Monday, August 30, 2010

All the pictures are online

Since we're a bit jet-lagged, all the pictures found their way to Picasa during the night - here you go

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back in Paris

Hello everyone,

we're back to Paris! The last days of our trip went fine. We drove down Highway 1. It was pretty much hidden in the fog but nice anyway.
Since we're moving to our new flat tomorrow, I'm not sure I'll have time to write everything down but I will surely put all remaining pictures on Picasa.

I hope you enjoyed our posts and pictures, this journey was simply AWESOME.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pictures from Olypic NP

our pictures from Olympic NP can be found on Picasa
More to come this evening

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Late update

Hey guys,
sorry for not updating the blog. We had a keys-from-the-car-stolen problem which meant I didn't have any time to write about San Francisco, Yosemite or Santa Cruz. All three are GREAT. Surfing is lot of fun (if you don't get the keys from your car stolen in the end) and all got solved today. Our car got towed to Watsonville (about 17 miles from here) and the Chrysler Dealer there made us a new key. In the meantime, someone found the pouch that was stolen and brought it to the police. When we got back from Watsonville, the manager of our hotel told us that our pouch was found. The only thing that was missing was about 70 dollars, the keys from the car and my credit card (blocked in the meantime) were in there. Well it's better to have two sets of keys than none, right :)
Love from Santa Cruz!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

San Francisco 2

Hey, San Francisco is still fabulous, even if VERY cold and foggy.
You will get our adventures here probably when we get to Santa Cruz in a few days (on Monday or Tuesday). If I don't get sick in the car again which kind of disables my writing skills :).

Days 15, 16, 17 and 18– August 13, 14, 15 and 16 Seattle and Olympic NP

Day 15
to Seattle
We drove all morning and arrived to the hotel we’ve booked (College Inn) without loosing ourselves in the city and almost an hour before check-in (or so we thought). Check-in starts at 3 pm. But… when Stepan stopped next to the hotel, we realized our reservation didn’t say August 13 till 15 but August 12 till 14.  Which meant we were early for the check-in but a day late. Ouch.
The manager guy was kind of nice (at 3pm) since he didn’t cancel our second night. We were happy. There was a very odd smell in the hotel, probable coming from the restaurant, pub and deli downstairs.
Well, our arrival wasn’t the best at first. Then we had a great Thai meal and Seattle was getting better.
After this first adventure, we parked the car and went downtown. There was no one in the streets, just some very strange people and we didn’t like it all that much. We even cancelled our planned anniversary dinner and decided to do it elsewhere because the place and the city didn’t appeal to us.
After this dinner cancellation, we decided to have a drink in a bar. There was one, called Blue Moon, not that far from our hotel (about a mile), recommended by Lonely Planet for a nice creative atmosphere (people are supposed to recite poems there). The neighborhood was quite strange around there and when we saw the bar, we didn’t find the courage to get in. Most of the people there looked more like Hell’s Angels than poets.
Unfortunately, most of the pubs we saw on our way were about to close (why when it was 10 pm on a Friday…). We bought a beer and some chips and were off to the hotel. Funny day.

