The day was here, the day to drive to New York City. We knew it was going to be the hardest one yet but we had no idea just how difficult. The traffic was crazy. There were firetrucks, taxis, pedestrians, trucks and bikes. All mixed in together too tightly.
It was the day to explore Philadelphia. First target on our list was The Liberty Bell and The Independence Hall. We got the car parked in the visitor center and headed for the Bell. I wasn’t expecting to be waiting in line to see the bell but I should have known better. Luckily it was free admission and a few minutes of waiting. A good time to catch some Pokemon while waiting.
Most of the day was spent in the car, driving from Washington DC to Philadelphia. We drove through Lancaster and the Amish countryside and stopped for some dinner there. A great salad bar and buffet selection all together.
The most interesting thing that day however ended up being the doughnut shop we stopped at for a coffee break. Fractured Prune was the name that took me quite a few tries to get right. We walked in and were a bit lost as there were no doughnuts anywhere to be seen. Luckily the helpful cashier noticed just how lost we were and explained we had to choose from the menu.
Starting another unbelievably hot day we head back to the city to take another chance on the sights that were closed on Sunday. The first stop was The Library of Congress.And as it happens, the doors were open today! Going through the security check we enter the lobby wich is already more than I expected. The building is amazingly detailed and beautiful as well as clean and in great condition all over. In addition to the lobby we checked out the Thomas Jefferson’s library, the main reading room and of course the gift shop.
We found a great breakfast from The Corner Bakery & Cafe in Arlington, right next to a metro station. So perfect food and a perfect spot. I got the smoked bacon power flat, wich was a flatbread filled with scrambled eggs, melted cheese and bacon. As a side I chose to have the fresh fruit salad. The portion size was just right for me and the dish was very tasty and the place was pretty affordable.
The day starts with the harsh reality of returning my Mustang to the rental service. But not without a few last photos and roars from the engine. I enjoyed it till the last second!
The plan for the day was to drive from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. The GPS gave an estimate of 4h 20 min. One of our longest driving days. The travelling was smooth all the way to Washington where the traffic jams started. We were stuck for about a half an hour just outside the city center with a lot of other people. Eventually we found our hotel with ease.
Today was the day. The day I had been waiting for. The day I got to call through all of Pittsburgh’s car rental services… Of wich nine out of ten told me no. When I had almost given up and said to myself this is the last one I heard those magic words:
Yes. We have a Ford Mustang!
We drove to the airport to pick up the car and I was greeted with a red, brand new beauty with all sorts of fancy detail I had never seen before. A Mustang logo light reflecting to the ground when you open the door, cooling seats (wich I realised later to be crucial) and a seat that was adjustable in at least four dimensions.
As the weather forecast promises a hot day ahead of us, we get up at dawn to catch the few coolers hours of the morning. The target, Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. We start at The Boston Store Visitor Center to get a nice overview of what the park has to offer. A very helpful park ranger offers us a pile of maps and recommendations on what we should see in the time we had. As a result the route consisted of The Brandywine Falls, The Ledges, a local farmers market and finally The Beaver Marsh.
We started the day with a hunt for breakfast, wich turned out to be a difficult task. Nothing was open so early in the morning and others were just on holidays. Probably due to the fact that the Ford factory was at a stand still the restaurants had their holidays synced to that. As a result we had to return to IHOP for a second breakfast. Unexpectedly this time what I got was tasty. I was most pleased with the filled french toast with strawberries. It was delicious.
Next stop was downtown Detroit. After driving to the city center we found ourselves a tight fit parking spot from one of the many parking facilities. Locating the visitor center for starters was confusing. The building was easy to find but in nowhere did it say what floor to go to… We got some directions from a shopkeeper and got our maps and advice.
Breakfast as a goal we locate the nearest IHOP. The name itself promises a lot, International House of Pancakes, how could that be bad? Well it was decent. I got crepes and a breakfast combo of eggs and hash browns. We also ordered the New York cheesecake pancakes to share. Out of all of these I liked the hash browns the best wich is a bit alarming. Mostly everything was just a bit bland.