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Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 10, 2010-Back in the USA

Pensacola Beach

It was time for a trip back home, as they say, so in late March we closed up the boat and headed to the USA.

After a short layover in Hong Kong we launched off on the midnight flight from Beijing to LA, took the Amtrack to San Diego, picked up Judy’s sister Margie (and her car) and headed to points east with the cruise control set on 85. I love driving in America.

And we crossed the whole dang continent already.

Oh we’ve had a good trip so far: the desert was great, awesome, and incomparable; the French Quarter of New Orleans was neat, as were the other stops, and seeing family members at various cities along the way has been fun too.

Racing the Train

Then there were the adventures:

Like trying to learn the GPS Navigation computer Jan and Howard lent us. (How do we get this damn thing to shut up and why does it keep telling us to do a u-turn?)

Like running out of gas in a dodgy part of Houston and barely coasting into a gas station on fumes and we wouldn’t have made it at all except for the quickly punched-in destination of “Nearest Gas Station” which directed us right to it (thanks Judy for your quick action on the GPS). I had to push the car the last 50ft which was quite a chore until Margie reminded Judy to take her foot off the brake; then it got easier.

Like when Margie lost her cell phone and we decided to call her number so we could see if we could hear it ring, and then all of us spent 10 minutes going through luggage trying to find her address book with the phone number, which she didn’t know, only for her to tell us when we finally got the number and dialled it, “Well it isn’t turned on anyhow.” (Now you tell us.)

Like in the Galveston Ferry line when we ignored the honking behind us for the longest time while I was taking pictures out the car window until we realized that it was us they were honking at. All the cars in front of us had boarded the ferry and the folks behind us were a bit peeved at us for not moving. The red-neck guy directing traffic called us “Fruit Pickers” due to our California plates but then he said, “OK Bud.” and waved us onto the ferry.

But we made it and now we are in Pensacola, Florida soaking up sunshine and southern culture. We’ve had fried catfish, been to a stock car race, and met more relatives than I can count, and they all live in about a 3 mile radius.

There's lots more to come on this trip and on Monday we’re heading to Iowa to see some more family members.

Stay tuned.

Click here to see us in Beijing.

Click here for some shots along the way from San Diego to Texas.

Click here to see our Houston relatives Sherry and JB.

Click here for a glimpse at New Orleans by night.

Click here for scenes in the deep south.

And click here for some family photos.

Fred & Judy, Pensacola, Florida

Flew in from Beijing on the China Airline
I'm back in the USSA
Been away so long I hardly knew the place
Gee, it's good to be back home
You don't know how lucky you are, boy
Back in the USSA, yeah
(Apologies to John, Paul, George & Ringo)

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