(Travel)Diary: looking back on September
To us September was the perfect example of the endless miles and diversity of the US. And our (sometimes a little over enthusiastic) personal travel pace. Five different states in one month! Want to know how we did it? Keep on reading!
The b-e-a-utiful A1A coastal route
From St. Augustine we follow Floridas’ A1A highway all the way to Key West. In other words, about 470 miles of coastal route. Roadtrip! We stop in quaint fishing villages and the amazing shores. And even spent a day kayaking in Everglades National Park. Unfortunately we don’t have much longer, because tropical storm Gordon is on it’s way. So we drive along and decide to chill a while on The Keys. Where every day and every hour seems to be happy hour. Hakuna Matata.
Eventually we drop off our rental car at Miami airport. And take a flight to New Orleans. We stroll around French Quarter with it’s flowery balconies, hop on the city’s vintage tram and enjoy some wine and live music at Bacchanal. But most memorable are the sneaky taxi rides of our new friend and driver Salomon. More about that in this blog by the way.
Down the Bayou: Lake Charles
In Lake Charles we visit Vivian, the sister of Toms’ best friend. Who has been living in The States for the past ten years. Together with her boyfriend Daniel from Nicaragua she welcomes us with open arms. And even shows ‘The Bayou’ swamps. Two words: mosquito attack. We immediately feel relaxed at their home. Really interesting to hear about her life here and how it differs from Europe. Also, we are so grateful for using the washing machine after a few weeks. It’s the little things.
We are instantly blown away by this cool, alternative city. Especially Rainey Street: a historic district with foodtrucks everywhere! Here we stay with Couchsurfing host Dave. A veteran with thé best sense of humour. He is also obsessed with new ‘gadgets’ like his Big Green Egg (which he uses to make steak as a treat ;)) and weapons. Fascinating to hear how people feel about those in Texas.
NASA in Houston
When in Houston you cannot help but think of NASA. So we decide to visit their Space Center. And in the end are the last ones to leave the building. Incredible how much they’ve accomplished in the sixties at the Mission Control Center given the limited technology of that time!
Hikes in Zion National Park and Bryce
Via Houston we fly to Vegas. Pick up our new upgraded rental car and venture to Zion National Park. Where we camp together for the first time. In our romantic $15 Walmart tent (it has Christmas lights!). We really love being surrounded by the abundant nature and schedule a morning hike or two every day. So when we get to Bryce National Park we feel pretty much in shape. But we are not prepared for the 10 mile Hoodoos Hike in the hot midday sun. Luckily, our stargazing excursion makes us forget about the stiffness.
Finally, we arrive at two of nature’s miracles that have been on our travel wishlist forever! The spectacular Grand- and Antelope Canyon (plus Horseshoe Bend). The last one is quite touristic, think groups with a guide departing every ten minutes and have to return within twenty. That includes photosessions. However, it’s still really an impressive sight to see! We also follow a part of the Route 66. Where we eat the best hamburger so far at a classic diner in William. Lastly we make a quick stop at The Hoover Dam.
Back at the airport of Las Vegas it’s already time to leave Nevada behind. Next stop: San Diego.
Also this month:
-The LUSH store in New Orleans happens to have a big sale the day we stop by. So obviously we leave with some extra shampoo bars and their colourful, lovely soaps.
-We accidentally take a wrong exit on the A1A that leads to a secluded beach. Turns out to be located next to the remains of an old railway bridge that sort of vanishes in the sea.
-When in Vegas... we spend a night gambling at The Strip and return to the hotel with a serious profit.
-In the city of ‘Page’ near the canyons we find a fun campground. With a recreational lake only a two minutes walk away. In the middle of the desert!