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Arthur & Rae's Great Epic Journeys

Welcome to Arthur & Rae's Travel Page. This is where we will be keeping a record of our travels for all of you to read.Hopefully we will be disciplined enough to keep this up to date-it may not be every day-and hopefully we will not bore you all to tears. We would love you to leave comments for us.

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Location: BINNA BURRA, Australia

Back home again after a very long night across the Pacific. Packed flight,but we survived,although I hate the way you are loaded and unloaded from cattle class through the business section, it's akin to rubbing salt into the wound!
We will have a few very busy weeks ahead of us-with all the rain and the February heat, the "gardens"are doing their jungle impersonation.
It's great travelling, but it's also great to be home again.
Hope every one enjoyed our journey.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Location: SAN FRANCISCO

SAN FRANCISCO
Well folks-last entry. Have just spent the last couple of hours packing, re-packing, rationalising and swearing blind that we aren’t the only things that have gained weight. Of course, if all the books that we can’t help buying were taken out-there wouldn’t be a problem!! Big clean up in the morning, then taxi to the airport and home to morrow night via Air New Zealand and Auckland. Thank God the haul across the Pacific is easier than the long haul when we flew to NY.
Have spent the last couple of days making up for any lack of walking over the past couple of months. The weather has been glorious and so we covered quite a few kms. Yes, including up and down Lombard St (although going up was almost a hands and knees job) and kms along the waterfront- Fishermans Wharf etc. And by the way, it’s official-California has had its warmest winter on record-while the east coast is being buried under snow. How lucky have we been!!
So catch up with every soon. Back to reality in a couple of days.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Location: SAN FRANCISCO, North America

SAN FRANCISCO
Sadly we took our leave from Yosemite for the final leg, the journey back to San Francisco. Came back down out the Merced valley and this time in the interest of speed and theoretically an easy drive out to the coast stuck to major highways. Can’t say we enjoyed the day’s drive-very heavy traffic all the way into Emeryville where we stayed the night before returning the car and moving into the city by taxi and that would have to be the best ride. Apart from the fact that Arthur didn’t have to drive and I didn’t have to attempt to “navigate”, the driver was cheerful and knowledgeable and gave us a great commentary as we drove into the city.
We are staying in the Marina District, on the Golden Gate Bridge end of Lombard St. At this point Lombard is part of the Highways 101 / 1-the main coastal north /south route. Of course it is busy and noisy and lined with the old run down budget chain motels (one of which we are staying in). However, step back a block and the streets are lined with beautiful San Franciscan, ornate Victorian and Mediterranean style homes and apartments and village shops-bookstores, delis and bakerys. There is a bus stop outside the motel door and for 75 cents we can travel anywhere (ain’t it great being a Senior?).
We are also only a 15/60 minute walk from the Presidio and the bay with views of GGB. Haven’t been running hither and thither, just feel at the moment we want to spend the time exploring the local area, climbing hills (think car chases) and spending time around the bay which we didn’t do before. Today caught the bus to the Botanical Gardens (very peaceful) and stopped off at the GGB as the sun had finally come out, but didn’t stay long as the place was overrun with bus loads those **## selfie toting Asian tourists. The week end promises to be sunny so we will get out there early before they get out of bed.
Weather wise it is warm and although the mornings are overcast, it hasn’t rained and the sun comes out by lunch time. We have been enjoying park bench picnics. To morrow its off to Fisherman' Wharf and if I can make up the hill, the “crookedest” part of Lombard.
No photos at the moment.not that Arthur hasn’t been taking any-but nothing startling or dramatic.
Home soon



