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EASTERN UNITED STATES on the road


TOTAL MILES 4112 KM 6578
Here? This? what do you say a road trip, probably the term? was invented precisely to indicate this destination, the journey? on the long American roads with an infinite horizon? certainly the classic road trip should start from Los Angeles, but this time I preferred to take it a bit? pi? away?. in order to reach the parks that usually remain on the edge and every time we promise to visit them? not this time for ??

This trip what? lasted two weeks? was done between August and September. For us not? it was the first experience on American soil but this time we were all four. My husband Sandro and my two sons Mattia aged 9 and Alessio aged 7.

INFORMATION NOTES
AVERAGE FLIGHT PRICE PER PERSON WITH INSURANCE 900 EURO
CAR RENTAL FULL INSURANCE WITH DROP OFF 700 EURO
MOTEL AND HOTEL 1000 EUROS ABOUT
PETROL 630 EUROS ABOUT
LUNCHES AND DINNERS ABOUT 800 EUROS

1 day

VENICE-PARIS-ATLANTA-DENVER FLIGHT
Wake up at 4 in the morning after having slept a few hours again on my feet to finish packing. Even in children they were euphoric so? they got up without a fuss. We arrived at the Venice airport around 6:30 am where we checked in as we were told online to show up directly at the airport as it is an international flight. The flight ? left at 10 o'clock and in a couple of hours we arrived at Charles de Gaulle in Paris to take the connection to Atlanta United States. We were all four in the central row and to the delight of the children and even the grown-ups there were viewers in every place on which to see films, cartoons, documentaries, listen to music or play games. I immediately tried to rest with the mask on the eyes why? I had a severe headache from fatigue. All in all the eight and a half hours of the flight are? Flown? thanks also to the continuous breaks with snacks, lunches and dinners. The children all had red eyes and we didn't want to close the viewers. Towards the end of the flight I forced them and they started looking at the screen in front of their father.
We arrived in Atlanta around five in the afternoon local time, six hours less than in Italy. We cleared customs quickly, all documents were in order for entry into the States.
Before leaving, I had filled out the US Immigration ESTA form on the internet that authorized me to enter the American territory, without my passport? insufficient for access.
We didn't think about picking up the two suitcases we had embarked on in Venice, for the sake of scruple we went to check on the conveyor belt and we found them there that were turning? still a hair and we leave them in Atlanta convinced that they would arrive directly at their destination, that is Denver? never trust ?.
On the one hand it was better, in this way we were sure that they had arrived too?. And they had not taken a tour around the world like other times? happened ?.
We then took the suitcases back on the internal flight. Since we had more? three hours of waiting and we were all hungry (the flight and the time zones make us hungry) we immediately threw ourselves on the typical American food? hamburger for the children and sandro and a delicious cheesecake, all huge and tasty? And? It was also a first approach to the US dollar which at the exchange rate turned out to be one euro against 1.30 of the dollar.
The children began to feel the signs of fatigue as well? sandro? went to sit at the boarding gate where they fell asleep. Unfortunately since we were early for the flight? it was really hard to have to wake them up to move to the airport since? they changed the boarding gate constantly so much that we even took a shuttle type metro to go from one place to another.
Looks like Atlanta airport? one of the most? the world's busiest airports by number of passengers.
When we boarded it was 9pm and we were all so tired that we fell asleep right away. The domestic flight to Denver? lasted three and a half hours. L? it was 10 in the evening so another two hours less time zone than in Italy for a total of 8 hours. Baggage claim here too? it was quick even with the car we rented online there were no problems despite the late hour. To drive in the United States? the Italian driving license is sufficient.
In fact, we left the airport and immediately there was the shuttle that took us to the Alamo headquarters where we were served quickly. Also this time I had made the rental online well in advance from Italy also to be able to take advantage of their offers.
Of all the companies on this occasion? was the pi? economic considering that we did a drop off of the car in San Francisco and therefore we did not return it to where we picked it up. All this of course had an additional cost of about 300 euros on the normal rental. There was no other solution all the rental companies apply these costs? Unfortunately? one thing to consider in these types of long distance travel.
We hired a typical US car a black Chrysler 200, it was huge and beautiful, it looked brand new although it already had. traveled 16000 km? Wasn't there any wonder given the distances in the United States, after all we didn't give you discounts either? ..
The children were completely stunned and I was looking forward to settling them in the Motel 6 bed I had booked. Here too there were no problems and luckily I had done so why? when we arrived there were several people looking for a room while I was doing the formalities. check in at the reception .. apparently there was no room for them? we touched this too ?.
IS? to know that in the United States if you go in search of a motel or anything else on a Saturday night there is trouble, you don't even find one to pay for it gold? How will I explain? pi? forward? .With the comfort? of the internet nowadays you should never run into the trouble of staying to sleep in the cool without counting that? You can also see the details of the rooms and learn about the services available. Not ? pi? how there? happened in previous years that to know the prices and availability? of the rooms it was necessary to get off and on the car more? times until you find the right one. Of course here in the States to find out if there were free rooms just see if the motel sign has the words Vacancy or no vacancy but for the prices you still had to ask?
Returning to the trip and to Motel 6 (part of a chain of motels) where we were, the room was the classic one you always see in the movies, with the arrangement of the furniture in the usual way. The important thing was cleanliness and this was not lacking. There were two queen size beds a round table with a lamp etc ...
Here I want to clarify the American measures of the beds compared to our Italian ones:
queen size: 152 wide by 200 long
king size: 198 wide by 200 long
full size or full twin or double: 137 width and 190 length





2 day

DENVER-CHADRON 582 KM
After a well-deserved rest and regained strength, I got up before everyone and by eight we were already? all standing ready to start the new adventure in the States. Although we were already? been in the west of the United States this time I wanted to leave more? from the inside, intending to reach areas that with the classic tour cannot be covered with the usual 15 days: this is the reason for Denver as a starting point?
After setting the navigator of the car which initially? been a little? difficult to understand we finally moved from the parking lot. Sandro, too, before entering traffic, preferred to make a further test with the car and check all the buttons and levers that were there to make it work perfectly?
Within minutes, we were in downtown Denver. Being Sunday morning there was very little traffic and movement so? as a first impact not? was shocking? of course you had to get used to the traffic lights that were on the opposite side of the intersection, otherwise everything was ok?
Denver? the capital of Colorado which, like Wyoming, has the shape of a rectangle whose borders are located exactly on the meridians and parallels. Colorado gets its name from the color of the Rockies and Denver? said city? mile why? is located at 1600 meters above sea level. The city? has a checkerboard layout and downtown in reality? not ? very extensive.
Arriving close to downtown we walked past a baseball stadium just to not say we were not in the wrong place. We parked near the pedestrian area that runs through the center. The weather was perfect and the sun was shining and you really felt like you were on a Sunday morning with people jogging or walking. First we threw ourselves headlong into a typical American breakfast based on waffles to be drizzled with maple syrup, pancakes with blueberry jam and cream, and French toast to be sprinkled with jam, all with hot chocolate and orange juice. . In the end the bill? was about 40 dollars including tips at the exchange rate of about 33 euros? considering that that would also have been a pretty good lunch ?.
Did we walk the central street of the city? in the middle of the glittering skyscrapers reaching the Capitol area with public parks.
The capitol corresponds to the government of Colorado. While we were walking around there were groups of kids who were organizing sports competitions so the area was very crowded with kiosks and attractions. As the hours went by it was really starting to get hot and the daily average would be around 30 degrees. The first goal was to visit the famous museum of modern art in the city? located in a very particular modern building with gigantic works outside.
The museum of modern art? most famous for its Native American art collections. The building ? was designed by Gio? Bridges with 24 facades and seven floors. On the outside ? covered with gray tiles.
The children inside also had many activities. but did we still have to keep them at bay? were we still in a museum?
Jet-leg fatigue was starting to recharge, we still walked a lot to get to the Convention Center a huge building where a huge blue bear on the sidewalk was leaning against a window, very nice to see especially for children?
L? a lady informed me that the Red Rock Amphitheater that I was going to see outside Denver in the afternoon was not accessible because? they were organizing concerts. Since until? I don't see I don't believe we went there anyway .. and surprise? it was open .. no komment?
The Red Rock Amphitheater? a rock structure 10 km west of Denver. In this huge amphitheater carved into the rock, open-air concerts are held there. It is a large disc of red rock inclined and flanked by two rocky columns that can? host 9500 people. Great memorable concerts by big stars were held here.
After having visited and photographed every corner, we got on the road tired and hot.
The goal was Chadron in Nebraska there? was our motel booked online? 500 km before reaching it? So we drove from three to eight in the evening right at sunset time otherwise it would have been stressful and we would not have been able to admire the solitary and wild landscape of these lands. Only when we left Denver did we find traffic then an infinite sky dotted with clouds of a thousand shapes led us to our destination. The rock formations were also incredible but above all the huge expanses of fields and vegetation that with their relaxing landscape led the children to doze off.
Even here with the Motel 6 there were no mistakes and it was more? nice than the previous one, it seemed of a higher category. The two double beds were even smaller. large then King size. First we placed the luggage in the room then we went in search of the steakhouse for sandro who was really deserved since all the km already? ground. The children, despite the delicacies, had a tantrum to eat but when we got back to the motel they didn't think twice about diving into the heated swimming pool which was open until ten. The first day of our American trip? finished and all expectations? been satisfied?



