25 days “over there”

Hello Orlando

This is just a quick note to those at home - we’ve landed and are now at our hotel.

They’ve been expecting thunder today, but no thunder or rain - the humidity is at 86% so Anett’s hair started to curl. To come from a warm dry Phoenix to this - we’re not sure what is more evil! The only thing we know is that they’re trying to compensate for all the warmth inside cause it’s so cold (our room - at the restaurant we had dinner) that we got goosebumps!

Well - not gonna bore. It’s almost 1 am and we should be asleep but our bodies are on California time which means it’s only 10 pm. Surfing the net and trying to find something to do tomorrow.

God natt! (good night)

October 5th, 2008 at 11:44 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Flagstaff to Phoenix

Oct. 3rd: We left Flagstaff today. Before we left we took a trip around the campus. So Hanne - got some pics for you when we get home.

The drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix is just a 2 hour ride - one of our shortest drives so far :) We’re actually outside Phoenix in an area called Mesa. After being installed into the motell (Best Western) and a quick rest (it was hot outside (what’s new?)) we headed out for dinner at a local Indien restaurant - thanks to our gps.

We’re gonna relax today and tomorrow and get ready for our 4 hour flight to Orlando.

Oct 4th: We started the day with a complimentary breakfast. One of the better ones so far - no pastry! We headed out to find the airport so that we knew where to leave our car and where to check in. The airport was a bit of a puzzle and we’re glad we went cause this will take quite some time. There is one area for all rental car returns which is some 20 mins away for our terminal - thank you for free shuttle buses.

After we had found our way out of the airport we headed to Phoenix Bothanical garden. We thought it would be fun to see some other plants than what we’re used to in Norway. We also got to see a lot of Cardinal butterflies!

 Most of what we saw was cacti, but we also found some local wildlife (as usual).

Here are some of the cacti we took pics of:

There were a few (very few) flowers there - here is one of the more pretty one:

That ppl - ends our west coast travel. We’ll be heading for Orlando tomorrow - landing there am 10 pm local time (that is 6 h behind Norwegian time) so there will be no posts tomorrow 5th. We’ll see you all soon - in Florida - so follow our last 11 days of this 25 days trip!

October 5th, 2008 at 8:39 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Grand Canyon south rim

Good morning Flagstaff! Since we arrived in the dark of the night we had no idea what this place looks like. For those of you who wonder why we stopped here it’s cause of my friend Hanne. She studied here for a year and we wanted to see it and experience it for ourselves.

But our first trip today was to the south rim of Grand Canyon (after all we had paid 25$ to get in).

We got a first look at what isn’t part of the main canyon. Unfortunately most of the stops are full of people that wants to sell stuff. But we did find a little place to stop that didn’t have any sellers around. Others even stopped with us there. We even got more pictures of the wildlife, in the series of things that live around here. (try to spot them in the pictures)


Then it was time to drive on into the big Canyon area. Showed off our ticket from yesterday and got a new paper telling about things at the south rim. The first stop was at a watchtower and the first real big look over the canyon.

After taking in the first impressions we move along the edge and took more and more pictures. Here are some of them.



 There were supposed to be mountain lions around, but they didn’t show themselves to us. So after a long trip along the edge we turned our nose back southeast towards Flagstaff. Got back and relaxed a little before taking a trip around the town mostly to find a place to eat. We decided to try out “The Olive Garden” which is an Italian place. We got plenty of good food and even got some back in a doggybag. Will make a great breakfast.

PS: The news are saying that Flagstaff and the area around here will get some snow soon. We are leaving. :-)

October 2nd, 2008 at 1:17 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Leaving Las Vegas

You saw that coming didn’t you?

After two days in the city of sin we left and headed forGrand Canyon. Since our gps didn’t find the route we wanted to go we just typed in Zion National Park and headed in whatever direction it was.

There are some funny signs here. Like one we drove past saying “Hidden Valley”. Why would you have a sign to a hidden valley? Isn’t it suppose to be hidden?

