My girl and I were planning this trip since a couple years! Actually, I wanted to go back to these places but as well I desired to share the emotions with my daughter and Sara Luna wanted to share this with her school mate Melissa.
We flew with Swiss from Milano to Zurich and then took the direct flight to Los Angeles.
For the first 5 days, we stayed at Dave and Dede’s House in Burbank. I first met David 38 years ago… the emotion to see him after so long was quite great, but he didn’t change much apart from the color of the hair… They did take good care of us and David showed us around L.A.
We had as well the chance to go to the Hollywood Bowl where the group Pentatonix had a fabulous concert on Sunday, July 2nd. We also had the opportunity to meet people who, unfortunately, because of the short time available, we could not stay with them longer.
Traveling around mainly on highways or country roads, we could find stalls with fresh fruits just collected… fantastic and yummy flavors! But well, when you’re on an adventurous trip, you all time may expect some sort of “strange” things happens. And when you’re terribly tired, you may stumble in your own feets… fortunately without serious consequences, but generate a lot of laughs.
All the way South on US65, we entered US178 and US395. We went all the way through Death Valley on US190 allowing us a couple stops in Furnace Creek (temperature of ~55° Celsius / ~130° Fahrenheit and 18% humidity) and Zabriskie Point. Definitely, this is not a place to camp. Before dipping ourselves into the frantic and chaotic life of Las Vegas, we visited the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area which is situated west of Las Vegas.
After getting a singular example of the Las Vegas’ nightlife, which didn’t convince either one of us… the trip continued South in direction of Arizona and Route 66 with a lovely stop in Peach Springs where the girls had their most delicious hamburger (I had to be happy with the homemade french fries). Next stop: Flagstaff.
You can say and write a lot about the Grand Canyon, but each time you’re there you remain silent. Considering the great force of water, the strong winds which are modeling the earth… man can only consider the great gift we have been given! Our marvelous Planet Earth… Actually, those are the moments in which I would like to take my Moleskine and start writing down every singular thought going through my brain. These are the moments in which I receive the maxima inputs and ideas for new stories, new novels; and I really love it! I guess into Nature, fully immersed in her beauties, someone can take great profit and receive singular gifts as “insight” and “premonition”. Unfortunately, you can’t just stop time at your will or, this was the case, tell both girls -Hey, mommy has a great flash of ideas, let’s take a nice spot and spend the night here!- Sara Luna is already used to my oddities, but I don’t think she would love to show to her friends that her beloved mom is a “weird one” living with her head on another planet.
Looking at these huge rocks standing high in front of you with the heat of the wind blowing the red dirt all around the car, made me think about being a Navajo squaw on her horseback!
As well special was the night at the Kayenta Monument Valley Inn, right on the largest Indian Reservation in the United States.
The stars above, with no light’s pollution, gave you the impression of being outside time.
And these images are here, right inside my heart.
After, we followed the street US160 and US491 to Dove Creek (Colorado) to spend the night.
Next day we visited Mesa Verde but I was disappointed since the Spruce Tree Terrace was closed to visitors and plus now you have to be accompanied by a ranger to visit the other “pits” of the Puebloan People… unfortunately, we didn’t have a half day time to do it.
Just before sunset, we reached Chinle, inside the Canyon de Chelly National Monument, where we spent one night at the Thunderbird Lodge.
next morning, earlier than usual, we took a guided tour of four hours inside the canyon: it was lovely but tiresome since you had to remain seated trying not to lose your balance and keeping you back slightly bent a bit to the front. No way to do a self-driving even if you had a 4X4 since the Canyon is inside the Indian Reserve.
Actually, here as well it could be much more to explore, time permitting, since I saw some lovely spots full with colors and little creatures like the collared lizard (which is the largest lizard in the park) seem to look at you with interest.
We drove all the way through the Park, on the Petrified Forest road, direction south. We entered the road US180 and US60 towards the Tonto National Forest we stopped for the night in a weird town named Globe.
Next morning I took it easy, with some sun bathing at the motel pool. The girls wanted to sleep longer, and I needed badly some coffée.
Later, we drove west in direction of the peripheric of Phonix where I brought the girls for the “last” shopping experience.
The last part of the journey on US10, driving at dusk and after during the night in direction of the frontier with California, was a nightmare. And a horror was the poor hotel where we slept in Blythe… but for 40.- U$ for two rooms (included wi-fi) you can’t say anything.
The surprise was great when I saw my son Emanuele Giosuè smiling at me from the door frame. Once again Danilo has done it: he wanted to surprise me taking Emanuele in his rotation. Yvonne too gave a “date-wish”, to be on the Swiss Crew for our flight back home!
We enjoyed a stroll walking around Joshua Tree Park, Emanuele did as well try out the Toyota 4×4 having a lot of fun.
In Palm Springs, Danilo offered us a night in a luxury hotel… decorated by the best meal we had during our whole tour (apart from Dede’s delicacies at Burbank and a pizza in a pretty little French Restaurant in San Francisco!)
Few hours at the Hermosa Beach, and then we drove back to the airport… this time without the GPS since the battery was completely empty, fortunately, we had all along the trip the good old paper “road Atlas”, Danilo gave us to make sure we would not have trouble during the three weeks vacation.
But for sure, our trip on Swiss Air “Business Class” was really amazing, giving to the four of us the possibility to rest and get well pampered along the 11 hours flight.
And THAT is one experience to be repeated absolutely!