3 day

CHADRON-DEADWOOD 587 KM
First stop this morning? Been to the 24-hour supermarket next to our motel to do some? of shopping to leave in the car for any need? such as cookies, water etc. since there was the possibility? to eat inside the shop we took advantage and had breakfast practically in the middle of the aisles?
Destination Badlands, to reach you on the journey? lasted several hours but in the end it? it was worth it why? the rock formations were beautiful though the park visit? was much more? challenging compared to what I had thought as we then slowed down the schedule.
The state of South Dakota is named after the Lakota Indians. The Badlands? a park consisting of the so-called Buttes or isolated hills with sloping sides and a flat top, pinnacles and spiers surrounded by vast grasslands. The Badlands were formed by geological forces of deposition and erosion. Sediment deposits began 69 million years ago when an ancient sea extended across what? today the Great Plain. When is the sea? withdrawn rivers and floods continued to erode and shape the landscape and with time everything will become extinct. There are huge fossil accumulations of prehistoric mammals here.
The entrance to the American parks? for a fee and if you intend to visit more? of one is it worth doing the annual card which costs about 80 dollars? allows the access of a car with all passengers. Not ? valid for parks managed directly by Indians such as Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon or others. A complete list? online to find out more.
Before reaching the famous Mount Rushmore we stopped to eat something even the hours were completely out of phase as it was two in the afternoon.
We were in the Black Hills so called? due to the thick vegetation it made the hills appear dark in the distance. Even though their name actually means hills? these are mountains up to two thousand meters high and are sacred to the Lakota Indians. When gold was discovered in 1874 following Custer's expedition, the hills were invaded by miners and the Indians were moved to reserves.
Mount Rushmore? the famous mountain with the faces of the four American presidents and the name of the person who funded the sculpture. It was started in 1927 by Guzman and more? of 400 workers helped him. Sculpture ? 18 meters high and initially the presidents also had to have busts but the funds were few cos? they were limited to faces. Each president depicted symbolizes something: George Washington the birth of the nation, Thomas Jefferson the growth, Theodore Roosvelt the development, and Abraham Lincoln the preservation of the United States.
To visit this attraction c ?? a circular route in the middle of the forest with various viewpoints and various explanatory tables.
From? we crossed the Custer State park famous for the 1500 bison that roam free and from which it is better to keep away why? dangerous in some ways even if as we were passing with the car slowly they brushed against us with curiosity. There were also mules among them. IS? It was an incredible experience especially for the children to see such beasts. huge and so? neighbors. In a certain sense they were also tenderness? But I stop here I would not like to encourage someone to caress them? Since that would have been temptation too ?.
Before their extermination in North America lived 70 million specimens of bison but in little more? by a century have drastically reduced. The mules in the park are also called Begging burros why? do they beg for food from passers-by?
? possible to make several car circuits in this park that deserves more? time to be discovered; there are very suggestive points with tunnels dug into the rock and rock formations around small lakes.
We had to go on why? it was really late and we had to go to see also the Crazy Memorial the memorial to the Indians also dug into the mountain of even bigger dimensions. large but still being worked on. Seen the hour not? it was possible to visit it closely why? it was necessary to take a bus that led directly to the observation deck at the top of the mountain right in front of the face of the Indian chief Crazy Horse, the last Sioux on the back of his horse. When will it be? finished this work will be? 170 meters high.
Didn't we want to risk getting to our motel already? booked in Deadwood after dark. ? it is better to always drive in the sunlight, at night animals could appear suddenly or worse.
Of the famous town of Deadwood I must say that we stayed a while? disappointed. ? pi? the fame of the place that what c? yet. It was renowned for being very dangerous in 1780 at the time of the gold rush. In fact, here there were many saloons and brothels full of ugly thugs who gambled and drank. Famous local characters were Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickoc. Nowadays is gambling? still very present with slot machines as in the restaurant where we ate.



4 day

DEADWOOD-CODY 681 KM
Also this morning wake up early and at seven we were already? all on the road, although the children then continued their nap in the car. Before leaving we wandered the deserted streets of Deadwood as we had arrived late the previous evening. It really had old west style architecture. We also passed close to the huge crater of the iron mine. From? we took a road with strong curves that showed some spectacular mountains. In the park of Spearfish National canyon we found a nice lodge to stop for a typical American breakfast. I dove into pancakes and French toast while the kids preferred salty foods like scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausages and peppers?
We arrived in Wyoming, the least populous state in the United States where there are many ranches.
The famous Devil? S Tower immortalized in the cult film? Close encounters of the third kind? ? It was the first stop today that we visited along the path that runs along this strange formation of volcanic origin. This peak too? sacred to the Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa Indians however many tourists try their hand at climbing to the flat top. Returning to the car we were surrounded by the typical Chipmunks (striped squirrels) screaming hoping to get something to eat even if you had to be careful not to get bitten? .Needless to keep telling the children to stay away from them?
Another 500 km awaited us before arriving at Cody the destination of the day but first we passed through Bighorne National Park with spectacular gorges carved by rushing rivers that it was possible to admire from the various vantage points.
First mishap of the trip (many will follow?)? was when we were stopped by a policeman why? did we do a? U-turn? we basically stopped at a petrol pump and instead of going to the intersection we turned straight ahead although there was a solid line? as the place was practically isolated and lonely we didn't go for the thin and taken by instinct we did the stunt? how? how not? we ran into a police car that turned on the flashing lights and made us pull over? like in the classic movie scenes and my husband and I looked at each other in alarm and waited several minutes before the policeman approached on foot to the car? when do you? leaning out the window (this was really a scene from a movie)? he had the classic hat and mirrored glasses and without preamble asked us for the documents with which? disappeared in his car to do any checks? in the meantime my husband and I were completely petrified like the surrounding landscape imagining various developments in the situation? .when the policeman? returned we returned the car documents and Sandro's license and he just scolded us for the continuous line that shouldn't have been crossed? .We diligently thanked him for the clarification with a thousand smiles and he let us go without making us pay? .. from then on I begged my husband not to dare anymore? to make reckless gestures?. and to be more? diligent since this time we had gone well didn't it mean that it was worth forever?. with our tails between our legs we set out on our road very cautiously as the policeman followed us for several km?. for his business of course ?.
We arrived in Cody just in time for a daily reenactment of a shooting in front of Hotel Irma, the place opened by Buffalo Bill, the local hero. The children had a lot of fun hearing shooting and seeing the acting of the actors dressed in the typical clothes of the time of the gold rush.
Buffalo Bill was a civilian guide employed by the Army and the Pacific Railway, the railway that crosses the United States. He was also an exterminator of Buffali (this is where he got his nickname) first to free the territories and allow the construction of the railway and then to supply the workers with food. He was also an actor and gir? the world with western shows also arriving in Italy. Many cinematographic films have been inspired by him.
After settling in our motel we went in search of a typical place to spend the evening. We wandered around the main street full of people who did typical local shopping such as hats, paintings, objects made by Indians or ate in the countless places. In the end we opted for the famous Irma Hotel that belonged to Buffalo Bill. It was like going back to the time of the cowboys with the all wood saloon style and hanging animal trophies. The waitresses were no exception. We did not miss the umpteenth American binge also on the tex mex style with Mexican references of nachos sprinkled with guaca mola sauce and sour cream, thus concluding? another day with stars and stripes?