Monday, 16 February 2015

YOSEMITE REVISITED
We left a warm and snow free Lake Tahoe for a beautiful drive down the mountains and turned south for the drive to Yosemite-about 300km. We had two choices of highways –the quick but blah route on the I/state 5 or the SH 49 that runs parallel through the foot hills of the Sierra Nevada. Of course this is the one we chose and found ourselves climbing hills and switch backing into valleys, only to switch back out again. This made for a slow but picturesque days drive. Once we were out of the mountains we found that Spring had sprung-in the middle of winter-trees were starting to leaf up, fruit trees were in flower and daffodils were popping up everywhere. Turned back into the Sierras and began the climb back up to Yosemite Valley. Unfortunately, a lot of this route was through hills burnt out by the disastrous Rim Fire of 2013. This fire was so extensive and hot a lot of the sequoias will never recover. At last into Yosemite park- our very favourite National Park. We treated ourselves to 3 nights at The Lodge at the Falls-literally within sight and sound of Yosemite Falls. Fiercely expensive but as we discovered the next day a good move and worth every cent. I’ve told Arthur this is his 70th birthday present!! The only other accommodation is the Ahwahnee Hotel, one of the old classic NP lodges and if you have to ask about the rates, you can’t afford it. The other accommodation option was to stay at El Portal about 10 km out of the park and not much less expensive. Being a week end and unseasonably warm weather (around 28C once the sun cleared the valley wall) most of America decided to visit. The place is over run, no parking and the queues of traffic exiting the park at night fall are amazing. This is a taste of what the park must be like in summer. The driver of the shuttle bus commented that the grid locking is so bad that it is quicker to walk. Unfortunately a lot of the services –food outlets etc are “closed for the Season”-which means everything else just is not coping with the demand.
However despite this, Yosemite is as beautiful as ever, even though our planned snowy visit has not come to pass. The waterfalls are running but because there is not much snow in the high country, not as full as when we were here in April 2013. We were very lucky last trip that there had been reasonable snow over winter and Yosemite Falls was in full spate. We were even lucky enough to have an overnight storm that dusted the valley in snow.
We have enjoyed these 2 days because we haven’t felt the need to quarter the park, charging up this trail, or visiting that waterfall. We have just wandered the trails, taking LOTS photos.
Hard to believe it is so warm here and the East coast is being inundated with snow.
Big packing up job tonight, onto San Francisco tomorrow to return the car before moving to Lombard St for last few days.
Keep your fingers crossed that our run of good weather holds.
Addit -have tried to upload some photos, but there is so much demand on the i/net it is not going to work-will try in the morning. In the meantime refresh your memories from 2013 (which are prettier photos anyway)

Friday, 13 February 2015

Location: USA

MONO LAKE, BODIE STATE PARK AND LAKE TAHOE
Lake Mono is a large shallow lake,(and getting shallower) the main feature being the large rock towers made of calcium carbonate formed from springs rising from the lake floor. These towers or tufas are fantastic shapes along the lake shore- and out in the middle of the lake.
We spent a couple of hours out there-the lake was so calm the reflections were beautiful. Considered staying until sunset, but then the reeel serious photographers started to arrive with their reeel serious equipment, and we knew that it was time to go. There were already 3 guys out in the lake itself in waders with their tripods. Anyway we were happy with our photos with out getting too technical.
Bodie is north of Lee Vining, about 16km off the highway –the last 5 of which are bone rattling unpaved corrugations, and sits at 8000’ elevation. Difficult access after rain and impassable with snow. The park is usually closed at this time of the year unless you are on skis or have a snowmobile. Two years with out snow and here it is. We got there early and as usual had the place to ourselves.
In its hey day in the late 1800s the gold mines supported a population of 10,000 in the most isolated spot with the worst climate. 60 saloons and a red light district with street names like Bonanza, Maiden lane and Virgin St It was a real lawless wild west town, with a very colourful reputation-murder, gunfights and mayhem on a daily basis. The story goes that a little girl, when being taken to Bodie by her parents, wrote in her diary “Goodby God, I’m going to Bodie”
Spent over 4 hours there-much larger area than Animas Forks .the ghost town in Silverton. Two thirds of the town burnt down in the 1930s and the buildings that remain are kept in a state of “arrested decay’-that is, there is no attempt to restore, just to stop the buildings from deteriorating further.
Very late leaving for the 200km drive north to Lake Tahoe. This turned out to be a long and tortuous journey as there is no direct route to South Lake Tahoe. Madame Lash tried to take us almost all the way north to Carson City and when we found ourselves driving down country roads around the back of fair grounds, I had to revert to the old fashioned method od navigating.. Thank God we had a Road Atlas. I’m sure ML was on the right track but I didn’t trust her, especially as she tried to take us out of Bodie on another unsealed road.
Late and just little stressed by the time we got to our motel.
We had intended driving around Lake Tahoe to day, but just felt we needed a car free day. Once again, no snow on the ground and not a huge amount on the slopes. Took our lunch down to the beach below the motel- a private beach if you don’t mind, all fenced off, although today the gate was open and there was no one round to take our money-not that we would have paid, just on principal. However it was sunny and hot and very pretty with the mountains around the lake.
Another long days drive tomorrow to Yosemite. Three days there then turn the car in and six days in San Francisco. before we head home. Hope we don’t get punished in SFO for all this beautiful weather we have enjoyed, by having 6 days of rain.
Will have some photos of South Lake Tahoe next time.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

