HIGHLIGHTS & LOWPOINTS – USACanada Adventure 2018 – final post (#8)

Hi. We got into Brisbane around 6.15 am yesterday (Saturday). Something like 43 hours between getting out of bed in New York City and going to bed back home in Australia.

We’re now enjoying a week’s downtime at the beach before we both go back to work.

We enjoyed the most amazing seven weeks away in so many beautiful and memorable parts of the USA and Canada. This was and will always be the trip of a lifetime. Thanks to all who followed our adventures. As one does, much planning goes into a trip like this – dreaming, saving, organising, consulting, purchasing, changing and so on. Suffice to say we fully expected most of what lay ahead of us . However, amid all of these expectations came many unexpected highlights. Here are a few ... in no particular priority or chronological order unplanned trip highlights

Ice hockey game and early-season snow in Moose Jaw , Saskatchewan, Canada.

Our Grand Canyon plane flight. Never ever been game to go on something like this. So glad I did. I truly surprised the non-risk taking side of me.

  • The desert experiences, Death Valley, Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks. Stunning beauty and fresh revelation of God’s wonder & magnificence.

Lake Louise hotel view. Don’t think I’ll ever forget opening up our hotel room window curtains to see this. Wow. Wow! The Rockies. Another “Wow!”

Hawaii botanical gardens. Diana and Tom were keen that we see these … to the north on the Big Island. Beautiful orchids and much more.

Dale’s free dessert at the Fairmont Lake Louise. Having clumsily mentioned, as we reserved a dinner table there, that Dale’s birthday was over a month earlier, they proceeded to offer us an ice cream sundae for dessert. “Quite large,” was their only prior comment. Too right!

School of Rock musical near Times Square, NYC. Yes – I was keen to see this show, but didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Did those kids rock!?!

Sedona short walk to great views

Trail of Tears exhibit at DC Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. Very moving recount of the Cherokee journey then and since.

• Dale was “taken” by the array of – Winslow American Indian crafts, music and jewellery pat a Winslow store as well as the giftedness of Jesse Kalu – bamboo flute craftsman, poet and native performer

The beach and waterways near Kill Devil Hills, OBX, North Carolina. Sure I love any beach, but our brief time there made me want to come again.

Gettysburg Battlefield bus tour. Hadn’t planned this two hour tour. So glad we did.

Blazin M Ranch night. We visited this “theatre restaurant” with a difference while in Sedona. Great night and excellent value. We were too full for the announced seconds.

Central Park pedicab tour. Apart from a brief foray into the Strawberry Fields/Imagine section 11 years ago, we had never made it deeper into this massive and beautiful NYC asset. A great one hour experience.

  • Rocky Mountaineer. We knew this would be a combination of expensive and wonderful. Little prepared us for just how superb it would prove to be. Worth every one of many, many cents 😀

  • Time with our family and friends. Of course, I knew our trip would feature this highly. Our travels with Diana and Tom andJan and Glenn, as well as Dan, BJ & Dana; but also catching up with Sherry and Wayne as well as Maria, Mark, Max, Bonnie and Jim … all of this so valued and cause for deep thanksgiving.

Now … just a few things I won’t miss or were unexpected lowlights

• Americans so love to serve these little half-and-half UHT thingies for coffee in restaurants (of all types). Urggh! So glad to get onto that Qantas plane in NYC whereupon they served milk from a jug.

• Drivers failing to indicate while changing lanes, zipping in and across freeway traffic

• The Budget rental car being cancelled on us by a seriously unscrupulous employee in downtown Pittsburgh. We didn’t need such unnecessary stress. Good news: took two weeks, but thankfully Budget refunded the $1000 initially non refundable

• Missing out on seeing Hamilton via the lottery … just wasn’t prepared to pay $500 AUD for tickets

• That’s about it!

Thanks for following our travels and reflections, folks.

Time surely for some music blogging. Just need to get into some fresh songwriting.

Fresh. That’s how I’m feeling.



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