Hannah and Je together

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

US North East Trip – Indiana Dunes

After Niagara Falls, we headed to Indiana – the home of Indiana Jones!

Indiana Dunes, Dune side view

Indiana Dunes, Dune side view

Actually, we didn’t do much at that trip. We found a Church in a small town – of course Presbyterian Church, and had worship service, then we looked around a few places around the Indianapolis, the capital city and a beach.

Us on the Beach

Us on the Beach

But last Sunday, we visited Indiana again for that famous Indiana Dunes!

Almost Sunset on the Lake Michigan at indiana Dunes

Almost Sunset on the Lake Michigan at indiana Dunes

Indiana Dunes is right north of Chesterton, IN and its lake shore is 25 miles long. It is of course a state park. If you are resident of Indiana State, you need to pay $5 entrance fee per car while you need to pay $10 if you are out of that state.

Indiana Dunes is at the Lake Michigan which is one of the Great Lakes. Lake Michigan does not in only at Michigan state. Illinois and Chicago have Lake Michigan and Indiana has it, and Wisconsin has it too. The word Michigan derived from native American language which means great water.

Indiana Dunes Beach

Indiana Dunes Beach

It was piping hot last Sunday, but the water was freezing cold. This lake is huge and huge. Unless you taste the water, you cannot tell if it is sea or not. It has waves, seagulls and everything.

The sand was so soft and nice. The only beach I’ve been to where the sand was finer and nicer was Grand Beach in Manitoba, Canada.

It takes around two hours from home, so we may visit here often. Indiana Dunes is very nice place to have lots of fun.

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Sunday, 12 May 2013

US North East Trip – Niagara Falls

Our next destination was Niagara Falls after long over night driving from Vermont. It is so famous and there is nothing I can write about  something new. Who doesn’t know Niagara Falls?

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When I was in elementary school, I thought it was the world’s biggest falls, but still it is the biggest in North America.

Niagara Falls are on the Niagara river which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It is also at the border of Canada and US, precisely speaking, of Province of Ontario, Canada and State of New York, USA.

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Actually Niagara Falls are the collection of three different falls namely, Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.

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Cave of the Wind at Horseshoe Falls

First we tried the Cave of the Wind at Horseshoe Falls to feel the power of the water fall where it is said that the downfall is most powerful among all falls in North America. The down-falling water was so powerful and thrilled me a lot.

Maid of Mist from Far

Maid of Mist from Far

And we saw a big boat far away approaching to the falls, and decided to try whose name is Maid of Mist.

On the Maid of Mist boat

On the Maid of Mist boat

As we approaching, I was so thrilled and excited seeing the greatness in such distance, but somewhat I was disappointed because I expected to come closer.

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We stayed on the US side of the falls because I was at the other side of the falls which is Canadian side a few years ago. And I found the two sides are quite different even though it is the same falls. On Canadian side, it is very much developed with all kinds of commercial buildings including Casinos, Hotels and everything while it is almost undeveloped on US side just having picnic tables on green grass.

Light Show from Canada

Light Show from Canada

Even Canada shoots the light – colourful lights – for the night light show.

Colourful light from Canada

Colourful light from Canada

Even though I was able to see some of the light, I think it was better view from Canada.

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Developed Canada, Eh!

It is said that during the daytime also, Canada has better view than from American side.

Leaving Niagara Falls, we knew that our happy trip was getting closer to the end.

Old posting about the trip to Niagara Falls at Canadian Side

Monday, 4 March 2013

US North East Trip – Vermont

It’s really long time no writing about the travel, and now I am back!

After Maine, we went to Vermont. In Korea and Japan, Vermont is very famous for Curry – everyone knows “Vermont Curry,” and they love it. If you doubt it, just ask anyone from Korea or Japan, they know it for sure.

Vermont is one of the New England state and second populous one in USA. It is also the only New England state not bordering the Atlantic Ocean. And in my personal view, it is very beautiful state.

Pavement in Mt. Mansfield

Pavement in Mt. Mansfield – One lane for both traffics

One place which caught my eyes was Mount Mansfield which is the highest in Vermont and also very beautiful.

Under a huge rock

Under a huge rock

The road in Mt. Mansfield is very nicely paved but you need to be careful when you drive because it is very wound and it becomes one lane for both traffic as you drive up to the mountain.

Mt. Mansfield

Mt. Mansfield

I guess this place is one of the “must go” place if you visit Vermont. I’d love to drive there again.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

US North East Trip – Maine

Our next destination was Portland, Maine. Maine is the state which is at the north end (and also east end) of America. It borders two Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick. In many ways, Maine looks like Canada, which means it is so beautiful. Even I saw many of the manhole has marked “CANADA.”

