I just returned from a week travelling the east coast.
First stop, New York City. I reconnected with three military buddies there. I’ve been there a few times now, so I can skip the touristy stuff and just hang out. The weird thing is that the whole city is a tourist trap. Every other person you meet is a tourist. NYC used to be an important hub of trade and center for industry, but it seems more and more to be just a big amusement park (Times Square is owned by Disney) combined with a type of forbidden city for the 1% leisure class, the technocrats, and the power elite. The best thing about it is the number of people you can meet. It would be fun to live there a few months, just to be energized by all of the interactions you could have.
I took the Acela Amtrak Express train down to DC. I had been to the beltway before, but this was my first time in DC proper. My friend drove me out to his family’s civil war era farm about an hour from the city. We hiked a few miles of the Appalachian trail, and I have to admit that the East Coast would be a very beautiful place if not for the excess of people. We spent a day walking the Mall. The core of important buildings and monuments were much closer together than I previously thought; in fact it is a pretty humble place for being the capital of the last superpower, although I am sure the founders intended this so as not to ascribe undue importance to the federal government. Our one museum was the Aviation wing of the Smithsonian. It was quite small. While there were some interesting one of a kind pieces, like the Bell X-1 and the Spirit of St. Louis, the museum was pretty small overall.
I ended up buying a diesel Ford F250 in Virginia, and made a quick drive back to North Dakota.
I quit coffee for four months before moving to North Dakota. I was drinking the delicious Stumptown coffee on a daily basis then, so I had some bad headaches for ten days or so. I decided to quit again, but I hardly even notice quitting gas station coffee. I miss Pacific Northwest Coffee! Good coffee is the true mark of civilization.