5 day

CODY-JACKSON 472 KM
Even today, as always, I got up first of all, at twenty to six! A beautiful day awaited us in a beautiful place in Yellowstone National Park. At 6:6 we were already? in the car to go for a while? spending. First stop then? Was the Wallmarkt open 30 hours where we bought food and had breakfast in the adjacent Subway, accompanying it all with excellent hot chocolates complete with whipped cream? As always, the children had a tantrum and didn't want anything, they made up for it along the way ? We arrived at the park entrance which was 24 am and from there? we started our visit.
Yellowstone? the pi? the world's ancient national park? was founded in 1872 and? even the pi? great nature reserve of the United States. IS? it has also been declared patrimony of humanity. IS? almost as big as Umbria and is located on a series of plateaus with an average height of 2400 meters. Area ? covered by grassy plains and forests and crossed by several rivers among which the most? long? the Yellowstone from which the park takes its name and flows into the lake of the same name. Over the ages it has created a deep canyon with magnificent waterfalls.
The Grand Loop? the main street in the shape of eight and? over 200 km long.
Also the park? divided into five distinct areas:
The Lake Country around Lake Yellowstone where the greatest concentration of wild animals is found.
Mammoth Country what? the spa area for which the park? famous with Mammoth hot springs.
Canyon Country with the canyon known as artists' canyon with waterfalls. The Lower Fall? twice as high as Niagara.
The Roosvelt Country with landscapes populated by deer and bison.
The Geyser Country where Old Faithful is located, the largest geyser world famous with natural pools of sulfur water. Does this geyser emit jets of steam every 96.5 split minutes?
According to scientists, in the underground of the park there is a supervolcano that could erupt in the future. or less next.
Returning to our day, we first went to the fumarole area where several walkways led directly to the observation points and at times we were hit by the vapors and the smell of sulfur, especially when the wind turned. It seems to be in a fairy landscape.
Then we went to explore the canyon from above. Here, too, paths of several hundred meters or even a kilometer or more lead to various panoramic points from which to admire the river and above all the beautiful waterfalls that offer beautiful rainbows thanks to the refraction of light on the micro droplets. Everywhere ? reported to be careful of the bears that may be in the area but with all the confusion of people? practically impossible that they want to get close? even if the smell of the food that all of us tourists bring with them might tease them a little ?? The vision of the river in flood really gave the idea of ​​what you see in American films when the characters go to go out in the woods, they start fishing and in the end they always end up in trouble? was it huge?
In this regard, while we were reaching another area of ​​the park we also started looking for a picnic area, crossing meadows with bison not only in the distance but also on the roadside, in this regard should you always slow down?
Time was running out and hours flew by and we still had a lot to see, so? grinding km inside the park we arrived in the geyser area that yes? also proved quite challenging. There were various paths and walkways to go through and we certainly didn't get to see them all, but at least the main and famous ones were captured by our camera. Here, too, fairy and lunar scenarios. Didn't we arrive in time for? to admire the star of the park the Old Faithful or the? Old Faithfull? the geyser that shows up on time at the established time? c ?? in fact also a watch that warns tourists of the right moment to photograph it?
Another attraction? the source of the Grand prismatic Spring which with its reddish colors? really amazing especially considering that to reach it you have to walk a very long walkway suspended over the water?
How did I say the day? sprinted and our motel was hundreds of miles away so? reluctantly we said goodbye to this amazing park, well aware that one day is not enough. It would take at least three days and even more? but for reasons of time we did not do it, however? better to know that the availability? of accommodation inside the park? very limited and you have to book very long in advance even from one year to the next? Americans who are very fond of him have reserved their seats from one season to another?
To get to our motel in Jackson (at first there wasn't much choice and possibility to do so as those who want to stay in Yellowstone for several days and can't find a place there are forced to stay overnight in the surrounding areas and then for us it was to continue with the journey and the distances were many) we traveled 150 miles and partly with pitch darkness on winding roads, certainly not ideal if you want to avoid close encounters of the third type? but there was no choice so? at 9:30 in the evening we arrived at our destination. Too bad we couldn't even see the peaks of another famous park in the distance, the Grand Teton National Park. Even in this you can make countless walks in the midst of nature and animals but by now with the mountains we had filled up for this day. It is also a shame not to have seen the typical local ranches that also offer the possibility? to experience the cowboys life? in another life maybe?

6 day

JACKSON-PANGUITCH 931 KM
Today the stage is 1000 km long, the most? long journey?. I knew that sooner or later it would arrive and for this reason also this morning I wake up very early for everyone even if the children rearranged themselves in the car to continue sleeping. Too bad we didn't arrive earlier last night, why? the town of Jackson was really western style? this morning, however, it was cool and at times we found some mists, just what we wanted given the way to go? late however the sun peeped out and it really started to warm up. First stop? been for breakfast. Did we find a little place where they roasted coffee? cos? awakened from our coma due to fatigue thanks to the strong aroma we dedicated ourselves to our delicious muffins. Before getting back on the road we did full tank or full tank and after five hours we reached Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah and the state of the Mormons ?.
Utah too? packed with national parks and we're going to see many. What about Mormons, their Church called the Church of Jesus? Christ of Latter-day Saints belongs to Christianity and has 14 million faithful around the world but their headquarters? right in Salt Lake City. Their holy book? the Book of Mormons as well as the Bible but do they view the Christian Church as it was organized by Jesus? in New Testament times. It seems that in 1820 a certain Smith praying in the woods God the Father and Jesus appeared to him? Christ and a messenger named Moroni. His successor Brigham Young following various persecutions for this new faith led? Mormons across the United States locating the very place where Salt Lake City stands as the one to found their Church. Among their principles c ?? that of plural marriage and does not impose the necessity? of baptism to infants. Liturgies are held in religious buildings called meetinghouses, chapels or churches. Sunday mass can? last even three hours. They carry out a voluntary proselytizing action and their church receives donations from the faithful on the basis of tithing or one-tenth of a person's income in a year. In addition, the income comes from large financial investments.
Our tour around the city? ? started by visiting their temple or Tabernacle, inside which there was a gigantic organ with the pipes among the most? big in the world, where at certain times? You can attend concerts like we did, and find that people from all over the world perform concerts. Adjacent there was a huge mall ie shopping center where we took a while? freshly seen the outside temperatures and took the opportunity to have a snack in the Food Court. The children immediately headed to a Mc Donald? S while I opted for Mexican food. Then we went into the huge Family History Library where the access? free and? possible to research and study your family tree all over the world, there? ? It can also be done online. Since we were there, we also went to take a look at the Capitol, the government building of the state of Utah in the style of the one in Washington seen a thousand times on TV.
Calling itself Salt Lake City obviously the city? it stands next to a huge salt lake, actually? a lake basin as in prehistoric times it was a lake, today partially dried up. ? however 120 km long and 48 to 80 km wide but? shallow. Due to the high salinity? few living species populate it, especially crustaceans.
On our way we tried to go and see the copper mine. big in the world. After a thousand laps and asking the locals for information we arrived in front of the gate ... completely barred and from which not? Was it possible to see a dry fig? total waste of time? and another four hours by car still awaited us.
Completely shocked we arrived in Tropic the locality? where we had booked the motel. We immediately jumped into the only adjoining restaurant which closed at nine just in time to refresh ourselves and regain sensitivity. of the legs!