DEATH VALLEY REVISITED
Our return to Death Valley was a little hotter than expected, -not much cooler than when we were here before!. Spent the 1st day doing the drive out to Badwater (lowest place on earth etc, etc,) but again too hot to dally. Stayed the night at Stovepipe Wells-grossly over priced,-because they can!. Everything in the Park is expensive. However it was a comfortable bed with a/con, good thing because it didn’t cool off much over night. Also spent a couple of frustrating hours trying to use the I/net. This was a holiday week end so DV was very busy- a bit of a shock to the system, we are used to having the parks to ourselves.
Up early to catch the sunrise over Mesquite Dunes, then a visit to Mosaic Canyon on the way out of the park. Beautifully coloured canyon walls, and actually reasonably cool . The big decision we had to make when we left DV –ultimately our destination is Yosemite on the other side of the Sierras, was whether to head south around bottom of the Sierra Nevadas (boring route) or north via Lake Tahoe as there is no way across during winter. So as the weather has not posed any threats, north it is.
A very relaxed drive out of the Panamint Valley. (the road is still a bikers “must do”-and they were) followed by a lovely drive north up the H 395. The snow capped Sierras on the left and the White Mts on the right. Overnighted at Bishop (just a place to stay) then we continued onto Lee Vining- again a spectacular drive-BUT- 6000’ elevation and no snow. Spent the afternoon at Mono Lake and because there is no snow will be able to access Bodie,a ghost town usually not accessible during winter. This was on our hit list last time.
So more of Mono, Bodie and Lake Tahoe next time. The weather is unbelievable and we are hoping it will hold for a few more days.

Monday, 09 February 2015

LAS VEGAS REVISITED.
Well, Las Vegas hasn’t changed in the last couple of years-just as brash, crowded and frenetic as ever and so difficult to get around. The streets are packed with pedestrians, yet trying to get from 1 side of the Strip to the other-6 lanes of traffic + median strip is almost impossible. Few pedestrian lights and the occasional over pass. We caught the bus that shuttles up and down the Strip to get a photo of the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign-about 3 km south of Circus Circus, -this also involved a further 15/60 walk. Reverse the process –with a half hour stop at The Bellagio to watch the fountain display-and we finally got back home 4 HOURS later! Even the route from the entrance of Circus Circus to our room almost needed a packed lunch. As I noted last trip, you could die in this huge rabbit warren and no one would ever find you!
Had dinner at the Buffet, along with a wedding party,(there is a chapel on one of the floors)- about 25 of them, obviously just a family group, the girls and guys still in their gear, enjoying a meal to gether. I thought, what a great idea-$20/head,-usual buffet selection, all you can eat, and no arguing about whether you actually wanted fish instead of chicken.
We spent last night just out of Death Valley-in a reasonable hotel, but had considered staying at the Armagosa Hotel-put off by the price and glad we were-the place is a literally crumbling pile, built in the 1920s. Way out in the middle of the desert. Has an “Opera House”-where ballet and other performances are still held. Were shown around by the resident factotum. Interesting history of a ballet dancer/ artist but somewhat depressing and disturbing. Once again Google "Armagosa Opera House”
Now in Death Valley, and it is so hot-about 32C, and very glary and uncomfortable with the sun lower in the sky
More of this later.
ADDIT
Just lost the connection halfway through uploading the photos-will try again when we get out of the park

