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Showing posts from September 10, 2006

Day 15: Pittsburgh, PA - Annapolis, MD

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Saturday 9/16 From Somerset we drive down SR 711 towards Falling Water – the only publicly accessible Frank Lloyd Write home that is preserved in it’s original design and interior d├ęcor. The home is in the middle of a forest about 2 hours from Pittsburgh. It was built in 1936 for the Kaufmanns, a department store owner from Pittsburgh. Falling Water is s Mecca for all fans of Frank Lloyd Write and contemporary architecture. The well architected home with guest house and servant tract was built in the 30’s for about 30,000 Dollars. Rather than building it facing the present waterfall it was actually built over it. Back on 711 we are heading towards Washington DC and Annapolis where we decided to stay for a few days. We plan to make trips to the capitol and explore the area from here. The weather is getting a bid better but heavy rain showers in Washington. We arrive Washington at around 7PM. The highway is like a race track. Average speed seemed to be around 80mph – cars, trucks, poli

Day 14: Cleveland, OH - Pittsburgh, PA

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Friday 9/15 We arrive at the border to Pennsylvania and go to the visitor center. A sign welcomes us: "smile - you are in Pennsylvania". Yes it feels good. We check the visitor center and are advised by a very friendly and helpful lady to swing by Pittsburgh if we can. OK – so we change our plans and instead going I-80 straight to Philadelphia we go to Pittsburgh. Unlike other industrial towns Pittsburgh is very lively and very much into cultural events. Groups are playing misic on the street and everybody seam to be busy to arrive in time at the theatre or opera or what ever the event is. People are pretty elegantly dressed. They only thing that was very surprising to us was the fact that stores close at 5PM have some store hours on Saturday and are completely closed on Sunday. Now we understand the hectic in town. It very much reminded us on the days where we were in stress ourselves back in the days when we lived in Europe to buy what we needed for the weekend – never go

Day 13: Valparaiso, IN - Cleveland, OH

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Thursday 9/14 After a great breakfast at Bob Evans we hit the road again. We take Hwy 30 through the Aimish Land, or how they say life on the past lane. Very interestiPhotos ang. There are many homes with no currency. Every energy is based on what they create and natural gas. We stop at a local store. An Aimish coach with a horse is tied to the wood bar and aimish dressed people are inside. We feel a bid misplaced but are treated very friendly. The only light: a gas pipe with a little white sock generating a very bright white light. We've never seen such a "lamp" before. We continue slowly through that area. Photos and some more info will follow. Back on I-80 we are going towards Ohio. Toledo - Sandusky - Cleveland. Posters say "we can do better" or "we need to try harder". We stay in a Marriott at the Airport and leave Ohio early in the morning.

Day 12: Valparaiso, IN

Wednesday 9/13 We stay one more day in Valparaiso in our hotel and hope the weather is getting better. It is still grey and raining. We use the day to relax, update the blog and recap our tour. So far it was a wonderful experience. We feel we learned a lot about the different areas and the equally different people. As we talk to waitresses or Inn owner, people on gas stations or just people we bump into – all theses states are different countries under one country. Live in Wyoming with all the vast nature and wild live is so different compared to the agricultural focused Iowa or South Dakota and again so different to Wisconsin or Illinois. The further east we come the rougher are the people. Ordering a coffee in Milwaukee is very different than ordering a coffee in California. There is no friendly voice that explains you where you find cream and sugar. Without any word you get your cup, you pay and go. Once in a while we do the “Where do we retire” Game. The rules are: “pick any place

Day 11: Milwaukee, WI - Chicago, IL

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Tuesday 9/12 From Milwaukee to Chicago along the scenic “Lake Front Drive”. We dropped off here and there to go closer to the Lake and followed the Sheridan Road. Here are homes like nowhere before. There are literally hundreds (100+) of exclusive mansions. No I’m not exaggerating – there is one large home next to the other on 1+ acres of land 10+ rooms. They are built in the style of King Louis or one of the British or Dutch dukes. And even those range in the $500k area. And when we enter Chicago we are greeted by a super modern city at beautiful Lake Michigan. As we review the trip so far we begin to understand what Gov. Schwarzenegger means when he said “Let’s recreate California”. Compared to so many States we feel we are behind. Those northern states are cleaner and way less expensive to live in. The streets up here are very well maintained. Given that there is no high tech industry that delivers technology world wide and there is worst weather conditions to deal with – Californi

Day 10: Minneapolis, MN - Milwaukee, WI

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Monday 9/11 We watch the 9/11 tragedy review in NBC and start a little later today. We remind ourselves that this nation is about freedom. It is not about capitalism or democracy per se. It is not about wealth, ownership, technology, development or all the other attributes people explain America with – all this comes as a gift as long as we maintain freedom. Most of us rather die than compromise freedom. Our buildings, our people, our advanced civilization is based on freedom – and that can’t be taken away by terrorists no matter what they try – no matter how hard they try to hit us. Back on I-94 we go towards Milwaukee. Unfortunately it is still raining, grey sky and foggy. When we enter the city we a greeted by the Miller Stadium to the right which is very impressive. Also Milwaukee is very impressive metropolis with outstanding homes north of the city at the lake shore. These homes are majestic. Not like the small homes in Palo Alto or the more modern homes in Woodside – they are b

Day 9: Sioux Falls, SD - Minneapolis, MN

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Sunday 9/10 It continues to be very foggy and rainy. We walk down the Sioux Falls which are great to see, walk through and just imagine the water would be clean. Around lunch time we hit the road again and drive I-90 further east and try to reach Minneapolis in the evening. The rain is getting ever stronger and sight is really bad. Since we are taking it easy, we slowed down, and drove exactly 50 using the auto pilot. Trucks are passing by with an enormous air pressure when they approached us. I’m sure some thought “Look at those Californians, not used to rain ho ho ho…” We stopped at Cracker Barrel for a late lunch/early dinner. As we approached Minneapolis, it stopped raining and cleared up a bid. Minneapolis - Wow, what a city. Very modern, very clean. Glass towers right and left well mixed with older but very well maintained brick office buildings. This city feels like an emerging modern business metropolis. Also there is a nice city center with bars, restaurants, shops. We dro