7 day

PANGUITCH-PAGE 362 KM
Also this morning wake up at 6:30! Today breakfast was included in the cost of the room so? we took advantage of it in view of the long walks we will do. First step ? been Bryce Canyon (for me? third time I've been there)?
When we arrived it was 8:30 am and it was a bit chilly, luckily the temperatures got too high since we did some climbs?
Bryce Canyon isn't it? a real canyon but a huge amphitheater that yes? formed following erosion of the plateau. ? famous for its pinnacles called Hoodoos and the rocks have a strong color that varies from red, to orange to white. The first colonizers were the Mormons and in fact the park takes its name from one of them.
? It is possible to visit it both from above, thus skirting its entire course and admiring the various landscapes from the observation points and also walking through it, descending among the rock formations. Tunnels have been dug to allow for wonderful walks,? a real labyrinth. ? Is it possible to stay overnight inside these gorges with organized expeditions and stay like this? truly in contact with nature.
Did we take the car back to Lake Powell at midnight?
Having time you can visit other famous parks (where I have been on other trips) such as Kodrachrome Basin State park, Paria Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs, Grand Staircase Escalante National monument, Glen Canyon and Capitol Reef, all very beautiful and evocative? But in every trip you have to make a choice.
Returning to us we reached Lake Powell, but I hadn't calculated the changed time zone (one hour less than in Bryce Canyon) so? we decided to go to the Motel booked and leave our luggage as we had to wait two hours. It was really hot and as soon as the children saw that there was the pool they immediately jumped inside. Before returning to Lake Powell we visited the huge dam and the visitor center.
First of all, it must be said that we have reached Arizona, one of the most? rich in natural parks including the famous Grand Canyon. About a quarter of the state? consisting of Indian reservations. City like Flagstaff, Mesa, and Tombstone arose following the migration of Americans to California.
Lake Powell? an artificial lake created on the Colorado River by the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. IS? almost 300 km long (the second largest in the States) with over 3000 km of coastline. The depth reaches 170 meters and is located on the border between Utah and Arizona. Does the basin begin? to fill up in 1963.
On the lake there are many possibilities? of excursions: boat trips, motorboats and houseboats. The excursions can last an hour, two, three or all day depending on which points you want to visit by walking down and reaching various attractions such as rock arches.
At 4:15 we boarded and the trip? it was very suggestive and full of information thanks to the headphones that they gave us for the explanations on the power plant, the lake and the surrounding nature. But it was also very hot, over 30 degrees and with the refraction of the sun's rays on the water we got toasted. IS? Was it thrilling when the boat went up through the narrow canyons almost touching the rock faces?
Back at the motel the children couldn't wait to dive back into the pool. For dinner we opted for Pizza Hut, another American fast food chain where they make delicious pizzas with combinations of very strange tastes, typical of Americans?

