Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Today I realized that during this duration of about five weeks, I'm going to be in some of the biggest/greatest cities in the United States (Philadelphia, NYC, Boston, San Francisco)! In three days, I had already been in 10 states!

So, here's how my traveling weekend went: Friday, we came home from North Carolina, and a seven hour drive turned into twelve hour drive. I slept about 5 hours Friday night, because Saturday morning, we woke up and got in the car for around 10 hours. We ended up in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and that was actually pretty cool!

Fun fact: the largest mall in the United States isn't the Mall of America. It's actually the one in King of Prussia! We drove through and visited Valley Forge, which was really close to where we were staying. The history nerd in me freaked out. It reminded us all of National Treasure where 'Valley Forge' is her keycode, haha.

 
Wherever we go, it's evident that we're tourists. Look at us! We're a family of six, riding around in a mini-van with a car topper. And when we get out, it looks like we're a clown car. So this was our adventure at the mall in King of Prussia. The clearance was 6'8" (note: that's soo short if you think about it! I mean, my dad is 6'5") and heck, we went for it. We cracked ourselves up trying to fit in the very middle. 

The next morning, we drove about 1.5 hours and went to New York City! Writing that, I still can't believe it. I mean, that was completely an impromptu detour. My dad and I went to NYC when I was 12 and I absolutely fell in love with it. My mom and sister have both been as well, but neither of my brothers had. It was amazing to watch them see it for the first time! We had to go through New Jersey to get there, so here are some views from there.

 
Absolutely breathtaking.

 
My mom's guilty pleasure is that Real Housewives show or whatever. She freaked out when we stopped at the restaurant they own in New Jersey.

 
When I went to NYC when I was younger, we rode the ferry over to Ellis Island and saw the Statue of Liberty that way. But seeing it from Jersey City was incredible!


The funny thing about this was that first, we we're from Kentucky and drove to NYC. You never hear about someone from the South driving so far away! And we got to go through the Holland Tunnel, which is an underground tunnel that goes below the Hudson River. This was too legit to quit.

Second, we actually factually drove through all of the city and Times Square in a mini van with a car topper. I still laugh thinking about this image of the people that saw us!

 
 
Driving through NYC is now crossed off my bucket list.
 

 
We saw lots in New York, but the flat iron building is my dad's favorite building in the world. And the Trump Tower? Y'all know of my obsession with Ivanka Trump, so I freaked when I got to see this building again.
 
Also, we randomly got to drive through New Haven, Connecticut! I got a glimpse of the beautiful school Yale is (but sadly no pictures).
 
After three more hours of driving, we finally got to BOSTOOOOOOON!! It seemed like three days in a car, but we were in the outskirts of the city I've wanted to visit for so long
 
It costs a fair amount of money to go in the city (train fare or parking fees), so we didn't actually go in until yesterday (Monday). I was a little weary of a 45-minute train ride (I had been in a car for the past three days) but hear is my proclamation: I LOVE THE TRAIN.
 
 
I've ridden subways all over NYC, Chicago, D.C., and more, but I think this was the first time I'd ever really appreciated the train. There was a girl who got on at the same time as us, with her big bag, headphones, a granola bar, a fancier outfit, and a book. It made me just wish for that feeling of living and thriving in a big city! My brother and I spent the majority of the train ride talking about which city we'd want to live in just so we could ride the train.
 
But finally, we got there and our first stop was Fenway Park. I'll go ahead and apologize and say that I'm not really a baseball fan. I like watching it, I guess, but I don't have a strong connection to any team or really know anything about it. Heck, the only baseball games I've ever been to are a Lexington Legends (Minor League) game, and that was a long time ago.
 
So I'm sorry if my fabulous trip to the greatest baseball stadium in America was wasted on someone who had no passion for the game. But it made me want to love baseball! (If that's any consolation).
 
 
Ya see my Monogram Meredith there?!
 
 
 
I really enjoyed Fenway Park. It was a pretty day and the tour we went on was great! It made me think of the episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody where Mr. Moseby caught a wrong ball and became the most hated man in Boston. We all joked about not seeing the Tipton hotel, but we were quickly corrected...it does exist. (Keep reading!)
 
After our Fenway Park tour, we were starving. We walked to the Prudential Tower, where there are a million little places to eat and shop. We laughed because the six people in my family ate at five different restaurants in that food court.
 
Inside the Prudential Tower was a Barnes & Noble, which is where you're supposed to meet for your duck tour.
 
NO, a duck tour is apparently not a tour of all the ducks in Boston. WHO KNEW??
 
It's really this tourist-truck that becomes a boat and goes into the Charles River. It's very Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang-esque.
 
But our tour of Boston was amazing!
 
 
This was our tour guide, PJ. To be honest, I want to be best friends with her; she was HILARIOUS.
 
 
We went around the whole city and it was beautiful!
 
After we got off, we walked around more on our own.
 
 
 
THIS IS THE HOTEL THAT THE SUITE LIFE WAS BASED OFF OF!!!!! (!!!!!)
 
 
The John Hancock building.
 
 
Oh my gosh, we take pictures at every moment possible. This is literally in between a crosswalk.
 
 
(So many monograms, y'all.)
 
 
My mom always told us to not take candy from strangers...but we did. They were filming a commercial right there on the streets! I may not have been on the camera, but I did get some free candy. So, 'Unreal candy', know that this is free publicity and that my acting skills are available at any time.
 
 
Backpacks, cameras, and water bottles galore, we were tourists of another kind. At least we didn't have fanny packs and/or matching t-shirts.
 
 
The Boston Marathon finish line.
 
 
We planned our trip last summer, months before the Boston bombings. It was the most surreal thing to see the places I had seen on the news and stand exactly where it had happened. Exactly where American lives were taken and injured. But it was also the most moving the thing to turn around and see signs of 'Boston Strong' every where you went.
 
And right about then, it started to sprinkle, and everyone got a little big hungry and a little bit cranky. So we got on the train and had the most cramped ride ever and got back to the area where we were staying.
 
Today, I don't even know what we're doing! The weather is all strange this week, but I'm excited about what we're doing. The New England area is gorgeous and it's totally reinventing all precedents about 'the North': I love it. Maybe a trip to Rhode Island or Maine is in store today? Follow me on Instagram (@meredithscroggin) and follow me on Twitter (@mlscroggin) to see where our adventures lead us today!
 
xoxo,
Meredith

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