We set out early Monday morning to meet Mike and Sheryl in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. We found a park near Marlboro that we stopped at to rest for the afternoon, and ended up playing some music and recording some videos (which we will post on the music page!).
Mike and Sheryl are both incredible people, and we are so lucky to have met them on our trip. When we arrived at their place, we enjoyed some beer and pizza and some great music that Mike showed us. They helped us plan our route to Washington for the following day, and told us to feel free to keep the Land Rover and Boler there for as long as we’d like. We got a tour of their beautiful property, and were shown some pretty neat vehicles. Mike himself owns a variety of series rovers which we found quite interesting: a blue 88” series 2a, the Carmichael (109” fire truck), and another 88” series truck which was under restoration. The Carmichael is thought to be the only one of its kind in North America.
The next morning we set out for Washington, D.C. Thanks to Sheryl and Mike’s help, we were able to leave the Land Rover at a train station outside the city and take the train in. Washington is a beautiful city, and requires a good pair of walking shoes! The vast amount of Greek and Roman architecture was most impressive, and makes for quite a breathtaking capital city. Drew was kind enough to pass on some knowledge from his 2nd year Greek Art course throughout the day. We spent the day seeing the sights, and also visited two Smithsonian museums: the Museum of Natural History, and the Air and Space Museum. The Air and Space Museum was our favourite, and we spent a lot of time wandering around in awe at all the exhibits there. We were pretty exhausted and sore by the time we headed back for the train station.
The next morning Mike drove us in to the train station, and we headed to Washington to grab the bus to NYC! The bus, which was supposed to be four hours long, ended up taking EIGHT AND A HALF hours because of an accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. We had looked at hostels and hotel rooms the night before, and decided our better bet would be to explore the city and decide once we got there. However, since we arrived at 9:00 at night, most rooms were booked, or closed, and the ones that remained were way out of our budget. Nancy and Danny, Danielle’s parents, surprised us with a little treat that night as we were searching for rooms in a McDonalds near Times Square. They booked us a room at the Hotel Pennsylvania across from the Madison Square Garden as a road trip gift, and we couldn’t have been more grateful! THANK YOU! We grabbed some beer and food as we hadn’t eaten all day and then watched the Presidential debates on TV. Interesting first night in Manhattan to say the least!
The next morning we got up early and headed out to explore the city. This was Tyler’s last day with us so we had to make the most of it! We booked another hotel room that morning before they all booked up, and were quite surprised to find out which hotel we were booked in. We booked on a site that doesn’t reveal which hotel you are booked into until after you’ve paid. Not expecting much, we got a room at the luxurious Roosevelt Hotel for a very affordable price. Thank you Hotwire!
That evening we met up with Heather, another fellow Nova Scotian and a good friend of Tyler’s, and the four of us enjoyed a night on the town with sushi, beer, and more beer. We went to the Beer Authority, a pub near Times Square, which ended up being the closest to a pub in Halifax that we could have found. Later on we found ourselves at the hotel room singing and playing songs together, mourning the end of our trio.
It was just two of us the next morning that boarded the bus back to Washington, and we were sad that Tyler wasn’t with us but we were excited for him on the next part of his trip! Mike picked us up at the train station and we enjoyed a delicious homemade meal from Sheryl before… CONTRA DANCING! Being from Nova Scotia, they didn’t know how we hadn’t heard about contra dance before. Contra dance is an organized line dance to a live band (great music, by the way) of which there is a caller who calls out the steps and everyone dances them together. We had to wear “New Dancer” pins and we were so glad to have them. It was a lot of fun, and we danced for three straight hours! (Drew’s dance moves were pretty impressive despite his usual coordination skills).
We owe so much thanks to Mike for the two days that followed which were spent helping sort out some problems on the Rover. With his help we were able to fix a good portion of the oil leaks, properly mount the alternator, and install the exhaust from Tom. Mike was a good sport about all this although we’re sure he won’t want to see another alternator for a while.
We’re so glad to have met both Mike and Sheryl on this trip, and we’ve found some great new friends in them! (Keep in touch guys, we mean it!)
We’ll be heading to Virginia tomorrow to visit some friends of friends back home!