8 day

PAGE-FLAGSTAFF 514 KM
Wake up early as always and breakfast at the hotel being included, I also took advantage of eating some sweets that I had taken and kept in the car, the children as always ate scrambled eggs and sausages. Today we started exploring the Grand Canyon and headed to Horseshoe Bend practically a much photographed bend in the river. We will visit the actual canyon tomorrow.
The Horseshoe Bend? a U-shaped meander of the Colorado River about 100 meters deep. Given its peculiar shape, it takes its name from the horseshoe.
To reach this vantage point we left the car in a very distant parking lot then walking in the middle of the desert we followed the crowd of people who were heading to the same point, also taking advantage of the sun that was rising and creating beautiful colors ?? known that the best photos come when the sun doesn't? over the head? Still very tired children preferred to stay in the car and we as good conscientious parents have allowed them? To reach the edge? it was a nice exhausting walk but the show? was incredible? an important warning I can give? not to walk right on the edge why? not ? said that under the rock is full, a lot of signs indicate this danger?
Then, always with the tyrant weather, we went back to the car with the fear that something had happened to the children since we had been away for a long time (between the round trip, the photos, and the various panoramic points the time? .
Along the way you could see the reserves of the Indians even if in reality? their homes were more? inside while on the roadside there were a lot of their stalls where they sold handicrafts especially silver items and beads.
We have arrived in Antelope Canyon. I booked an excursion online from Italy to be sure I could visit this incredible park that I had skipped the previous times just because crowded.
L? Antelope Canyon? the slot Canyon (slit) pi? visited in the southwestern United States. It is located in the land of the Navajo Indians. This canyon like others of the same kind yes? formed with the erosion of sandstone by water and wind over millions of years. The particularity? ? the smoothness of the walls that thanks also to the light that enters only from the top are colored bright red and vary according to the time, that's why? visits must be booked. First for the maximum number of people who can access it at the hour and then according to the moment of the day. The canyon is structured in two parts. The pi? visited and accessible by all and even more? economic? the Lower Antelope Canyon. The Upper instead? much more? narrow and more? reserved for those who really do not want to be satisfied only with the Lower.
We arrived earlier than the booking time and since there were not many requests at that time we were allowed to make the visit with another group. Did we reach the mouth of the canyon with Indians' jeeps whizzing through the dust in a group? An Indian boy accompanied us on the visit suggesting the best locations to photograph the inside of the canyon and recommended us to also be careful as there could be snakes and other poisonous animals. In case of heavy rain, venture into these canyons? very dangerous why? in a minute they are completely flooded so they do not visit in certain circumstances.
Although quite a bit? off the track I wanted to go back to see the legendary Monument Valley and above all I wanted to show it to the children? It was therefore a great sacrifice to reach it and then have to retrace our steps and continue? but the trouble was about to arrive ?.
After the 230 km, finally before our eyes the famous rock formations in the middle of a vast expanse revealed themselves. of plains that really seemed to be lost in the middle of nowhere?
Monument Valley? a river plain between Utah and Arizona characterized by rocky spiers, icons of the West. These spiers are called? Buttes? or? mesas? with steep walls and flat peaks. This park is also part of the Navajo Indian Reservation.
? it is possible to visit the park independently but? strongly not recommended since? the roads are not paved and there are steep slopes and crushed stone which can ruin the vehicle as we have seen with our own eyes.
Here, too, we took an open jeep tour (in the end we were all covered in reddish dust). An Indian girl told us the story of her people and at one point she even sang tribal songs that in silence and vastness? in which we were, we felt transported to another reality? complete with goose leather? despite the high temperatures. We stopped at various viewpoints with explanations on the activities? of the Indians. Were there a lot of horses running free too? After a couple of hours and having witnessed episodes of people who remained on foot why? they had wanted to venture out with their cars we went back to the visitor center to freshen up and since we were there we made some purchases of typical souvenirs.
It's here ? happened the irreparable since? on the way back to the Grand Canyon and have therefore covered almost 300 km sandro si? realized not to have more? the wallet with the driver's license inside. I didn't want to believe my ears? And I was hoping he was wrong, maybe he could have put it in some suitcase in the morning? As he was still driving when he did? felt the pants and l? ? after its discovery we were not yet able to know for sure. By now it was very late and we had to get to Flagstaff where there was the motel for the night? we would have searched calmly without panicking but deep down we knew what the truth was? Sandro had understood when it was the exact moment in which he had lost his wallet, that's why? wasn't he at all confident of finding it? he said immediately, while driving, that he had forgotten it in the gift shop of the Monument Valley visitor center. He remembered perfectly having placed it on the counter waiting to pay since? her hands were full and I was approaching with other items to buy. When ? was it time to collect everything from the cash register? I was left there to hear those words I am bleached? .was the driver's license inside? .how the hell could we have continued the journey without being caught by the police? we ran big risks if it had happened? .back you could not go back without being sure that someone had put him in part waiting for us to return? we had to get to the motel and think well how we were to act ?.
Arrived in Flagstaff crossroads to reach the mythical Grand Canyon south there was a lot of people around and it was already dark? with hearts in turmoil we arrived at the motel? but the misfortunes were not over? the guy at the hotel when he realized that it was us who had booked the room told us that he already had it? given away before why? had made a pre-authorization on the debit card with which I had made the reservation and seeing that there was no money and then why, according to what he was telling us, he had tried to contact us but we did not reply?. ? room? .l? had he given away to someone else? .I didn't believe my ears? now that we were in m?
Now I want to clarify how everything works? First of all I had made the online booking from Italy with a prepaid card, on the site's indications regarding this room it was written that the hotel could reserve the right to make a pre-authorization on the card? where at that moment there was not enough money because before leaving I had transferred it to the current account and then intended to use the credit card for payments on the spot? now that kind gentleman of the motel who when he saw us began to yell with a lot of ponytail and stetson on the head had proceeded to sell the room at a higher price to the first that you? presented at reception not caring about our booking ?? to note that in the United States? very risky to go looking for a place to sleep on Saturday nights especially in very touristy areas? do you really risk staying cool?.? useless to look everywhere? written not vacancy ?.
Returning to us with all the desperation we had we went back to the car where the children were waiting for us, hoping to finally get off to eat something? .I immediately made a local mind about what we had to do? Sleep in the car just didn't talk about it?. took a look on the internet? I found a motel with the only room available? I immediately stopped there and we went looking for the place. When we arrived they wanted to show us the room but we didn't want to .. with all the problems we had? .. that was the last thing to do? And anyway it had to be ok in any case?. that even here there were nasty surprises ?.
Arrived in the room we proceeded to open all the luggage and desperately check if the wallet was there, nothing to do had it really been forgotten in the Monument Valley store?. that we were in trouble? had a close encounter with the police on this journey for the overrun continuous line? and was it so easy that they could stop us at any moment for some bullshit? we couldn't get stuck in the middle of nowhere? we were another 3000km before the destination and a week of travel? .Sandro and I could not anymore? to reason we were completely desperate?. We risked going to the cool, having to find a lawyer and pay an exaggerated fine ?.
In the meantime, were the children so hungry? we went to look for a place for them while we didn't eat anything, we had a completely closed stomach?. Back to the hotel I tried to contact the Monument Valley Visitor Center by email, leaving the telephone number, email and telling what had happened ?. I was hoping that someone would contact me to tell me something? we were available to make up three hundred and more? km to get the driver's license back or at least the photocopy by fax? in which case we would have gone to the police to make a complaint? risking that our car would be blocked and so yes? .. goodbye travel? .we spent a bestial night? but it was not over yet? while i was fiddling on the internet to fix the situation out of the corner of my eye i saw a rat walk by on the floor? did my hair straighten out of fear and disgust? i ran out of bed and closed everyone the luggage .. the only idea that he sneaked into our things or into the bed did not make me sleep a wink all night?. not to mention the desperate crying and panic attacks that came to me? sandro too? was very bad, did he feel the direct responsibility of what happened? but I didn't want to blame him? does it last so?

