On the way to Arches!
This was the first stop in our departing USA National Park Tour. We left our appartment with camping gear for a one month trip and enough clothes and other items to last us a month in Japan. The car was jam packed.
For the first time ever we didn't stop in Las Vegas. We stopped near St. George as we entered Utah.
Not really a vacation. The AIUM meeting was on in Phoenix and Cassandra and I took the 6 hour drive over. It was pretty desolate country but well worth the drive to see all the cacti out there. We stayed in quite a nice hotel/resort but unfortunately we didn't take many photos on this trip.
Memorial Day is a holiday in USA where they remember those who have died in the nations service. Its also a long weekend and we decided to set off to see the sandstone slot canyons at Lake Powell. Its an 8 hour drive to Lake Powell and we tried to set off early enough on Friday afternoon to beat the traffic. But we failed so we didnt even make it to Las Vegas on the first night. We decided to stop in Vegas for a buffet Lunch the next day. But made a big mistake when we decided to try out the MGM buffet instead of our favourite Belagio. Belagio is still the king of buffets.
We went to Ecuador to meet up with Dave's parents who were finishing up another long time trip. Ecuador has 3 pretty distinct area: The Coastal Area that we did not visit, The Mountainous area characterized by lots of volcanos where we spent most of our time and the rainforrest area which contains forrest and tributaries to the Amazon river.
Our friend Michele, pictured below eating a beignet with Cassandra, asked us to come to New Orleans for Jazz Fest. It seems like most Americans either love or hate the place. We think its great. We love the different style of the place. Like being in another country. This would have to have been our event of the year.
This year the American Society of Echo meeting was moved from Toronto to Las Vegas because of ARS fears during the organizing period. This was bad news for us because were looking forward to seeing Toronto. But in the end it worked out very well bacause our friend Peter called and said he could tack a few days onto the end of the trip a perhaps we could go and see the grand canyon. It turned out to be
We drove up to Santa Barbara for a long weekend not quite knowing what to expect. Santa Barbara turned out to be the California that I was expecting to find in Orange Country. Laid back and easy going.
We set off without any idea what we were going to do and had a very nice trip. Santa Barbara had lots of nice restaurants, a pretty decent mission and a beatiful courthouse.
This year we went back to Taiwan for Chinese New Year. Well actually we went back the week after because we didn't want to be there when everything was shut down. Here is Taipei city from the deck of our friends David and Jean's apartment.
In Mexico. We went to Peurto Vallarta for a week with Dave's parents. This photo was talken on the balcony of the fantastic time share where we stayed. The photo doesnt show it, but the sea view was spectacular and there was a great barbeque for evening feasts. There was also a jaccuzzi. (and beer!)