Another thing that never stops to amaze us is the roads - they just keep on going - like never-ending-roads.

One sight that we’ve seen quite a few of in the soon last two weeks is this - a car close to a VR (campingbil). First time we saw this we thought “that was just a bit too close to the car on front” - well - we understood the whole thing when we passed it - they’re towing their own car!

After driving for about 1 hour we saw the first part of the Grand Canyon or atleast what the mountains look like (again - a funny sign “Virgin River”… wonder how that name came to be)

The drive today was quite a long one - a bit longer than we thought it would be. We headed into Utah and to Zion National park, but this was only to get or GPS to find a way to Grand Canyon and it’s north rim. (read - it was a loooooong driiiiive).

So we left Zion and headed towards Grand Canyon - through a small town that where we thought our GPS had gotten a heat stroke cause it wanted us to take a u-turn around a block, but it was a road there taking us up up up the mountain.

You might think that these roads would make ppl speed - and they do! When we’re on cruise control and the speed we should be at we’re often passed by the locals, but they highway patrol are everywhere so it’s stupidity to speed! (last car we saw was a pimped BMW… hear that Øystein :) )


But when you see these pics we can sure relate to just want to floor it. The dark part in the middle is a cloud in the sky making a shadow. Btw - american as really slow on passing you. Must be these boring (read slow) automatic gears…

Since I - Anett - are the desinated passenger (by choice) I get to take all these lovely pictures (atleast some of the 500 pics we took today turned out quite nice) - like this one!

It was getting late and we were still about 1 hour from the north rim - would be make it before sun set?

As you can see from the picture we had climbed quite a bit - closing in on the tallest of the Norwegian mountain - we were now at 2415 meters.

The road was gonna take us to Flagstaff (do you hear that Hanne?), but we couldn’t just drive around Grand Canyon without getting to see the view, so we had about 45 mins to get to the rim before the sun set (and time was not on our side at all!)

These cute ones was to blame that we almost missed the grand view.

The landscape looks very Norwegian. With its pine and birch trees. From the look of it it had been a forest fire some time ago, but the nature has its ways to get back on track.

After a few meetings with the local wild life and $25 to get into the park (valid for a whole week) we got to the northern rim as the sun set - we made it!

So we took our pictures and then poof - it was dark. It was 6:30 pm and it was black - dark and we had yet 3 1/2 hours drive in front of us, but we were lucky and had another car in front of us for most of the drive - scaring off the poor deers.

We fell asleep as soon as we got inside the door of our motel, but Hanne - you have something to explain - these “BLEEP” trains that scared the shit out of us! I hope Flagstaff is better daytime than night time.

Tomorrow - south rim of the Grand Canyon.

October 1st, 2008 at 9:28 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Las Vegas.

Ended the last post with an evening view of the hotel. After that we went down and looked and what the city had to offer. We decided to have some real dinner at “The steak house” inside the CircusCircus Casino. Anett had a New York Steak and Jan Ove had a Porterhouse. Both steaks were great, and the waitor surely deserved his tips.

After that we looked around the main thing about the casinos, the machines, and there sure were a lot of them. They also made a lot of noise. We had to use a little money on them ourselves. Tried to win a car, but like 99,99% of the people trying to win end up loosing all they bet.

Well, here is the hotel entrance an a picture of what they had to offer of entertainment. They even had their own circusring, hence the name.

Took a long walk outside and looked a the sight. Was a bit tired of the trip so didn’t see to much, but we had planned one more day there.

The view in daytime isn’t as grand as the nighttime. Las Vegas is truly the town that has turned the clock around.

We got to see the largest inside amusement park called “Addventuredome”, which was a part of CircusCircus. Nothing to really write home about, but at least we were there.

Later in the evening we walked down the strip and looked at the other casinos. Inside they are mostly the same all of them. Slotmachines, crapstables, roulette and so on. The only difference between them is the design of the building. We loved the design of the Venetian the most. They have even managed to make canals and have gondols there.

The inside doesn’t stand back for the design of the outside. Pictures of the painted roof. As said earlier, the machines are the same in all casinos.

