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Old 12th July 2010, 07:51   #1
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Default Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island

Trip to DC-NY (Whitehouse, Ronkonkoma beach, NY Manhattan)

Members: ROYs in Mazda6

US Independence Day falls on 4th July and so another long weekend was around the corner. I was planning for NY or DC for longtime. Although it was a long drive in 3 days time, I had to take the plunge when one day I get a call from Roli and came to know they are moving out of US to Canada in July end as Prashant (her hubby) got admission in a MBA school there. Now we had no choice but to fix the NY trip as we can meet them as well. So it was not only a trip but also meeting some friends whom we have not met for longtime (Amitava da @DC, The Sharmas @Ronkonkoma etc).

Couple of weeks before the trip I booked a car from Hertz and booked a room in Marriott for the night halt @DC. I decide to start early on Friday and reach Washington by the night.

Route: Atlanta – Charlotte – Greensboro – Danville – Lynchburg – Charlottesville – Washington DC

Day1: Jul 2, 2010 (Friday): Today we woke up excited and looking forward to the long drive ahead. I went to hertz to bring the car. This time to my surprise they had a new Mazda6 and it was wearing shining Michelin Energy MXV8 shoes. It took me no time to realize that it would a silent long drive and these tyres are known for their superb handling and silence nature.

I was too excited to try this out. Amazing car must say. Remaining morning was spent with me wrapping the office works and calls and my wife wrapping up the kitchen and prepare the kid.

The boot of the car was loaded with stroller, bags, shoes, hats and what not.
There is couple of routes to reach DC. One is all through interstates (85, 95) and other through US29 (a state highway). I decide to try out the state highway.

Finally after an early lunch, we packup and start by 1PM. It took sometime crossing Atlanta on I-285 as it was full of traffic. In a few minutes we were cruising on I-85 to Greenville. I couldn’t increase the speed till we cross Greenville due to heavy traffic. So mostly we were in the 60-70mph (about 100kmph) range.

While passing Greenville, we remembered those 10 months where we spent some nice time here. Once passed GSP airport, the traffic eased out and it was time to pump the pedal. I was in the 75-85mph range with an occasional burst to 95-100mph. The car handled superbly in the corners. Even at 140kmph it was total silence (only a nice humming sound of air and tyre friction).

Traffic Jam at Charlotte: Although we were running on time till we hit Charlotte city limits. Time was about 4PM and was as if the all the cars were heading to I-85 (understandably so being the long weekend). The car crawled 3miles in 30minutes in a 8 laned interstate. Thankfully after that there was no much traffic and we passed Greensboro in no time.

Beautiful US29: We leave the I-85 after Greensboro and hit the state highway US29. Initially it was narrow but once passed city limits and it was broader. Unlike Interstates, this highway had U turns and signals on the path and speed limit marked in 55-65mph range. Also it didn’t have any exits. But it was a beautiful one. We get to see the typical villages in US and farming fields. As we enter into West Virginia state, it was more beautiful as it was surrounded by jungles and mountains. It was as if we were driving through reserve forests.

US29
Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-001.jpg
US29
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I had plans to stop only when the car needs petrol not otherwise. So when I saw the tank less than 1/4th then I decide to stop amidst mountains on a roadside pump for a refill. It was our first break and it was 7:20PM. A good 6hrs 20min of continuous drive and 421miles. I was also amazed to see Mazda6 giving a mileage of 32 mpg which is really good for a 6 cylinder beast.

We spent about 25min at the bunk. Washington was now less than 200miles now so we decided to have dinner at the hotel itself. Wife had prepared Puri, sabji, malpua for dinner. As I was feeling hungry, decide to have 2 Puri during the break so that hunger don’t strike me early during the drive.

dusk on US29
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We start from pump at 7:45PM. It was amazing drive, up and down, curves and no traffic. I was remembering my ghat drives of India. It was dark by the time we were crossing Lynchburg at 9PM. We cross Charlottesville in an hour and hit I-66 to Washington by 10:30PM. It was a typical high speed, high traffic drive in I-66 and we finally reach our hotel at Chevy Chase by 11PM.