9 day

FLAGSTAFF-LAS VEGAS 658 KM
In any case, we got up very early. Are we prepared? And with a double piss I rushed to the reception of the motel and I gave him four to the manager for the mouse that I found in the room?. I wanted him to give me back the money but he didn't want to know? did I spit in front of all the customers? and we left? threatening them that I would write a bad review on the internet?
Thanks to the beautiful sunny day that awaited us and a new positive charge that had returned to me after hitting the bottom, we decided to continue the journey as if nothing had happened? The important thing was?. To respect the traffic code to the letter and not get noticed? .by the police? .then how would it go would you see later?
With a new charge? .. we headed towards the Grand Canyon entrance South rim and we didn't want to spoil the day, now what was done was done? Before entering the park we decided to try to play a? Last card for the driving license lost then we would not have thought about it anymore. We went to the Arizona tourism office right at the park entrance. I explained the situation and the employee immediately called the Monument Valley office to inquire if they had found a notebook with an Italian driving license inside. Nothing to do, as it was to be imagined, the first one who found it if there? pocketed?. in addition to the driving license there were 200 euros? patience .. anyway with this last confirmation we realized that it would be useless to retrace our steps? it would have been just wasted time? but at least we had a satisfaction there, in the sense that we wouldn't have doubted that we had made the wrong decision?
The Grand Canyon? an immense gorge created by the Colorado River,? 446 km long and 500 to 27 km wide and up to 1600 meters deep.
Although there is already? been two more times? always a show and often the photos don't do it justice. IS? can be visited on both sides. This time we were on the South Rim with many observation points. You go through a Loop, a circuit with the car and go down on foot to reach the cliffs and its incredible views. Being run by the Navajo Indians there are typical buildings such as the Watchtower at Desert View transformed into a gift shop with typical handicrafts such as carpets, silver jewelry and turquoise stone, sand paintings. The building called Kiva by the Hopi Indians has in the center an altar dedicated to the snake god with objects used in their sacred dances.
Here, too, the weather was pressing and our final destination of the day was Las Vegas which was 450 km away.
Although we had kept the turmoil of the latest events in the subconscious at bay, we knew that the driver's license problem remained - not to mention that we realized that the hotel problem also existed - if they also checked availability in Las Vegas. economic on paper and verified that there was nothing we risked getting there? and not even find the room again?. and would we go through other hassles?. we tried to be positive thinking that the problem? happened why? it was Saturday evening and therefore there was a strong demand for rooms? .but the doubt remained?
Finally, even in Las Vegas we arrived smoothly while keeping the speed at bay. We wanted to treat each other well and did we know, having already been there? states, what was the possibility? to stay in luxurious rooms without spending disproportionate amounts? by looking in advance on the internet. ? was easy? with all the myriad of possibilities? that the city? offers I booked for two nights at the Hotel Excalibur one of the few on the Strip that had a huge outdoor pool suitable for children. The hotel itself looked like an enchanted castle with its colorful pointed towers.
The parking lot actually? was difficult why? was outdoors and since we didn't want to waste time to be sure that our room was still booked, I only went down with the documents and the reservation? .When I entered the huge hotel I went in search of the reception which like all big hotels in las vegas get lost in the middle of the halls of slot machines, shopping malls and more? I realized that I arrived when I saw long queues of people in front of the various check-ins? with calm and restraining the anxiety finally I am arrived in front of the counter, I showed the reservation and after several checks she confirmed the room to me? .. finally I was able to breathe a sigh of relief, after two days of stress and negative thoughts we could relax and enjoy Las Vegas. We didn't have to touch the car for two days and for Sandro already? Did it mean a lot? .After thousands of miles we needed to purify ourselves and slow down?. Even if it was true that we were in Las Vegas the city? who never sleeps ?.
With wings on my feet, I went back to the parking lot where Sandro and the children were still looking for a place. Is it certain that such a mega hotel? that does not have an underground parking or more? broad? incredible? but it didn't matter now. Would the car also rest for a couple of days? .Was it supposed to take us to our destination without any other hitches ?.
Finally we have the room, really spacious and clean? It was just what we needed? We calmly opened the suitcases we relaxed? .But at a certain point? What do I notice? A framework?
Did it depict a medieval scene with decorated knights and a castle in the background? Was it the same precise picture? From the previous evening? In the motel with the mouse? .Do I remember it very well? Was it exactly the same? I felt like I was in a show from the series On the edge of reality. To put the chills? .In reality? hotels and motels in America despite being of different categories in the end have the same arrangement of furniture, bathroom, and decorations? sure was it a good (or bad) coincidence ?.
Anyway we were tired and we wanted to take it slow? The kids started watching tv?. Outside our window we had another big hotel casino Luxor ??. We were in room 5115 tower 1 so it was just a big hotel like all those. of the strip? surely they had not checked the availability? on our debit card since if we didn't show up, there were no shortage of customers and rooms?
Nevada was the state we were in and? nicknamed the state of silver? each of the fifty American states has a nickname that is often found on car plates with a possible symbol. The name derives from the Sierra Nevada mountain range that is snow-capped mountains even if? mostly? desertic. The state ? famous for its libertarian laws such as the legalization of gambling and lightning marriages. Although tourism is a source of employment? the extraction of gold is the main economic resource.
Las Vegas? its capital of entertainment and? rival of Reno also full of mess? although pi? small.
The Strip? a long way with major casino hotels? known all over the world. Lots of casino? they are connected to each other by the monorail or by underground passages. The city? ? nicknamed Sin city for gambling but prostitution? illegal although everywhere they offer services of varying degrees by distributing flyers, magazines and tickets .. Lately? has been chosen for numerous television series, first of all CSI.
Las Vegas is located in the Mojave Desert and? very arid with little rainfall and very high temperatures even 40 degrees. Despite all a strong waste of water? visible everywhere with the mega fountains and casino attractions ?? for this? Was the Hoover Dam that created Lake Mead built ?.
Casino hotels? they host restaurants, shops, theaters, congress halls, cinemas, shows such as Le cirque du Soleil.
Lots of casino? historians like The Flamingo were founded by gangsters in the early 1900s.
The suburbs ? formed by residential neighborhoods and many American retirees settle there.
After we rested we were ready to throw ourselves into the endless Las Vegas night. And although it had fallen in the evening there was a hot air that made you breathless especially when you left the buildings. We just wanted to turn the page and enjoy it like this? we had dinner in a steakouse on the strip where people watched walking by. There was a crowd that at times could not even walk with the risk of losing the children who did not want to shake hands? Sometimes we hid on purpose to see if they were afraid and were more comfortable with it. close. Speaking of children, their access to casinos? ? possible since they are hotels but they cannot approach the slot machines or start watching the people playing, there are people in charge of checking so that? there? does not happen?
Any mess? ? themed and has its own attractions. Among the main ones we have seen (practically all on both sides of the strip? Then there are many others maybe smaller? But the biggest and most famous we did not miss them? They were real amusement parks):
The Bellagio recalls the atmosphere of the Villas on Lake Como. Opposite there is a huge fountain which plays water, light and music at intervals of time. The hotel hosts the Cirque du Soleil show.
Caesar? S Palace Celine Dion performs here? has a setting from Ancient Rome.
Excalibur (where we are staying) has the look of a medieval castle.
Luxor hotel? an Egyptian pyramid covered with black glass and emanates a powerful beam of light from the tip towards the sky, the interior has a scenography from Ancient Egypt.
Mandalay Bay Resort? a building group with gilded glass windows, huge pools and fountains with play of light and the theme of the tropics.
MGM Grand Las Vegas hosts mega concerts, boxing matches and the theater of illusionist David Copperfield?
New York New York with miniatures of New York buildings and a small Statue of Liberty with a roller coaster. Inside there are glimpses of the city.
Paris Las Vegas? a romantic style skyscraper with tour Eiffel and miniature Arc de Triomphe.
Planet Hollywood Resort with rooms dedicated to movies or actors.
Stratosphere has a very high observation tower the most? 350 meters high in the United States and home to roller coasters at the top.
Treasure Island as the theme of the treasure island with a lot of external galleon that is? sinking.
The Venetian on the theme of Venice and hosts water canals with gondolas that can be rented. Outside it reproduces Piazza s. Marco and the bell tower.
The modern and luxurious palace in Europe style.
The Mirage as an attraction c ?? a volcano that erupts outside. Inside palm trees and rainforest.
The Flamingo built by gangsters in 1946? one of the most? old in an art deco style ?.
Circus Circus with the circus as a theme with accompanying shows.
Las Vegas? also the capital of weddings with few formalities. There are a myriad of Wedding Chapels of various faiths offering all-inclusive packages (flight, hotel, ceremony, dresses, flowers). When do we get married in Nevada marriage? also recognized in Italy provided? transcribed in the Italian registers.
We were all very tired but we did not give up we wanted to see Las Vegas By night well and even the children held out? In the end we went to sleep at two in the morning? So the next day could we take it easy and recover our strength?

10 day

LAS VEGAS
This morning we were really tired but the duty was calling us? First we got the tickets for the monorail that took us to the opposite side of the Strip, then with a taxi we went to one of the two piers. big outlet in Las Vegas which is part of the chain of the Outlet Mall Premium chain, this was the North, on the other side c ?? the South.
Before throwing ourselves into the wild shopping we had an excellent breakfast in an ice cream bar in the mall based on ice cream with melted chocolate, waffles and various decorations. Although it was only nine in the morning, was it already? a tremendous heat, it was still dry so we resisted then when we entered the huge shops of all the most? world famous brands we caught our breath with air conditioning? a peculiarity? throughout the United States? precisely the air conditioning with very low temperatures so as to have strong thermal changes so if you suffer from some health problem? better equip yourself. The problem was also out why? apart from the temperature, which was over thirty degrees, there was also a hot breeze blowing?
Having fallen on the day of Labor Day there were further discounts on the goods already? discounted of his especially for the American brands first of all Levi? s, then Polo Ralph Lauren and others? So we filled up with t-shirts, sweaters, jeans? The outlet was huge and of course we went straight to where we were. we were so interested that at one o'clock we took a taxi to reach the monorail from which we admired the view during the day with all the casinos? and the multitude of people who were there despite the great heat. Did we also go to see the Casino? Stratosphere that the night before we had not visited why? a little? pi? far from the others on the Strip.
Back at our Excalibur the children were thrilled to go to the mega outdoor pool and sandro and I also wanted to rest to gather to take stock of the situation? we had a quick lunch of Mexican nachos.
In reality? in this hotel there are several swimming pools, one only for adults who want calm and tranquility, one for small children and one for teenagers. As the hours passed it was more and more? hot and luckily we had pools to cool off, needless to say that the children were in the water all the time.
Around six we went back to our room to get ready for the evening. With the monorail first and then with the taxi we arrived at Freemont Street Experience. IS? an area a bit? decentralized of Las Vegas although there are the most? old mess? of the city. The main attraction? a barrel vault 27 meters high and 460 meters long in the middle of the casinos? where light and music shows are projected. Me too? a lot of people attending concerts and plays.
Back on the strip with the taxi did we go to the casino? Circus Circus hotel that had an amusement park inside, then on foot we passed all the casinos? enjoying the various attractions better and calmly. Before returning to the hotel, the children wanted to go to the M&M? S megastore to buy some trinkets. In las vegas, all the American food brands more? famous have their own mega store where they sell gadgets and sweets at will.