Yummy Oysters

The very first thing we did was to find a restaurant and eat. Hannah liked the restaurant, but I did not. Oysters were good and fresh. She had lobster sandwich, and I had fish and chips.

Hannah’s lobster sandwich

Hers was fine, but mine was kind of horrible. It was supposed to be ‘fish and chips,’ but it was all chips (french fries) with a few fish bites.

This cannot be a fish and chips!

Anyway, I did not like my dish at all. But we went to the Head Light (lighthouse) in Portland which has so beautiful scene. It was amazing and it could be one of the most beautiful places in America (which is common in Canada).

Head Light in Portland, Maine

We saw a sign saying Henry Longfellow came to this lighthouse often to get some inspiration for his poem. I also sat at the same rock to get the same inspiration but in vain. But the beauty of the scene around make me so feel like to write a poem and sing its beauty.

Almost everything in Maine was beautiful, from  the winding roads to the shores and beaches. If I have to choose another place to live in America, I may choose Maine, and Hannah will definitely choose New York City for sure.

One curious thing in Maine I found is that the pavement there was glittering everywhere in Maine. I don’t know why. Can anyone tell me about it?

At the last day we left Maine, we went to Walmart in Auburn, Maine to get some bottled water, and we found a wonderful deal for meal whose name was PICK3. So, we pick three items and they put them in a huge box for just $10. Hannah and I ate that until evening!

Another good thing in Maine was that they have free parking even in downtown. Well, even though Portland is the largest city in Maine, in the aspect of size and population, it is nothing but a suburban city in other states.

One unpleasant thing in Maine was that the drivers are intolerable. I actually don’t understand this. Usually metropolitan drivers like in NYC or Chicago drives crazy, but suburban drivers are usually less crazy. But the Portland drivers are so much crazy even they live in suburban size city. For example, if I don’t start moving in 0.5 second after the green signal came, they honk crazy from the back. This, I’ve never experienced in NYC nor Chicago.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

US North East Trip – New Hampshire

The most memorable place in New Hampshire was Kancamagus Highway which is State Route 112 in New Hampshire (NH-112 for short).

Kancamagus Highway Scenic View Point (NH-112)

It is very beautiful wound and scenic road. There was so many stop-and-view places and we actually wanted to stop at every single place.

Champney Falls Trail

We went to the Champney Falls Trail where there is a small parking lot with self-paying station. We needed to pay $3 in the envelop and put the envelop in the box which the park ranger would collect regularly. But the thing was, the envelop was out of stock. There was no envelop to put the money.

I really wanted to pay, but I simply couldn’t.

In the trail

It was quite pleasant trail, not too hard, not too easy to me. But it was too hard for Hannah – she was complaining the whole time while we were climbing.

The falls finally

The falls themselves were really small, but the trail was very good. It always makes me feel so good being in the forest and climbing in the trails. I totally loved the Champney Falls trail.

Friday, 5 October 2012

US North East Trip – Massachusetts

Our next destination was Massachusetts whose official name is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As long as I know, there are only four states which use Commonwealth in their official name, not State.

Beautiful Massachusetts Highway

On the highway, we went into a rest area and found that Korean flag was hung with UN flag which was quite interesting.

Korea and UN flag in a rest area, Massachusetts

I found it  was Korean war Memorial. Even in the state of Delaware, we ran on a highway whose name is Korean War Memorial Highway. I was ashamed that America tries more to remember the Korean War than we Koreans do.

Korean War Memorial Rest Area in Massachusetts

We spent a night at Sandy Pond in a tent. It was very nice camping place, but the thing was it was too cold that night to sleep in a tent. If you go to Massachusetts, Sandy Pond would be nice choice for camping – http://www.sandypond.com/

We went to the Province Town at the tip of the Cape Cod. A captain named it Cape Cod at this town in 1602, and people in Mayflower signed to settle and build self-governed community in 1620. It is very small and beautiful town. Its famous beach is very very long and so nice. Just walking from one end to the other end of the beach could be very challenging. And this town is now famous for…..

Ultimate Gay and Lesbian Experience

Wow… Unexpected in this small and beautiful town. I am not saying anything, just unexpected in the town guide book.

And we went to that famous place, probably one of the most famous place in the United States – Plymouth, the America’s Hometown. If you don’t know Plymouth, you may have heard about a ship named Mayflower. The Mayflower departed Plymouth, England for Plymouth in America, but they actually arrived at Province Town in Cape Cod.

