The end of the road - home!
Trip Start Jun 02, 2010
21Trip End Oct 08, 2010
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Where I stayed
Home, sweet home
Here are a few thoughts to ponder on:-
Did we enjoy the ride - an unequivocal Yes!
Would we do it again - right now our answer is No, though this could change with time!.
What were our favourite places we visited - in no particular order, we say New York, the Canyons, San Francisco and Vancouver.
Beauty GPS. What more can we say about her? She did always finally get us where we wanted to go, it was more about how we got there
Computer travel. We arrived in the USA having booked the 1st two nights in a hotel near Times Square in Manhattan,the boat trip to the Caribbean,and our B & B in New York, otherwise we had made no other bookings barring those we had to make for the flights with Star Alliance. We had bought a new small netbook computer with a 10 inch screen before we set out and used this to arrange our hotel/motel/bed & breakfasts etc, throughout. Because the States are behind SA as far as broadband facilities are concerned (we could not take out or hire broadband on a monthly basis and they could only allow us to have a 3G connection on a 2 year contract) we had to rely on free WiFi throughout. This was not too much of a problem as we could connect to WiFi in virtually all of the hotels/ motels/B&Bs, in most cases for nothing, and also in all Starbucks coffee houses, airports, visitor centres and many other places. This allowed us to plan ahead for the next week or so by booking on line for our accommodation & car hire using a variety of very easy to use web sites such as Expedia.com, Hotwire.com, Tripadvisor.com, Yelp.com etc, etc.
Airlines. There is a huge variance in the onboard cabin luxury (if you can call it that) with Air Canada coming out tops. Bottom of the Star Alliance that we flew with, must be United Airlines who made flying always seem a rush with little attention to detail.Must add, we had no complaints with SAA
People & Places. This is the biggest variance of all. The New Yorkans seemed to us to be very heavy people and a tad rude - maybe because New York is such a busy metropolis and they do not brook fools gladly. Washington DC was very security orientated with a lot of police & soldiers around. Denver & the Rockies produce very service orientated people who know how to have a good time. Las Vegas is a gambling city second to none with people who glow in the dark. The Canyons are situated mostly in Navajo Indian territory, and they are mostly dour, due, we felt, to them speaking mainly their home language resulting in not being fluent in English. Los Angeles is one helluva bustling city inhabited with car maniacs all travelling full speed on 16 lane highways - didn't have much contact with the people as we were mainly in the visitors area such as Disneyland and Hollywood. San Francisco was great and the people friendly - could not help noticing the number of homeless inhabiting most street corners. Vancouver is a beautiful city with very friendly people - we stayed with friends who gave us a better insight to the local people than we would have in all of the above places we visited. Alaska is wonderful with people who are glad to see you as their season for visitors is so short - it is difficult to forget the beautiful vistas and quaint old gold mining towns of Juneau, Skagway etc. Hawaii reminded us of Mauritius or Seychelles except it was a lot more expensive - the people were mainly south sea islanders who are very friendly
How much did it cost. We are not going there!! Suffice to say, we will not do this very often if ever again! You must have heard the acronym SKI meaning "spend kids inheritance'. Well we took it a bit further, we created SKINT ( we all know what this means) which stands for 'spend kids inheritance now, totally'. Would you call us mean parents? Ask our sons, they will tell you in no uncertain terms!
Every place was different, as were the people and it was all so interesting. We could easily have spent an extra couple of weeks in USA and Canada--so much to see and do. Wonderful to just switch off and travel, but eventually you have to come home. The highlight then, is catching up with all ones' friends.
This is the end of our blog, we hope that you enjoyed our sojourn into the other world around us all.
Nick & Barbie