Tuesday Feb 9 – going to Annapolis

We’re off to Annapolis today. 3 1/2 hours on a bus, then a half hour in the car (Nikki collected us from the bus).

But first, we had to pack and say our goodbyes to New York, and I had some last minute shopping to do. My wallet disintegrated last December, and I’d decided to wait till I got to New York to replace it. It was a beautiful morning, not too cold (only a couple of C below freezing, we’ve adjusted quickly) and I was feeling well, so I decided to walk. I left the boys with instructions to pack and wash the dishes, and off I set.

I quickly realised that the flatiron building was still on my “to see” list and was less than a block off my route, so I diverted past there to take a few photos. And then, of course, I found a souvenir shop with a great range of black and white photos of manhattan in the window, and had to stop and take a look. So now, when I get home, I’ll be able to hang a few framed prints on my walls. Pity they won’t be my own, but that can’t be helped. Maybe next time.

I’m again struck by the contrasts in the city. Huge avenues open up in one direction, and then you suddenly have grungy residential streets, or bustling light industrial or commercial ones in the other.

Pretty much everyone is friendly, helpful and polite. One thing that’s really surprised me is how safe I’ve felt here. Mind you, we’ve stuck to the lower half of Manhattan. But some of these areas aren’t exactly been upmarket.

So after we finished getting packed, we were aiming to get some really good burgers before we caught the bus – but we failed. We were almost out of time, and the taxi driver was unhelpful (one of only two in our entire stay). So he dropped us just near the Empire State Building (behind Scott in the photo) and while we waited Scott found us some food to tide us over. One of the things I regret is not getting up the top of the Empire State – maybe next time. Despite being completed in 1931, it’s again (since 9/11) the tallest building in New York.

The bus picked us up, and we headed out of town, through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to Maryland. It was slightly surreal, for those of you who are Sopranos fans, we followed a large part of the route in the opening credits. As we drove, there was more and more snow on the ground, rivers were frozen, and you could see the clouds closing in as the storm got closer. When we got off the bus in Baltimore, we had to battle our way around thigh-deep drifts of snow beside the bus stop, and shortly after we arrived in Annapolis it started to come down in earnest.

Nikki collected us from the bus, and we were at their place a half hour later. I’ll talk more about their place in tomorrow’s post – almost as soon as I came in the door I was asleep. Much as I enjoyed New York, and I tried to take it easy, I still managed to use a few too many spoons in the last week – good thing that this next week we’re taking it easy!