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Flying to the US got really cheap – just 300€ – so we visited the US a second time this year. Destination was New York. We were very lucky to actually fly and reach New York, because Lufthansa crew was on strike but luckily our flight was not on the list… Some years ago I was in New England (North East) in the middle of the fall foliage season. This time the plan was to go South (from NYC).

The first few days we stayed in New York – on Staten Island to be exact where we had an Air Bnb and took the free Staten Island Ferry every morning. In the cold season not all ferrys have open windows… We did the typical touristic program. I was surprised of how many tourists are still around at this time of the year. At Central Park the fall colors were awesome at this time. I also liked the High Line, which seemed to be more crowed as last time (which was probably more unknown some years ago)
At JFK I already rented a SUV – we got an Ford Expedition which was the biggest car I have driven so far. Lots of space… I liked it, even though you need a bit more space if you are parking. Also the gas prices were more than 1,50$ cheaper/gallon than in California last winter which was quite good because this car was not on the top list for beeing ecological.
We did a “classical” roadtrip – almost every night we stayed at a new hotel. Plan was to follow the Skyline Drive (Shenandoah Nationalpark) and the Blue Ridge Parkway. What we did not expect was the weather. Arctic air came into the US and even went down to Mexico with record lows in some places for this time of the year plus a strong wind. To give you an imagination – sunrise at Shenandoah was at minus 15deg Celsius plus (minus) windchill… That was really cold. Due to the weather the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed at many points and the rest of the leaves that were on the trees were blown away. At least we could visit some of the points. Boone was the furthest South we dove (Linn Cove Viaduct).
A long driving day brought us the coast – to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. This place is famous for the Wright Brothers that did their first flight here. Now it was warm again, but the part with the wind got worse. It was very stormy which I liked for the pictures, but no sunrise (or sunset) photo of Bodie Island Lighthouse was possible.
On the way North we stopped first stopped at Norfolk to visit the Navy base. Then we drove to DC (Washington) where I had been about 18 years ago… From what I can tell nothing did really change, except more security at the museums. Quite interesting was to see how the whole area in front of the White House was locked down when the President was flown out with the Helicopter. From DC we directly headed back to JFK.
Again this was a nice trip Off Season. The weather was changing a lot and gave a lot of good foto opportunites, not many people around, cheap prices… a lot of advantages.

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