: East, South, West, SW


January 1 - July 31, 2003

USA flag

We always intended to be in the US until about the end of May,2003 so that we could take in Gerry's 40th reunion at Caltech in Pasadena, CA. We did not, however, imagine the additional two months which we spent very pleasantly in California and Arizona but a combination of our natural inclination to prevaricate and a series of computer problems combined to keep us around north of the border for several weeks beyond our original expectations.

But to begin at the beginning. We spent January and February in Washington D.C., held up a month beyond our original plan by the problems of getting our new car registered. In March we began our trans-US Odyssey by first back-tracking to NY to see friends and family there and then finally headed into warmer climes with a visit to Richmond, VA. There we had our first of several lessons on the Confederacy. We also visited civil war sites, most notably following the route of General Robert E. Lee's Retreat, and finally visiting the battlefields of Appomattox and Lynchburg, VA before leaving "Old Dominion".

We did little more than pass through North Carolina, stopping only briefly to buy a Smithfield ham and some country pickles and then at Moore's Creek Revolutionary War battlefield en route to Isle of Palms, South Carolina, to visit our friends Mike and Beth. The rest of South Carolina and Georgia passed in a flash and suddenly we were in Florida.

Florida was a kind of vacation, from vacation. We stayed with Barbara and Gerry Rosenzweig in their lovely new home in West Palm Beach; visited with Gerry's cousins Cookie and Eric in Tamarac, and with Cookie's mother, Gerry's Aunt Esther in Lauderhill. Having picked spring break to be in Florida, we didn't get to spend time at the beach. Instead we drove northwest to Tallahassee and then on west into Alabama, where we stopped briefly in Mobile with its sad downtown but nice university campus.

Leaving Alabama for Mississippi, we didn't expect to stop until we got to New Orleans, LA. However, to our surprise, while driving along the coastal road in Biloxi, Mississippi, we encountered Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, only President of the Confederacy, and stopped for another lesson in Civil War history. And then it was on to New Orleans, the French Quarter, the Garden district, and the site of the Battle of New Orleans.

From Louisiana, it was only a small skip and jump to Texas. Our main goal here was to stop in Houston and say hello to Gerry's cousin Fred Grossberg, with whom we had been corresponding by email for years even though we had never met. Getting to know him and his friend, Virginia Lee, was a delight. He introduced us to some fine Texas BBQ and shared lots of family memories and photos and even an amazing video tape with footage of Gerry's grandparents.

We were sad to say goodbye, but eventually had to move on to San Antonio, a lovely little town, famed, of course, for the siege of the Alamo, a former Spanish mission. We visited and soaked up the history, walked along the canal which has become a successful tourist mecca, lined with a great variety of restaurants, a cool oasis. While here we spent a day visiting other historic missions around the city, until finally we picked up our Mexican insurance, bought our Lonely Planet Mexico, and in the words of the song, went "South of the border, down Mexico Way...".

We left Mexico to enter the US via Douglas, Arizona. After a brief stay with Gerry's brother and his wife Barbara, we hightailed it to California for a month of family visits, Gerry's reunion, and a wonderful vacation in Yosemite National Park, before returning to Arizona for what should have been two weeks and turned out to be five. But the time was well spent visiting the Indian sites of Arizona's northwest, making a return trip to the Grand Canyon, and making very good use of Barbara and Allen's pool in Phoenix.

From Phoenix, we drove to Tucson, again expecting to spend a few days and ending up spending twoweeks.But finally we had to tear ourselves away and once again head south to Mexico again.

November 10, 2003