We have been fortunate to be able to vacation outside the USA over the last several years. We have taken advantage of business trips and trips to Carol’s “homeland’ of Iceland. Our most recent New Zealand and Australia cruise was wonderful. Interesting places, beautiful scenery and delightful people made for a wonderful experience.
As we headed to Tasmania, the ship we were on was bouncing around on 20 foot waves as they sped on an alternate route to avoid the waves that were twice as high. Our discussion that day led to the conclusion that we had not really seen the USA – our own country. We decided it was time to start traveling to the National Parks and other places that are easiest to see by car. So, in June and July of this year we drove from Minneapolis to Los Angles and back.
We are very proud of our youngest daughter, Kate, who has just become a registered nurse. She lives in LA and we drove out to join her pinning ceremony. Yes, it is faster to fly. We have done that several times.
However, Carol has driven VW Beetles for many of our daughter’s growing-up years and they both loved the cars. As a special gift for Kate’s graduation … we put the Beetle on a trailer and towed it to LA. Understand this is precious cargo that could not be turned over to a trucking company. So off we headed from Minneapolis.
Traveling through the farmlands of the plains has it’s own beauty. We traveled through Wyoming to Salt Lake City. In Utah we visited the main sights, including Park City and Sundance. We went on to Bryce Cannon National Park which was beautiful. A week later, we were in LA delivering the precious cargo and celebrating Kate’s major accomplishments; including being president of her class, the class speaker, and graduating cum laude. Did I mention we are proud of her?
After spending several days in LA, we headed to the Grand Canyon for a few days. We took a 4-wheel drive only road down to the Colorado River in the canyon … it is where we found the word “awesome”. It’s also where the river rafts launch for white water experiences. We took an hour-long helicopter ride into the Grand Canyon for unique views and many pictures. It was the first time seeing the Grand Canyon for me. It was so amazing that I wondered what took me so long to put this wonder of the world on my schedule.
Continuing across Arizona and into Colorado we stopped at Black Canyon National Park. We stayed in Telluride which is filled with gondolas for the ski season. They have worked hard to maintain the 100 year-old buildings and shops. We also put our SUV to the test on a rugged road leading to the base of Bridle Veil Falls. The entire area is gorgeous, and well worth the trip.
We spent Independence Day in Aspen Colorado where they had the classic hometown parade of fire engines, celebrity floats, and decorated bicycles. Our hotel had a great view of the fireworks. A few days later, we headed to Breckenridge which is one of our “second home towns”. From there, we stopped in Lincoln, Nebraska to visit my niece for dinner.
As always, it was good to be home. It also confirmed our choice to spend more time seeing the sights in the USA.