With Michelle back in the country and some 1600 miles still ahead of me, it was time to get serious and get to the east coast. As I headed through the top part of Texas, the country side was littered with wind turbines for as far as the eye could see. Part of the old route 66, one of the iconic symbols was a giant cross which indicated the start of the bible belt area of America. This large cross that use to stand out on it own was now being minimised by the huge turbines surrounding it.
As you travel along route 70 you get a chance to stop at a lot of the Route 66 attractions but being winter most are closed, however they are still a bit of fun to stop at and grab a snap of the quirky icons.
After a while, the roadside views turn into rural scenes with farmers preparing themselves for the winter ahead but you know your deep in the bible belt district as billboards provide you advice on life.
Meanwhile Michelle and Amy headed off from Tamworth, first issue Qantas flight to Los Angeles cancelled and they were redirected to a Delta flight, on arrival at the terminal the Delta Manager was advising them that the plane was overbooked and if anyone was willing to stay overnight in Sydney and catch the flight the next day. They offered $1000 and an upgrade, good offer if you were flexible with your travels.
As I entered Pennsylvania, the snow started to cover the hills and one surprising and little know monuments I came across was the Flight 93 National Monument that crashed in the field on 9/11. The visitors centre is a replay of the whole day again from the trade towers, to phone calls from people on the flight, to it crashing in the paddock. You get to see the scars left on the landscape and its place of remembrance.
Michelle and Amy hit LA at 6 am in the morning, made their way to the motel, dropped their gear and hit the streets of Hollywood. Michelle said that the shine of Hollywood/LA was not the same the second time around and the characters (whom you take photos with) have a scam going. They get you in to have a photo with two characters then the try and hit you up for a $20 tip but what they do is if you pay $20 one takes off and then the other haggles you for their share, they will then try and stand over you to do that. Michelle had been advised of this by her sister as it was the same in Las Vegas, so she only paid the $5 tip and told them to sort it out themselves.
From there they headed back to the motel and slept for 14 hours, all rearing to spend a full day at Universal Studios. A trip downtown LA was also another eyeopener, with the homeless population in the Los Angeles area and surrounds is now 59 000, 36 300 in the city limits alone.
From there they did a full day at Disneyland which was chaotic as the change in visiting has seen more people attend during the pre-Christmas break then the summer break (this was due to the restrictions Disney had put on the opening of the Star Wars section). They then spent a day chilling out at Santa Monica before heading to New York.
I met up with them in New York and did some of the tourist things. Amy was surprised at the amount of people that were in the city, so she didn’t handle that well but had a good time. She needed to have a New York hotdog, buy a I love NY shirt and attend a Broadway show “Lion King”.
From here we head to Philadelphia, life will be so different to what we are use too. Living is condensed, roads are narrow, people are loud and all have attitude. I think the next month will be interesting.