A Travellerspoint blog

On our way back to Marquette

Freezing temperatures yet again!!!

snow -26 °C

30 Jan - There was snow all along the way. IMG_0328.jpg

At one point we started seeing some signs of a Walldrug store. IMG_0330.jpg As we got closer to the town called Wall the signs were spread about 100m apart advertising everything from free ice water, 5c coffee to shooting range and dinosaurs. We were really confused about this shop as it calls itself Walldrug. Once we saw the exit for the town called Wall we thought we have to go and check it out. IMG_0339.jpg Well to our surprise Walldrug is a very cool cowboy type shop selling lollies, food, pharmaceutical products, toys, clothes and heaps more. They also had a leather boot section which was so cool and colourful.

I found some great looking real pink leather boots but they were one size to small unfortunately as they would have been great cowgirl boots. We had some 5c coffee,IMG_0344.jpg filled our water bottle and bought some rock candy (which is flavoured sugar crystals – not so good on the teeth). IMG_0351.jpg IMG_0343.jpg

We drove for another 3 hours and stayed at Souix falls for the night. O yes for dinner we had John’s Tacos which is similar to Taco Bell but a little bit fancier. It was yummy!

31 Jan – Today we drove into Missouri and as we headed farther north the temperatures dropped SIGNIFICANTLY. Missouri is an awesome place for shopping as they do not charge tax on any clothing or shoe items. So I decided I am going to make use of this awesome feature. We went to an outlet store and I got a great Nike running jacket for $9.99, what a bargain!

After the outlet stores we went to the largest mall in America called ‘Mall of America’ (a very original name). IMG_0361.jpg
We only had around 2hours to have a look around so Dan and I split up and went exploring by ourselves. I managed to obtain yet another 2 bargains.

There is a huge Nickelodeon theme park in the middle of the mall with rollercoasters and log rides. It was really really cool. IMG_0362.jpgIMG_0365.jpgIMG_0367.jpgIMG_0369.jpgIMG_0371.jpg

After the mall closed we drove to the northern most part of Missouri and stayed at Duluth. During this drive we experienced some mean temperature drops as I mentioned earlier. At one point the temperature was a whopping -26 degC. IMG_0383.jpg
Our poor heater worked as hard as it could but there was no way for it to heat incoming air of -26 degC so we put on a few layers of clothes, gloves and hats as it was bitterly cold inside the car. IMG_0373.jpg

1 Feb – Today was our last day to get to Marquette. We had 400km to go which would take 7 hours as it was a smaller scale road. When we turned onto the road which was going to take us to Marquette Dan said: “Do we have to drive on this road all the way” The reason for his statement is that the road was barely visible as it was covered by a thin layer of snow. IMG_0386.jpg But we managed to make it back to Marquette safely.

We stayed with Tim and Chris again and once we arrived they had a Mexican dinner all ready to be enjoyed. Thanks heaps guys!

During our roadtrip of the USA we covered 6500miles (10 400km) with the Jeep aka Trusty Rusty, but also covered a few thousand on public transport. We were very happy to be able to return old Trusty Rusty safely without any breakdowns, flat tyres or any hang ups, to everyone’s disbelief. We are very proud of Trusty rusty, no one believed she could go the distance and we are total Jeep fans now! Thank heaps to Ida for loaning this beast to us, as good old Trusty Rusty made our trip so much more enjoyable.


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Visiting the presidents

Carhenge and Mt Rushmore

29 Jan – We got back on the road today as we need to be back in Marquette on 1 Feb. So today is the start of another great road tripping session. We drove back to Denver, Colorado where we started heading north. We entered the state Wyoming where our course changed east which took us to the town Alliance, Nebraska where we stayed for the night.

30 Jan – We got up nice and early this morning to go and look at the famous Nebraskan Carhenge. It was very cool and very arty. Carhenge is made from old cars which have been painted gray.

IMG_0281.jpgIMG_0284.jpg1IMG_0280.jpg Our bananas kept on freezing as we left them in the car over night. So Dan ate them as a treat - Frozen banana!