11 day

LAS VEGAS-TULAR 750 KM
Get up very late compared to our normal pace of travel and for this reason after a quick breakfast at Starbucks that was inside the hotel we started traveling again? By now we had put aside the driving license problem?. Of course you had to always stay on the alert? but after a day of rest did we regain our strength and optimism?
In these days we have also had problems using the normal ATM, then today luckily we managed to pull out a bit? of money? of course we could always pay by credit card? but a little? of money in cash never hurt to have them in your pocket? and we will have found out more? forward?
Taking back the car in the parking lot we noticed that the driver's side window was a bit? cracked? a light line 5 cm long that reached the edge of the closure? well we were missing other problems?. with the high temperatures (especially those of the place where we were going) external and internal air conditioning we feared it might crack completely ?.
Anyway? Direction Death Valley, valley of death?. So as not to make a mistake ?.
Death Valley is located in California and only a small part in Nevada. Badwater? the point pi? low in North America, 86 meters below sea level. The valley of death? 225 km long and 40 km wide on average. There are various routes depending on the observation points you want to see. Path ? about 150 km long.
There are large deposits of salt since? here c? were large lakes that with overheating? evaporated over the millennia. The average temperature in summer? of 45/50 degrees, at night it drops to 35 degrees, in winter it goes from 20 to 26 degrees. In 1849, with the gold rush, many pioneers arrived with the hope of enriching themselves but few succeeded.
Instead, there are many deposits of borax which when dried turns into a kind of gypsum and is used for the manufacture of glass, enamels or other.
Another suggestive point? the Zabrinski Point that allows you to admire the valley from above and presents strange rock formations ?.
Getting out of the car was really tough in the high outside temperatures? suggestive, an immensity? silent and desolate.
We were therefore in California one of the most? populous in the United States. His nickname? Golden State with reference to the gold rush. ? also famous for the earthquakes due above all to the presence of faults, the main one being that of Sant? Andrea.
We arrived in Tulare where we refueled the car and had dinner at a Taco Bell another American fast food chain with Mexican food. Nearby there was yet another outlet where you can take a stroll and then go to our motel.

12 day

TULARE-MORRO BAY 480 KM
Still a lot of tiredness also why? I went to sleep late to fix the motel situation for the following evenings? I still had a lot of trouble that they checked the reservation and didn't confirm availability ??
To start the day worthily, breakfast in a typical American restaurant, the kind you always see in movies, with the waitress filling your cup with coffee, pancakes and waffles washed down with maple syrup, melted chocolate, cream? ..
250 km awaited us to reach the Sequoia and Kings Canyon Natural Park? And the road was in the middle of the forests full of curves? So caution at will?
The main attraction? constituted by the presence of the giant sequoias that were discovered by man in the first half? of the nineteenth century following the gold rush. The sequoias have immense cylindrical trunks for much of their height. The deep red colored bark allows them to survive the fires that often devastate huge portions of land mainly caused by man. The incredible amount? of wood obtainable from these years attract? already? towards the middle? the attention of the 1800s and for this reason many monumental trees were cut down. Fortunately, natural parks were established and this destruction ceased.
The specimens pi? famous of the park are:
General Sherman considered the most living being old and more? largest in the world (from 2300/2700 years old and 83 meters high with a diameter of over 9 meters above the base.
Washington until 2003 the second pi? big tree in the world when lightning sets it on fire? partly. Inside the parks live the mule deer, the American black bear and the Douglas squirrel.
We visited the park by taking beautiful and long walks among these giants, feeling like thumbs up compared to them.
To reach our final destination today we traveled another 225km and it was on the California coast.
California? famous above all for its cities? coastal, starting from south San Diego then Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The state ? a world center of engineering, of the film and television industry as well as a large producer of fruit and vegetables.
The coastal area from where we started the ascent to San Francisco this time (we have been there on other occasions exploring the southern part up to the border with Mexico) is called Big Sur, famous for being considered the cradle of the New Age. There are many centers of study and meditation. In the second half? of the twentieth century thanks to its natural beauty and isolation many writers and artists have moved here including Jack Kerouac exponent of the Beat Generation.
The road that runs through this coastal area? the mythical Highway 1 considered one of the most? scenographic of the USA and? 150 km long.
Along the coast there are many Spanish missions typical churches founded by Franciscan missionaries who came to convert the Native Americans towards the end of the 1700s. Junipero Serra fond? the chain of missions, el camino real of upper California made up of 21 missions. The pi? famous to visit are those of San Diego, Santa Barbara, Carmel and San Francisco.
Back to us, we came to our Morro Bay motel on the coast which displayed a note on the door that read No Vacancy? We had a reservation but when paying with the credit card there was no signal and the owner did not want insist to try again if it worked? then there? when the question arose that he wanted to be smart? perhaps he wanted to give it to someone else? we begged him to expect us to go and see to get the money out of an ATM there? close? fortunately? was everything alright? The room was very nice, different from the usual motels, very well decorated, it looked like a cottage with elegant curtains and bedspreads.
Being on the coast, we wanted to take advantage of eating a little? fish to change cos? first we stopped in an Italian restaurant on the sea, but while we waited at the table for someone to come and serve us, we threw our eye over the window and next to it there was another one that inspired us more. in a hurry we slipped away .. after the children had already? eaten the breadsticks on the table? .we don't have for? wrong, we had a great time in an even more? suitable for the setting?

13 day

MORRO BAY-SAN FRANCISCO 374 KM
This morning when we showed up at the reception there was the possibility? to have breakfast since it was included in the price, but you had to stand like that? only Sandro and the children took advantage of it? delicatina and I was looking for something better. We took a tour of the town especially along the pier where there were very picturesque bars and shops with colorful wooden facades. The kids enjoyed watching the sea lions lying on the water's edge. We also saw them along the road towards San Franciscco. Morro Bay? characterized by the Morro Rock a volcanic formation connected to the mainland by a causeway not accessible because? protected park.
Along the way we made several stops at lookout points to see the beaches and bridges seen in many television series such as Big Little Eyes. Each time there was an onslaught of a myriad of squirrels begging for food?
In the morning we found an overcast sky and sometimes fog then c ?? was a clearing and the colors are lit and the beauty of nature? exploded.
In Carmel we took a break to see a park along the coast and especially the Mission Dolores which with its atmosphere made us go back to the time of the settlers. To Carmel Clint Eastwood? was the mayor. We later stopped in Monterey for an ice cream. This town? was famous for canning sardines today instead? its aquarium which is its master. We have not visited it but? an indispensable attraction, one of the most? beautiful of California.
The road was still long to get to San Francisco so? we decided to take the highway and reach our hotel which for practical reasons we booked close to the airport and therefore outside the center. Here too we had problems with the credit card but on the third try it worked, here they were much more? patient and confident in us? for dinner we opted for the bistro? of the hotel itself?

