This is what we ended up with - pretty much what we hopped to do: Starting in the Bay Area, driving up north to Winnemucca, NV Further north to Idaho - Twin Falls Highway 88 to Idaho Falls and then to Wyoming - Jackson Relaxing at Yellow Stone Park Crossing Wyoming towards Sheridan From Wyoming to South Dakota - Rapid City Relaxing at Mount Rushmore Continue through South Dakota to Sioux Falls Through Minnesota to Minneapolis and St. Paul Madison - Milwaukee to Chicago Enjoying Chicago, dining and night life From Chicago through Indiana and Ohio to Cleveland Crossing Pennsylvania seeing "Falling Water" Moving on to Washington D.C. Stay a few days in wonderful Annapolis Exploring Washington Along the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk Relaxing in outer banks Crossing North Carolina westward to Knoxville Tennessee Crossing Tennessee to Nashville Memphis Tennessee Straight south through Mississippi to New Orleans Spending a day in New Orleans Further westwards through Louisiana to Housto


What a tour. We feel so lucky to be able to do such a once in a lifetime experience. Our Grand American Tour was so much more than an exploratory vacation. We learned so much about the country, the people, the history and the culture of this amazing country. While so many people outsides and even inside the US feel there is a lack of culture – we realized that this is such a culture rich country with such an outstanding diversity that we are truly overwhelmed with impressions and thoughts. We returned with a very different understanding of the US’s economic development, it’s geopolitical diversity, it’s racial issues, it’s richness and its strategic challenges from a global perspective, being only 5% of the world population. How ever this is still the land of opportunities – and the most beautiful in the world.

Day 45: Heading Back Home

Monday 10/16 After enjoying the Ocean Blvd a bid more we take I-5 and head home to the Bay Area. It feels like there are more fields of cotton, tomato, wine, pistachios… - and much more beef then ever. A descending airplane reminds us to stop by Harry’s Ranch and buy some way too expensive meat – but isn’t it part of it? While gas pricing is continuously rising we recognize we are close to home. We did a bid over 10,000 miles, shot over 2,800 photos in a bid more than 6 weeks during the greatest vacation in our entire lives. Home sweet home – it is so great to be home again.

Day 44: Santa Monica

Sunday 10/15 We go back onto I-10 and continue till the very end in Santa Monica, CA. Phoenix is growing like no other town. It takes roughly 20 miles until no more homes are being build and the desert begins. We drive through an almost endless desert till we reach California. Almost instantly the scenery changes and becomes green. We arrive the outer suburbs of Los Angeles and it takes us about 2 hours to cross L.A. until we arrive in Santa Monica. Ocean Blvd. is like Cannes in France. Most of the Ocean facing hotels are booked. We are lucky and get a room in contemporary Shangri La – with Ocean View in the 5th floor. It is simply beautiful.

Day 43: Mesa, AZ

Saturday 10/14 We do nothing but hang out at the resort’s lazy river and go for dinner at a nice Greek restaurant at Mill Street. Mill street is a very nice and lively street through Tempe with lots of restaurants and shops.

Day 42: Phoenix, AZ

Friday 10/13 We take Hwy 89 to Prescott via Jerome. Once one of the largest cities in Arizona, Jerome is now the largest ghost town – with roughly 500 people how ever living there. Most of the homes are empty and lots of ghost business is going on. This is a very neat town, definitely worth visiting. Prescott is like many other Arizonian towns a rapid growing community with a lot of home development going on. Wide roads around Prescott keep the city clean – yet it is worth taking the “detour” to see the old town of Prescott. In the afternoon we continue on I-17 to Phoenix AZ. We’ve been here a few month ago and we decided to stay two nights in the Point South Resort in Tempe – a very relaxing place.

Day 41: Sedona

Thursday 10/12 We completely change plans. Rather than going to Grand Canyon which we have been before and later Bryce Canyon we decided to drive to Sedona, AZ. It is October and the lodges starting to close. The service teams are exhausted from the summer tourism and we feel we better do no more national parks on that trip. We take highway 89 to Flagstaff and Sedona. Flagstaff surprised us with its size and nice old town. This town has changed a lot in the last 20 years, definitely worth a visit. We continue on 89a to Sedona. What a cute town. Very busy and lots of construction right now. We stay at the Amara, a very exquisite resort in down town Sedona. And since we are up for a nice dinner we went to the “Gallery on Oak Creek” – this was an excellent dinner with a great selection of wines. So far we did close to 10,000 miles and shot over 2,700 pictures. There is so much to say, yet so much more to explore. The entries in this blog get more and more factual quick reviews and do not