Day 245 to 262 Surprisingly beautiful Southwest USA

Some of our highlights from Southwest USA

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We arrived Los Angeles in the afternoon after 12 hour’s flight from Auckland in New Zealand. As I am not too fond of flying I had not slept the whole night, changing the time zones from 11 hours after London to 9 hours ahead! Very tired but increasingly happy I was finally able to walk on solid ground again! The others could not understand why walking on solid ground made me sooo happy… Then again, this is only to be understood by those of us who are afraid of flying! 🙂

After getting our bags we went to pick up a rental car at the airport. Then we headed to the apartment we had booked in Anaheim. On our way to Anaheim we stopped to grab some coffee and sweets at a nearby gas station. I was sooo looking forward to get hold of my “fresh – hot coffee” they were advertising to have!!! My first zip was not only cold – but NOT fresh! We told the employee behind the counter and hoped to get a new, hot and fresh one… He on the other hand had his own way of solving the dilemma! He opened a door in a counter, open a micro oven inside of it, and put the coffee inside the oven to heat it! All of us were in shock, stumbling back to our car and well inside, we had the biggest laugh in a loooong time! 🙂

The next few days we had some plans to visit a shopping centre in mid-town LA, the Hollywood walk of fame, Beverly Hills, Belair, Farmers Market, Mulholland Drive and the Hollywood sign. We ended up doing all of this in addition to visiting the Dolby Theatre downtown. After looking at some people taking pictures in the entrance, we asked what was going on… We were told that the 89th Academy Awards (Oscars 2017) had been there – in the very same theatre the night before… 😊 What a bunch of novices from Norway! Ha, ha!

Hollywood and Beverly Hills… We can almost get a glimpse of the Hollywood sign 

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After some days with sightseeing we were all more than ready for some fun at the Universal Studios and City Walk in Los Angeles. What a great day we had! Somehow, I got the feeling that the area of Harry Potter was the family’s favourite. 🙂  All of us loved walking around in the world of wizards. It looked just like in the movies… Luna Noor’s wish came through as she got her very own wand. She is still working on some spells!!! 🙂

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The day after we went to spend with our Swedish friends from Sitges in Spain; Crissie, Pontus and Felix in Newport nearby Laguna Beach. Before eating a tasty lunch out by the seaside, Crissie was kind enough to show us around their beautiful neighbourhood. When Pontus came home we went for a nice walk and boat trip to catch the most wonderful sunset nearby where they lived. In the evening, they prepared the most delicious dinner and dessert for us all and we sat talking until late in the evening. Thank you sooo much, Crissie, Pontus and Felix – we really enjoyed spending the day with you guys! Hope to see you soon back in Spain!

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Finally, the day had come to say goodbye to Emeric. He headed for an adventure on his own with one of his best friends, Snorre to Cancun in Mexico. After leaving him at the airport the rest of us (Luna, Ole and Siv) went to explore the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We drove for about 11 hours until we reached Flagstaff where we stayed for one night. I have to admit we were not prepared for the sudden change in climate…  The temperature dropped to around 5 degrees Celsius the night we arrived!!! We had to go out for some serious shopping. 😊

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Our next few days were just wonderful! First we visited the Grand Canyon, then headed towards Page and the Antelope Canyon and the Horseshoe bend. Some more pictures… 🙂

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On our way back to California (driving through Utah and Nevada) we just haaaad to stop in Las Vegas – the total opposite of lush landscape – yet soooo fun! We stayed at The Stratosphere and visited The Miracle Mile Shops, The Strip and even got to see a show called “The Ultimate Variety Show”. Some more pictures follows… 🙂

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Heading back to California we slept over in Bakersfield before ending up in Oakland City just outside San Francisco, our next adventure. We arrived the day before 8th of March and got to celebrate the International Women’s day 2017 with other people from Oakland before exploring Berkeley and San Francisco the following days. We got to visit both the Berkeley University, the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, San Francisco bay area and watched the Alcatraz Island – fantastic!

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In San Jose, just south of San Francisco we visited Silicon Valley, Tech Shop, The Tech Museum of Innovation and Stanford University. Amazing! We had such a great time!

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Before ending our trip back in Los Angeles we passed by the most charming little city named Carmel by the Sea full of cosy boutiques, art and seaside – in addition to San Simeon and Santa Barbara – all very nice! We wanted to take the Pacific Coast Highway all the way but due to several landslides we had to drive some of it inside the state. Maybe next time… 🙂

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Some more pictures from Universal Studios

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Some more pictures from Grand Canyon

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Some more from Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon

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Some more from Las Vegas

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… and some photoes from Santa Barbara on our way back to Los Angeles…

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Thanks for a lovely adventure – California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Day 245 to 262 Surprisingly beautiful Southwest USA

  1. oh what a nice trip you do!

    we also love the southwest area of california. We staed there severel times.
    Finaly we will see San Francisco again in September this year 🙂

    Have a nice trip 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Karo! 🙂 Yes, we really enjoyed the nature and fun of Las Vegas as well… Huge contrasts though!
      Wish you all the best! Big hugs, Siv Johanne

      Like

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