Friday, 06 February 2015

Location: ZION NATIONAL PARK, USA

ZION NATIONAL PARK-REVISITED
Nice run down to Zion National Park from Bryce. Zion really is a canyon and we had forgotten how dramatic-almost overwhelming it is for a relatively small Park. Only a narrow floor-just wide enough in places for the Virgin River and the road and less than 10 km long, however what it lacks in size it makes up for with WOW factor ,with it’s towering red and white cliffs. Last time we were here I found it almost claustrophobic and couldn’t get over the difference to Bryce with it’s 10 mile vistas. from the overlooks.
Anyway, had a pleasant and very energetic day-even more so because we haven’t had much exercise over the past week. At this time of the year there are not too many people and you are allowed to drive your car into the Park-high season, shuttle busses only. So it was good to come back but 2 nights were enough. Check out the posts for 2013 for more photos and info.
Now in Las Vegas for 2 nights. Staying at Circus Circus again-this time in one of the Casino accommodation blocks . 21st Floor, although not looking over the Strip-still the lights are something, Can’t get over how warm it is –we were here in early Spring last time and it was VERY cold.
It may be a few days before I send off any more photos-Internet is patchy in Death Valley and I'll send off photos from Zion Tomorrow

Tuesday, 03 February 2015

Location: USA

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Well, the timing with the weather has been perfect, and we were only too happy to miss out on slot canyons, after the beautiful day we have had in Bryce Canyon. Sunny day and the road out to Rainbow Point-the highest and furtherest view point of the canyon had only been cleared yesterday PM.
As I said previously, the drive from Page was also beautiful-200 km, skirting the The Grand Staircase Escalante, which is a huge wilderness area in southern Utah, The front section of this area is called Vermillion Cliffs,-which really are- these then step back in technicolour “steps”-cliffs of white, gold and pink. We noticed on the map a 10 km dirt road leading to the old Paria township, once mining and now a ghost town with an old film set from one of the 1950s Westerns. Thought this would be a great diversion and set off down what started out to be well graded gravel. However as we descended further into the valley, the gravel turned to dirt and the dirt to sticky mud from the rain the previous day. Finally after going around 1 corner sideways, running out of tracks from other cars who had attempted the trip and being faced with a very steep downward slope, we decided that was enough, cleaned cms of mud off the tyres, did a 16 point turn and very carefully pussy footed our way back out. Disappointed, but it was a very isolated area and didn’t fancy spending the night there. We did however get some beautiful photos.
Up at dawn this morning for sunrise photos from Sunrise Point (where else) . Very cold, but we had the place to ourselves. Last time we were here there were so many photographers jostling for places to set up their tripods.
After going back to the hotel for breakfast and a chance to warm up, we drove the 20 odd km out to Rainbow Point, and spent the rest of the day slowly working our way back, numerous photos from each overlook. Couldn’t do any trails down into the canyon-too much snow, but we did that last time. This was another tick on our bucket list-snow capped hoodoos.
Onto Zion National Park tomorrow-now on our way west again and only about 3 weeks left of our trip.


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Recent Messages

From Lainie
Happy Australia Day!
Response: Happy Australia Day to you for yesterday, and for us to-morrow. It is 6:30 pm 25th Jan at the moment
From Lainie
Just a quick note to let you know that Kirsten had a baby boy, I think his name is Emmitt. Not sure when he was born or the weight, or even if I spelt his name right.Loving the photos! xx
Response: Sending an email to you
From Lainie
yes, i missed the photos, but you know what a stalker I am lol
Response: yep- anyway, next lot hopefully will be of the Grand Canyon. You can now enlarge these as before-magnifying glass in corner.
From Lainie
Hi guys, sorry to hear you both got sick, but glad you are both better now and ready to enjoy the fun part of your journey! Lovey to see photo's again, so well done Arthur. stay safe, Love Lainie
Response: Thanks Lainie -leaving for Barstow in about an hour, which is the beginning of the old Route 66, trusting the GPS to get us out of the spaghetti maze of LA. Wasn't sure whether any one had missed the photos!!
From Di Grieve
Happy New Year.
I have been enjoying reading about your journey so far
Cheers Di
Response: Same to you too Di-great to hear from home. We are onto phase 2 now-picked up a very new RAV 4 in SFO, now heading south to LA. Will get another post off soon
From Ron
Can you record the Taos hum for me?

