Bliss at Central Park

The weather joked with us during our stay. Everywhere we went, our first leg was cloudy while the last day would dawn with merry sunshine. Some say the sun was celebrating our departure – I say it wanted us to see the places in every shade it created, clear skies being saved for the last!

Monday was warm with the temperature reaching 60s and the prospect of Central Park was inviting. It is almost a 2 hour train ride from Raritan which we spent catching up on sleep.

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The golden hues of Central Park

Rows of yellow, auburn, gold and brown welcomed us into their warmth and we pretty much let our whims guide us as we rambled through the park over bridges, stony formations and tree houses. Deeper and deeper we went, catching glimpses of cyclists, joggers, artists, dreamers and lovers. The diversity represented different parts of the country and perhaps even the globe. Perfect setting for people watching.

We grabbed honey-roasted nuts (for me) and a hot dog (for D). Side note: We make the perfect combination of herbivore (me) and carnivore (him) balancing the gastronomical wants.

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Munchies done, we walked down the Mall with elms forming a canopy above us. Artists, jugglers, musicians, couples and children lined the benches as the statues on each side looked at us gravely. The iconic Bethesda Terrace and Fountain opened before us with the dim gush of the water. Boats slipped down the lake, couples kissed at the benches, dogs rambled past and babies crooned at the sight of the cherubs.

We grabbed a place near the lake where the ducks were having breakfast. Timeless were those moments spent sitting there. A couple was posing in their wedding trousseau complete with bow-tied bicycles. The fall colors would have made a perfect picture as they kissed underneath an old tree.

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Isn’t he a sassy duck?
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D !!
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These cherubs ❤

Our next stop was Strawberry Fields – the memorial for John Lennon. A group of performers were playing his songs and we listened to a beautiful rendition of Imagine. After that I let the bookworm in me take over and we walked chasing squirrels to the Alice in Wonderland monument. And it was gorgeous! It is surrounded by some memorable quotes from the books and I was reading them aloud to D. I think this was the first time I have seen him getting bewildered – in a nice manner. Ever the practical one, he had already made arrangements for my tummy as it had loudly started demanding food.

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We also found James Bond’s boat somewhere… 007!
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Hey Alice! 🙂

Wistfully, we made our way to the Zoo and the exit. I spied a mother and her young daughter playing on a blanket of fallen leaves, wearing matching hats – that was a perfect send off! That and Delacorte Music Clock. It was exactly one o’clock and the chime of a nursery song started with the animals rotating with their musical instruments. Outside, we saw the Confounding Clock with its rotating face and the sun gleaming behind it.

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The Confounding Clock!
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Chasing squirrels was fun 😀

Wolfing down pizza and falafel, we covered a part of Fifth Avenue on foot with D firmly pulling me forward as I stopped a million times to gape. I was tempted to go inside Tiffany’s with its gorgeous holiday decorations, but D saved me from possibly bankrupting us. We had time to wonder at the constellations of Grand Central Station (and sample cupcakes) as well as visit the NY Public Library and see the Gutenberg Bible. Our night tour guide Tina had made a great pun on the library standing between the lions as “reading between the li-o-nes!” 😀

It was goodbye to NYC – who knows if we will ever see it again. But Miami and my sister were around the corner 🙂 So it was not very hard to say goodbye!


Birthday in Miami coming up next 😀

48 hours in DC

A burst of fall colors taking in their last breaths welcomed us in Washington DC. Fifteen minutes away, tucked in a beautiful lane of Arlington was our home for two days. It was a red-bricked home that was old and wise at ninety years. A shy dog named Roxy welcomed us with the owners. An artist’s home with bookshelves, potted plans, painted bowls of potpourri and musical instruments – we were overjoyed to be a part of it. The view from our window were trees blooming with reds and oranges as the sidewalks rustled with golden leaves.

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Top right was our room 🙂

The subway was a short walk lined with pretty homes and radiant colors. We went to Theodore Roosevelt Island and meandered down paths inviting us to get lost in their wilderness. There was not a soul in sight and only the whispering leaves and soft-footed deer. D literally had to tear me away to take a walk across the bridge into Georgetown. And wow! This place is as pretty as a postcard. The buildings are timeless, the streets look like an artist drew and brought them to life. Up and down we rambled, catching some melt-in-mouth cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcakes and some pizza. Something funny happened that evening – we had no clue where to add the tip! We made a frantic call to D’s cousin (My bro-in-law) and he explained the process to us as he caught his breath between laughs.

With sheepish smiles, we made our way back. It was barely 6:30 in the evening but we felt the jet lag catching up on us. We passed out in the middle of a mumbling conversation…

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At the Island…

The next morning we were up early and energized. We visited the museums and monuments that cloudy windy day. Our first stop was the Holocaust Museum. I have read extensively on the same but nothing could have prepared me for the experience. Listening to the narrations of the survivors almost broke me and I wasn’t really strong enough to face such a tragedy. I couldn’t stay longer and had to leave – I just couldn’t.

We walked over to Natural History and of course I kept making connections with Night at the Museum Movies… The same thing happened at the Air and Space Museum. D went pretty mad – was wide-eyed and open-mouthed as we took in the fighter planes and air crafts. My favorite was our last stop at the Botanical Gardens which made an enchanting walk in the “woods”. The models of the monuments added a touch of gold to the otherwise green paradise.

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Purple beauties at the Botanical Gardens

It was early evening and we started on the four monuments – Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Monument and World War II Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background. The dusk made these monuments simply breathtaking! The clouds and skies were an imposing background and heightened their magnetism. I should mention – I fell in love with the Washington Monument. I was sitting and staring at it lost in my thoughts till D had to gently shake me out of my stupor.

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Jefferson Memorial

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View from Lincoln Memorial

Our legs were beginning to give out even though we were by no means tired. We grabbed dinner at the famous Ben’s Chilli Bowl and licked our bowls clean – not literally unfortunately. We made slow work of the walk back taking in the sights which we might never see again.

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Beautiful morning walk
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I was so tempted to roll here!

The next morning was bright and sunny unlike our previous two days. We took a walk in the neighborhood before catching our bus to New York City. The sunshine, the gilded tree tops and rolling leaves across lawns was a sight to catch. A happy start!