Saturday, July 26, 2008

The first steps of our journey to the USA

It is July, mid winter in Northern Rivers. We are cold and dreaming of a way out of this cold misery. Chris found a solution - going to America, while it is summer there and winter here.

Now we are collecting travelling tips. We will need any advise we can get, because it always helps, and because we had enough frustration already even if we started planning our trip just a few days ago.
America reserves a huge potential for excitement, but for frustration as well: too many places to see, too many things to do, too many hotels to choose from, to many cars on offer... really, it is insane. If you want a hotel in Sydney you may get 20-30-40 hotels, 100 the most (actually, I have doubts that we have so many). It makes it quite easy to choose.
In every place we plan to visit in America there are thousands of hotels to choose from - how to choose?
I have to admit - I am quite lucky. Chris is a great manager and he spends a lot of time dealing with planning and booking. I am here only in a small advisory role. After all, Chris has been to the USA and knows where to go and what to see.

Chris keeps telling me that we will have a very relaxing holiday staying for a few days here and there, and staying in New York for 7 days! I know that for him 7 days in one place is way too long, but let's hope New York has plenty of attractions for those 7 days. By the way, we experienced our first disappointment with New York. Already! New York (or Broadway, to be precise) is known as a capital of shows. We tried to book something but - bad lack! Everything is very old and seen many times, or for little children, and most of it also was seen before, and some of them have so bad reviews, that we would be unwise to try to prove all those critics wrong. It well can be that New York is a bit sleepy during summer holidays, but I am disappointed with this city already. Did not they know that I am coming and love musicals?

So we did not book anything. However, we found 2 shows of Cirque du Solieil in Las Vegas. We may be lucky to see one of them. That's right: we are going to Las Vegas (I always thought that it was far from Los Angeles, but Chris believes that driving up and down is a piece of cake). Besides we will see Great Canion, Tijuana, San Diego, a few national parks, as well as Mammoth Lake, San Francisco etc.
I MUST see Santa Barbara for myself. "Santa Barbara" serial was on Russian TV for a couple of years when I left for Australia. I knew one Russian lady who ordered her parents to record Santa Barbara for her in Russia and to send it to her so she could watch it in Australia. It was a big event once.
Back then, when the show was on, we had a feeling that we know half of the local population in Santa Barbara. It is quite funny, actually... I wonder if I still may see some familiar faces? (I am joking)

I have heard about ever changing scenery of America. Australia is the same in this respect, and it is one of the things I love about Australia: the variety of landscapes available. I travelled with Trans Siberian Express from Beijing to my home town and I discovered that from the moment the train left Far East behind (something like one day train trip) there was nothing changing in Siberian scenery. 4 days of the same pine trees, the same plain, the same architecture. Australia does not offer interesting architecture either, but the rest is overwhelming. I hope, America won't disappoint me either.

I wish we were gone already. Our forecast predicts that we will have temperature below zero at nights for a week (at least). Las year we had once minus nine!!! We were not here - we travelled in Russia last winter (Russian summer). Our neighbour told us, because as all farmers he pays attention to rainfall and temperature.
We live in a subtropical area and out plantation is subtropical. That frosts were devastating. We had many trees suffering from a frostbite, and many of them did not recover at all. The frost was especially heavy along the creek in the galley, and this creek runs through the whole property. Two-three meters up the slope - and the trees had not suffered from any frost. It is heartbreaking, and nothing could be done about it... it is why instead of looking at it (and suffer from it as well - it is very cold here at night) it is better just go somewhere nice and warm.

Let's see, what will happen...