American road trip coming to an end

Leaving the giants of Redwood behind we worked our way north along the beautiful coast and made it all the way to Washington and to its pride – the giant of Mt Rainier. This is a year round snow-capped mountain with its 28 glaciers. We only stopped at the base not doing any kind of trekking but was still lucky to catch a glimpse of the grand top in sun light, before it started to rain. This is one of the most revisited national parks just because most people never see the actual mountain due to it’s raining 300 days a year.

After having an excellent weather during the entire trip with only two days of heavy rain we arrived back to a constantly raining Seattle, finalizing our big loop in America. We again stayed with our good friend Aparna and her lovely children to the great joy of our kids. We spent a week just to take it slow, rest from all driving and also did our final major shopping to make sure we reached and exceeded our allowed weight for the flight back home. The only sightseeing we did this time in Seattle was a quite disgusting bubble gum wall and the excellent Flight Museum. We were also invited to the presidents’ Air Force One, but none of its users – Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy – could show us around since they both had passed away. Obama was all busy in the new Air Force One.

We have really enjoyed this adventure together. The four of us feel very privileged to have been able to be together for three months, our third parental leave with our two kids. This unique timing won’t come back and we have been able to see and experience so much in the vast continent of America, which we still only have scratch the surface of. Lina cried when we had to return our second home – our giant red “mini” van – which carried us safely a distance of some 12 000 km or 7 300 miles. We enjoyed the ever-changing nature, especially the red, rocky, sunny, warm and dry deserts in Utah, which served as a perfect play ground for the kids running around climbing boulders and finding hide outs, an astounding scenery, tranquillity, quietness and a beautiful calm and simple life contrasting to the “normal” western way of living, filled with overwhelming impressions, choices and stress.

We have now safely returned to Sweden with “just” four overweight bags, four heavy carry ons, two car seats and two strollers. We were very lucky to have parents picking us up at the train station, with a warm welcome dinner in our own home, which they had kept in excellent condition while gone. We are jet lagged but will have a good week before work, to sort out our impressions and slowly adapt to the old way of living. We are also very much looking forward to see more of our friends and family and the upcoming Christmas season.

Thank you all friend and family “over there” making our stay and company pleasant, and also thank you all people sharing our experiences reading this blog and watching some of all thousands of pictures.

Love from Emil, Hanna, Emma and Lina – over and out!

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Touch down in beautiful Seattle

Finally we got our bags packed and our journey started with train from Lund to Copenhagen, airplane to Toronto and then again to Seattle. Even though the service on Air Canada was sparse and they tried to starve us on the long flight, our girls did cope really great on the long journey. The fly in over Seattle was spectacular in the middle of the night with all street lights in yellow and white, glimmering like gold and silver, together-with a heavy thunder storm putting up a great show in the sky with massive lightening.

The next day we picked up the mini van we booked to get some more space for our luggage. This “mini” van is everything but mini and the monster machine is brand new as well. We find a new feature, DVD player, storage space, mirror, button, you name it every time we go for a ride. As we told Emma everything is bigger and a bit cheaper in America. It hold true so far most of the time.

We’ve been staying and had a very pleasant and laid back time in Redmond (part of greater Seattle) with Aparna an old friend of Emil’s from a middle eastern trip. Their kids are older than ours but they are bonding extraordinary and the language barrier doesn’t seem to halt the enthusiasm. Regarding language Emma is learning heaps new English words everyday. Living in Redmond, birth place of Microsoft, we had to drive through their campus – not much to see except for office buildings, Bill Gates retired and no sign of Nokia moving in so far.

Except for just enjoying the good weather (25 C) and strolling the vibrant down town, we also made it to the interesting bohemian Pike Place Market and another few down town sites.

We’re absolutely not fed up with US, but tomorrow we’re already border hopping to Canada.