Oh yes ... Happy New Year to the both of you.
Response: OK-when we get there-and we find out what it is?-only too happy to oblige.
Believe you worked all night NYE-hope it was profitable.
From Lainie
Happy New Year to both of you. Glad you are having a great time Looking forward to having dinner together in about 18 days. Stinking hot here at the moment. Stay safe. Love Lainie xx
Response: Happy New Year to you too. The temp here in SFO is a balmy 10 C.-a 1 jacket day. It is 7:30 am an the sun is not up yet so can't tell what sort of a day we will have for our drive down to Montaray. Looking forward to dinner too.
From Annie
HAPPY NEW YEAR Rae & Arthur. Wishing you both a peaceful, happy & healthy 2015 filled with love, laughter & adventure. Much luv, Annie & Rory xox
Response: Thanks Annie- and the same to you!
From Annie
Merry Christmas Rae & Arthur - glad to hear it's snowing in the Rocky Mountains so you will get 2 enjoy that long-awaited white Christmas. Have fun! Much luv, Annie & Rory xox
Response: I did a maior drool when I read your lunch menu!!
From Lainie
Thanks for the photo's, they are lovely. Keep safe xx
Response: Glad you enjoyed them-not great quality but you get the general idea.Off to Denver today and into the mountains-no more cities for awhile=yes!!
From Annie O'H
Hi Rae & Arthur, glad 2 hear u arrived in NYC safe & sound albeit a little jetlagged by the sound of things. And so your great epic journey #2 commences! Sounds like that weather forecast was spot on with snow flurries on Wed/Thurs so am guessing u will be heading to Century 21 for some outerwear sooner rather than later :-) Although it looks like u r in 4 some sunshine 2morrow. Will look 4ward 2 following your travels on your blog. Enjoy every moment of your journey. Much luv, Annie xox
Response: Hi Annie,-haven't felt the need as yet for anything warmer than what we already have-Katmandhu dense fleeces and water/windproof outer jackets. Our real problem is keeping up with lighter gear-once inside , everything is super heated. Fortunately I packed 3 s/sleeved T each for us,and as yet Chicago is the same. I guess that will change.
From Lainie
Whoohoo I found you. Have fun guys xx
From julie w
Hi Rae and Arthur it has taken me this long to track you and that was thanx to Annie O not the old matron who as I write sits beside me..awaiting coffee at Mary Ryans.
Welcome home and I am going to enjoy reading about your travels. Hope to catch up when you have settled in.
xxxxxxxxx
Response: Better late than never!
hit the g5round running when we got home-you know how grungy old houses get in the wet without cleaning-well that s what I came home to. Off to Bribie/Brisbane tomorrow-will get in touch when we get backand look forward to a coffee as well.
From Annie O'Halloran
Hi Rae & Arthur,
Thank you 4 the b'day greetings received by email this morning - have had a lovely day but can't say the same 4 the weather ... grey, chilly & raining all day here (as usual on the shortest day of the year). Has reminded me of why I like 2 head 2 the Northern Hemisphere 2 celebrate my b'day - last year, we were in the beautiful village of Saffranbolu in Turkey where it was a balmy 38 degrees :-) Oh well, maybe next year!
Can't quite believe u r back in Canada - what an epic journey u hav had. It has been lovely being able 2 follow your adventures on your blog & to see your photos. But I'm looking 4ward 2 catching up with you in person when you return 2 Aus.
Until then, stay safe & continue 2 enjoy your journey.
All my love,
Annie xox
From Lainie
Hi guys, sorry we did not have dinner with you last night, but have postponed it to next Thursday. Have not really decided where we are going, but will let you know. Loving the blog and all the photos. Keep safe, Love Lainie
Response: Thats OK -we're having dinner with you at Silverton tomorrow night-more to follow.
From Judy
Hi Rae and Arthur, I'm on your blog and just loving the photos.
This holiday is mind blowing, what an experience.
Love Judy.x
Response: Glad you are able to access again and that the photos are coming through OK. Doing a steam train trip to Silverton -an old mining town up in the mountains- from Durango today.
From Annie O'Halloran
Bonjour Rae & Arthur,

