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USA 2017
27th Jun 2017 - 28th Jun 2017
Homeward Bound

It was our last day today, so thought we should do something vaguely cultural or educational.  We managed to get the suitcases packed and come in underweight. We got them checked into baggage storage and checked out of our final hotel.

We headed to the Capitol building, where the Senate and Congress are housed. We tried to get in and do the tour 6 weeks ago, but were plagued with bus loads of children. this time there were no such problems.  Security was tight as Congress was sitting.  The system was very orderly and before long we were on the tour with a very knowledgable young lady. We were shown several different areas, mainly concentrating on the many statues, paintings etc.

After the obligatory trip to the gift shop, we walked along a tunnel under the road, which took us into the Library of Congress.  We were a little short of time so did not take the tour but were very impressed with the building, and some of the exhibits. The one on Bob Hope was of particular interest, and was quite amusing.  However we never did discover the connection to the Library.

A stroll back to the hotel gave us time for a leisurely lunch before the cab arrived to take us to the airport. Check in was easy and the wait to board was not too bad. We were on an Airbus with British Airways, first time with BA for over 10 years.  although the flight out was not too bad, the return was really not great so it may well be another 10 tears before we try them again.We were upstairs near the back of the plane. Leg room was not great, there is not enough overhead locker space, and what there is was too small for some peoples cabin bags which resulted in people wandering all over the place trying to find a space that was big enough for their oversized bags while others are still trying to board.

The meal was not great. The choice was chicken tikka masala or a creamy pasta.  When our meals eventually turned up (last, and a long time after making our selection)  we had no drink or bread roll. When we asked for these missing items, the stewardess was very grumpy and all but threw them at us.  Coffee or tea was served before anybody had finished their meal, and we had only just started ours.  Breakfast consisted of a choice from a wicker basket that was quickly waved under our noses.  The choice was a yoghurt, a breakfast bar or a small individual malt loaf, with water or orange juice.  Lovely!! The best thing about the whole experience was that we had a strong tail wind which meant that we were about an hour early landing.

Our good friend Alf was waiting to meet us, so after a much needed cup of coffee we hit the M25, which was flowing fairly freely, meaning we got home before 9.00am.

It is ironic that we drove across America, trained it back, and the worst experience was on the last leg. Even though Amtrak tried very hard to give them some competition with rattly trains and lateness, we feel that the honours go to BA as their staff were so much ruder.  We even had a stand up row between two members of crew at one point!

So 5,500 miles driving, 20 different hotels, kind of on budget, a book full of happy memories and a much better appreciation of how vast a country America is.

Previous: Shake Rattle and Roll

Diary Photos

Entry into the Visitors Centre

Ceiling of the Hall of Statuary

Another View of the Ceiling

Ceiling Chandalier

One of the Statues

In the Hall of Statuary

Plaster Model of Statue of Freedom which sits on the top of the Dome

Another View of the Library Building

Entrance Hall to Library of Congress

No Title

Ceiling in the Library of Congress Building

The Library of Congress

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