Day 16
in Seattle and to the Olympic Peninsula
Since our first day in Seattle wasn’t all that nice and the hotel didn’t have any vacancies for Saturday night, we decided to leave for the Olympic Peninsula in the afternoon and sleep in a campground.
Our second day in Seattle was way better. We started it at Jiffu Lube’s, changing the oil in our car (which requested it the previous day). First we wanted to change our car at the agency but the nearest available convertible was probably in San Francisco (not one in the Pacific Northwest area) so we went for the oil change. Which was a great idea. The whole process, which takes about a day or three in Czech Republic and France and costs an awful lot of money for what it is, took about 15 minutes at Jiffy Lube. For 39$ they changed the oil AND the filter and checked about everything in the car. The didn’t do tire repairs but sent us elsewhere (Les Schwab). Our left rear tire was loosing a bit of air and we had to fill it up every two days. It turned out there was a nail in it (which Stepan discovered the day before). This reparation took about 30 minutes and it was for free. “We don’t charge for this kind of stuff”. We gave the guy at least a tip (which he was reluctant to accept…)
After these car adventures, we went Downtown again and to the SAM (Seattle Art Museum). We went mostly for Modern and American Art (nothing against 18th century European paintings but…). There were two great exhibitions – one about Kurt Cobain and art linked to him and one of Andy Warhol’s motion art.
We also bought delicious Salmon at Pike Market (where the guys throw fish for those who know the place).
Then we were off to the ferry and out of the city.
Even though the ride on the ferry lasted just about 30 minutes, we saw several animals one of which was a whale (it had this water fountain coming out of its head!)
All the campgrounds on the peninsula were full but the volunteer ladies managed to squeeze us in with on a campsite with another guy. It was a campsite where a dozen tents would fit easily… After preparing our tent, we drove to nearby Port Townsend. Nothing was happening there - just a great milkshake and a crazy punk group playing in a space that wasn’t a bar.

Day 17
Olympic NP
In the morning we went back to Port Townsend for two equally important reasons – gasoline and shoes. We bought a nice pair of dark blue cowboy shoes.
Olympic NP has three main (and very distinct) features to offer – mountains, rain forests and wild ocean coast. Since alpine meadows and peaks is something you can actually see in the Alps, we opted for the latter two. First on our itinerary was Hoh Rain Forest where we decided to stay for the night and plant our tent on a very nice campsite under huge trees, innumerable stars and next to the Hoh River.
We hiked on two trails and the trees and the whole rainforest was huge and stunning. It’s an impressive place to see. Many of these trees date back to the age of European cathedrals.
We spent our anniversary evening talking around fire and eating beans and bananas. It was a nice (and warm) night.

About wood
At the campgrounds you have to buy your wood because picking it up is forbidden, the camp being in a National Park. In most of the parks, there is a shop or a ranger you can buy it from. In Hoh Rain Forest, you just put 5$ in a box and take a bundle of wood. This same system can be seen for trail brochures (in most of the parks) and we even saw a flower shop next to the road where you choose your flowers, pay for them and leave, all of this without a vendor. We are very sad such a thing can’t work in Czech Republic or France because some idiot would just abuse of it. It’s a pity.

Day 18
Olympic NP Coast and down to Oregon – our first day in the FOG
In the morning, we went to see the third part of Olympic NP - the Pacific Coast. Actually, we didn’t see much of it since it was very foggy. That was the moment we entered the fog and it’s just a little exaggeration if I say we’ve been in it ever since.
Even in the fog, the coast is beautiful with black sand, big rocks, very cold wavy water and white-washed logs around the beach.
Columbia River is the border between Washington and Oregon where we crossed it. It doesn’t look like a river at all. You can’t even fit it in the frame of you picture when driving across the bridge.
Down the coast, we stopped in the Oregon city of Seaside. Not because it’s a major sight but because of food again. Our Roadfood friend recommended us Norma’s Ocean Diner. We had delicious albacore fish and chips. Fresh and very tasty, they were a complete opposite of the weather outside – grey, foggy and very cold.

About fog
Most of the Pacific Coast we had the chance to experience is almost continuously hidden in the fog. It's funny, when you get but a mile or two inland, the fog disappears and it's sunny and warm again. It's crazy. And this description includes most of what we experienced here in San Francisco :)

PHOTOS to come later (they are still in the camera...)