Dad wraps up office work and baby busy with cartoons
Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-017.jpg

Quickly we finish dinner which we carried from home. I wrap up some of my office work in the night and go to bed by 12:30AM.

Must say it was a wonderful drive. It was 612 miles from home in Atlanta

Day2: Jul 3, 2010 (Saturday):

Route: Washington DC – Baltimore – Wilmington – Philadelphia – New York City – Brentwood - Ronkonkoma

We wake up at 7AM after a nice sleep. I sit down to do some left over office work from Friday and wife tried to prepare some tea from the small maker inside the hotel. Called up Amitava da and he told he will be there by 9:30AM.

After Amitava da arrived in the hotel, we spent some time chatting and watching the Arg-Ger match. My wife also carried bread, butter from home so finished the bread and the remaining malpua in the breakfast.

A snap from hotel window
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At hotel car park @DC
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By 11AM, we checkout from hotel to our destination – House of the President of USA. We crossed small lanes through Washington DC. The houses and trees reminded me of the inside lanes (or crosses) of Indiranagar in Bangalore which has a mixture of trees and beautiful houses.

It took us 10min drive from hotel to White house. It housed a beautiful garden infront of the mansion. We spent a nice time there. It’s a huge mansion although it looked small from one side but it has about 6 floors and two of them underground. I also came to know there (and later verified in wiki) that it is considered one of the Architectural marvels of USA. Anyway nice to see the place which resides the supreme power of the world.

White House
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Park
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Park
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Monument
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After some loitering around the nice park infront of the mansion, we moved to the car. It was noon by then and we moved on after a brief stop infront of the monument @DC. I drop Amitava da at our hotel to pick his car (he dropped his car there and came with us) and we proceed to New York. Thanks to Amitava da who warned me to keep some cash as the drive to NY is on Toll roads and they accept only cash. I opened my wallet and see only $8 in cash. Entire US runs on plastic money so never felt the need to carry cash. Those few dollars were meant for the accessional use of the vending machine in office.

Anyway I thought lets drive on and will pick up cash where we stop for lunch. Immediately with heavy traffic we hit I-95 to New York. Within 30min, we enter Baltimore, the beautiful port town. It was full of bridges and tunnels. One of the tunnels we passed through was under the sea-delta. Although it was very hot outside but the drive was fun. After crossing tunnel, I had paid a toll of $2 (still I have cash). Now I decide to stop for lunch more so for the cash.

After crossing Baltimore and somewhere before Philadelphia we took an exit into a Subway and we were lucky to see an ATM in that same complex where I picked up $100 cash (hopefully it should last for tolls and the kharchhas of NYC the next day).

Picked up footlongs, took some break and then started the remaining journey by 3:30PM. The drive from Philadelphia was fast. We crossed through a few nice bridges on NJ turnpike toll road. We had to shell out a good $25+ on Toll. It was about 5:45PM when we were crossing Newark Liberty International Airport which is adjacent to I-95and we could see the NY skylines a little further. We took the next exit to Bayonne, NJ to meet my wife’s cousin who has relocated there recently. Spent some time at Bayonne and proceeded towards Roli’s house in Ronkonkoma.

Bayonne to Ronkonkoma: From Bayonne to enter NY through Holland Tunnel (under water tunnel). I had to shell out $8 toll to cross the tunnel which was too high I believe. After the tunnel we are on the New York City area. Huge skyscrapers, line to line. Ground floor was unlike US, shopkeepers typically Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Indian selling stuffs on footpath. Yellow taxis running around like Kolkata. Uneven roads, variety of people. If you look straight it resembled more of Barabazaar of Kolkata (little cleaner offcourse). Only when you look up you realize the tall buildings and that’s when it looks like New York.