We could have put up a lot more pictures from the town, but we’ll leave you with these and recommend you take a trip yourself. And CircusCircus is cheap and perfect to stay at. The deal for the room there was even including $25 dollar gas.

So after some more gaming we went to bed and moved on they next day. Plans were to see a little of the area around Grand Canyon on our way to Flagstaff (not the direct route).


September 30th, 2008 at 7:54 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

From San Diego to Las Vegas

After 2 days in San Diego we left and headed for Lake Havasu City - we’ll tell you why later. We got the first rain shower which lasted for 20 sec, but again the weather is just hot hot hot and of course sunny.

The scenery is kinda awsome. It looks like something out of this world and you wonder how all the rocks got there in the first place.

The GPS isn’t always as reliable as you might think. Ours took us on 30 mins roadtrip closer to Phoenix (where we are going to later this week), but we soon got on the right track.

These roads had a sign saying DIPS. We didn’t quite knew what is was until we drove one.. it’s close to a rollercoaster ride (Anett added a it of sound with her “wheee.. whoooo..”. (and with some extra speed it was even more fun).

After driving these road for a while we came to a border control - right in the middle of NO WHERE! (I guess we were a bit closer to the mexican border than we knew we were), but the police officer was very polite and made a joke about our long drive from Norway. Again we got to talk about the weather (for those of you who read this and are NOT Norwegian - if there is one thing we Norwegians can talk about it’s the weather) and we asked if he knew how hot it was and he thought it was about 100F + (this is close to 40 C) - like we said - it’s HOT!

As I said earlier we were on quite the road trip and the road took us over some pretty sand dunes! Here’s one out of many!

After a short stop to take some pictures of these pretty dunes (sorry - but again - it was H O T) we headed into Arizona. Try not to fall asleep as the road goes on and on and on…  

The landscape was mostly burnt and kinda look similar to what we might see on the Canary Islands, but as soon as there was a river somewhere it was also green!

These pictures are from a place between Parker and Lake Havasu City - pretty isn’t it?

Entering Lake Havasu City the temperature was 104 F (that is 40 C!) We were wondering how the car could handle this heat, but it still works so fingers crossed it will take us to Phoenix.

Lake Havasu City is a place that if I lived in the US would go to for a holiday, but that was not the reason why we went there.

A bit of history. Lake Havasu City was nothing - it wasn’t even a place until they made the Parker Dam in 1938 - that’s when the Lake Havasu was made (it origins from the Colorado river). The this exentric Mr. Robert McCulloch finds the area intersting and buys a piece of land and 100 mobilhomes - this is the start of Lake Havasu City. A very small place in the middle of nowhere that no one has ever heard of. Then in 1962 this excentric Robert hears about London bridge (”is falling down, falling down, falling down”). The old bridge in London couldn’t sustain the encreasing traffic and was sinking into the river Thems. So - Robert McMulloch buys the 300 m (984 feet) long and 15 m (49 feet) wide bridge for $2.46 mill - higest bidder. So - after being packed, shipped by sea and land the bridge is up and running in 1971 - connecting the small island in Lake Havasu with the main land.

After this ppl got their eyes opened for this place and now have a population of 45000 and as our guide book say - who is more crazy - the man who bought it or the ppl who travel to see it :)


After driving across and back we headed for our final goal for the day - Las Vegas.

We drove into the city of Las Vegas at 4 pm and headed to our hotel - Circus Circus (I - Anett - thought Jan Ove had booked a motel - little did I knew).

Circus Cirus is a large hotel with and indoor Adventure dome (in Norwegian - tivoli) and our room is on the 32nd floor! Top of the dome in the picture.

Our room:


You might ask why we have two beds? The answer is - THE STUPID AMERICAN BLANKETS!!! (same as they have in England). One big blanket for two ppl = no sleep (we tried it in Motel 6). So therefore - two beds.

We’re ending this post with a picture of our nighttime view.

