Even though we had originally planned for this world trip to be for the three of us, we ended up bringing our two boys, Björn and Atli with for part of it. They were with us in one of the first places, Hawaii and on the last trip, Washington and Baltimore. On top of that, we also had the pleasure of having Atli with us to celebrate Christmas in Holland.
The three of us, Gudrun, Benedikt and Dora came a week ahead of the others and used the time to explore Washington D.C. We have to say that we were very impressed with the city. As so many of the landmarks are familiar from all kind of films and TV shows through the years, it was a great fun to see all of that with your own eyes. We came to Washington D.C. during the week of Cherry Blossom. In Washington there is an abundance of Cherry trees that were a gift from Japan in year 1912. During the time they blossom in the spring there is a festival all over the city and it is very lively and incredibly beautiful.
When Björn and Atli arrived, we had a couple of days before the rest of the gang would arrive. Then we rented Segway´s as we have come to love that way of city sight seeing. This was a lot of fun and a great way to see all the main sites with a guide. Later we also rented bikes to shorten the ways between the different parts of the city, as the roads tend to become pretty long when you walk them day after day. We also drove around and saw the Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima memorial. To shop we went to Georgetown which was surprisingly different from the down town area even though it was just a short drive away.
We selected one museum to visit and that was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. This was fun and pretty educational. During these days, Gudrun and Benedikt even managed to get in a round of golf in D.C.
All in all, we have to say that the streets and buildings are wide and big and many of them very impressive. There are so many free interesting museums that it would take some weeks to see everything worth seeing. We felt though that we got a good feeling for the city and managed to see everything that was on our wish list.
When the rest of the family members arrived we all joined at the family house near Baltimore on the Chesapeake Bay shore. It was a beautiful setting and tranquil and we enjoyed the days with extended family.
We went to visit Washington D.C. one day with everyone and that day we felt a little like guides as we had already been a few days in town.
Here we also selected one museum and this time it was the National History Museum mainly to see the dinosaurs and mammals.
We did photo shots in front of the White House and went to the top of the old Post House, which is a beautiful old building with high towers. This building is undergoing some major renovations as Donald Trump recently bought it to make it into a hotel. From the top tower we had a great view over the whole city, as this is one of the highest points in the whole of Washington D.C.
We also went to both Baltimore and Annapolis. In Baltimore we went for the Ripley´s Believe It or Not museum. This was a lot of fun visit as they have gathered the most amazing collection of weird and unbelievable items. They also made a replica of your hands in wax and we couldn´t resist and now we have a copy of our five hands as souvenir at home, something that will always remind us on this wonderful family trip.
Annapolis came across as quiet and old (for USA levels) city with older houses, narrow streets and cozy harbor area. There is lot of history here and we could well recommend that anyone spend a day or two around here.
Finally we managed to play a few golf rounds with the two Kristjan´s, Gudrun´s father and brother. We enjoyed the time and got in a few great golf shots as well.
Overall we were pleasantly surprised with this part of North America and it kind of closed the loop for now. We had earlier in our trips been to the North East, Miami Florida, Los Angeles and north to San Francisco and of course a lot around the whole state of Utah and to Las Vegas. So this filled in a gap we had left there on the east coast.
On our way home in the plane with Icelandair with all our three children, we couldn´t resist to wonder when we all as a family will be travelling together again. It was kind of cool when we landed in Keflavik and the stewardess announced, as they always do in Icelandic. “Velkomin heim” or welcome home.
It actually felt like that that after a full year of rich experiences and so many magic moments we will treasure for our lifetime.