Nevertheless in that crowd we somehow managed to hit I-495 crossing the Brooklyn bridge. The driving at these area reminded more like India and I was loving it. Sudden lane changing, overtaking, zigzag driving, desi cab drivers driving like crazy. I too started to do the same. It was more like entering Bangalore on Mysore Road on a Sunday evening (Ramanagaram to Blore on Sunday evening is always a high speed, high traffic game).

At the stroke of 9PM we were in Roli’s house. It was wonderful to meet Roli and Prashant after five years. And ofcourse the little Manu for the first time. End of the day the dinner which Roli cooked for us takes the prize after a long hot day. Incidently it was their 5th Anniversary as well. It was not surprising afterall the wonderful cook that Roli is. We dined on Ghee-Roti, Jeera-Rice, Chana-masala, amazing dal-fry, aloo-gobi, paneer etc. It didn’t stop there and then came the desert with cake-custard, coconut-laddoo (all home made). It didn’t take much time for me to clean up everything. Believe me it was 11PM when we finished all and then I was in no mood of going out the next day (our NYC trip plan). I only felt like eating and sleeping there.

Amidst all this eating, I made a booking for Statue of Liberty cruise (Thanks to Prashant) and it was really helpful which I realized the next day.

Day3: Jul 4, 2010 (Sunday): The alarm rings at 5AM and very reluctantly I woke up. This day was a challenge waking up especially after that wonderful dinner. Anyway we had to leave early to catch the train (LIRR – Long Island Rail Road) which is scheduled at 6:40AM from Ronkonkoma to NYC (Penn Stn.)

LIRR
Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-083.jpg

After a nice tea, we (my wife rather) somehow managed to prepare the child just on time and Prashant dropped us at the Ronkonkoma stn. At a 5 min drive. Train was already in the platform. I took a return ticket at the self service kiosk outside the station and hopped into the train. This was our first train ride in US (rather for sometime now) and we enjoyed the 1hr 20min train ride to Penn stn. At Penn stn. We took a subway ticket for the South Ferry from where the Liberty Cruise starts. Subway in NY is a lifeline of everyone. Billionaires to Labours all travel on Subway here. (I came to NY Manhattan for a day earlier but didn’t get to ride on a subway. While riding on subway now I remembered the words from one of the Logistics Director whom I met that day, “Subway is the only place in NY where the person sitting next to you may be a millionaire”)

Downtown Manhattan
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Early helps: Being a long weekend we were expecting it too be very crowded. We reached there by 8:45AM and it was not at all crowded. Immediately I board the 9:30AM ferry instead of the booked 10AM one. The story was different when we returned at noon. The queue to board the ferry was till the main street. Pre-booked tickets are taken into separate line which is much shorter. So always book in advance for the liberty cruise.

Cruise: Before boarding the ferry we had to undergo a security check that is at-par with that of any airport. The early morning cruise to Liberty island was really refreshing. The look of Manhattan skyline, NJ on other side and the sight of many bridges was really wonderful.

NY Manhattan Skylines
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Statue of Liberty
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I was great feeling to watch this famous lady live which until now we saw only in movies and documentaries. The island was huge one. We sat at the lawn of a café facing the river for breakfast. This morning Roli prepared some ghee-rotis and Aloo-capsicum sabji which we relished at the statue of liberty island. It was like a brunch and we were energized to face the NY heat and the long afternoon walks.

Liberty Island
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Liberty Island
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After spending an hour in liberty island, we took the ferry again for the next island called as Ellis island. Ellis island was the immigration centre for immigrants coming into US in the late 19th century till 1950s. It was the gateway of the USA. It has been transformed into a museum now. It also housed lots of statistics and pictures of immigrants that entered US during each decade.

@Ellis Museum
Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-133.jpg
@Ellis Museum
Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-134.jpg

It also housed a Barbie counter which had Barbie dressed up in all the attires of the country it has been released till date. It was fun walking around the Barbie’s. Finally we came out of Ellis museum at about 1PM. Took the ferry ride back to Downtown Manhattan.

