Posted by: Patrick | July 16, 2010

back to the future

Home! Just off the plane after a looong trip.

On the afternoon of June 19th, after about 20 hours of travel and layovers, we were welcomed back to the land of plenty with open arms.  Our parents met us at Reagan/National and took us home to Frederick in their modern cars, on smooth wide roads – with signage in English – that are patrolled by police who don’t take bribes and actually enforce laws.  In short, it was amazing!  The US Customs official that checked us through jokingly asked if there were any countries we hadn’t visited. We assured him that there were a few. Indeed, we’ll have to go back for Brazil someday, there’s going to be a wild party there in about 4 years… maybe check out World Cup 2014?

Our folks were very happy to have us back here in one piece.  I’m sure they worried a bit too much while we were gone, but I must admit, I was greatly relieved to be back too.  The ‘Latin American’ part of our journey was about 7.5 months in total, hace mucho tiempo!  Since returning we’ve had a busy couple weeks visiting with many of our friends and family who we missed dearly.  It’s hard to say we’ve been ‘travelling’ because it’s so easy to get around here!  But we still are.

There was a short trip up to Pittsburgh, Philly, and New York that was tons of fun, but a bit too brief.  A few quick trips down to DC were great, such a beautiful & diverse city.  Of course, our nieces and nephews have grown so much since we were gone, and everyone is doing so well.  It was great to catch up on all the things we missed.  In the end, we are both just very lucky to have loving families and friends.  Thank you all for the quality time together, that’s exactly what we’ve missed and were looking forward to.

Bicycle rickshaws in downtown Frederick?

Pleasant-ville, USA.

SuperBros reunite.

One of many delicious meals with the Han's and Gouin's. Dan moves so fast he's hard to photograph!

Aunt Caro makes up for lost time with Alexandre.

Alexandre is an iPhone fan already.

Uncle Pat met Luke, Grace and Andrea at the train station.

Grandpa and Pat took Luke down to the Air & Space museum, he wore us out.

We eventually wore him out too.

The Digdo's came up to Frederick for a visit.

Morning hike in Gambrill with the Moloney's.

Grace got so big while we were gone, she's a chatty little girl now.

Two weeks of visiting home and celebrating the 4th of July had us refueled and ready for the road once again.   We took an early morning hop on Delta over to Phoenix, Arizona to meet up with our long lost friend, the Jeep!  John and Julia (my Uncle & Aunt) have been taking care of the old “treehouse on wheels” since we’ve been gone and they did a wonderful job! The green machine fired right up and was as if we never left it. We put the tent on top with some help from their neighbor Trevor and were on our way in a few days. Thanks again J&J!!

Our first stop on our road trip (round two) was Joshua Tree National Park in the Southern desert of California.  There’s a good reason why most people visit this part of the state outside of the summer, it’s HOT.  We baked at night in the tent but actually really enjoyed the place.  It wasn’t crowded and there’s lots of excellent trails and diverse landscapes to explore.  Also, both of us have become secret desert flora & fauna enthusiasts after spending so much time in the Southwest last year.  We love and can identify so much out here.

Our first night back in the tent at Joshua Tree National Park, California.

Yucca stalks silhouetted against a giant boulder in Joshua Tree NP.

Caro's favorite, a giant Ocotillo! We took off on a 8 mile hike early the first morning before it got too hot.

Little Barker Dam creates a welcome oasis in the middle of the park, it was over 100F this day.

Big horn sheep on the rocks above Barker Dam, these are a very rare sight as a Ranger explained.

Playing on the rocks in the Indian Cove section of the park.

An unidentified but big lizard seen in Indian Cove.

Joshua Tree at sunset.

Camping in the Jtrees.

Relaxing lakeside at Big Bear, CA.

Driving down to LA from Big Bear Lake, there's a cloudy/smog layer covering the valley below.

Only in California: a Smart car passes a Lamborghini Gallardo.

We were heading to LA to hangout with our good friends Brent & Mandy, you might remember them from the glorious Green River canoe trip last year.  After college they moved out to the LA area and recently bought a beautiful home in Burbank.   It’s been awesome to just relax indoors, yeah – we’re definitely getting soft, but the past few days in the desert had us dreaming of AirCon.  While they are both away at work during the day, Caro and I have been checking out Los Angles.  LA is so much bigger than I remember it, and so cool,  it has been a challenge trying to pack it all into a few days.

The Bikes are back too! We had a great ride down the beach front path through Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Marina del Ray.

Back on the Pacific, just like Peru.

Out to dinner with Brent & Mandy at Ginger Grass.

Noble, one of their French Bulldogs.

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Responses

  1. So nice to see a new post up! All your fans have been reporting symptoms of withdrawal. You look great, relaxed, and happy to be reunited with the Jeep.

  2. What a treat to have you back home! We missed you. I used to live in Idylwild across from Big Bear and have been to Joshua Tree too. Really special land. Don’t miss the Giant Redwoods. Safe travels.


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