September 29th, 2008 at 11:32 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

San Diego Zoo

A zoo is a zoo is a zoo, but since we read it’s suppose to be one of the best we thought we’d give it a try. The weather was again warm, but as it was more windy it was close to a hot Norwegian summer. The koalas were all asleep and most of the had their backs towards us except for this little guy.

Since I - Anett - love meerkats we took quite a lot of pictures of these guys.

And since we miss our birds we had to walk through the aviary - look at the cute little birdy!

And to all of you out there who follow our journey - we have LOADS of pictures, but since we don’t have any way to edit them we’ll put them all up when we come home - so you better come back again and look for more pics.

Todays photographer was Jan Ove - except for this that I took - look at the lens. We bought a larger one on our first day in San Francisco - and we love it!


September 28th, 2008 at 10:58 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Hello San Diego

We left Los Angeles yesterday after having breakfast at the local mall and headed for San Diego.

For us Norwegians a 10 lanes road is a bit different to the usual “motorvei”. You also have a carpool lane to use on certain hours of the day for cars with two or more ppl. We had to try it and while in there you need to follow the traffic (a bit over the speed limit :-) ).

Only 5 lanes going to San Diego…

Along the way south we passed 666 miles of driving, which is equal to 1071 km, and we keep on driving. Good thing we have lots of days to spread it out on.

The road went all the way out to the coast again and we hoped that we would get to see some more of the Pacific (Stillehavet), but once again the fog was creeping in. There was a view point along the road where we stopped to get a little stretch. We begin to wonder if there really is an ocean out there, cause we couldn’t even see the water from this point. So we had to take some pictures of the local wildlife instead. These small critters seems to be everywhere, and as you can see they are fast.

We went out on the road again and found our way to the “Best Western Seven Seas motel”. As we turned into the driveway to the motel we heard Eurythmics singing the song “Sweet dreams” and the line the came was “..Travel the world and the seven seas..”. Was almost a little creepy, but we took it as a good omen.

And it is a very nice motel. Although it is next to the big road it still is quiet here. It turns dark quickly here, and we hadn’t stayed in long before the sun went down.

Time for some dinner and we found a “TGI Friday”. It is definately cheaper than the one in Oslo, but the food is better in Oslo. The water here is also full of chlorine so even the icecubes smell of it. But in the end, it was good to get some dinner.

It is now a new day and we are going out the door in a few minutes. Time to see what San Diego has to offer in the short time we are here, so see you later. 

September 28th, 2008 at 7:00 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Universal Studios in Los Angeles

As we said yesterday, we hoped for cooler weather. Well, those that control the weather didn’t listen and we got about the same temperature as yesterday. Actually it wasn’t too bad when we got going cause a lot of the places we visited was air conditioned. The place we are talking about is ofcourse “Universal Studio Theme Park“.

We started from the hotell at about 9 in the morning. The studio opened at 10, so should be plenty of time since we are only about 30 km away from the studio. That meant that we thought that we would have about 20-30 minutes to park and so on, but the traffic was so dense that we used almost double the time we planned. And once again, we aren’t impressed with the quality of the road inside big city limits.

Well there we bought our tickets and since we planned on eating there we also bought a “dinner” pass. Entry is $67 and the food was $20, both per person. Hope it was worth it.

One would think that Friday morning would mean quite a lot of people, even though it is still a workday. Thinking that people might be taking an early weekend to go to the park, but that wasn’t the case. It was actually really quiet when we got inside. We couldn’t be happier. Nothing is better than exploring new things without stepping on other peoples feet. So we started with a little roundtrip just to see what was around.

One of the first things you see, after the obligatory souvenir shops and candy stores, is a nice board that tells you the waiting time and start time of the main attractions.

So after looking around some we started with “The Simpsons Ride” in Krustyland.

We later found out that that was the newest attraction. It was also the ride we enjoyed the most. It is a “still-rollercoaster-ride”. That means that you sit in a little wagon that moves up and down as the screen infront of you changes (the screen is alll around you). So you can move around in crazy directions and speed and since you only see the screen and feel the movement on your body you get fooled. Your senses are exhausted when you are done.

