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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 29, 2010-Heading West

Heading Out

On Saturday we left Cedar Rapids Iowa. By Sunday we were passing through Denver. The trip across the great plains took a day and passing through the Rockies took another day and then we detoured across the Colorado Plateau, the source of the Rio Grande and Colorado Rivers, had lunch in Taos New Mexico, and dropped down with the Rio Grande to Albuquerque.

Truck Stop

At sunset next day we were on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and we stayed that night at a lodge right in the park. At 05:30 the next morning we got up to shoot the canyon at sunrise.

Judy At the Grand Canyon

Rain Comes to the Canyon

At 7400ft of altitude the South Rim is high enough to be damn cold in April and a front coming through brought an icy wind. We shivered behind a rock doing arobics to stay warm and took a few photos whenever the sun came out but by 07:30AM the rain and sleet and chilly conditions drove us off the rim of the canyon and we took the shuttle back to the lodge, had breakfast in the cafeteria, and then headed down the mountain.

That afternoon we arrived at Jan's house in Indio California (Palm Springs) for a wonderful few days of family fun & desert heat and completed our roundtrip by pulling into Margie's driveway in San Diego 35 days and 6000 miles after we started.

Next we will fly to Washington State to visit the other side of the family.

At La Jolla

Click here to see some photos we took coming back across the US.

Click here for shots of the Grand Canyon

Click here for photos from Ocean Beach in San Diego

Click here to see the Silver Fox

Fred & Judy, San Diego California


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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