Mayflower looks like t his (Plimoth Plantation)

And the second Mayflower departed from London, England and they arrived Plymouth in America. If you go to Plymouth, Massachusetts, you can visit Plimoth Plantation where you can see and experience the original settlement colony and the early lives also aboriginal tribes lives.

And in the town of Plymouth, you can see the Replica of Mayflower II on the harbour.

Mayflower II replica at Plymouth

And then we headed to Boston. Oh, by the way, the Massachusetts trip were not made in a day, it took a few days. And Boston is famous for Freedom Trail.

Just follow and that’s it!

Not like other cities, Boston made it really easy for the tourists. You can just follow two lines of red bricks to see all the famous and historical sites!

State House of Massachusetts

This is the State House of Massachusetts, in the other side of the public park named Boston Common. The dome is coated with real gold!

Inside the dome

You can get the free guided tour in the State House which was very nice. And I again found  that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are the real gods of America.

Sacred Cod

Sacred Cod is one of the State House symbol and they cannot make a law (legislate) without the presence of this fish! This was stolen twice.  First one was done by the students at Harvard University. After the second theft, they now hang it up high. And they also have Holy Mackerel.

Teagle

On top of this picture, you can see a bird which is often called Teagle. When it was made, America had not yet decided the symbol of the country. There was debate between Eagle and Turkey. So they just made a bird with Turkey’s head and Eagle’s body, and now they call it Teagle.

Street performers are not only at NYC

You can also see some of the street performers (not as many as in NYC though). Especially the guy in the left side was so fun and good. He also said Hannah is so beautiful and because of that, she wanted to tip him. Unfortunately, I had only 50 bills which is toooooo big for a tip.

USS Constitution

This ship is almost at the end of the freedom trail. The USS Constitution was built and launched in 1797 and now the oldest navy ship in the world which is still afloat.  There are much more to write about this ship and the freedom trail, but I just don’t want this posting to be too long.

Hockey, eh!

And Boston is not only for serious history, it has lots of fun too. We went to the nearby school whose name is Harvard University, often referred as the World’s best school.

Business School at Harvard University

We parked at the school’s parking lot with very cheap price for the day, and we walked to almost everywhere in the campus. As you may know, old schools like Harvard don’t have walled campus.

Harvard is famous for this

Hannah led me to some of the buildings and told me pointing the buildings, which one is where Matt Damon studied or stayed, and which one is where Mark Zuckerberg stayed, and so on.

And even after Massachusetts, our trip continued. We just came half way, eh!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

US North East Trip – Rhode Island

Rhode Island is the very smallest state in America, having the longest official name of “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” People may easily think it is an island. Yes, its has some islands but mostly it is land between Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Newport, Rhode Island

We went to Newport, and it is very beautiful place. I thought Rehoboth beach was nothing to Newport. Its downtown area is pretty and cute, and it also has scenic driving which is really beautiful.

Newport Bridge

When we came into Newport, we crossed two bridges in a row – Jamestown Bridge from Mainland into the island of Jamestown, and Newport Bridge from Jamestown to Newport. As soon as we climbed upon the bridge, I just exclaimed, “Wow.”

Even though the picture above shows only sky and part of the bridge, the view from the door window was extraordinary. It was so beautiful. I think Jamestown bridge has more beautiful scene than Newport bridge (which means Jamestown is prettier than Newport).

Benjamin’s Bar in Newport, Rhode Island

We went into Benjamin’s Bar for lunch, not expecting much. We chose this restaurant because we did not want to spend lots of money at a gorgeous restaurant. Yes we were right about that.

Three Course Lobster Meal

We both had three course lobster meals. We were served with a 1¼lb whole lobster, of course cooked ones. It was so amazing. It was my first time to had the whole lobster like that (Hannah too). And how much we paid? One meal – three course lobster meal – was $15.99.

We were so much satisfied, I thought, “Oh my God, I can totally live here forever!” Newport is definitely very wonderful place having such beautiful scenes with so great seafood.

Where is our Next Destination?

One bad thing, really bad thing of picture is that it cannot contain the real beauty of the place. Even though I upload thousand pictures of Newport, you must personally go and see there to feel and  experience its beauty.

Newport, Rhode Island – definitely beautiful place.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

US North East Trip – Delaware and Connecticut

After Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we headed to Delaware,  the neighbouring state.

A bridge on the way to Delaware

Delaware is the second smallest state in America next to Rhode Island. According to the population, it is 45th which is 6th backward, but by the density, it is 6th. It has nickname of first state because it approved the US constitution first among  the original 13 states.