14 day

SAN FRANCISCO
To reach San Francisco we have made about thirty km even if, in any case, already? we were in one of his counties that of San Mateo exactly. The Castro district? was the starting point of the tour of the metropolis.
Castro? known for being the neighborhood of the community? gay and? embellished with murals that in addition to being on many buildings are found in very narrow streets where you have to go and look for them.
In the vicinity of Mission Dolores we parked and found a nice place to have breakfast with orange juices, cookies (raw biscuits with chocolate), pancakes etc? loads we set out for the visit to the Spanish mission the building pi? ancient city and famous for appearing in the Hitchcock movie? The Woman Who Lived Twice? We then took the road that went up the hill of Twin Peaks from where we can admire the view over the whole city? and its downtown checkerboard grid and the other hills on which? lying down.
Have we reached the city beach? towards the Pacific Ocean first skirting the final part of the Golden State Park the huge green lung until you reach the Golden Gate Bridge and passing through the garrison area where you can go for walks in nature.
The Golden Gate? was started in 1927 and? was the bridge pi? long suspension of the world and considered the symbol of the city. Over 100.000 vehicles pass through it a day and it has 6 lanes. The length between the two central spans? of 1282 meters. Does its color have a hue? orange chosen to match the natural colors of the surroundings and make it more? visible in the fog that constantly envelops it. ? also famous for being the bridge of suicides for this containment barriers have been adopted.
Nearby is the Walt Disney Museum which tells his story and displays his first sketches and cartoons he created. IS? an interactive museum with many reproductions.
The Palazzo delle Esposizioni? It was built for an international exhibition in 1915 and should have been destroyed soon after having been made with degradable materials. In reality? ? It was later rebuilt with concrete and steel at the great request of the inhabitants of the neighborhood.
At the tip of the dock at Yatcht Harbor is The Wave organ? an aquatic acoustic organ created with plastic, marble and concrete pipes created by an artist and is part of the Exploratorium, the interactive science museum located in the area of ​​the Imbarcadero.
Time flew by and there was still much to see. We parked with a lot of effort and put the coins in the famous parking meters that are often seen in American films, those to be clear that they are one in every car stall.
We headed to the Fischermann? S Wharf area, a waterfront neighborhood characterized by kiosks where they sell fresh fish with which to make sandwiches flavored with a thousand sauces or fried fish. The ones with crab and prawns are very good. Do you still have to be careful of seagulls that glide and try to snatch food from your hands? There are many museums such as that of the Navy which are also very interesting for the numerous models of famous ships and royal sailing ships outside.
Shopping centers including Ghirardelli Square with its exposed brick facade, once a chocolate factory with its immense sign lit up at night? just a point of reference. Numerous attractions follow one another such as the Ripley? S Believe it or not which collects human oddities from around the world. The endless piers are also home to many very picturesque fish restaurants.
Another symbol of the city? are the trams called Cable Cars that are pulled by underground ropes suitable for the steep climbs of the hills on which? nestled in San Francisco. They date back to the middle? of 1800 and at their terminus on a platform they offer the show of the conductor who, also helped by tourists, makes them turn to reverse the direction of travel.
The pier pi? famous? for? Pier 39, very long and full of special shops, cafes? and restaurants and various attractions such as the Aquarium. ? structured on two floors with suspended walkways that allow views from above. Floating wooden platforms have become a favorite of the bay's sea lion colonies, if they stay there. to bask in the sun under the eyes of the tourists who photograph them.
Back in the car we went up to the top of Telegragh Hill where is the Art Deco style Coit Tower? 64 meters high in reinforced concrete and monument to the San Francisco Fire Department.
The city? being on the fault of Sant? Andrea? was often hit by strong earthquakes one of the most? powerful with magnitude between 7.7 and 8.3? happened in 1906 when it was completely razed to the ground. But most of the dead? was caused by the fires that developed later thanks to the fact that all the houses were made of wood.
Lombard Street? instead the tract pi? famous of the city? with its eight steep hairpin bends it is also immortalized in many American films.
Back towards the Embarcadero area with its succession of piers with former warehouses and full of restaurants, and Pier 7 the closest one. famous for its promenade embellished with lampposts and benches from which to see the downtown on one side and the bay with the Oakland Bay Bridge.
If you want to go to Alcatraz Island in the middle of the bay which houses the former maximum security prison seen in many films, you can board from Pier 33. Those sent here were considered highly dangerous and had attempted to escape from other prisons. IS? remained open only for 29 years since? management was very expensive.
It was time to take a tour of the downtown full of skyscrapers the most? majestic of which? the Transamerica Pyramid with its own pyramid shape 48 floors high and bordering the city Chinatown.
The Financial District? the district characterized by very high skyscrapers belonging to large banking groups. Walking through it seems to be in a large jungle where you can feel small.
Very beautiful ? also enter the Hyatt hotel with its very high lobby in the center of which is a gigantic modern sculpture.
Tired and for the now late hour we didn't feel like going to the Chinatown neighborhood, one of the most? large outside China and the most? ancient United States. Having been there other times can I say that? truly? Chinese? beautiful and picturesque, thousands of shops and restaurants.
We decided to go back to our hotel for dinner in order to start packing. I also proceeded to reconfirm the return flight with online check-in.

15 day

SAN FRANCISCO-AIRPORT 187 KM
The last day of our trip? arrived but we still had half a day left. After breakfast and check out of the hotel, we placed our luggage in the car and headed back to downtown San Francisco. Today the traffic was more? quiet being Saturday cos? at least we didn't risk getting some fine for clumsy driving? I wanted to recover some things that we were unable to see the day before and skip a tour around the city? which included various towns.
The Googleplex that is the Google headquarters located in Mountain View where? It is possible to visit the outside with its logos and puppets with which to photograph and walk around the campus. Microsoft and Yahoo are also in the area.
Sausalito is instead on the other side of the Golden Gate and? a quiet resort town that offers beautiful views of San Francisco.
Returning to our last day we went to see the City Hall or the government building of the city? in beaux art style with the fifth dome pi? high in the world.
From? we went up to the small square of Alamo Square with its Victorian colored wooden houses seen a thousand times on postcards. These Victorian houses nicknamed painted ladies were built by the middle. from the 1800s to the early 1900s. From the initial 48000 few remained following the great fire and earthquakes.
To round off the trip we went to the large city park? the Golden State Park with a rectangular shape and more? large of Central Park in New York measuring 5km in length with over 10km of bike paths. IS? divided into various areas and houses several buildings such as the Conservatory which? a Victorian greenhouse one of the most big in the world. The natural history museum which includes the aquarium and the planetarium and a section on seismic phenomena. The roof ? consisting of fake grassy hills from which to admire the view of the park.
Beautiful the Japanese tea garden, the Japanese tea garden, with pagodas, bonsai and ponds and? the pi? ancient of the genus in the United States.
Considering ourselves satisfied, we decided to end our trip to the States with this visit. Although in advance for the return of the car we headed to Alamo rent a car where the employee only charged us the $ 375 for the drop off costs, since? was returned to another center than the retreat center. Of the glass marked on the driver's side, he said nothing, probably why? saw that we had full insurance coverage, which I always recommend.
With a lightened heart since? everything in the end? went the right way we went to the airport with the air train that connects all the terminals. At the time of loading the suitcases we had to reopen the suitcases and redistribute the weight why? we had exceeded the limit, otherwise we had to pay the difference. Last lap to the airport. Fortunately, I found a mailbox to send the postcards that I had been carrying around for days?. The flight back to Paris? flew? why? all pi? relaxed we had a good sleep. Then coincidence for Venice and finally arrived home tired but satisfied? Ready to think about the next departure ?.

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