Travels from the past – Birthday trips Part1

Still in lockdown, like so many people I cannot wait for the vaccine so I can travel again. Yesterday was my birthday and I couldn’t do either of the two main things I do on my birthday…I couldn’t travel and nor could I go out to a restaurant for dinner. Then Google was showing my photos of past things I had done on my birthday and I thought I would share some stories of my birthdays over the past 10 years, as a way to alleviate my disappointment in a basically do nothing birthday.

January 2011 saw me take a team to Minneapolis for work. I then travelled to San Francisco where I had a great time exploring different areas of a city I had been to many times. One thing I always do when I am in San Francisco is visit the Grace Cathedral, it is a replica of Chartres Cathedral in France. I go to walk the Labyrinth which is on the grounds and to enjoy the views. I also took time on the trip to visit Yosemite National Park, one of my favorite places on the planet.

San Francisco – Alcatraz, Grace Cathedral, Fairmont Hotel, Palisades beach area, Sculpture, Sailing San Francisco Bay and Valentines windows.

Yosemite National Park – if you get a chance to visit, do so it is an amazing place, in part a testament to the people who saw its worth and knew it had to be preserved.

The above is the view you have when you exit the tunnel.. its breathtaking, I will never forget the first time I saw this view it was in the summer of 1996 on my first trip to the USA, I fell in love with Yosemite.

below: Mirror Lake, Road into /through the park, a creek, Yosemite valley, Falls

January 2012 my 50th birthday. From Australia I headed once again to the USA. This trip was about indulging in my passions, my love of driving, exploring, architecture, shopping, discovery and spirit. The first part of the trip was a road trip with 2 friends from work. We arrived at different times into Los Angeles, once I got through customs and picked up the car – a Ford Mustang Convertible (my favorite American car) I headed to their hotel and from there we drove to Las Vegas, where we spent a few nights, I had been to Las Vegas before, this trip however I got to see different parts of Las Vegas, including the old part as well as enjoyed some shopping at the outlet malls.

I left my friends in Las Vegas and headed to Scottsdale Arizona to meet another friend, and go and see the Frank Lloyd Wright house – Taliesin West. I also got to go to the Desert Botanical Garden and there I learnt about the many varieties of Cacti and I saw Gambel’s Quail and a couple of beautiful Hummingbirds.

The first three photos below are from the road to Scottsdale, then the Desert Botanical Garden and finally Taliesin West.

From Scottsdale I then drove to Sedona, at the time – 9 years ago I was using a GPS device (no google maps), now what I had forgotten was that the previous time I had used it I had adjusted the settings to avoid freeways. This setting meant that part of my trip to Sedona ended up being on dirt/gravel roads and by the time I realized what was going on it was too late to turn back. I did get to see some country I would never have seen otherwise, and I was thankful for my rally and forest driving days in the past. Sedona is beautiful and a real spiritual hub/ vortex. I love the red rocks and the energy of the place. I had booked a shaman to help me to leave the past behind and to welcome the future through ceremony, and that was a very powerful experience. In Sedona I got my first and to date only tattoo, it was something I had always wanted, but could never find the right person to do it, its a simple star with comet like stars trailing.

I think most people who love driving have things on their list of must do drives, I have done a few of them, in Australia I have driven the Great Ocean Road, in the USA I have driven the Pacific Coast Highway a couple of times, but a long held dream is to drive as much of Route 66 as possible. On leaving Sedona and heading to Los Angeles, I made sure I took a route that would lead to part of Route 66, so that I could drive part of the way on Route 66 in a Mustang convertible. Gotta say it was fun.

The last part of this trip had me back in Los Angeles in a different area than before, I again was catching up with friends. The area I stayed in had some interesting sculptures.

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of Birthday trips in the past. It was fun remembering and sharing some of the things that I have done. Keep an eye out for part 2.

If you like what you have read, don’t forget to like and follow to find out more about my travels, food, books etc both recent and past. Looking forward to continuing to share.

#travels #birthdays #route66 #Sedona #LosAngeles #LasVegas #Scottsdale #TaliesinWest #redrockcountry #FranklloydWright #FordMustang #adventure

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