There are lots of dolphin statues in Rehoboth Beach

In the state of Delaware, we went to Rehoboth Beach. If you go to Rehoboth Beach from New Jersey, you don’t have to drive all the way – there is shortcut ferry from Cape May, New Jersey to Lewis, Delaware which is the harbour next to the beach.

Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach is not the huge one but it is small and lovely. You can see the beautiful Atlantic ocean. And the beach walk along the shore is very nicely made with wood panels. Everything is so pretty and lovely.

Atlantic Ocean!

On the beach side, there is a small size amusement park and the price was amazingly cheap!

It was my first time to see the Atlantic Ocean, so I tasted it to see if it is really salty. 🙂

Rehoboth Beach is very nice place just to relax, and it is about 40 minutes driving from Ocean City, Maryland.

After that, we did not spend the night there, we went our way to Connecticut. We stopped at a Safeway for gas and also we bought some really cheap ready foods there. When I was in Winnipeg, Canada, I always saw Safeways everywhere. But after I moved into Illinois, USA, I see lots of Dominick’s whose store interior or uniform are exactly the same, and even they sell Safeway brand products. When I was fuelling, even my Dominick’s membership card worked at Safeway’s gas bar!

Management School at Yale University

We slept at a Rest Area on the highway, and the next morning we went to Connecticut. There, we saw the Yale University, one of the most famous Ivy League school, and also we saw some of the city.

There were lots of smart looking young students, and I thought one of them (or more) is the future president of America. And I also had the same thought when I went to Harvard University seeing some of lazy and drunken student – he may be the future president of America. (If you can understand my joke).

US North East Trip – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, whose meaning is friendship or brotherly love in Greek, is the largest city in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (not State of Pennsylvania). When I was planning this trip, many people told me not to go to Philadelphia that there is nothing to see. And I realised  they were all right – there is not much things to see but Liberty Bell.

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

But even though there is not much things to see, it still is worth to go and see because the city is very important in American history – It was the meeting place of the founding fathers and was the first capital of the United States of America while Washington D.C was under construction. Even the film of Six Sense has this city as background because of its old history.

Meeting Place for Founding Fathers

When you go to the Independence National Historical Park, you can visit the first congress buildings and independence hall but you must get a ticket at the Information Centre. Don’t worry, it is free. You just go and ask for ticket.

First House of Representatives

It is guided tour and park rangers will guide a group and explain all the places. After that, you can also go into the next building where they displayed the Declaration of Independence. I don’t know that document is original or not, but the ranger told us not to use camera flash, so it looks like one of the original documents. (If not, they didn’t have to be that nervous.)

Rug in the senate with the seals of original 13 states

In the congress building, ground floor was for house of representatives, and the upper floor was for the senate. And two rooms have the portrait of the King and Queen of France because France helped US for the revolutionary war again Britain. And after the french people cut the heads of their king and queen, french ambassador asked the senate to take down the portraits, but senate declined.

After that, the portraits were burnt in a fire with the rug in the picture above, and later, the french government gave the portraits to America as gifts.

Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell has a Bible verse of Leviticus 25:10, “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” It is not on service and of course is not hung on the Liberty Hall any more. They tried to repair the crack, the now the crack itself became the symbol of the bell.

This bell was rung on 8th of July, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was read. And after a while, abolitionist used this bell as their symbol because of the writing on it. And they began to call it the Liberty Bell.

Philadelphia, not much things to see, but one of the place you MUST GO. Oh, I believe there is Free Tours by Foot at this city even though I did not use it because the day did not match for us.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

US North East Trip – State of New Jersey and New York City

New York City – one of the world’s most famous city, background of so many films and TV shows. It is the icon of United States more than the Washington D.C, the capital of the nation. Used to be the centre of the world finance and fashion. Now it became the black hole of world finance. We stayed in East Brunswick, New Jersey because we had to pay almost three times more if we stayed in NYC.

Central Park Entrance, NYC

Everything costs a lot in NYC. Even we had to pay the toll three times on the way into Manhattan Island, totalling almost $30 one way. And paid over $40 for one day parking, which means we spent around $100 for one day transportation not including gas. I read on the web that someone paid over $60 for three hour parking, well I was lucky in that way.

Central Park

Traffic was not too bad when I was driving because I went into NYC before the sun rise (around 6am) and came back around midnight.

A castle, I forgot the name

We rented bikes for the Central park for four hours. Central park is the huge park in the heart of the Manhattan island. It is very wonderful and nice park. Many of the NYC lovers love this city because of this park. Central park opened during the civil war which surprised me more than the number of visitors and the amount of its budget. This park has 38 million visitors every year and spends again 37.5 million dollar for maintenance.

