26 May 2008
FIRST TRIP TO THE USA IN 1971
RDH Mom proposed for Fun Monday :
Show us and/or tell us about your favorite vacation - where you went, what you did, etc. Pictures would be great. Let's all take a trip around a the world via our FM friends!!
When I read this, one trip came immediately in my mind. It was my first trip to another continent, the first time I had to take an airplane for such a long distance and it also was a late Honeymoon, as we hadn't done any when we married in 1969.
My mother's sister who had married an American in 1951 had invited us for one months to stay with them in Madison Wisconsin for our holidays.
In 1971 it wasn't so easy to get a Visa for the States. Tourists didn't exist yet and the American government didn't want any immigrants coming over without job or money. Therefore my aunt had to go to a notary to make this certificate, and with that we could both get a visa. Strangely I for 5 years (as a German) and my husband only for 1 year (as an Italian) !
and here are the tickets, dated July 13, 1971 ! We flew to New York and from there to Chicago, and took a bus to Madison where my aunt and uncle waited for us at the bus stop. And this happened afterwards each time we visited them.
My aunt and uncle had planned a "little" trip for us. The red line shows you where we drove through, stopped and visited the most beautiful sites and places a tourist should see !
We made approx. 8.000 km (4.970 miles) in two weeks ! Overnights we spent in Motels, which was also something we didn't know, as in the European countries we only had Hotels at that time. So it was very interesting for us. My uncles car was the huge American "tank" like a Cadillac, very big and poor space for luggage and people. No aircondition of course !
We started from Madision/Wisonsin, drove through Minneapolis to South Dakota where we saw : the Sioux Falls, the Badlands the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore. From Wyoming to Montana, stopped in Cody saw Big horn and of course the Yellowston Park. Besides a very rustical restroom and a lot of drugged Hippies (there was no law against drugs at that time) there was no attraction parc there. Old Faithful spat regularly just like he does still today.
From Montana we drove to Utah, stopped in Bountiful and saw Salt Lake City. Then through Nevada to Las Vegas. Of course I could fill in a whole post about Las Vegas at that time, it was just another world to us !
We then drove through Arizona visited the Hoover Damn, stayed in Flagstaff, saw the Montezuma Castle and of course the Gran Canyon !
In Colorado we sat on the "Four Corners" (unfortunately I don't have a picture of that), we saw Durango, Mesa Verde and arrived in Denver. From there we went through Nebraska, Iowa stopped in Des Moines, through Illinois and back to Madison.
Unfortunately I didn't have a good camera and the pictures my aunt and uncle took disappeared when my uncle died. I don't know what they became, as my uncle's church has done everything to convince my uncle to change his testament so that they inherited the house and its content which my aunt had left to me.
This is a photo of us in front of the house, just married for two years
Visiting the Badlands. My uncle and us
Very impressed by Buffalo Bill museum or what it was !
on the way to Las Vegas, where we stayed at "The Dunes" which doesn't exist anymore
Hoover Dam (the woman behind my uncle is my aunt, although she was 32 years older than me we look very much alike on the pictures). Apparently I had taken everything from her, look, character etc. very much to the annoyance of my mother !)
After this mammout trip we didn't go back to the States until 1988 when our son was then 15 and old enough to come with us and understand the things we wanted to see. We returned again in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994. We always stayed nearly 4 weeks, travelled 14 days and stayed the remaining time to rest with my aunt and uncle.
During these stays we saw quite a lot of Wisconsin, stayed 3 days in Chicago, visited Disney World in Florida and travelled back over Alabama, Louisiana, Mississipi, Tennessee (where we visited Elvis' Graceland in Memphis), and Missouri.
We have also been in New York, Cape Cod, Hyannis (saw the Kennedy mansion) and Boston. We stayed in San Franscisco, in Los Angeles (twice) and also visited the Niagara Falls just on the 4th of July. We saw the Glenn and Brice Canyon, the Sequoia park and many other places. From these trips I don't have any picture because at that time I filmed everything with our video camera.
During this very first time in 1971 there was a big difference in the way of living between Europe and the States and for us a big experience and we learned a lot of new things.
The trips in the 90th were different. At that time there was almost no difference anymore.
I appreciate the help of Mr. Gattino and his elephant like memory because I would have been unable to list all the States we drove through !