So much to do so litle time to write!
We are already in Korea, but I tell you first about our road trip in the states!
After spending 4 days at SIGGRAPH we jumped into the car and started driving towards Grand Canyon our first destination. The first day we mostly sat in the car. We took a scenic rout and drove trough Joshua National park that is in the transition zone between Colorado and Mohave desert. There we saw some piled big rocks, sand, Joshua trees and other plants. You know how much I like the desert and it was beautiful out there (look at the photos)...and this was only the beginning of the wonders we would see.
We also where driving partly on the classic route 66 and slept over in Williams a route 66 city. Next morning we just had a bit more to drive and we arrived to the Grand Canyon in the morning. We peeked into the canyon first from a viewing point at the rim and I have to admit my knees got shaky and the head a bit dizzy of the heights. And the canyon it self was huge and amazing. After some must photos we took our self to the start of a hike trail and started to descend into the canyon. It was amazing and fun. There was also a lot of propaganda of how people like marathon runners had died of dehydration on their hike and signs like it's optional to go down, but mandatory to get up. Anyway we had a lot of water and some snacks with us, and yes it was hot, but everything went well. We descended first to the 1,5 mile resting area and then to the second 3 mile resting area before we started the climb up again. It was hard work to get up again, but it was definitely worth to climb down the canyon and see a bit more, and understand how huge it is.After about 6 hours of hiking we where up again, exhausted but happy. And of course sweaty. So after some souvenir shopping (I got a hat), we jumped into the car again to get to a city called Page, were we planned to sleep over.
Things didn't really go as planned that night. All the motels and hotels where full in Page, we could have had a smoking room for 120 dollars, but that would have been a night in a disgusting room that went totally over our budget. So after a lot of asking and no vacancy answers we hit the road again even if it was late and thought that we would have better luck in the next city Kaibab. But there was nothing, just some houses and a gas staition.
Tired in we continued and it was really hard for Andy to concentrate driving in the dark. We arrived next to Kalienta a city just by Monument valley where we wanted to go the next morning. This was our last hope. I went to Holiday inn and asked for a room and got a depressing answer that it is probably full booked in all the hotels in the city.Still we drove around and asked all the hotels and motel, but the guy in Holiday in was right all answered no vacancy. So still smelling bad from the hike in the canyon without a shower or brushing our teeth we slept the night in the car on the parking lot of Holiday In hoping that no one would come and wake us up and sending us out on the road again.
Luckily nothing happen other than we where freezing the whole night. Around 6:30 or actually 7:30 in Utah time we woke up because of the sun. We feed the car with some gas and ourselves with some wraps and drove the last 20 miles to Monument valley. On the way we stopped for a cleaning session brushing our teethes and cleaning armpits with Savetti. "Clean and fresh" we were ready for some new amazing rocks. The Monument valley is a Indian reservation and in the middle of nowhere. Big rock formations in the middle of the desert mad you feel very small.
We made the 2 hour bumpy loop with our car. It's too hard to explain all what we saw, so just take a look at the pictures.After spending the morning at Monument valley we dived back to Page and did some hard core relaxing at the Glen
Canyon dam. It was possible to swim in the clear water there that chilled us out perfectly in the hot sun. It was so nice to get cool and clean again in the clear water surrounded by beautiful rock formations.
A perfect day continued because later in Kanab we found a motel to stay in right away and still had time to take a dip in the motels swimming pool. We also had time for laundry and put the stuff in the dryer while we went for a really nice dinner.
But of course the day had to end with a disaster. First of all our laundry skills where not so good. We put first the clothes in a dryer. We realized that it was not the washing machine when we got dry dirty clothes back. This still made us laugh, but the next thing was that something like ink had spread in the dryer and a lot of the
clothes now had black stains. After 4 of my tops where totally destroyed because of this I did not laugh anymore. So I went to bed sad, though next morning I decided not to cry over some clothes, worse stuff could happen. I bought some bleaching stuff and it really worked so I could save two of four tops and that just made more space for new clothes;)
The program for the next day was hiking again, this time in Bryce Canyon, and that was actually my favorite (see pictures again).We did a about 13 km hike called the Fairyland trail and walked up and down the canyon and last on the rim of it and it was truly being in a fairyland. After the hike we took a short shower in a ice cold waterfall and the other tourist probably thought it was totally crazy. By the way in Cran canyon you could think you are in Italy because of the amount of Italian tourists.... That's another reason why I liked Bryce canyon more you could hike for hours not seeing anyone else.
We stayed in the canyon until sunset, but it got to cloudy so we didn't really see it. In the evening we returned for a second night in Kanab. The next morning it was time to get out of nature and into the artificial but truly as amazing Las Vegas. We spent most of the day in the car and late afternoon we entered the playground of adults.
Right away after getting a motel we started to explore the big hotels and casinos. We saw the lions in MGM and had a yard of Margaritas for lunch and visited Paris. We made a plan for the stuff we wanted to see in two days and that was a lot. Then we returned to the motel for a swim and a refreshing shower. It was so hot in Vegas, but yea it is in the desert. You have to go into the casinos to get cooled by the AC.
So the first evening we checked out a free show at Treasure Island, there was too many people there for me to be able to enjoy it. Then we started our world around tour in Venice and Paris. We played some roulette and had some one dollar margaritas and I got hooked with the slot machines. We got in the mood of Rome in Cedars' Palace and by then we were so tired of all the "traveling" and it was already late so of course via some late night snack we walked home.
Next morning was a bit slow but after a good American breakfast we got in the car and drive to a outlet. There we spent quite a while and I got 2 pairs of jeans with me. Then it was time for a swim to cool of after all the shopping and later we visited the Old downtown and got a feeling of what Las Vegas was decades ago. We also saw the world's biggest screen that was the roof over old town. Americans can sure make entertainment. In the evening program we had a classical Las Vegas show in Tropicana hotel. We got so busy that we didn't even have time to eat so we had popcorn and peanuts for dinner. The show was fun. It was a cabaret and of course we were on the late night show that is topless:) But sorry guys we were not allowed to take any photos.
After the show we had to finish our casino world around tour in New York an Luxor, the big pyramid hotel. And we also visited Excalibur castle. And still we didn't have time to go and see everything we wanted. Already next day we had to leave and in the morning we quickly peaked in to Circus Circus a casino that even has a amusement park in it. Two days was definitely to little time, but maybe it was good to leave the temptation to spend money.
We got back to L.A and L.A. traffic jam. We found a motel near the airport and then we met Andy's relative Antonia for a while at Farmers Market a cozy outdoor mall with a lot of nice cafes and shops. Repacking was in program before we got to bed and next morning we said good bye to our car that had been our home for the past weeks. Then we left L.A. and the states on a 12 hour flight to Seoul.
Here we are still with a bit of jet lag but well and ready to explore Korea... though our room is very small and hopefully we be able to upgrade to a bigger room to keep the peace;)
PS. Sorry the pics are not in cronological order, but hope you enjoy them anyway!