OK, when Jan and I started planning this trip Vegas was not exactly in our top 10 list of places to go. Actually, not even our top 100. However, keeping that in mind, it turned out to be a perfectly reasonable place to punctuate our road trip to the Grand Canyon. All the requisite Vegas attractions were observed, if not necessarily whole-heartedly embraced… Bright lights: ✅ Wall to wall gambling: ✅ Wedding chapels: ✅ Glitzy shows featuring botoxed singers from […]
From a fligh-path huddling hotel by L.A. Airport to the rain-washed red rocks of Sonoma we drove out of California, into Nevada and eventually through Arizona experiencing the many moods of south-western USA’s desert roads. After the seemingly endless craziness and smog of L.A.’s freeways we broke through to barren, flat, treeless plains that wouldn’t look out of place along the Nullarbor Plain. Beyond Las Vegas things improved. Rolling hills, more vegetation, ranches and even forests of evergreen trees as […]
We finished our mini-road trip at Asbury Park, the prettily faded sea-side town we visited four years ago when I made a Bruce Springsteen pilgrimage to places mentioned in his songs (click the time-machine link here). It was just before Hurricane Sandy smashed into the New Jersey shore and caused a lot of damage so I was interested to see how it had affected the town and whether it had recovered. Happily things seemed Great. The Old Casino building was […]
Back on the road (after riding the train from New York to Lancaster in the heart of Pennsylvania) with no particular plan or direction in mind. We had intended to cycle around the Amish country surrounding Lancaster four years ago but abandoned the idea after Hurricane Sandy hit. (We seem to be accompanied by disasters whenever we come to the States- this time it was the election 😳) With a car and not bikes we realised that exploring was going […]
With the excitement of the marathon still spurring us on we made the most of our last few days in NYC. Katz’s Deli, MOMA, Melbourne style coffee and cafes, One World, the 9/11 memorial, the election, gigantic pizzas and desserts, and more… and we still only scratched the surface!
And why exactly have so many of our family gravitated to New York this November? Well, Because Heidi ran in the New York Marathon! Not that she is the only family member pounding the pavement here in New York: Hayden, Charles, Matt and Garnet got into the spirit th a 5km dash to the finish on Saturday, setting the scene for Heidi’s big run in the main event on Sunday. What better excuse could we have for a celebration, so […]
Back on the road again, this time along the fabled Big Sur coastline and highways 1 and 101, through Carmel, Monterey, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Malibu, Santa Monica and, finally, Venice Beach, where family awaits!
Back to the big city after 8 days on the road. S.F. Is just as captivating as people say, just as hilly as all those movies show (probably more, actually!) and just as foggy as all those photos depict, especially around the big orange bridge that we seemed to keep crossing- the first time as it emerged from the mist and cloud when we drove in to town. Even though areas as well known and as often visited as Fisherman’s […]
The 31st of October casts a peculiar spell over Americans, young and old. Four years ago when we were last here, coincidentally also at this time of year, much of the excitement on the east coast was blown away by Hurricane Sandy- can’t let the kids trick-or-treat if they are going to get blown away, a-la Dorothy and Toto. This time, however, we got the deluxe package deal- the lead up, when pumpkins begin to mysteriously sprout in every shop […]
The promise of vineyards and wines drew us away again from the coastline to the fabulous Napa Valley. The seemingly neverending swathes of autumn-toned vines, mist-shrouded hilltops and grand winery buildings were a real treat and contrast after the natural beauties of the coast and Yosemite. The $25+ tasting “menus” the wineries offer to sample their wines (“generously” removed if you buy 2 or more bottles!) and the absence of any form of dining options were definitely not a treat… […]
Taking a break from our coast hugging journey we turned eastward to Yosemite National Park for two days.Beautiful autumn weather, breathtaking scenery: no need for explanations, I think the photos tell the story…
And so begins the road trip- Portland to L.A. via the coast hugging Highway #101 in Oregon and Highway #1 in California. Too many towns and beaches to detail; too many photos to caption or explain, so here is a grab-bag moments from the last three days on the road…
What’s most interesting about America’s capital of weird is how normal it actually seems to us. All the usual suspects we’d expect to find at home seem to be represented in about the same ratios and roles here. Perhaps American weird is Australian normal? Even the bicycle capital of America tag makes us realise that perhaps we have a pretty good situation after all, because the infrastructure is about on a par with home too. Not that any of this […]
Goodnight Seattle! Not exactly sleepless in Seattle- we barely stopped for breath during our three hectic days in hilly, autumn tinged Seattle. From our base in Pioneer Square, across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island and through streets of fascinating architecture we crammed in as much as possible during our first stop this on this west coast tour of America.