Barbie exhibition
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Sun was baking up and now we can see the huge crowd lined up for the ferry. We really thanked Prashant for that word of caution of going early and book in advance. My wife did some shopping at the footpath where she bought some souvenirs. I now decide against wax museum as we might get delayed. We decided to cover WTC site and Bull Street and return back.

A pic from the ferry
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WTC site: Now I was in the site and kept looking there for few minutes. My mind ran down those memory lanes – I graduated the year when this happened and my campus offer getting deferred after this incident. We then visit the WTC memorial opposite to this site. It is now a construction site with a few towers coming up with one tower being the tallest of the existing ones. Many of my batchmates had to face this economic turmoil.

Infront of WTC
Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-169.jpg

The new WTC Plan
Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-176.jpg

BFSI street: We then walk to the next street past the Trinity Church and to the NY Stock exchange to visit the world famous Bull. Not only that there were building of all the financial institution and banks. I jokingly told my wife, “We are on BFSI street rather than Wall Street”. Must say Lower Manhattan is a must visit place.

The Famous Bull
Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-181.jpg

We took the Subway from Wall Street and reached Penn station to catch the 4:16PM LIRR. At Penn, we picked up a couple of chicken burger from MacD. Well, that was not the end of the story. We reach Ronkonkoma at 5:30 where Prashant and Manu were waiting for us.

Hiting the beach now: We had a cup of tea at home and then decided to go to a nearby beach. All of us jumped into Prashant’s new Rav4 SUV from Ronkonkoma to Robert Moses beach. It was a wonderful drive and the beach was about 40min away. The beach was truly amazing with full of white and clean sand. The water was too cold but that didn’t stop my kid to take a bath there as well (She is a water animal from birth). The cool breeze after a very hot day in NYC was really refreshing. We felt as the body pains are slowly subsiding. We could also chat with Prashant and Roli who kept on reminding our Pondicherry bike rides. Prashant remembered his Bengali cuisine hostel durgapur days (He is a product from REC Durgapur). We both shared our hostel lifes and the fun we had those days. It was fun chitchatting on all kind of topics and evening full of fun. It was only at darkness (about 8:30PM) we decide to head back home.

Robert Moses Lighthouse and Beach
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Baby hitting the cold water
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Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-195.jpg

We then had a delicious dinner which Roli had prepared for us. I don’t remember the items now. It was so many starting from Rice, Roti, dal, Muttar-Paneer, Cabbage, Raita etc etc. The desert had icecream with gulab jamoon (yes, these were home made as well). I didn’t realize icecream was homemade until I was told about it. It was mouthwatering.

I had a tight schedule for the day and it was executed to perfection. I must thank my little baby who was really adjusting and co-operative. Tomorrow is the return journey and the longest one as well.

Day4: Jul 5, 2010 (Monday):

Route: Ronkonkoma – NYCity – Harrisburg – Roanoke – Charlotte – Greenville - Atlanta

We get up at 5:30AM. We pack our stuffs slowly and load the car. Roli also packed some Roti, sabji, chanamasala for our journey. It was only by 7AM I could start my engine.

This time the return through a different route. I will drive a little west from NY City on I-78 West and then on I-81 S finally deviating in I-77 S to Charlotte before hitting the I-85 S to Atlanta.

As usual the morning drive was normal cruising till we cross Holland Tunnel to hit I-78 W. The drive was very picturesque. Once we were into Pennsylvania it was all rural US with vast farm lands, cows and horses gracing the fields. The road was hilly at times and the drive was fun.

We had our first break somewhere at Harrisburg to fill in petrol at 10:30AM and tripmeter 200miles. I also bought 2 subway footlongs for breakfast. I had my breakfast quickly in car and let the family eat while driving.

By 10:55AM, I start the journey again. There were huge traffic all the way people from Luray Caverns and some other tourist’s spots around the area were heading back home as well. The speed was hovering in the 100-130kmph and we could cover the distances fast.

