bus and riding to a couple of stops on a bus with no air conditioning, Hannah began to badly overheat and we abandoned plans for that day and settled for a night in the hotel and dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.
We made our way out with a plan in place for the day, I don’t think we fully stuck to that plan without altering it multiple times that morning, but we had a plan nonetheless.
We decided to forego the tour of the Capitol as it would take up too much of our time. But we started our day by seeing the Capitol building and taking the red tour bus to our next destinations. Hannah and I stopped at the Air and Space Museum as we never got to finish seeing it on our last trip and felt it would be a good place to keep Hannah from overheating while out parents visited a number of the outside attractions.
Our parents visited the Lincoln Memorial as this was something they had always wanted to see. I think they enjoyed getting to see the tribute to such a great man and read his famous speeches that are etched into the walls of the memorial. I know when I visited it riled up a patriotism in me for my new home country and really inspired me to believe, hope and pray for the America that Lincoln believed that we could become. From here they got to see the White House and The Washington Monument, but decided to see them from the Tour Bus as the temperature had begun to increase again.
Hannah and I walked to the Natural History Museum to meet our parents off of their bus and allow them to cool off before we moved on. While there we wanted to let my mum see The Hope Diamond which was on the second floor of the museum. This was for two reasons; 1) My mum has a love for diamonds and all things shiny and 2) it was donated to the museum by someone with the same first and last name as my mum.
We decided it was time for lunch and finally got to go to one of my favorite stops in Washington D.C., Fuddruckers. I absolutely love the Burgers and Fries that you get at Fuddruckers since Hannah introduced me to it last year and I knew that my parents would enjoy the food there too. Honestly, it’s a travesty that there isn’t one in Richmond.
After that we got some Gelato from a little shop just round the corner, which was the perfect finish to that meal and after sitting in the sun and eating it we decided to go and relax back at the hotel until it was time to come home.
It was honestly such an amazing weekend and there was a lot of Nostalgia in getting to go back to NYC and D.C. as Hannah and I got to vacation there for our Honeymoon and 1 year anniversary but the best part is that my parents enjoyed their trip and were so happy at getting to see New York and Washington.
And that was the goal, to do something special for them and to show them love for a few days of their vacation with a really special trip, filled with memories that they will never forget.
Thank you for checking out my blog! Please give it a like. And what are some of your favorite things to do in New York and Washington D.C. that you would recommend? Where else in the USA would you recommend visiting? Please leave it in the comments below.