The final part of the USA was the drive up to New York. A total of 1100 miles and we had 2 days in which to do it.
I decided that rather than split the drive half way each day, I would drive as far as I could manage the first day and then the remainder of the way the next day. So the first day we drive from 9am and arrived into Richmond, Virginia at about 9pm. We had drove a little over 700 miles.
The following day and we headed for Washington DC. We got there early at about 11am. I had heard big things about Washington in terms of traffic and the expense and problems in parking. So I arrived half expecting to simply drive around and then do one.
Paranoia central of the USA Washington DC consists of many different parts. But the part which is most appealing to the tourists on time constraints is ‘The Mall’ It is essentially a part of central Washington where everything is. It is flooded with museums and tourist attractions. Every building holds some sort of significance to the running and/or history of the US. Anyway we drive to the Mall and the place was pretty much deserted. Road side parking is ample and costs little more than $2 per hour. However, maximum time is 2hrs. But given the size of the Mall and that at any one time you are no more than maybe a 15min walk to where you parked you could always nip back to the car and park it across the street for another 2hrs. But, upon driving into the Mall I did see the odd Parking lot, prices seemed to be around $10 per day.
We visited as many sights as we could within the 2 hour window we had, but I can honestly say we saw everything we wanted to. We didn’t get to visit the museums which I have to admit look very interesting, but I have penciled a return visit in.
We then set off for New York.
The drive up the I-95 to New York is ridiculously expensive in terms of tolls. There is one every now and again and they are more than happy to scam you stupid amounts of money for driving on roads which are about 30 years past their annual resurfacing and the speed limit drops to a painfully slow 65mph in many places. Also, driving etiquette goes out of the window as people no longer move over for faster drivers but simply sit wherever they feel at whatever speed they feel like. Trucks resemble those in the UK in that it’s a sort of ‘move im coming over attitude’ and traffic jams appeared every few miles.
I can’t remember exactly but I think I paid approx $25 along the 250mi drive from DC to NYC, then getting to JFK to drop the car off skinned me another $20. It stinks, but is a great reminder that when it comes to New York money makes the city work.