here in this diary, you can read my daily experiences !
Monday, July 19
Before we started our trip, we have been waiting in the Lufthansa business lounge; the
best thing was that you can eat and drink what ever you like! The flight itself was very
boring and long. We also had to wait very long before we could pick up our luggage. So I
was very tiered the first day.
Tuesday, July 20
Today we started with real American Breakfast, a Big Cheeseburger
! In Hollywood I had the opportunity to do one of my favorite things: shopping! We
have looked in several touristshops. Afterwards we visited Santa Monica. Here we went to
the pier, did some shopping (here I bought 2 beanie dogs and a dolphinring) and had a
Wednesday, July 21
Jetlag: early wake up! So we were able to visit Disneypark at opening. Running for the
first attraction Space Mountain. For most attractions we had hardly any waiting lines.
Only a new one, rocket cars stayed 90 min till the end, so we did not do this one. The mainstreet parade was not so good as in Paris. Not in Paris is the Jungle tour, a funny tour with lots of animals in a motorboat
through a real jungle! In the evening we had a great show "Fantasmic" (Fantastic + Mickey) with film projection on waterfontains
and lots of firework and disneyfigures acting. As a souvenir, I bought Pooh and his friends in an Indiana Jones Outfit (nice ride by the
Thursday, July 22
Today: Universal Studio. Since it was very quiet this morning, we had the first Tramtour
to visit the Universal Studios and special effects. It was interesting and sometime
exciting (explosions and earthquakes). New ride was Jurassic Park, nice Dino's and at the
end veryyyyy wet!! Further on we brought E.T. home, helped the
Prof. from "back to the future" and watched in 3-d
Arnold as Terminator. Of course we saw the special shows with intelligent animals and
special effects. Overall much better as Movieworld in Germany !! In Universal City I
decided to adopt also a Furby....his name is Sumu
Friday, July 23
During my German course in the summer of 1997, I met Alicia,
she is living in Beverly Hills. We still write each other and now I had the opportunity to
go visit here. We had a great day together, we walked to the center of the town, where I
got a Beanie Baby. I also met here father and mother, both
working in a dentist practice. We went to the famous "Rodeo Road" to do some
shopping. In the afternoon here parents took us for lunch at the The Cheese Cake Factory in Beverly Hills were I had Chinese chicken salad and cheesecake with
strawberries. The rest of the day we spent at Alicia's house and the swimmingpool.
Saturday, July 24
Before we traveled to San Diego we have been swimming in our pool
(you can also see our room at the second floor). Half way we went to the beach, where we
had (hamburger) lunch and a very special large Watermelon Hawaii Ice.
After checking in our next Motel 6 we called Seaworld to make reservation for the DIP (Dolphin
Interaction Program = swimming with dolphins). Unfortunately the office was closed, so we
have to try on Monday San Diego we went down town to the Historical Gaslamp
Quarter. In the very modern Horton Plaza I bought 36
pair earrings (3 loose) and 5 necklaces and 1 bracelet for ........ 5,- US$ (!!). In one
of the many restaurants I had a 3 course Mexican Fajita's (soft taco with chicken) diner.
Sunday, July 25
This morning we went to the San Diego Zoo. We
have seen lots of animals, for example elephants, giraffes and polar bears. We have seen two funny and interesting shows, with
birds and sealions. I posed with two polar bears for a photo!
(don't worry, these ones were not dangerous). In general I found this Zoo very beautiful
and it seemed to me that the animals are having a good life here and enough space to live
in. This evening we had diner at a typical American family restaurant. The portions were
so big, that I could not eat my main course, so I asked for a doggy bag to finish
Monday, July 26
In Seaworld my wish came true, today.
Thirst thing we did was running to the booking office for the DIP, (Dolphin Interaction
Program) and there was still place in the last group! In the park we started with petting the dolphins. After that we joined the dolphin show, where we were splashed totally wet, because we were
sitting in the first few rows. After lunch we did the Shamu Adventure Show (orca killer whales). Before going to
the DIP, I wanted to feed the dolphins (you can buy at certain times fish for them), but
the shop was not open yet and there was a long line. So I cheated and bought fish at the
sea lions site (no one waiting) and fed the dolphins before all the others!! We had some
time left, so we did the dolphin show again, but this time at the highest rows to stay
dry... than, finally, I had my trainer/swimming experience with
dolphin Jenny. It was really great; I hugged, trained, petted and fed Jenny in the
water! We had plenty of time to spend with her. As goodbye she splashed me and the other 3
from the group wet again! Great day!
Tuesday, July 27
No special plans today, so long sleeping... We just made a drive with the car,
went to the beach were we found a luna park. Here there was an old wooden rollercoaster
built in 1925, in which we made a few nice rides. We finished
the day with some shopping in a very modern shopping mal. Here we found out that South Park, The Movie was playing, so we had a good laugh.
Wednesday, July 28
Early, this time, we started our journey to Las Vegas. It lasted for approximately 5
hours, including one stop. I found the ride very boring;
the was not much more to see than dessert and mountains. Our room
at the 29th floor (!!) is very nice and gives a great view over Las Vegas. We used the
afternoon to check out the hotel, casino and the "kids-casino" (kids under 21
are not allowed to stop at any place in the regular casino's). We also went to the Adventuredome (attraction park in a large dome) in
the hotel. I did a form of trampoline and bungee jumping. In the
evening we have been riding at hotel "New York New York" the largest and fastest
rollercoaster I have ever experienced!!! (no pics, may be later). We closed the day with
some "gambling" in the kids casino....
