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



Mount Rushmore


Very impressed by Buffalo Bill museum or what it was !


Yellowstone parc


Yellowstone



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 !)




Gran Canyon


Gran Canyon



Montesuma castle.

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 !

36 comments:

quilly said...

I enjoyed reading about your journeys through the country I know so well.

Junebug said...

Your Italian man is quite handsome and you are quite gorgeous! Thanks for the photos.

Maribeth said...

Ah look at you two! Quite the handsome couple! Both then and now!
You need to come back and see some more of our country. It is so big after all and there is much to see. One of my favorite areas is Alaska! If you ever decide to take an Alaskan Cruise I will join you!

Alison said...

What a wonderful journey you took us on!! and a great journey for you!! I love the pictures, they are a classic. You have seen more of the US than I have!!

Thanks for playing this week Gattina!!

karisma said...

Wow Gattina, that sounded like quite an adventure! And you got to go back again! Lucky you! Looks like you seen some wonderful places.

PS. I love those 70's trousers! Very classic!

Pamela said...

I think you've seen more of my country than I have!!

I agree with Junebug. Quite the dazzling couple you were!

Mar said...

Wonderful memories! and how great you save all those little souvenirs of your first trip to the US! I went there in 1974 for the 1st time and remember that very well too because everything was so different.
Enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing all your pictures, you have always been a handsome couple!

Cheerio said...

Great journeys. Those were great photos too. BTW, your European flag is beautiful. Love the bright color blue and those yellow stars. European was good to realize that we all should live in peace. Isn't that just right?

Shoshana said...

What a journey that must have been...you look happy and excited in these picures...and you still have the same fabulous smile.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

You certainly have had some estensive travels in the US. I am glad you eventually got to see a little of New England, my favourite part of the US.

Hootin' Anni said...

Gattina!! Boy does this all look so familiar! What a trip. Been to them all myself. I remember the first time I ever saw the Grand Canyon...wow, it literally took my breath away. I'll never forget that experience. And each time I returned, it was the same....breathtaking. You did good. LOVE the back and white photo of you.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a tour of our trips today. This is going to be a fun, Fun Monday.

Melli said...

YAY! Bravo! Thank you sO much for taking me on a tour through my own country - many years ago! LOL! You have seen WAY more of my country than I will probably EVER see! Love Mr. Gattino's cowboy hat! You two were so cute together! I'm glad you enjoyed the U.S. so much! I was trying to see on the tickets HOW MUCH those plane tickets cost back in 1971... but I couldn't tell. Your little scrap book is quite a collection of history though!!! GREAT post!

the teach said...

Gattina, you have seen more of the US than I have!! I've never been to the middle of the country! You look like you had a great trip! I don't think I've ever seen that European flag - 12 stars? what do they stand for? It's a beautiful flag... :D

Stir said...
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kitten said...

What a wonderful trip! I bet you were excited!

Jan said...

You traveled to some of my favorite places. Your photos are great. We've never been to Belgium, but it's on our list.

Sayre said...

Funny - you know you've seen a lot more America than some natives get to see!

Jamie said...

Wonderful photos and thank you for the image of the European Union flag. Now if we can just extend it to the rest of the world.

Joy T. said...

LOVED your photos for Fun Monday! I think that's so great you kept the tickets and everything from 1971. Very cool.

grace said...

wow! thanks for sharing, it made such an interesting read, I reminds me of when I applied for a US visa in 2000 and was denied, they later gave it to me. I enjoyed seeing the pictures too

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Suzanne R said...

Thanks for letting me know about this post, Gattina. It is very interesting to see my country through your eyes. And, yes, you have also seen more of the U.S. than I have by far. ;-)

Mariposa said...

Wow, and you are able to keep mementos! And you look so beautiful and sexy in the photo Gattina! You two look fabulous! ;)

Have Fun and Manic Monday to you...have a nice week!

Peter said...

Ah!!!! 1971 when we were all tall and slim, love it Gattina.

Molly said...

The post about your trip so long ago is fantastic. I liked that you included the paper work and the map as well the pictures and your perceptions.

Liz said...

What a dashing couple you and mr Gattino make!

ChrisB said...

I loved sharing that holiday with you. It brought back memories of a few of the places I have visited more recently.

eastcoastlife said...

Oolala gattina,
You looked fabulous in the pictures. So slim! And your man's so good looking. :)

I'm amazed you still kept the little souvenirs from your trip. I'm going to learn from you too. It would be great to remember the old times when I'm in my golden years.

Sauntering Soul said...

What a fabulous post! Like many other commenters have said, you've seen so much more of my country than I have. My boyfriend is from Brazil and has lived here for 5 years. He's also seen more of the U.S. than I have. I really need to get out more. :-)

Lifecruiser said...

Wow! that sure was an impressive post with a lot of trips. You've really seen a lot of places there! *whistles*

I'd like to go to the US again too, but that would mean that I'd have to bee there for quite a while, because I wanna see too much of it! *giggles*

How fun to see the old tickets, fashion style of yours, all the places from back then - and you two as a young couple. Cute as ever :-)

RennyBA said...

Interesting to know you have families in the US too - a lot of Norwegians emigrated in the mid 1800s too you know.

What a lovely trip and from the map - and great pictures - I can tell you have been around a lot. Must have been a memorable trip.

Thanks for sharing Gattina and I wish you and husband a great end to your week :-)