This morning we had to be at the coach by 7.45 so it was another early morning. We headed out and our first stop, about an hour and a half out of Philadelphia, was an Amish Village in Ronx, PA.
There was a Contiki optional for a tour through an Amish house – it was only $8.00 so everyone did this. We had time to walk around the village before the tour of the Amish house began. It was pretty interesting and we learnt a bit about the Amish and how they live. I liked the village names they had, such as ‘Intercourse’ and ‘Virginville’. They were selling all sorts of merchandise like t-shirts that said ‘I love Intercourse’ which we found hilarious.
After this stop, it was another hour and a half drive to our lunch stop in Baltimore. On the way, we all got up on the mic and introduced ourselves and told some stories. It was good to learn more about everyone! We stopped in Baltimore for about an hour for lunch before it was back on the coach for our next stop.
Next up was Arlington National Cemetery, where JFK is buried. We were lucky enough to witness the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier which was pretty cool. The guards are there 24/7, 365 days a year and do the changing of the guard ceremony every half hour in summer, and every hour in winter – even all through the night when the cemetery is closed. We learnt that to be a guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier is the highest honour, although to be honest, it seems incredibly boring!
After the ceremony, we walked over to JFK’s gravesite. JFK’s grave was nice but I was expecting something bigger I think. It was so hot at the cemetery – about 33 degrees and I was sweating – I’m not used to that kind of heat!
Finally we made it to Washington DC. We checked into our hotel around 4.30 and had an hour before our included dinner of pizza and salad at the restaurant next door to the hotel. At 6.30, we headed out on our DC city and monument tour. We saw the Capitol building, the Washington memorial, Jefferson memorial, the Roosevelt memorial, Martin Luther King Jr and the Lincoln memorial. It was a really good way to see everything as we only have one full day here tomorrow. It was also nice to do it at night when it was cooler, as it had been so hot during the day. The only downside of a night tour is it’s harder to get good photos!
Tomorrow we plan on seeing the Natural history museum, the American history museum and maybe the Air and Space museum if we have enough time. I also gotta see the White House. It was such a long day and now I’m absolutely knackered and ready for bed!