- to our German language USA-trip report

In May 1999 my great dream comes true - we made a trip trough the USA !

The journey was wonderful (my opinion), but strenuous !! My wife was enjoyed only about 30% (but we know that in before), because she likes vacation in a different way (recovery, relaxion ) and she hates high buildings, the rush of the people there and every time honking cars.

But she knows that I never would made this journey without her ! And so she goes with me.

First part of our "East coast - West coast - combination tour" : THE EAST COAST :


On 5. of may afternoon, we landed at the J.F.Kennedy Airport. There we were picked up from a person of "CA-far touristic company". She took us with a bus to our hotel (Travel Inn Hotel-42nd St/10th Ave) .

We attended there at a 4 hours tour trough Manhattan, there we saw "China Town", "Little Italy", "Greenwich Village", parts of "Harlem", the "World Trade Center" , "Empire State Building" , "Rockefeller Center" and "Fifth Avenue", the "Wallstreet", "Battery Park" and some more.

Than we attended a 3 hours tour with a boat of the Circle Line around Manhattan (there we could get a wonderful skyline view) we rode on the East River, Hudson River and Harlem River , trough under the "Brooklyn Bridge", under the "Manhattan Bridge" passed very near "Liberty Island" and "Ellis Island" (where all american immigrants must went through before they could stay in the USA !).

Later we both went alone to the Empire State building, and we went up there (with the elevator) to 86 floor (the 102. was closed, like 1986, when my little sister visited the Big Apple).

Besides we visited "Macy´s", the "Trump Tower" and some more.

We stays in NY for two days.

Next day we went trough the state "New York" to "Niagara Falls", there was our hotel on the American side and visited also the Canadian side, and had a candle light diner on top of the "Minolta tower" with best view to the illuminated falls. Following we went trough "Little Las Vegas" in Ontario at night.

Then at the next morning we goes with the Boat "Maid of the Mist" nearly under the falls, and went trough the "Niagara National Park".

At the next day, we went trough "Pennsylvania", comes to "Gettysburg", we visited the Battlefields, the museum and the cemetery there.

Then we was at a model "Amish farm", saw some true Amishs, passed the "Harley Davidson factory" and finally we arrived "Washington (D.C.)" on the 6th day, the target point of the east part of our tour.

Our hotel, was one time more located near the border to the Chinatown.

There we attended at a tour to "Mount Vernon" and visited the farm of "George Washington" and took a rest in "Alexandria", a small (former tobacco harbour) town between Mount Vernon and Washington.

In Washington we stays for two nights, attended a day sightseeing tour, there we saw the "White House" , the "Pentagon", the"Capitol" , visited the "Arlington National Memorial" with the grave of "J.F.Kennedy", "Fort Washington", the "Vietnam Memorial", the buildings of "FBI", of the highest "Court of Justice" and of the "Senate", the "Lincoln Memorial".

Then we attended the night sightseeing tour with the "Th. Roosevelt Memorial", the "Obelisk" and some other sights.

At the next noon we leave our Busdriver, our tour guide and the east coast.

The second part of our tour : THE WEST COAST :

We took a flight to the west coast - "Los Angeles". There we was in the pool of the hotel, and took our "dinner" at "Dennys". At the next day we made a tour through "Beverly Hills", the "Rodeo Drive", "Hollywood" (there we passed the house of Marylyn Monroe, a "Spago´s restaurant" of the Austrian Wolfgang Puck and the villa and the hill of Steven Spielberg). Later we went to "San Diego". A wonderful town, we visited there the "Old Town" a village like a old western town and the other part like a mexican village with music, foods souvenirs and crafts. Some of us visited "Sea world" there, but we went in a big mall (Horton plaza) because we must buy some things for our children (Levis jeans, Barbie dolls-collector editions and in front of all a larger suitcase !! (for all the souvenirs). Following we visited "Seaport Village" (a small village of giftshops and restaurants) at the harbour of San Diego, and "Corronado Island" (there we saw the "Coronado Hotel" where were filmed the movie "Some like it hot" with Marylyn Monroe). Than at the next day, we went trough the "Mojave desert" to the Ghost town "Calico" an old silver digger town ,

and arrived "Laughlin" in Nevada at afternoon, a smaller "Las Vegas" with many Casinos. There we stays in the "Flamingo Hilton" a first class Hotel directly at the banks of the Colorado River, where we went into the pool because there was a hot air temperature. Next Day we went through the state "Arizona", to the "Grand Canyon". On the way to this location. we crossed the legendary "Route 66" (in one of this gift shops is a room, where visitors leave their cards and I also put some of mine there). At the "Grand Canyon" we was very impressed about this what we saw when we looked down from the edge into the canyon !

We had booked the flight with the helicopter above the Canyon. But with some mixed emotions, because before we should get on, the machine stalls. The pilot trys to start it again 5 minutes but the machine does´nt running ! Then when we should go to another helicopter, suddenly the machine runs again. We dont like to get on this helicopter, because we thought what will be when it stalls again in the air above the Canyon, one mile above the ground ??? !!! But they call us back and we must get in this not trustworthy helicopter ! And so our feeling was´nt enjoyable ! Specially because we was falling from one air pocket into the next ! But we come through of it, and the views which we could enjoy compensate us for the fears !

At the next day we arrived "Flagstaff" (also at the "Route 66) , went trough the "Navajo Reservation" and arrived the "Lake Powell", a large reservoir with a lenght of 2/3 of the lenght of whole Austria !! From their we had booked a flight with a small airplane (for 6 persons) 1 h (our pilot was a young girl Tracy, she does her job very well !), above the Lake Powell, the "Bryce Canyon" to the entry of the "Monument Valley", from there with an old bus, driven of an Indian guide, directly to the some Monuments.

Then we flew back and goes to the Bryce Canyon. It is much more beautiful and more fascinating than the Grand Canyon, but not so colossal ! Than we spend the night in "Utah" (morning temperature 30° F and there was hoarfrost at the screens of the cars ! ). At the next day we comes to the "Zion National Park", goes trough

and arrived "Las Vegas. There we stay in the "Sahara" Hotel and took our lunch in the restaurant of the "Excalibur" Hotel/Casino . We visited the "Treasure Island" show , goes trough the "Mirage Hotel/Casino" "Ceasars Palace" and some others and attended the night tour "illuminated Las Vegas" with the light show on the roof, in the street where the most casinos are located. Next day, we saw wonderful "Joshua trees" on the way to the "Death Valley", we was at "Bad Water" the deepest point of America (86m under the sea level). Following we was at the "Zabriskie Point" a view place named about a former director of the Borax mines there - well known from a movie with the same name. Than we made a rest at the "Furnace Creek Ranch" an oasis in the desert of the "Death Valley", there in the giftshop, we met Goldie Hawn and her husband Kurt Russel ! Than we arrived "Ridgecrest", where we spend the night, but before we use the pool of our Hotel and the Yakuzi (hot whirlpool for 6 persons). At the next day we took a rest at a big Truckstop in "Bakersfield", there we saw about two hundred trucks and their drivers, and some of them shows us the cabin of their Truck and explain us their working life. After this stop we went trough the Sierra Nevadas and trough "California" and the fruitful "San Joaquin Valley" with many fruit plants and wine plants, this night we spent in "Fresno". Next days morning we went to the "Yosemite National Park" with the highest water falls of America (750 m) and many sequoia trees ,

at noon we arrived "San Francisco" (from our hotel "Holiday Inn" located at the border to Chinatown, we had a good view to the Telegraph Hill -wellknown from many movies- and the harbour). We attended the night tour "illuminated S.F." with a included dinner in a chinese restaurant.

At the next day tour next morning, we saw the "Union Square", "Chinatown", the "Presidio", the "Golden Gate Bridge" , the "Golden Gate Park" (with some Bisons) , "Fishermans Wharf" and "Twin Peaks". Following we took part at the harbour tour with a boat under the "Golden Gate Bridge", around "Alcatraz" and some more. Than we went up the "Lombard Street", this winding, steeply Flower street, also wellknown from many movies and pictures of San Francisco, looked at the "Cable Car" and we made a shopping tour by foot trough the nearer neighborhood of our hotel. Next morning at 6 AM a shuttle bus picked us up from the hotel and took us to the San Francisco Airport. We flew 4 1/2 hours to "Atlanta" and changed our plane to the final flight home to Vienna.

Summary of this journey :

We went about 3000 kilometers at the east coast and 4000 kilometers at the west coast and we visited many sights and we heard much about the history and the lifestyle of the american people. The hotels were all very comfortable, our included "continental breakfast" was sometimes very meager, but 5 times we get a "full american breakfast" this was the right one for us !

I would recommend everybody who was´nt in the States before, this kind of tour ! One can get a general idea and when this one visit the USA a second time than he can do a journey in an individual way and visit some places with more time and only this places which had enjoyed him specially at the first tour.


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last update 01.01.2015