Sidey’s weekend challenge, “my first,” made me think of my first visit to the USA in 1995. Hubby was attending a conference at the Anaheim Convention Centre just across the car park from Disneyland. It was our first experience of riding on the wrong side of the road, and after thirty six hours of travelling, hubby was an absolute star at driving a strange car on the Los Angeles freeways whilst nursing a twelve hour jetlag. We didn’t have a GPS, but he found the hotel without much trouble at all. Whilst he was at the convention, son and I, after ordering breakfast in the room at the Pan Pacific, took the hotel courtesy bus to the South Coast Mall, our first experience of American shopping malls.
We were like kids in a candy store, as everything seemed so inexpensive, and there was such an incredible choice of goods. At that time the exchange rate was about R3 to the dollar. Oh bliss! I remember when hubby got back on that first afternoon. We gave him five minutes to get changed and then he had to take us back there in the rental car, for more retail therapy.
On the Sunday we went to the Crystal Cathedral,
and listened to the most amazing recital on this massive organ.
After the conference was over, we went to Disneyland, did the rides and watched the shows and the parade. What an experience!
Then we did a ten day road trip from LA, to Palm Springs, where we went up the mountain on an aerial tramway,
on to Tucson Arizona, where we visited an Indian interpretive centre and had lunch,
Next stop was the OK Corral at Tombstone, where the most famous gun fight in the Wild West, took place in 1881.
Grand Canyon, which we saw really early in the morning after a sleepless night in our motel at Flagstaff where we were kept awake by the train horn noise from the busy Burlington Northern Santa Fe line which passed very close by. At 3am, we decided enough was enough, and bleary eyed, just packed up and left.
The Hoover Dam, in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border of Arizona and Nevada, was an awesome sight.
In Las Vegas, we stayed in a really plush hotel at a very reasonable rate. They must have been very disappointed when we left without gambling a single cent.
We drove through the beautiful Yosemite National Park, and as you can see, we weren’t dressed for the snow.
In San Francisco, we rode on the famous tram cars and saw the amazing Golden Gate Bridge.
Then it was back to LA, where we stayed in Santa Monica for a few days.
Little did we know that this first time to the USA, was to be the first of many visits, and that our son would end up living and working in New York, less than five years later. Here we are now with a house in Florida, toying with the idea of moving here permanently. Some first times can escalate beyond all imaginings.
Hope you’ve all had a great weekend, Chat again soon.