Both I-78 and I-81 routes was very picturesque.

After driving for another 5 hours and close to 4PM, we stopped at a Rest Area somewhere after Ronaoke in Virgina state. We took a 20min break and finished the delivious Roti, sabji which Roli packed for us.

We start again at 4:20PM and soon hit the I-77 S. This was a beautiful highway and it is through the ghats. It was amazing to see 4 laned ghat roads. I can see the jungle far below and the road was inclined and curvy. It was fun to throw the car on sharp curves at 80mph.

Crossing the ghats
Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-219.jpg

Runaway Ramp for Truck: It was not just 4 laned ghat road but also one other thing that amazed me as well. This was a emergency incline or a Runaway Ramp at every sharp corner during the descent. This is primarily for trucks which couldn’t control its speed may take the incline instead of trying to turn and risk of toppling over.

Somewhere in an exit on I-77 I tanked up fuel at a Shell bunk. After that it was all through Altanta nonstop. Once upon hitting I-85 at Charlotte it was like pumping the pedal. I was clocking 130-150kmph range till past Greenville. Finally we reached home at 10:10PM. It took us 15 hours with couple of breaks to cover 919.1 miles. I must say I was tired on reaching home. It was indeed a long one.

Tripmeter @Home
Travelogue: Washington DC, NewYork Manhattan and Long Island-nytripjuly2010-221.jpg

Some Stats of the drive:
  • Total run on the 3.5 days were 1850miles (~ 2950 km)
  • Longest drive at a stretch in a day (Ronkonkoma to Atlanta): 919 miles (~ 1470km)
  • There are some amazing beaches in NY State near Long island which should not be missed.
  • States Covered in the Drive – Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland.
  • Mazda6 is an amazing car. I was always a fan of XM1 which my Alto wore in India but must say MXV8 is a wonderful tyre of the Energy series, a mix blend of comfort and sporty. I did couple of sharp corners to test them at 95mph and the handling was a dream. It was soundless on the entire trip. 205/65/16 profile is fine for cruising but I still felt it would be interesting to check out a smaller aspect ratio tyre on Mazda6. It would really make it sporty.
  • I badly want to touch 200+ kmph speed. Don’t know where I can find an Autobahn like stretch in US to do so. I am fed up of driving these beasts at 120kmph.
Signing off
Abhijit Kumar Roy
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Old 12th July 2010, 08:15   #2
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That was a lovely drive travelogue, in your usual descriptive style, loved it.
Aren't you missing our chaotic driving conditions, you must be bored with the well-regulated, predictable situation!!! You are back to your non-stop long drives, isn't there some state law against long driving?
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Old 12th July 2010, 08:22   #3
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Abhi, nice log there! Here's a tasty question for you - which one would you select: which drive would you select - your BLR- Kolkata drive in the 800cc Alto on India's unpredictable roads, or a long drive in a 2.5L car on America's scientific roads ?!
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Old 12th July 2010, 08:26   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Route: Atlanta – Charlotte – Greensboro – Danville – Lynchburg – Charlottesville – Washington DC
good thing I did not call you and drop in when I was passing by Atlanta. I drove from Eufaula,AL to Charlotte via I-85 but my sister drove from NJ to Charlotte. so she was telling me all about the roads and the scenic drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Finally after an early lunch, we packup and start by 1PM. It took sometime crossing Atlanta on I-285 as it was full of traffic. In a few minutes we were cruising on I-85 to Greenville. I couldn’t increase the speed till we cross Greenville due to heavy traffic. So mostly we were in the 60-70mph (about 100kmph) range.
Oh yes. That day was chaotic traffic. Even I left from Eufaula,AL at around 1PM and intersected the heavy ATL traffic at about 4PM. miles and miles of jam.

