Wednesday, 16 September 2009

South West USA: Starting the adventures

Well, here we are! In the South West of the USA: me, my guy and my parents. So far it has been a wonderful trip. The fact that I have had very little opportunity so far to write is indicative of how busy we have been. Travelling with a larger group (i.e. 4 instead of 2) is of course less flexible and means that everything takes a little longer than usual. So less time on the internets!

But: to keep you updated! We started the vacation with a very long travel day of course. The flight was eight hours to Detroit and then another four to LA. We had only an hour and a half for transfer on Detroit and I had been a little nervous about that because sometimes it takes ages to get through customs to the US. And we were flying on 9/11... Luckily this time everything went very smoothly. The Homeland Security people were practically waiting for us to go through (not like the endless lines we have had before) and the suitcase were picked up and dropped off again very quickly too. We are on American soil.

Once in LA we picked up the (huge!) car at the airport. I'm sure any Americans (this includes Canada) reading this will not be very impressed with the size of the car but for Dutch standards it's enormous. (For the fans: it's a Chrysler Aspen.) It is also comfortable which is how we like it. And so we ended up in San Diego, after a loooong day: we travelled with the sun so September 11th 2009 held an extra nine hours for us.

You would think this would inspire us to take it easy once arrived. Yeah... kind of. We fell into our beds that night for sure but woke up very early of course and arrived at San Diego Zoo at nine, just as it opened. San Diego Zoo is the best in the world I have seen so far. We all loved it. And just our luck: as we passed by the gazelles and giraffes (in one pen), we noticed that one of the gazelles was about to give birth. We stood there for an hour and a half and only left when the newborn little one could almost stand up on its wobbly legs. Amazing.

When you need to relax, spending an entire day walking around an enormous zoo can only do so much. We were absolutely knackered on Saturday night. Needless to say we hit the sack pretty early again.

Relaxing is very easy, however, on an early-morning sunbathing terrace by the Hotel del Coronado by San Diego Bay. Cup of coffee, some muffins, lounge chairs... Life can be really good sometimes. We spent the rest of the day playing in the ocean (with dolphins about 50 yards away from us!), visiting the Old Town (where my father picked up some tobacco) and going to electronics stores. You see, I had forgotten to bring the charger for my photo camera. Yeah: stupid! We went to every conceivable store: nada. They probably don't carry the same type of batteries here as in Europe, even within the same camera brand (Panasonic). Since nowadays I can hardly live a day without my camera, we decided in the end to buy a new one. A shock-proof one so my man can take it with him when he goes biking.

This means that you should all have no fear: the Dread Pirate's blog as well as Jack Sparro's adventures are visually recorded and will be updated! (Check them out on and

We left San Diego for the desert on the third day of our vacation. (Fourth if you count getting there.) I will dedicate a separate entry to going inland, meeting the desert, and hitting red rock country. For now, since the jetlag is still there in my veins: goodnight!

Pictures will be uploaded in due course. Of course the new camera (Olympus) has a different type of memory card, a kind that does not fit into the computer… yada yada yada, blah blah blah. Why these things are not standardized, I really don’t know. Stupid…

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