Greetings 2 u in Moab, USA from me in Antibes, France. Sorry I have been so slack with correspondence over the last 5 weeks - have been soaking up every precious moment of this special time in France with Becky.
Arrived in Paris on a cold, grey day at the beginning of April - hardly recognised the City of Light in its 'winter mode'...no flowers blooming & the trees absolutely devoid of leaves. So bloody cold that when we crossed the Seine, the air brought tears to our eyes. Not being fond of cold weather at all, I thought I'd made a serious mistake returning to France so early in the year but a brisk walk across to cafe St-Regis on the Ile St-Louis & a superbe soupe a l'oignon, baguette & pichet du vin rouge improved my spirits.
We had a great apartment on rue St-Andre-des-Arts (between place St-Michel & blvd St-Germain) that became 'home' to us over the next 3 weeks.
We re-aquainted ourselves with Paris over the first week & then put our heads down/tails up for the 2 weeks of classes at Alliance Francaise - a great course; less formal than the one I did previously at the Sorbonne. Becky's French language skills improved dramatically over the 2 weeks & she passed her exams at 'debutante' level. I managed to pass my exams at intermediate level & it proved to be a good refresher course for me - my brain is certainly not what it was but it was good to see I hadn't lost all my French language skills after all! 4 hours of class Mon-Fri; 4 hours homework every evening; & 3 hours of dialogue/oral comprehension classes 2 afternoons per week - that kept us pretty busy but we always managed to spend the afternoon exploring a different part of Paris every day & just generally having FUN (as girls do when they're let loose on the streets of Paris).
The best thing about our 3 weeks in Paris was watching the city shrug off its 'winter coat' & witnessing the arrival of Spring - no wonder they write songs & poetry about 'April in Paris'. The change of season was nothing short of dramatic. We went from wearing thermals & layers of clothing during the first week (-2 degrees minimum to 8 degrees maximum) to wearing T-shirts. This happened literally in ONE day! On the second Sunday we were there, the clouds disappeared & we awoke to a brilliant blue sky & SUNSHINE - all of Paris came out to celebrate & the quais beside the Seine & every park teamed with les Parisiens soaking up some much needed Vitamin D after what has been a very long winter for them. Over the next week we watched the leaves emerge on the trees, the cherry & apple blossom lit up the city with colour & the city gardeners started to mass plant flowers in every park & garden. We celebrated by having picnics in the Jardin du Luxemburg. 'Spring had Sprung' in Paris! Everyone had a spring in their step & a smile on their face. By the time we left Paris, parks like Square St-Jean XXIII behind Notre Dame (which your apartment on Ile St-Louis looked over) were a green canopy of lush green foliage again.
We caught the TGV from Paris to Avignon on 22nd April & picked up a car. We really felt like we were 'en vacance' then as we leisurely ambled around Provence for the next week - it was lovely to take Becky to visit favourite villages that Rory & I have enjoyed over the last 8 years. The countryside was resplendent in fresh Spring blossom on the cherry trees. We really enjoyed driving around the northern side of Mt Ventoux where snow remained on the ground. We then drove across the Durance River up onto the Valensole Plateau & explored the Gorges du Verdon (the 'Grand Canyon' of France). It rained icy cold rain for a couple of days that made the countryside look very mystical as we made our way thru the High Alpes of Provence. It snowed down to a level of 1200 metres on the last day of our 'road trip' so we made our way down thru the Var to the Cote d'Azur where the temperatures were warmer. We arrived in Antibes last Sunday. Corey had arrived in Antibes a week before so he & Becky were happy to be together again. They have a great apartment here with 2 other friends from Byron Bay & a friend from South Africa. They're all waiting for the yachts to arrive back in port from the Carribean - they've been held up for 2 weeks because of a storm in the Atlantic Ocean.
I'm happily ensconced in a cute little apartment in Vieille Antibes (the old town).
Off to hike the Douanier's Trail around Cap St-Ferat & the Promenade Maurice-Rouvier tomorrow between Villefranche & Beaulieu-sur-Mer, visiting the gardens at Villa Ephrussi-de-Rothschild & then onto Villa Grecque Kerylos & the exotic gardens of Petite Afrique along the way.
Will be leaving from Nice on Friday & heading home 2 Aus - leaving my Becky behind for the Mediterranean charter season (tres triste!). We've had a wonderful time together though - wouldn't have missed it 4 anything ... lots of special memories!
Have loved being able to keep up with your journey thru the National Parks via your blog. You both look exceptionally well in the photographs so I know it's proving to be 'good medicine' for both of you. keep having FUN!
Will email u again once I return to Aus.