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Originally Posted by akroy View Post
As we enter into West Virginia state, it was more beautiful as it was surrounded by jungles and mountains. It was as if we were driving through reserve forests.
Nevertheless in that crowd we somehow managed to hit I-495 crossing the Brooklyn bridge. The driving at these area reminded more like India and I was loving it. Sudden lane changing, overtaking, zigzag driving, desi cab drivers driving like crazy. I too started to do the same. It was more like entering Bangalore on Mysore Road on a Sunday evening (Ramanagaram to Blore on Sunday evening is always a high speed, high traffic game).
NY traffic. reminds you of India eh. NJ is the same too.

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Originally Posted by akroy View Post
As usual the morning drive was normal cruising till we cross Holland Tunnel to hit I-78 W. The drive was very picturesque. Once we were into Pennsylvania it was all rural US with vast farm lands, cows and horses gracing the fields. The road was hilly at times and the drive was fun.

By 10:55AM, I start the journey again. There were huge traffic all the way people from Luray Caverns and some other tourist’s spots around the area were heading back home as well. The speed was hovering in the 100-130kmph and we could cover the distances fast.


We start again at 4:20PM and soon hit the I-77 S. This was a beautiful highway and it is through the ghats. It was amazing to see 4 laned ghat roads. I can see the jungle far below and the road was inclined and curvy. It was fun to throw the car on sharp curves at 80mph.

Runaway Ramp for Truck: It was not just 4 laned ghat road but also one other thing that amazed me as well. This was a emergency incline or a Runaway Ramp at every sharp corner during the descent. This is primarily for trucks which couldn’t control its speed may take the incline instead of trying to turn and risk of toppling over.
the Runaway Ramp..yupp. she told me about that too.

one good thing about thick traffic is that the entire pack of cars as a group can go way faster than the posted speed limit. I too was in the 85-90 mph zone once in a while but only when I was in a pack of cars. not alone.

Seems like you had a good trip. Keep these reports coming.

I have a Eufaula,AL to NJ drive coming up. I'll talk to you when I have to plan.

-Avinash
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Old 12th July 2010, 08:53   #5
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@Akroy - I'm never tired of seeing pics at Ellis island where the immigration happened several centuries before for the Europeans to enter into the new found land. If you've more of them, appreciate to share them & especially the stats & the pics of long standing queue of people waiting for days together for the entry.

Also, what's the status on the old WTC location? Appreciate a few pics on them. Tks.
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Old 12th July 2010, 09:34   #6
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Did you spend any time in Caroline? Danville was my favourite place to stay. Very green and more green!
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Old 12th July 2010, 09:41   #7
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Good trip Abhi. and yes, your kid is grown up Should be now ready to enjoy those land of beauties.

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Aren't you missing our chaotic driving conditions, you must be bored with the well-regulated, predictable situation!!!
+1. Sometimes its difficult to keep ourselves awake without these honks and mess.
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Old 12th July 2010, 10:00   #8
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Sorry for typo. I meant Carolina! Raleigh/Durham and nearby areas.
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Old 12th July 2010, 10:14   #9
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Great narration, Abhi! Quite a whirlwind trip indeed.I really miss those places as I'd visited most of them a few months ago.

I found driving on the interstates boring, compared to the scenic state highways. What do you say?
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Old 12th July 2010, 12:49   #10
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@AKROY. Some years back I heard that the North and South Dakota states didn't have posted speed limits. Not sure whether it's the same way. Check their DMV site, ask friends there and do a trip to Mt. Rushmore.

Ok. checked now. They have clamped it to 75 mph from 2003. And some sections of Utah have 80 mph still. Guess, you should take a trans-atlantic flight to Germany.

Last edited by MX6 : 12th July 2010 at 12:53.
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Old 12th July 2010, 13:14   #11
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AKR. Great trip that you had. lokking forward for more snaps
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Old 12th July 2010, 14:58   #12
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Good to see your travelogue.

DC and NYC, definitely need much more time for them, but I guess this was a 'teaser' trip.