Day 14 From Yellowstone NP through Montana all the way to Spokane Valley, WA

Our drive through Montana:

After the frozen night and morning (and a hot oatmeal), we packed our stuff and headed north. Near the mud volcano, we saw plenty of bison – small, big, old, cute and a few very smelly and muddy springs and sleeping geysers. We stopped to walk around Mammoth Hot Springs in Northern Yellowstone and hit the road again.
Our next stop included food. We followed our super guide “Roadfood”, given to us by our friend Mike (thanks Mike, it’s GREAT) and decided to stop in Montana’s Butte. Once “the richest hill on Earth” because of copper mining, it’s now a cute and sleepy town in the middle of nowhere. But it still has a great charm thanks to its mining towers and numerous palaces, banks and other buildings you would expect to see in NYC or San Francisco but not in Butte, Montana.  Last but not least, it has “Matt’s”, a tiny drive-in that keeps its 1950s design (including the cashier, the OLD Coca-Cola freezer and the milkshake blenders). And the sandwiches are just simple and very tasty. Not speaking of the onion rings and the milkshake. Matt’s place is on the register of Historic places and it’s menu haven’t changed since the 1930s.  If you ever have a chance to wander to Butte, don’t miss it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

San Francisco

Hello everyone,

we're currently in San Francisco.
Our ride on the Northern part of Highway 1 was very adventurous (you've never experienced a better and longer roller-coaster!). Which meant I had to look in front of me for several hours and couldn't write anything new about our adventures in Montana, Washington and Oregon.
In a sentence : It was great! There were bison, whales, big forests and a LOT of fog.

More details and pictures to come soon!
Love from San Francisco
Lucie and Stepan

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oregon Coast

Hi Guys,
just a post to say hi from the Oregon Coast. Everything is fine, I'll post more in a two/three days time when we get to San Francisco.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Days 11, 12, 13 and 14– August 9, 10, 11 and 12 From Evanston to Grand Teton NP and Yellowstone NP

Day 11
From Evanston through Jackson to Grand Teton NP
After a few donuts topped by tons of sugar (as most of the things here), we were off to the parks of northwestern Wyoming. When we first planned our trip, we were not thinking about stopping at Grand Teton NP. Then Googlemaps couldn’t locate Yellowstone on our itinerary and I saw Grand Teton just south of Yellowstone. Then it became part of our itinerary. We were thinking about driving through since it was on our way. Then my family on Nantucket told us how amazing this park is. And they were right.
We drove in the town of Jackson and the valley of Jackson Hole and the Ridge of the Tetons opened in front of us. Heavy rain clouds and rays of light created a wonderful sight of the valley. We knew campgrounds in Grand Teton NP fill pretty early (and you can’t reserve at any) hence we skipped the town of Jackson for the moment and drove to the Visitor’s Center. Some of the campgrounds were already full but the ranger told us to go to Colder Bay - a very nice place right on Jackson Lake.
After planting our tent and putting all food, drinks and toiletries in the trunk of our car (“Be Bear Aware”), we put on our raincoats and went for a small trail on the lakeshore. The sky cleared by the end of the hike and we decided to buy wood a make a fire in the fire pit on our campsite and grill some corn. Bad luck, our wood wasn’t that dry and was very fire-resistant. We finally managed to make enough charcoals to grill our corn. By the time it was ready, I was half asleep and we had put on many layers of clothing (it was 44’F – 7’C). My duvet sleeping bag saved my sleep but Stepan’s wasn’t quite that generous…

