Car drop off & LA X

Trip Start Jul 10, 2013
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100
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Trip End Jan 06, 2014


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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, October 14, 2013

Early morning for us up at 06h00 for final packing and goodbyes. Of course a huge thank you to Gavin & Candice for having us in their home!!! Managed to get out the house on time at 07h00 and on the way to north of LA to drop off the car. Thanks to "WAZE" for getting us there in perfect time by dodging a couple of traffic hotspots. Kids except for Rorke slept almost the whole way. The car drop off was really smooth and they even managed to assist in settling my pesky "traffic violation". Those guys at Roadbear RV Rentals were great. Shuttle to LAX was used to update this blog and catch up on a couple of e-mails. Eventually made it to the airport and as we had to wait for a while for check-in to open we found a spot close to the McDonalds, had some lunch (our 1st McDonalds of the whole trip not too bad considering how long we have been on the road) and caught up on our NZ trip and the blog. 16h00 came along and we were the first to check in - which went as smoothly as it possibly could have. Came through security with no que at all and decided to use our Airport Angel Lounge cards (courtesy of Natwest Private Banking) to get into the SKYTEAM lounge which was so needed!!! They allowed each of us to bring in 2 guests which was a bonus and we found a great spot to hang out for the remainder of our time in the US. Still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that it is already tomorrow and that the time we arrive in NZ it will already be Wednesday.

So it has been 3 months in the US, Canada & Caribbean, 14125 miles driven, 25 states visited, 2 Canadian provinces, 1 Caribbean territory, 6 key family rules and a lost count of the number of McDonald's and Subway's (what we do agree on is that there were definItely more Subway's!!!) The US leg of the trip has been brilliant and I have thoroughly enjoyed every bit. The hospitality of all those that we stayed with is what made this trip possible so a HUGE THANK YOU to you all. We hope to welcome you in Durban, South Africa some day in the future to repay your generosity.

Looking back - should we have done anything differently?
Camping was definitely the way to go (given our very thin budget - in today's travel terms), maybe a bit more basing ourselves in a particular place and then webbing out from there would have been easier but I think in general it worked great for us. The reality is that there is so much to see and do in the US that we feel privileged to have been able to do as much as we have.

Favourites -
Richard - has to be the Grand Canyon because of the pure beauty and scale.
Pamela - Grand Canyon - next time it will be the rapids!!!
Courtney - all the hot places
Paige - Universal Island of Adventure because there was so much to do there!!!
Roxton - Boston because it was hot!! and Niagara Falls
Rorke - Buccament Bay in St Vincent & the Grenadines because "you could do nothing but eat swim and cycle every day"

The kids have been brilliant and despite all that time in the car we have only had a very few wobblies. They have walked 100's of miles, slept in 100's off different places, eaten unusual and odd food at the strangest of times, gone without lunch & supper, played unbelievably nicely with kids they had met just 1 hour before for the first time, listened to enough Hootie & the Blowfish to last a lifetime, said the most surprising things and created the most unforgettable memories!!
 
We will definitely be back to the US to explore further and visit the remaining 25 that we have not seen!!!
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