As I mentioned earlier it was hot, but that didn’t really matter cause the rooms where the rides were were cooled down, and all over the park were cooling stations. They are watersprays with a powerful fan that sprays the water even further. We walked past all the fans we could see.

After the first ride it was time for some lunch. Remember the pass we bought in the beginning? Now it was time to get some value for that. If you don’t expect a culinary experience it is perfect. Just remember that the drinks need to be payed for nevertheless.

 After the lunch we tried the rides one after the other. Shrek 4-D, ,Terminator 2:3D, Revenge of the Mummy, Special Effects, Jurassic Park and House of Horrors.

Someone got some really good scares in the last attraction, won’t mention any names. Must be a fun job being the actors that gets to scare people, although they might get a punch from time to time.

Time went on and before we knew it we had been there for almost 7 hours. Time to get some dinner and buy the last souvenirs (mostly t-shirts).

The park closes at 6 in the afternoon and it was almost that when we found our way out of the park and back to the car. We were hoping that the ride back to the motel would be less crowded and go faster, but we couldn’t be more wrong. All those that we had driven together with into the town in the morning was going back out of town in the afternoon. And as you can see, plenty of roads to pick from.

Before we got “home” we stopped by a big shoppingcenter in the hope of finding a normal store where we could buy stuff like toothpaste, fruit and other things. No luck, can’t seem to find those stores at all. We begin to wonder where americans buy their ordinary stuff.

Sleeping over here one last night, then it is away again. Probably towards San Diego, but nothing planned yet. So see you next time we get access to the internet.

September 27th, 2008 at 8:03 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Hello Los Angeles

As we said good night in Solvang we also say good morning.

Solvang is a lovely place and the lady at the check-in had a nice sense of humor. As we arrived about 8 pm - I guess we looked quite tired (believe me - we were!) she gave us a nice room upstairs.

We had a sweet breakfast today as well - of course - Danish pastry! After this sugar rush of a breakfast we went for a walk around town. They had just had their annual “Danish Days Festival” - with stuff like:

  • traditional danish days breakfast (???) - Æbleskiver and Medisterpølse (æbleskiver er hva vi på norsk kaller munker
  • æbleskiver eating contest

I guess they’ve made it all a bit American and tried to put some Danish color to it all (like danish national costumes - I have never seen a dane in “bunad” - but you could buy them in the local store). Next two pics from Solvang.

We left Solvang and headed for Santa Barbara.

 Whhich was covered in - FOG! I think we have a fog ghost following us so after a drive through Santa Barbara and I guess what was their posh area (rikmannsområde) - “Hope Ranch” we left and drove on towards LA.

After our sugar rush of a breakfast we hungered for something else to eat, but the traffic is quite heavy and then add it with speeds above 100 km/t (or 65 mph) - top it with two noobs from Norway = “there as a place to eat”  (Anett pointing while Jan Ove says WHERE!)… poof - gone! (you should laugh a bit now) BUT - after following the sign to Highway 1 into nowhere (it was Santa Clarita) we found a Subway and had a nice “1 foot lunch”.

We were lucky and got to follow the Pasific Ocean towards Malibu. It’s very pretty and I can understand why ppl would build a house on the beach - cause it’s just hot hot hot!

We’ve always thought that Malibu was on the waterfront with lots of nice houses - little did we know when we turned left off Highway 1 and up into the hills that we’d find “Malibu country club” in the middle of what seemed to be nowhere (I guess that’s why they put it there…). It’s the green spot in the middle of the photo.

After trying Motel 6 in Hollywood - fat chance to get a room there without a reservation - we used our GPS and found one outside LA in an area called Rosemead. There’s nothing fancy about this motel, but it’s cool - cold - which is useful when you see the temperatures we have outside. We’re gonna call it a night soon and head out for dinner. Tomorrow is Universal Studio on our schedule! (let’s hope for some cooler weather!)

September 26th, 2008 at 3:22 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink