My next big trip of 2016 is just a few weeks away (26-days to be exact!), so I wanted to start telling you about it – I’ve not mentioned it much, but as the planning stages are almost complete, it’s definitely time to share!
I’ll be joining the newly refurbished Queen Mary 2 on July 17 for a 7-night transatlantic crossing to New York (I’m so excited!). If that wasn’t enough, I will then be staying in America for just over 2 weeks before sailing back to Southampton, again aboard Queen Mary 2.
Although I am cruising solo to and from America, I won’t be on my own once my feet touch dry land. I’ll be picked up from the Brooklyn cruise port by my friend Marian (a.k.a. TravelShopGirl) and we are hitting the road and exploring several states on the east coast: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts – with a drive through Connecticut en-route to NYC.
It really is going to be an incredible trip and it has taken months of planning, but it will all be worth it! My aim is to give you tips and ideas on things to do and places to see if you wanted to do a pre-or-post-cruise land stay in one or more of the states that we visit, or if you just wanted to hop on a plane or jump in the car and visit one of these wonderful places without a cruise ship even being involved. Several of the states on our route have major cruise ports at their finger tips, so for us cruise lovers, they are pretty much the gateway to hundreds of amazing little adventures that you could have on the U.S. east coast.
I don’t want to tell you everything that we are doing…I have to keep some surprises, but so far our trip looks a little like this:
New jersey – A night at the Golden Nugget Resort and Casino in Atlantic City. I’ve always wanted to stroll the AC Boardwalk and Steel Pier, so finally I have the opportunity.
Delaware – We are driving all the way to Delaware just to enjoy the festivities of the annual summer state fair, which is held in Harrington. Hot dogs, cotton candy and traditional fairground rides await.
Washington D.C. – I think this one is pretty obvious – I’m going to the White House – but we will also be crossing into Virginia to visit Arlington Cemetery.
Maryland – it’s all about baseball in Baltimore! I’ve always wanted to watch a baseball game, so we are going to cheer on the Orioles as they take on the Colorado Rockies.
Pennsylvania – OK, this is where it gets really interesting (and rather unique), as Marian and I spent a long time arranging a Paranormal Investigation at Eastern State Penitentiary. Don’t worry, we aren’t going on our own – several friends are joining us. During our time in Pennsylvania we will also be exploring Lancaster County A.K.A. Amish Country. I’ve wanted to visit this area since I was young, I’ve always been quite fascinated with the Amish, so this is a bucket list thing for me, for sure.
New York – We are visiting the city, of course, but first we will be taking a mid-journey break at Bear Mountain. After a lot of time on the road and visiting so many new places, it will be nice to just enjoy nature and that – along with some outlet shopping – is exactly what we are going to do. At the end of the trip we will spend 5 days in New York City and do all the tourist stuff!
Massachusetts – We are visiting Lexington, Salem and Boston, so it’s going to be an action packed few days! I’m really looking forward to visiting the House of Seven Gables in Salem, a colonial mansion built in 1668 that was made famous by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel The House of the Seven Gables.
So that’s a brief outline of what we will be doing and as you can see, when it comes to attractions, we have a selection of many things to suit many tastes. As it is the summer when I visit, a lot of the things we are doing are outdoors, but you can still do many of them in the spring and autumn months, too.
I have a mini road trip and 2 cruises to think about, so I better start considering packing – and keeping it sensible!