Tag Archives: Route 66

It’s an American Thing

My favorite city in America is San Francisco with its Golden Gate Bridge. I can image myself living in one of the city’s terraces on a steep hill. A New York loft in Soho comes in a close second, just a short subway ride from Central Park.

And then there is Las Vegas, where you can see the whole world in one place, San Diego where you can see all the animals in the whole world in one place and Los Angeles where you can see all the stars in the whole world in one place.

One of my favorite trips in America was a Californian road trip along Route 66 and Big Sur- seeing the natural beauty of Joshua Tree National Park and the Grand Canyon plus the man made mansion Hearst Castle along the way. California just has so much to offer. There are ghost towns in the desert, seals on the coast and redwoods in Yosemite.

My bestie is from the tiny town of Stuart, Nebraska- a four-hour drive through cornfields from Omaha. I was lucky enough to be included in their annual 4th July celebrations and it was really something special to be welcomed as one of the family.

Of course, my love affair with American culture started early on with Snow White and a trip to Disneyland. I always wondered what it would be like to go to a real American high school like in Buffy, or a real American college like in Beverly Hills 90210 or go to a football game with real American cheerleaders like in Hellcats.

Anne Rice and Twilight peaked my interest in visiting the Deep South and Washington State. The Vampire Diaries and The Originals have made me want to visit Georgia and New Orleans. Gilmore Girls makes me want to go to New England and let’s not forget Sex and the City for New York inspiration, cosmopolitan style.

Which brings me to shopping of course. You can get anything you want at ridiculously low prices compared to Australia, which probably explains why most of us shop online these days.

There is the tasty simplicity of the classic American diner, the best Mexican food and margarita’s outside of Mexico and buffalo ribs smoked the right way. If you have room for desert, there is jello pie, smores and Twizzlers.

The country is so varied, that I can see why you may never want to leave. If you want mountains, you can go to Colorado, if you want water parks, you go to Florida, if you want a history lesson, you go to Washington DC.

I would love to visit a plantation in Louisiana, party for a night in Miami and drift up the coast of Oregon. It would be great to stay in a Boston brownstone, a Chicago skyscraper or a Hampton’s mansion.

The people are friendly, welcoming and enthusiastic about their country. Yes, America has a bit of something for everyone, and I guess that’s what makes the country so great in the first place.

Related posts: It’s a Canadian Thing, San Francisco, 2007- Part 1: Falling in love again, Las Vegas, 2007, USA Road tip, 2007Disneyland, 2007, Los Angeles, 2007New York, 2005, Part 2: Sex and the City Style, TV replays and movie marathons, USA, 1990

The Grand Canyon, 2007

My main aim for being in Las Vegas was to get to the Grand Canyon this time. So my husband-to-be (HTB) and I boarded a bus that would take us 6 hours to travel to the Grand Canyon and back and spend a mere 40 minutes at this wonder of the world; but it was worth it.

We passed Lake Mead, stopped at Hoover Dam on the Arizona border and went to Seligman- a well preserved area of the old Route 66. The temperature outside was so cold that my camera fogged up, so all my photos of these places look obscured by mist.

Our bus drive/tour guide was a bit of a character, full of facts and jokes about Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

Whenever we made a rest stop at a service station he would say in his American drawl:

“Ladies, ladies, ladies;

Please do not, I repeat, DO NOT go shopping.

We are only here for 5 minutes and we WILL leave you behind.

We WILL find a new wife for your husband, this is Vegas!”

In between his commentary, we watched National Lampoons Vacation to the Grand Canyon to get us in the mood.

Arriving at the Mather Point on the South Rim, we finally made it to the Grand Canyon. I was aghast. The bright blue sky contrasted with red canyon and the white snow that had fallen on the ground. It was the colours of the American flag and oh, so amazing.

I wished we had more time here or could afford the helicopter ride over the Canyon as I would have loved to explore more.

We walked the Rim Trail as this is the only path we really had time for before we had to leave. We saw the Temple and deer hiding in the snow laden trees. They were too fast, so I only go a picture of a white tailed bottom.

From Yavapai Observation Station we saw the Horseshoe and the Indian Garden and met back up with our tour guide at Bright Angel Lodge.

On the way back to Las Vegas we saw the sunset in desert which was a beautiful ending to an awe striking day.

Related posts: Las Vegas, 2007, USA Road trip, 2007, Disneyland, 2007, Los Angeles, 2007, USA, 1990

USA Road trip, 2007

Who doesn’t love a road trip?

As my husband-to- be (HTB) and I rolled out of Anaheim in our hire car, we were about to embark on my favourite road trip to date.

We coasted along the Californian highway beside flat plains with white windmills surrounded by mountains.

Our aim for today was to visit Joshua Tree National Park. We stopped at a small information centre along the way to make sure we were going the right way. They were very friendly and helpful and we were able to find the entry gates to the park very easily after that.

At Key’s View it was actually snowing and we rugged up as we took in the sight of the Coachella Valley. We saw Pinto Mountain, Cap Rock and Skull Rock, which actually looked like a skull. There were also some very brave rock climbers in Hidden Valley.

There were many Joshua Trees of course and lots of varieties of cactus in the Cholla Cactus Garden, where we also spotted a coyote with her cubs.

Near sunset, we made it to Indian Cove and the fading light produced pretty colours on the surrounding rocks.

We stayed the night in a motel at Twenty Nine Palms. For dinner, we went to the local BBQ restaurant where I had the biggest jacket potato I have seen in my life and my HTB ordered half a rack of ribs which sure looked like half a cow. We couldn’t believe it when a man from a new army base came in and ordered two racks just for himself.

The next day we hit the famous Route 66 heading to Las Vegas. We were very excited to be on such an iconic road. This part was basically just two straight roads in the middle of nowhere with no petrol stations, so we were very surprised to see a man walking along the road with two shopping bags about halfway through the journey. Where did he shop when there were no shops to be seen? And where was he going?

We passed Bristol Dry Lake, Amboy Crater and crossed the Nevada Border.

Next stop Vegas Baby!

Related posts: Disneyland, 2007, Los Angeles, 2007, USA, 1990