Much luv 2 u both,
Annie xox
Response: Hi Annie-many thanks for your lovely long message and news of your time in France-which by now has come to an end. Look forward to hearing from you when you get home.
love rae and Arthur
From Lainie
just a quick note to let you we are still on the planet! Have been reading everything with interest and enjoying it and the photos. Love Lainie
Response: Glad you are keeping up-Now on our way to Deaht Valley in a couple of days (have to get a service done on the van so that may delay us a day or 2. Weather is gorgeous- enjoying the warm weather again.
From Lainie
Hey, don't forget you owe us a dinner date!!
Response: Thats right- Hopefully-if the weather improves- we will be able to find somewhere nice. Seattle was a bust!
From Lainie
Hope by now the weather has improved for you and if not, hope all is still going well and that you are enjoying yourselves. Love Lainie
Response: Despite how it sounds-yes we are enjoying ourselves, and I hold great hopes for the weather as we head further south
From Lainie
Thanks heaps guys for the post card you sent Savvy from Paris. She loved it Love Lainie
Response: Glad she received it!
On the road and heading south down Highway 101-trying to out run the weather!!
From Annie O'Halloran
Hi Rae & Arthur...aah the joys of long-haul flights, heh? Always advisable 2 hav a spare pare of knickers in your carry-on 4 those occasions when u arrive prior 2 your baggage haha. We arrived in a chilly San Francisco when Becky was a baby minus luggage 4 all 3 of us - for 3 days ...that was fun! Those first few days of picking up a vehicle & heading out in2 traffic driving on the 'wrong side of the road' r always filled with angst & provide great divorce-material but by the time u complete your road trip u will be laughing @ the memories of what a white-knuckled/high blood pressure start to the trip u had...your marriage will survive the experience & be stronger 4 it! I'm hoping that once u leave Seattle (rainy capital of the west coast) & start 2 head south, u will finally enjoy some dry, sunny days. Loving your photos & travel tales...thx 4 sharing them. Becky & i will be Paris-bound in just under 3 weeks - hope the weather has warmed up a bit by the time we arrive. They've had snow & icy conditions there this last week so at least u missed that - bloody hard 2 walk on cobblestones covered with ice :-/ Enjoy being 'on the road again' & say hi 2 beautiful Lake Tahoe 4 me should u head up into the Sierra Nevadas (after having several glasses of wine in the Napa Valley, of course). Much love 2 u both, Annie xox
Response: thanks Annie-fortunately we did have spare clothes, so it wasnt too desperate..giving ourselves 4 days here in Seattle-nice campground-to sort things out a bit and to see Seattle, heading south on Sunday. Left London just before the snow!
Keep my fingers crossed for better Paris weather for you.
From gail
reliving 2009 can't believe it is 4 years already. Apartment in Paris looks amazing, it rained the 5 days we were there too are you sure the sun comes out? Did you see the pet shops and garden shops on the other side of the Seine . Very interesting pets and smells had to leave some very quickly. Enjoying the trip via my lounge and internet, hope you are both having a ball lots of love Gail and David
Response: Yes did come across those pet shops and yes, walked into one-took one look at the snakes (not to mention the smell) and bolted!
now in US-will update blog ASAP
From Lainie
Thanks so much for the postcard, just loved it.hope you are having fun in the us. Love Lainie
Response: Blog update coming soon
From Lainie
Well guys. hope you have a great flight across the Atlantic, and look forward to having dinner with you next week in Seattle!! Love Lainie
Response: You bet!