Day 12
From Grand Teton NP to Jackson and back
We really liked the place and were worried about the campgrounds occupancy in Yellowstone. We decided to stay one more night and go for a bigger hike and drive back to Jackson to see the town.
We choose a trail around Jenny Lake and to the Hidden Falls. We were ferociously clapping our hands and didn’t see any bear. The trail was wonderful, with a very nice view of Grand Teton (over 13.000 feet – 4300m) and lots of nice flowers around the path. We observed a magnificent osprey on a dead tree; saw a few squirrels, many chipmunks and butterflies and two snakes (one very small and one very big, brrr).
Hidden Falls were really hidden and amazing – over 200 feet, almost 70 meters of falling water and then the rapids, enormous amounts of beautifully roaring water.
After a visit of the town of Jackson, one good portion of strawberry ice-cream and having discovered that cheapest cowboy boots cost almost 300$, we went to the Greater Yellowstone Visitors Center to get info about Yellowstone Campgrounds. About half of them were full by 7.30 am and most of the others were far away. Five of them were private and could be reserved. We decided to call and try our chance. Bad luck, it was 6.05 pm and the reservation center closed at 6 pm. Please, try again at 7 am.
On the way back, we saw part of a moose (his ear) that was hidden next to the road.
At the campground, we bought more wood, more corn and even some meet. This time, we started earlier, our wood was drier and outside temperature was a bit higher than the night before. Our dinner was delicious.

Day 13
From Grand Teton NP to Yellowstone
At 7 am, we were at the pay phone and called the reservation center. There were no more tent sites at Grant Village (our first choice) but we booked an RV site. After a shower, some laundry and a visit to the Indian Arts Museum, we put our top down and drove to Yellowstone.
Upon our arrival at the Grant Village Campground Check-in, we discovered a tent site became available in the meantime. We were happy to be with other tents rather than huge American RVs and trailers.

About RVs and trailers
American RVs and trailers are HUGE. I know, you’d say, everything is bigger in the US since it’s a big country. Yes, that’s true but these RVs and trailers are just enormous. Some are “normal” but many are the size of an average bus. These buses   don’t think it’s enough to have a bus; most of them pull a car behind them.  Small cars can be seen but mostly it’s 4wheelers and vans. Sometimes, this pulled car carries other gear – a canoe, bikes or motorbikes. The whole thing is just HUGE.

Back to our trip
After “securing” our campsite, we drove further into the park to discover the wonders of Yellowstone. This NP is enormous and full of wildlife. You have to drive very carefully.  We met a giant elk on the road just a few minutes after entering the park so we took this notice very seriously.
Our timing couldn’t have been better. We arrived at Old Faithful about 10 minutes before it erupted then went for a walk around the geyser basin. There were geysers and hot springs all around. Which is understandable since 2/3 of all geysers on Earth are located in Yellowstone. The colors and movements were incredible.
After the geysers, we were off to see some wildlife. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the valley where most of the bison, elks and moose are, we got stuck in traffic. Apparently, someone had an accident at the other end of the valley. We spent almost three hours in a very slowly moving line. By the time we got to the place where bison were, sun had set and we could barely distinguish bison a few meters from us.
We got back at 9.45 pm and went basically directly to sleep. It was getting cold. that night, temperature fell really low. In the morning, it was 37’F which is 3’C. Freaking cold!

Day 14
From Yellowstone NP through Montana all the way to Spokane Valley, WA
to be continued...


Photos on Picasa

Hi everyone,
connection seems to be very slow in this hotel, meaning I am unable to post pictures to ilustrate the blog. If I manage, I will put them all on Picasa.

Days 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 – August 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 From Las Vegas to Zion NP to Bryce Canyon NP to Grand Canyon NP through Monument Valley to Moab and Arches NP to Park City to Evanston - 2ND PART

Day 7 - 2nd Part

We left Zion NP and drove to Bryce Canyon. On the Zion scenic road, there are tunnels like we never saw before. The longest one is 4 miles long, cut into the rock in 1930 (you can actually see the cuts), very narrow and there are no lights in there, authentic. Nothing like an Austrian or Swiss tunnel…
At Bryce Canyon, the first thing that surprised us was how high we were (above 8000 feet = 2700 m). The second thing was a cold rain.  We went for a walk then came back to our campsite. It stopped raining right on time for us to eat chili con carne and go to see the sunset above the canyon. The sky was splendid: several thunderstorms above distant mountains, heavy rains above others.

Day 8 – Bryce Canyon NP and Grand Canyon NP
The night was very cold. We managed to wake up in the morning to see the sunrise above the Canyon. There were dozens of people waiting with us. But they just took pictures and went back to the lodge or to their campsites whereas we drank some orange juice, ate a muesli bar and went for a hike in the canyon. It was great. The light was filling up the canyon and there was almost no one down there except for  us, a couple, a guy that looked like a ranger but wasn’t one, a few chipmunks and even a Utah prairie dog. The Utah prairie dog is an endemic species and wanders only seldom in the canyon, since his home is the prairie above. We were quite happy about not seeing any rattlesnakes.
In the afternoon, after a few hours drive and a nice guy at a gas station who taught us how big a tip is expected for which services (we asked…), we arrived at Grand Canyon’s North Rim. Our first impression was completely different from what we expected. Most of the National Park on its North Rim are astonishingly big and beautiful alpine meadows and pine and aspen forests. We expected just rocks… what a big mistake! We managed to put our top down just a few seconds before rain came.
Upon our arrival at the campground, we couldn’t go to our campsite until 4 pm (it was about 2 pm) because of some roadwork being done. We went to the lodge, had a meal with the view of Grand Canyon, did some laundry and the access to our campsite was ready. We planted our tent and went for a hike on the Widforss trail which has nice forests and a view of the Canyon. Since it was almost evening, we were the only ones on the trail. We even met some animals (one deer was about 3 meters from us) and we were quite happy none of them was a bear.
Night fell quickly and the starlit sky was amazing. We thought the next day would be as nice as this one and planned on going into the Canyon (for a bit) to see the way down into Grand Canyon.

Day 9 – Grand Canyon NP and a drive through Monument Valley
Our plans didn’t go as expected. It started raining during the night. The rain intensified in the morning. We managed to pack our tent when the rainfall calmed down. Then it started heavy again. After a breakfast at the local shop and a quick connection to the Internet, we were off to our next destination – Moab, UT. It was very heavy raining all day, which meant we didn’t see much of Monument Valley. There were some areas on the road we think were flooded about an hour after we passed there. I don’t think that heavy rains are common in the Desert…
After an all day ride, we finally arrived to Moab. ALL the motels were full and the campgrounds in the park as well. We managed to get the last available tent site in the city campground. It was an unpleasant night. 
Since it was a private campground and it was in the city, campers were extremely different from those in the National Park Campgrounds with no pool and playground etc. 
The tent sites were very small and ours neighbored with one occupied by an extremely crazy Polish family. They didn’t respect quiet hours (in the evening and in the morning). That was our only night here in the US when we had to use our earplugs. It still was horrible (Polish TV series ‘till midnight then Polish radio in the morning – at 6.50 am).

Day 10 – Arches NP and a crazy trip to Park City
We were happy to get up and leave. Getting up early was a good idea since Arches NP is basically a desert. We drove into the heart of the park and went for the ‘Devil’s Garden’ trail. That’s the one you can see most Arches at. I think it’s eight. First third of the trail is quite ok, it’s paved or compacted sand and it’s an easy walk. Then, after the Landscape Arch, the trail becomes primitive which means walking on sand or climbing up and down sandstone. There were moments with impressive drop offs but the good point was, it was far less crowded. First and second parts of Devil’s Garden trail were equally hot. Very hot. We got back around midday, which was about time – more people and more heat were on the way.
The Arches were extraordinary.
Then we’d had enough of rocks and were off to see something different. We decided not to stop in Salt Lake City but to go to Park City – a mountain town that hosted skiing, ski jumping and sledding disciplines during 2002 Winter Olympics. The drive up there was very nice. We went up a nice valley, around a lake and up on the plain. There it was, Park City. We checked our Lonely Planet and decided to stay at Chateau Apres Lodge for the night. We spent the better part of an hour looking for Norfolk Avenue. No on really knew where it was plus we didn’t know Park City and there are many dead ends and one ways. When we finally found it, it was closed. We peaked around for a while then decided to try the hotel just next to it. Its check-in office was closed on the Sundays. After looking around for another 20 minutes, we found out all the check-ins of all the hotels were closed. Park City obviously isn’t a place where you can come for just one night. We managed to see a bit of Park City’s Main St, which dates back from the 19th century.
Then we were off to look for a motel on the road. Super 8 in Evanston was a very clean and comfortable place to stay.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Days 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 – August 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 From Las Vegas to Zion NP to Bryce Canyon NP to Grand Canyon NP through Monument Valley to Moab and Arches NP to Park City to Evanston

Here we go… this is going to be pretty long…

Day 6
From Las Vegas to Zion National Park
We arrived in Las Vegas on time, managed to rent our great Chrysler Sebring Convertible (photo to come soon), learnt how to put the top down and left the rental parking lot. We managed to find our hotel (Bally’s, right on the Strip, next to Paris and on the other side of the Strip from the Bellagio) and to park our car. We started to be pretty jet-lagged since it was 11.30 pm and we wanted to get our stuff into the room and go for a short walk on the strip to see a bit of the city. We spent the next hour queuing for check-in – there were just two people at the reception desk… The girl then gave us a suite, which was nice of her but we got there at 1 am (which was 4 am for us). We still went out for a short walk, watched for a few minutes people throwing away their money in the casinos and had a disgusting soup and a good blt sandwich. By 2.30 am, we were fast asleep.
Since we were jet-lagged, we woke up around 7.30 am. The good point was, we had time to use the Jacuzzi bath in our suite. It was a great wake-up. By the time we got out to get breakfast and do some shopping at Victoria’s Secret, it was already 104’F (40’C) outside. When we left Las Vegas, we were extremely happy there was air-conditioning in our car.
Our first stop was at the Wal-Mart in St George, UT. We had to buy a new stove because our European one doesn’t fit on the gas containers sold in the shop. We made two discoveries : 1) all milk needs to be refrigerated, no TetraPak, 2) water is sold either in small bottles or in big jugs, no 1,5L bottles are to be found. It was 106’F outside and the wind that blew was extremely hot. The Snickers Stepan bought and wanted to eat before leaving the parking lot melted in the 2 minutes it took us to get from the shop into the car!
We arrived to Zion NP in the afternoon, bought America the Beautiful (entrance to all the parks), got to our campsite and took the shuttle (free, operates every 6-15 minutes, with a great explanation ranger talk) to the Zion Lodge. We hike the trail to the Lower, Middle and Upper Emerald Pools. Since it was before sunset, there were just a few people on the trails. It was great. On our way back, we met a tarantula. We didn’t see it at first but a guy showed it to us. Sunset was just stunning above these red and white mountains!

Day 7 – Zion NP and Bryce Canyon NP
In the morning, we went for a hike into the Narrows. It’s a place where the canyon gets very narrow, there is no road or path or meadows, only the river. You hike upstream and then downstream in the Virgin River. Since the weather was super hot again, walking in cool water was great. We spent about 3 hours there and had really great time. The beginning was very crowded (Chinese families barefoot, carrying children in one hand and their camera in the other, people in blue-jeans and shirts…) but as the water got deeper and the rocks more slippery, the crowd disappeared. This hike was great. If you go there, be sure to have a pole and a waterproof bag to put your valuables.

To be continued for Bryce Canyon NP...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hi from Grand Canyon

Hello everyone! First wifi after we left JFK. We are currently at Grand Canyon and everything is fine. it's heavy raining now but we've had splendid weather conditions for the last fouf days - oscilating between 53 and 106'F :). Zion and Bryce canyon were both amazing. I will write a post offline in the car (convertible is a real fun!) and get the photos ready and post them as soon as we get wifi again. Bye for now, Lucie

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Pictures from ACK

I added new pictures from the last two days:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Days 3, 4 and 5 – August 1st, 2nd and 3rd Nantucket, WHALING and our flight to Vegas

Days 3 and 4 on Nantucket were as fabulous as the previous two. We went to town shopping (we didn’t buy anything but DELICIOUS home made ice cream in a home made waffle-cone), we went to have drinks with my cousin Max and his wonderful girlfriend Audrey at the place where my other cousin Brooke works. 