So nasty water in Central Park

There are lots of ponds in the park, and all the water there was so so so nasty. That was the one of the nastiest water I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

John Lennon Memorial in Central Park

In the park, we were able to see the John Lennon Memorial which has mosaic on the floor with the word, “IMAGINE.” It was supposed to have his statue, but Yoko rejected it saying it would be too hard for her to see him everyday. She is still living in the same apartment across the park where she can look down her husband’s memorial.

John Lennon & Yoko Ohno’s Apartment

She still hangs a candle twice a year – on John’s birthday and on the day he was killed.

Where John Lennon was killed

John was killed on the street by his apartment. I was told that lots of other famous people are living in that apartment, but none of them I’ve ever heard.

Lego Store

Left is in the lego store made by lego, and the right is the actual statue. Lego store had so many wonderful crafts by lego.

Dragon by Lego

Nearby buildings by Lego

Hershey and M&M are side by side on NYC broadway

Who can resist the temptation of sweet Chocolate? Hersey and M&M are side by side on broadway. I think Hersey is better because they gave us free samples.

In NYC, we can easily find street performers. The drummer was very good, he does not even have real instruments, just the buckets and pots, and other kitchenwares. And the b-boy like young boys were good too.

After the 911, fire-fighters became another icon of NYC, and every souvenir shop has sexy fire-fighter calendar. And of course, NYPD is another famous tour attraction – even Hannah as NYPD hat from Korea! These two officers were standing there almost whole day, and just out side of the picture, people were lined up to take photo with them.

“What’s you guys’ job here?”

“Taking photo with you guys.”

Time Square is not square, rather than triangle! Then why they named it time SQUARE?

Gorgeous Church

World’s Most Romantic Building

New York Stock Exchange

NYC has so many and so much things to do and see, from quiet park to the loudest street, from the world’s most romantic building to the craziest traffic. Don’t know why that is world’s most romantic building? Watch some films, then you’ll know.

Inside the theatre

From most modern building to the age old historical place. From the street performers to the famous Broadway Musical. So we watched a show – Mary Poppins. It was so so so good. It was my first NY Boradway show, and I just realised why people say Broadway show is world’s best.

The ticket was $70 per person and we were seated on the ground floor by left of the Orchestra which we had real good view. And I was told my sister-in-law paid the same money and got the seats on third floor. Hannah knew where to buy the discounted tickets. She is very good at that – smart!

Before we bought the tickets, we went to ground zero and saw two churches.

Two neighbouring Churches but quite different

The Church on the left picture is Trinity, the world’s richest Church. It owns most of the Wall Street and other lots of land in NYC. Except New York University, it owns biggest lands in the city, and collects huge amount of rent from all the buildings.

It was rich from the beginning even before United States was made. All the rich people were attending there and they did not like being mingled with poor people. So they build a small Church three blocks away which you see on the right, the St. Paul’s Chapel. The rich told the poor, “You guys don’t have come all the way to the three blocks to Church. Just go to the Church we built for you guys, and don’t come here.”

I think God loved the small Church more. George Washington was supposed to be inaugurated in the big and beautiful Church, but right before that, the big Church caught fire and burnt. So the most important in the US history, probably one of the most important moment also in the world history was made at the small Church.

The Seat where George Washington was inaugurated as the very First President of the United States of America

God made the most important moment in the small Church. And also in 911, as some of you may know, the small Church is right next to the twin buildings, just across the small road, and still it did not get smallest damage from it. Not even one stone on the yard was touched while the Big Church got damage and still repairing as you can see on the picture up above.

Presbyterian Church in New Jersey

While we spent most time in New York city for a few days, we tried New Jersey too, and found it is very quiet place. We found the tax is lower in NJ than in NY (for hotels, NJ charges 15% and NY 18%) and also the gas was very cheap – cheapest than all surrounding states.

We went to Trinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, NJ. It was very active Church helping neighbours and playing important role in their community. They also said their community is just bedding place for NYC and Philadelphia which I already found.

I met an old gentleman there and he has been republican for all his life and his support is very firm and his son is congressman for democratic. Other people said the father and son never talks about politics because they experienced endless debates very many times before.

My advice for someone planning for NY Tour is, use Free Tours by Foot. For the bus tour, you may pay for the charted bus abour $15. But it was very good to me. If you meet the same guy we met, you must be satisfied.

Second advice is spend at least about four days, a week if possible.

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