Empire State Building
Pit stop over, and we were on our way to the Empire State Building. We planned to go here just in time for sunset, and stay to see all of the dazzling New York City lights - this did not go to plan! We underestimated quite how long it would take to get there from the hostel, and arrived in the dark! The views were still very impressive, and to our luck we didn't have to queue at all! We did find out however, it is extremely difficult to take any decent photos of yourself at the top - especially a selfie with a view!
Statue of Liberty
My first stop and probably the one I was most excited about was visiting the Statue of Liberty (or as we called her 'The Lady')! Getting here from the hostel was the first challenge; meandering through the foot traffic, trying to cross the busy New York Streets, while not forgetting to take pictures and follow the map at the same time! It was tough but we made it! We took a route that led us through Times Square and Wall Street, which was amazing to see. The ferry to the Island where 'The Lady' lives, was only a short 15 minute journey, but I wouldn't recommend doing this with a hangover, especially if you're partial to sea sickness! Ground Zero & 911 Memorial Museum
Grab a cup of coffee and start with Rockefeller Center. Take the elevator to Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center called Top of the Rock. The first elevator start at 8 AM, the more early you go smaller the crowd will be. Deck provide one of the best view of NYC. Ticket cost is $30.
Boasting more than 4 million visitors a year from all over the world, the Millennium Park in Chicago is one of the must visit tourist attraction favored by both international and local tourists. It has some of the best gardens and play areas in the city which includes BP Footbridge, Cloud Gate, Lurie Garden and the Crown Fountain. Its ideal atmosphere and children loving environment makes it a must visit place in Chicago. The park also features The Grant Park Music Festival every year which is a musical concert series held for around a week and is known all around the United States.
Arlington National Cemetery
From there we visited the Arlington National Cemetery. And again, what a somber moment. Americans are truly proud of their country and you can feel it wherever you go around the States. When we arrived at the cemetery, it was “the changing of guard” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The guard is changed every hour on the hour Oct. 1 to March 31 in an elaborate ritual.
Far away from the chaotic streets of San Francisco lies an island usually called as "The Rock" and houses a prison which anyone will never dare to escape from. This beautiful island of Alcatraz also having a magnificent light house offshore of California is a famous and wonderful attraction of San Francisco. The famous prison and the lighthouse are historical landmarks and engineering marvels in the history of San Francisco and is now maintained by the National Park Service.
The first stop of the evening was the Capitol Hill. There he showed us the map in front of the Capitol Hill ground. The map resembles an owl, a very powerful symbol of the ancient secret societies. Andy said there are many such symbols that lie in front of everybody’s eyes but people seldom recognize them. He said how the Capitol Hill was built and told us the story that during War of 1812, how British had set fire to the entire city but strangely enough it rained very heavily that night which put out most of the fire. This event gave Americans a lot of hope and they believed that it was some kind of divine intervention and they regrouped and fought back against the British. He also talked about the grass which according to him symbolizes life. Also grass can grow anywhere and it actually grows back again after winters. He also spoke about the three symbols The Capitol Hill, The White house and the Washington monument (which signifies freedom) make three corners of a perfect triangle. As Andrew was overwhelming us with information my friend got busy in taking pictures of the spectacular view of the Capitol Hill under lights.
Tip : Rent a bike to explore faster and cover more distanceFun fact, I was with my little backpack waiting for bus 7 to take me up the city to meet a friend of mine. And a guy asked me the time and wandered if I was on the way to work. I loved this interaction. I don't why I just feel good when I blend in and people think I’m a local.Anywho, so I meet up with my friend in her neighborhood near Golden State Park and Haight Ashbury.Weather is out of our control. And it can be frustrating when you’re in such beautiful places without the sun. Everything would have been more enjoyable under the natural light and not rain drops. But eh, that’s how it is.
Old Fort Niagara
It's not that now I don't complain about my disappointments & problems, but now I am capable enough to accept it.Now I know I am the only one who can make myself feel better & strong. This incident is hysterical, I got busy in my work and didn't call my best friend for complaining about anything for a long time. :D Almost after one month, he sent me a message that '' How are you? How's life ?'' and I started laughing at him after reading his messages because he found a bit strange that how I could survive without complaining about anything for one month :D. I just replied to him : Life is perfect, and I'm handling all the surprises (challenges) very well. Don't worry. :DSo, my dear friends, Mark Twain said this earlier ‘’ 20 years from now you'd be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.’’ Try out the things which you were afraid to do a few years before and the things which would make you happy at the end.So it's like any activity like Climbing the mountain, cycling of 100 km or asking your crush for a dinner date. :D And I believe at the age of 60 when you'll be sitting somewhere at the different corner of the world, you would live these moments again in your life while telling your crazy stories to your grandchildren. :D
The next morning, we ventured out to explore the heritage of the city. The first place we went to was the French Renaissance-style château called Pittock Mansion. Belonging to the family that owned The Oregonian newspaper, the house which was built in 1914 creatively incorporates English, French and Turkish designs. It also features several progressive inventions such as a central vacuum system, intercoms, an elevator and indirect lighting that were in use almost a century ago.