Category: North America

The Big Beast

It can eat you up and spit you out just like that and you can scratch your head wondering what to do next. But the Big “B” is not as scary as one might think, it’s a big teddy bear with lots of honey jars and goodies. Go 50 meters in any direction and there is food and lots of it, all kinds of donuts, bagels, juicy sandwiches, restaurants and bars, fresh food supermarkets and of course coffee by the gallon.  This is……. Read more

Thanksgiving – and it’s snowing!!

Over 10 days in Collingwood, north of Toronto, we’ve seen temperatures ranging from +25 degrees to -1. First we spent Canadian Thanksgiving weekend with Gill (Nick’s sister-in-law), Al and Adam in glorious late summer heat. The foliage had turned and was beautifully set off by blue skies. The following weekend we got an early taste of winter when we stayed with Gillian and Kevin (an old colleague of Nick’s) in their cottage. As most of you will know, we plan to follow summer and avoid the cold so to see snow without having to wait for the middle of winter was an unexpected delight… Read more

Bullriding and Bootscooting

Leaving Mexican Hat we went to Santa Fe and Taos in New Mexico, both very stylish little towns, engulfed in history and art, many artists moved into the area a long time ago and as a result have become big tourist attractions. Moving further south the look changed and cowboys are everywhere, in the southern parts of New Mexico and  in Texas stetson hats and cowboy boots are now the norm. To date we’ve sampled the cheese-melt steak and beans sandwich with the “lot” (check my waist line) but we are still hungry for something more traditional with a taste of the real west; the answer came to me as “Rodeo“.

Read more

The colours of New Mexico

As we left Mexican Hat and Monument Valley we wondered what we would see that we hadn’t already seen. The landscapes and scenery until now had been so dramatic that it would be impossible to top! As we drove east the surrounding mountains changed to blues and greys and the desert looked much drier in yellows and dusty olive greens. Ship Rock followed us part on the way and we realised how it got its name. Depending on how the road wove its way through the hills the rock would appear and sail past us back and forth. And when we got to Santa Fe we found that the city’s unique qualities are man-made: adobe houses and art, art and more art… Read more

Hoodoos, Mesas, Buttes, Spires and Goose Necks (extra photos)

These are some the photos from Bryce Canyon and Monument Valley that were left out of the original blog, plus two photos from Gooseneck Canyon which were totally missed, obviously not impressive enough at the time, though unlike anything else I’ve ever seen.

I have added captions to tell the difference between Hoodoos, which we only saw at Bryce Canyon and Mesas, Buttes and Spires that were so amazing at Monument Valley. The latter three are the names of the formations at various stages of change, starting as Mesas, which are flat or table top mountains, as they weather they change to Buttes and eventually become Spires.
Read more

Into the Wah Wah West (a supersized blog)

There are much better photos we could have used as an opener, but then why not keep the best for last. We left San Francisco intent on getting to warmer weather, we’ve had a few beautiful sunny days but since departing Shanghai there haven’t been many really hot days. We packed our summer clothes on top and the winter gear at the bottom of our bags and headed south to the wild wild West where my teenage heroes roamed Yeehaaaa…… Read more

Seeing friends in Vancouver and San Francisco

We’ve had such a great time catching up with friends since we arrived in the US. At a certain point in Japan I started to really miss conversations that were longer and deeper than ‘hello, how are you and where are you from’. Didn’t miss home but just wanted a good old chat. According to Nick, I became very excited and overly talkative with ANYBODY who spoke good English… Nick is good company and all that but I’m sure you all understand that I need somebody sensible to talk to once in a while!! Read more

Back on land: Prince Rupert and Seattle

Hey y’all!! We are back on land! Prince Rupert In Canada was a little taster before we got to Seattle a few days later but it got us thinking about our trip and the fact it’s now SIX months since we left Perth. The time has gone quick but at the same time it has passed slowly and is filled by so many places, people and new experiences. We don’t often spend time thinking about those early days in Cambodia and Vietnam – and that’s the second reason we are writing the blog. So that we can remember it all even when we get back home. The first reason of course is to stay in contact with family and friends and we really love getting emails and blog comments so thank you very much for all of those!

Our trip on the Hanjin Ottawa was like an interlude and now we are ready to start a new chapter of the trip in the US… Read more