Thursday, July 29
Started very late today. I started breakfast with a very large fruitsalade (healthy isn't it?). We had to wait quit a while for
the bus to pick us up for transportation to the airport (the driver was half an hour
late). We had a splendid view over the mountains and canyon and
we had some fun too. We also passed the Hooverdam.
On our way back, we had a good top view on Las Vegas. In the
evening we all went to the casino. We sent dad to the roulette
to play on the numbers 8, 13 and 19. With the last play he won on number 19! (81$). I was
in the kids casino and won also some nice prizes
Friday, July 30
Today's "program" was a visit to the "Hoover Dam". We were
not the only one who came on this idea: we had big traffic jam on our way to it! We took
one of the special guided tours. One of the things the Dam is used for is a large powerplant. After the 30 min tour was finished, we have been
walking around on the dam to get an impression on its enormous size. We
could look 200m down from the dam! I also stood with one leg in
Arizona and with the other in Nevada, since the border is exact in the middle.... In
the evening I spend again time in the kids casino, with BIG luck this time. I had won 650
tickets to exchange in nice prizes.
Saturday, July 31
We started with a big Brunch Buffet; we could eat and drink as much as we wanted
for only 6$'s. Erik and dad than went to see the Red Rock Canyon. I found this boring, so
I did some swimming in the pool and watched a movie in the room. When Erik and Dad came
back, we walked to the "Stratosphere Tower". At
the top of this large hotel tower there was an observationplatform
where you had a very good view over Las Vegas (and down).
I had to wait very long for sunset because dad wanted to make pictures by night. But I must admit, it looks nice! At the evening I went
for the last time to the kids casino.... This time I had 797 points! So now I have 3 South
Park figures (and a few stuffed animals again!)
Sunday, August 1
Before leaving (we were still in our room at the 29th floor) to our next
destination (Bishop, Sierra Nevada), we felled a real earthquake!! On our way we passed
several small, typical, country villages. Most of them seemed to very religious if we
count the number of churches we saw, some of which quite
commercial.... In Death Valley it was extremely hot (average during the day of 49
degrees, pfff) and at the end lasting very long... I now
understand why it is called so. I learned at the visitor center that in 1849, 100 pioneers
tried to pass the valley. Due too the long distance, dry air (no water) and extreme
temperatures, most of them got killed. The graves are still there, if we have to believe
one of the local people. Nevertheless the journey as the landscape
was very impressing. Arrived at our next Motel 6, we took a (deserved) dive in the
Monday, August 2
After a breakfast with real American thick pancakes, we took off for a ride into
the mountains. In these mountains, you can find the oldest living things on earth: more
than 4.000 years old pinetrees!! We got to quite a high elevation (close to 4000 meters)
and you could see the mountains (with snow!!) at the other side
of the valley very clearly. At the visitor center the place was flooded with squirrels!!
they were very friendly and you could feed
them from your hand.. At the end they became so greedy, they even went into the chips box!! We did some hiking on the mountain to see the old pine trees. Of course we took a refreshing dip in the pool
Tuesday, August 3
Because of the long drive, we left Bishop early today. Yosemite Park was on
our route to San Francisco. There were a lot of road constructions, so we had quite some
(boring) delay's. In Yosemite Park, you can find the largest trees on earth; the sequoia tree can grow as high as 100 meter. Also the seedlings of these enormous trees are huge!! In the early days,
they were sold in Europe as a weird souvenir for 50$ (at that time that was a lot of
money...) The down side was that we had to walk more than half an hour down hill to see
these trees (and back up again, pfff...). The route has a lot of sharp curves and there
were a lot of slow cars (mainly trailers and so) and dad was driving very fast and
overtaking these vehicles all the time. Sometimes I thought we would get off the road!
Luckily we had some time left for swimming at our new Motel 6. Our diner we had at a
restaurant next door. This turned out to be some kind of "healthy food"
restaurant! May be the waiter was also a bit alternative, because he was very confused all
the time and made a lot of mistakes with the service...
Wednesday, August 4
We drove to San Francisco to check the most popular places. We started at the Fisherman's Warf pier 39, a nice tourist attraction in the center
of SF. Bad luck with our planned tour to Alcatraz: the tour was
booked till NEXT week Wednesday. So we decided to take the cablecar
for a ride; here we "only" had to wait half an hour... We hopped off at Chinatown and walked back through the Russian Hill, where we
bought an ice-cream. Here is also the famous crossing where you have a marvelous view in two
directions. At the end of the end afternoon, we visited the Golden
Gate Bridge. We closed the day with a nice Chinese Diner. Very good, may be because SF
has the largest Chinese community outside China.
Thursday, August 5
First we went to to the "Basic Brown Bear
Factory" to get a souvenir. Here you could "produce your own Bear: step 1: Select a basic (empty) Bear, step 2: stuff
the bear, step3: The Bear was sewed very rapidly by a Chinese
lady, step 4: Give the Bear an Air Shower, step 5: Select some
clothing, step 6: Ready!!! You have produced your own
Bear... We spent the rest of the day at the Academy of
Science; Museum and exhibitions under one roof. Beside the standard museum stuff,
there was also some "hands on", for example an Africa part where you could play
with African things. At the end I violated the rules to climb
over the fence, to sit on a Sea Lion. At our way home we ate
Pizza and ice-cream, hmmmmmm..... In the dark, I have been swimming with Erik in the
(because it was so cold today) very warm water, big fun!