Living in Australia means the flight to Europe and back has a stopover somewhere in-between and we always like to spend a couple of days resetting our body clock and taking in something new. This trip finds us stopping in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and staying at the rather lovely Southern Sun Hotel. The 40° daily temperatures make our usual aimless wandering a little tricky for exploring but I think we’ve done pretty good job […]
Some of the best things about travel aren’t the things you plan. The meticulous research, the detailed lists, the bag full of travel guides and all the best intentions in the world fall way short of good old-fashioned dumb luck. You turn left when it should have been right, misread a map, detour around a closed road, miss a turn off… and there you are, slap bang in the middle of something infinitely more wonderful than whatever it was you […]
Our week in Amsterdam has not only given us lots of time to explore and discover the mysteries and charms of the city, it has also meant we had time to get out of town and enjoy some more country scenery. The north-east of Amsterdam boasts some of the prettiest water villages in Holland. The dykes have created lots of waterways and rich farmlands and for €10 you can hop on and off the local bus service all day to […]
Little did we know when we first planned our arrival in Amsterdam that we would awake to find ourselves slap-bang in the middle of the year’s biggest celebration of all things Dutch- and orange. It was Koningsdag, King’s Day, a national holiday to celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birthday and unlike our beginning-of-winter day off for the Queen’s Birthday back home in Australia, King’s Day is full on spring madness. The Amsterdam streets are jammed with 700,000 locals and up to one […]
Great excitement in Noordwijk this morning, not for the grey weather, but for the Flower procession leaving from here and wending its way through the villages between here and Haarlem- coincidentally our destination too. Luckily we had a sneak preview yesterday when we found the floats assembled and ready to go on our ride into Keukenhof… so off we set along the dunes again and heading northwards. Beaches in Europe are certainly utilised differently than at home in Australia. There […]
There aren’t many places that leave you searching for words. Usually a wonderful location invokes gushing recollections or long monologues on how utterly awesome it was. If you read all of my posts you have already experienced my version of that, I guess. Sorry, by the way. Anyway, this is our ride to and around Keukenhof Garden, the most famous tulip garden in The Netherlands World! The photos will suffice to explain why… Can you spot the […]
Today’s ride north along the coast had us wondering whether we had somehow slipped through a space/time worm-hole thingy, or something- was this really The Netherlands or are we back on a desert track at home in Australia? Those dunes looked more Outback than North Sea! Very beautiful though… and that cycling track right through the middle! Perfect.
No rest! Just because the Rhine is behind us it doesn’t mean we are standing still. Only a short 25 km. ride bit such a different experience! The river banks, canals, tow paths, dykes and forests are behind us and suddenly we are riding through sand dunes (with bicycle speed-humps, if you please!) and alongside North Sea beaches all the way to the outskirts of The Hague, home of Parliament, the Kimg and the Peace Palace, a forerunner to the […]
The last kilometre sign. One thousand and thirty-one kilometres since they began in Basel, plus, for us, over 200 kilometres from Chur before that, and there it was, the last one. The end of the Rhine, or the Nieuwe Mass as it is called by this point. We had made it. We had reached our goal. We had followed the mighty Rhine from its source high in the Swiss Alps, to the sea, on this wind-swept “Corner of Holland”, Hoek […]
Not just windmills today. Emerald polders, gleaming in the spring sunshine, thatched houses aplenty, drainage canals sparkling prettily and bluer than blue, whisky clouds brushing the sky gently and every manner of farm animal happily enjoying it all. What a day…