We rode around the island, visited the whaling museum, learnt a lot of things and saw the city and the harbor from its roof. We also went to the beach (this time the one with waves).

The Whaling museum was extraordinary. Actually, the whaling itself was extraordinary. The Whalers used to leave the island for long periods of time (first a few months when there were enough whales near to the island, then for up to 4 years by the end of the era, when they had to go to the Pacific and Indian Oceans to find whales). They came back only once their big ship was full of whale and predominantly its fat.  Being a whaler consisted of two very different phases. The first one was very boring = looking for whales, and it could last for ages.  The second one, very dangerous, took place once the whale was found. Six men in a small boat (about 8 meters long, open and wooden) approached the whale (the biggest ones were up to 20 meters long). Their aim was to get as close to the animal as possible – “make the wood and the blackskin touch”. They then harpooned the animal with two harpoons that had ropes linked to them.
- If everything went ok, the officer then used a lance to kill the whale by piercing an organ containing oxygenated blood. This act killed the whale. They then dragged it to the main ship where it hung on the side of the ship and the whole crew worked for several days nonstop to cut it into pieces. They had to be quick because otherwise sharks would eat the whale in the meantime. 
- If the whale got angry and dived or sped forward, it would drag the boat along the waves at extremely high speed. The whale either tired and was killed by the lance or the ropes were not long enough and the whalers had to release their prey.
Once the whale killed and cut into pieces, they stocked its blubber in barrels. They wouldn’t come back to Nantucket until the whole ship was full of whale fat. Once back, they made several different things with this fat but mostly candles. The enormous quantities produced and the quality of the products made Nantucket a very rich place.
There is another quite interesting think linked to whaling: since men used to be away from the island for important periods of time, women had considerably more rights and power there than elsewhere in the Commonwealth/the United States.

We left Nantucket on Tuesday afternoon. We had wonderful time there! THANKS EVERYBODY!

Now the real adventure begins.  We will be in Las Vegas in a couple of hours and then off into the beauty of the National Parks of Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. No Internet coverage there, I expect. We will keep you posted when we get to a place connected to the world.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


For more pictures, it's

Days 1 and 2– July 30 and 31

Paris – New York JFK – the beautiful island of Nantucket 

Having squeezed all our boxes and bags, the sofa, the kitchen table and the armchair in our bedroom at one a.m., we were ready to sleep a few hours and get to the airport. Our airplane took off on time, as did the one from JFK to ACK. At 3 p.m. we were on the island. If you want to see a cute little airport, come to Nantucket.
Our family came pick us up and we drove to the house. Since the historical association of Nantucket keeps a close eye on all the constructions on the island and there are very strict style and architecture rules, all the houses are built, enlarged and renovated in the Nantucket style. Which is not only very beautiful but also very useful. It’s wooden tiles all around the house, no paint on them, just natural wood. With the wind, the rain and the salt from the sea, they get grey over the years. The trims vary from white to light gray. Trees, lawns, ponds, bike paths and beaches are all around (normal, it’s an island). 

As Nantucket used to be the center of the whaling world (and the richest town in all America at one point), almost every house has a “widow’s walk” which is a platform on the top of the roof where whalers’ wives used to stand and watch the ocean for the return of their husbands. We went there to watch the sunset.
On Saturday, we went to a stripe of land accessible only by boat (unless you want to drive for 45 minutes). 
The water was very calm and warm and Max took us waterskiing. It was amazing!
Nantucket is just so beautiful, calm and peaceful and everyone is so nice here. WELCOME TO AMERICA!