Chicago, Illinois: The windy city – the grace and charm of this city is unmistakable. So far this is the second best city in the USA on my list (Washington D.C. being the first one). The picture above was taken on Lake Michigan while enjoying the 4th of July fireworks cruise. Not to mention the firework display was spectacular! I was not able to enjoy the town as much as I wanted to – so another trip is definitely on my list. Apart from Chicago, Springfield, Illinois will also be on the menu – can anyone guess why? Hint: history :-).
The National Mall, Washington D.C.: OK, that is my son, and myself not far behind, on a self-guided bike tour of D.C. I love D.C., love walking around the National Mall, love each and every building there but the Capitol the most (this might change once, hopefully soon, I get to see the Library of Congress from the inside). It is a perfect blend of urbanity, history, patriotism, academics, and culture. From the imposing Lincoln Memorial to the cool and peaceful halls of the Smithsonian – it is America’s past, present and future all under one roof.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia: We didn’t spend much time inside the Park located in the western part of the state – just drove a small section of the skyline drive making pit stops to take pictures. I look at this picture and think how different the terrain would be even a hundred years back – probably lush green with tall trees, wild animals and unparalleled beauty. Today the valley below is scattered with houses, shops and other institutions indicating the invasion of us humans. It was a cold and cloudy day and not many people were around The photograph captures the overall mood of solitude, and stillness perfectly. Note – Shenandoah is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Skyline Drive connects with Blue Ridge Parkway as it leaves Virginia. Those who are interested in nature and don’t mind long drives should consider driving the complete stretch once. We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway many years back and the skyline drive last year – then and now the scenery is breathtaking.