For the short trips I have made to US, was mainly in NY/NJ area, and could relate to some of your desciptions. Yes, driving in Manhattan with those cab guys, is almost like driving in India.

Hope you are watching out for speed limits, as the enforcement there are typically strict. And you would not like to lose some hard earned money in speeding tickets.
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Old 12th July 2010, 15:21   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Yes, driving in Manhattan with those cab guys, is almost like driving in India.
I took a cab once in Manhattan and the driver apparently happened to be a Sardar. When our lane was clogged and he found an opening in the left lane, he just cut in nearly crashing in to another yellow cab that was driven by an African American.
That guy rolls down the window and starts his abuses in Queen's english (not the British queen. The kind of english you normally get to hear in Queens/ Bronx).
Not to be outdone, our Sardar rolls his window and starts "Oye theri tho".
20 seconds, the other driver puts his hands in air and says, "Okay Okay. Chill."
Sardar wins right of way.
My brother and I was in amusement and I quickly spot a statue of the Mahatma in a park by the side as the Sardar hits the gas pedal!
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Old 12th July 2010, 16:52   #14
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
That was a lovely drive travelogue, in your usual descriptive style, loved it.
Aren't you missing our chaotic driving conditions, you must be bored with the well-regulated, predictable situation!!! You are back to your non-stop long drives, isn't there some state law against long driving?
Sir, it is boring if compared to the drives in India. No restrictions in long driving but this speed limits are headache here. You find mamu's (Cops) hiding in some corner with a speed gun.

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Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Abhi, nice log there! Here's a tasty question for you - which one would you select: which drive would you select - your BLR- Kolkata drive in the 800cc Alto on India's unpredictable roads, or a long drive in a 2.5L car on America's scientific roads ?!
Maggie, the Blr-Kol drive takes the cake. Additionally,There is one more fun driving on indian roads. US road and states are more like corporate kind, not only same roads, same food (MacDs, BurgerKings, Subways etc), same kind of people, same kind of transportation, all look similar.
But in India, different states has its own flavour. You get to see different people, different kind of transportation (colourful buses etc), different kind of dresses, food has different flavour, vegetation looks different. All these changes are so refreshing that it adds more fun to the long drive.

But yes, I need to experience driving a more powerful car or a Safari around India compared to my Alto (which has been my only companion in India).

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Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
+1. Sometimes its difficult to keep ourselves awake without these honks and mess.
Yes very true !!
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Old 12th July 2010, 17:04   #15
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Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
I found driving on the interstates boring, compared to the scenic state highways. What do you say?
me too !!

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Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Good to see your travelogue.

Hope you are watching out for speed limits, as the enforcement there are typically strict. And you would not like to lose some hard earned money in speeding tickets.
Yes that is the tough part. I always have to keep a tab on my speed . The Mamu's here are good at catching the overspeeding vehicles.

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Also, what's the status on the old WTC location? Appreciate a few pics on them. Tks.
The old WTC location will turn into a memorial. The remaining 5 locations will be converted into WTC. THere will be one tower which will be the tallest of all (even taller than the old WTCs)

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Originally Posted by 14000rpm View Post
good thing I did not call you and drop in when I was passing by Atlanta. I drove from Eufaula,AL to Charlotte via I-85 but my sister drove from NJ to Charlotte. so she was telling me all about the roads and the scenic drive.
Avinash, seriously it was chaos that day. I sensed that so was planning to leave as early as possible. Charlotte at 4PM was a total mess. Initially I thought there must be some accident ahead but no it was not the case.

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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
@AKROY. Some years back I heard that the North and South Dakota states didn't have posted speed limits. Not sure whether it's the same way. Check their DMV site, ask friends there and do a trip to Mt. Rushmore.

Ok. checked now. They have clamped it to 75 mph from 2003. And some sections of Utah have 80 mph still. Guess, you should take a trans-atlantic flight to Germany.
MX6, both the places are far off from where I stay. May be I have to live with this.

Abhi
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