After the awesomely weird henge we had a 4 hour journey to Mt Rushmore. We entered South Dakota IMG_0354.jpg
and drove through the Windcave National park and Black hill national forest to get to Mt Rushmore. IMG_0290.jpg7IMG_0299.jpg

It is a very scenic and beautiful drive with some cute prairie dogs along the way. IMG_0291.jpg

Once we arrived at Mt Rushmore it was very quiet even though we had heard that it could become crowded. IMG_0301.jpg

...But this warning must be for summer time as Dan and I had the veiwing area all to ourselves for admiring the presidents at one point. A quick bit of info for the uninformed, Mt Rushmore is a memorial erected for Presidents; Washington, Jefferson, Rooseveldt and Lincoln.


It was unreal being there and looking at the great faces sculpted out of rock. We went for a walk on the memorial trail and got really close to the monument. When we left the memorial site we drove through a very cool western looking town and spent some time in the souvenir shops.

IMG_0321.jpg IMG_0324.jpg


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Aspen, Colorado

snow snow snow


25 Jan – Today would finally be our last stretch to reach Aspen, Colorado. 6IMG_0158.jpg5IMG_0159.jpg6IMG_0161.jpgIMG_0175.jpgIMG_0184.jpg - Dan making some yellow snow.

IMG_0144.jpg I honestly do not know why Dan complains about my parking skills :-)

We drove all day and at about 5pm had 40km to go when we reached a closed road. IMG_0187.jpg

The road is called Independence pass and it is closed during winter due to all the snow and the dangerous conditions. So we had to turn around and drive another 225km before we reached Aspen. There is snow everywhere and everything is completely white including the roads. On the way back to Aspen the temperatures dropped down to -18oC/-0.5oF crazy!

26, 27 and 28 Jan – On the 26th we just explored Aspen by foot. There are free buses running from the residential area into the main street of the town/ village. The buses also run between the four different ski fields which are really cool as you can go and explore Aspen free. Dan went snowboarding on Ajax and Snowmass mountain on the 27th and he really enjoyed snowboarding amongst the trees and powder.


The Red Bull annual X games started on the 28 Jan which we went and watched. It is really cool being amongst the world renowned winter X games. We watched some great female skiing and men’s snowboarding. We also watched the qualifying of the men’s snowmobiling which was awesome. We then went back to where we stay to buy a half price pizza at happy hour from Mezzalunis and then I bought some hand and toe warmers to help me get through standing on the snow watching the X games for hours. We went back to the X games and watched the semi finals of the men’s snowboarding and the final of the snowmobiling. IMG_0228.jpgIMG_0230.jpg2IMG_0231.jpgIMG_0238.jpgIMG_0245.jpg
This lady gave out free hugs all day long to try and get into the guinness book of records - Dan and I participated by giving her a hug :-)


Thank you heaps to Madelein for allowing us to stay on her cozy sofa in the lounge - right infront of the t.v. with a view of the mountains. We forgot to get a photo with you before you headed out the door Mad so grabbed one off the wall for this picture! IMG_0259.jpg


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Roadtripping to New Orleans and beyond

hundreds of miles covered!

all seasons in one day

20 Jan – Today we left Orlando Florida and headed for New Orleans. It was seriously raining at one point during our drive in the evening that we decided to pull over and spend the night at the cheapest and closest hotel. Driving through the town the water was half way up the tyres in places. We managed to find a hotel in Mobile, Alabama. While laying and watching t.v. an alarm sounded over the television and a flood warning was broadcast. 8IMG_0020.jpgIMG_0019.jpg
We looked at each other and thought, what the… but then we happily fell asleep and it was a beautiful day when we awoke.

21 Jan – Today was only a short drive to New Orleans, Louisiana. IMG_0026.jpg3IMG_0022.jpg
but we still crossed a bit of Mississippi. The home of Elvis Presley 9IMG_0021.jpg

When we reached New Orleans we stayed at a French hotel in the centre of the French quarters, which was one block from the famous Bourbon street.
IMG_0045.jpg We only walked around within the French quarters as apparently it is too unsafe for tourists to wonder anywhere outside of the quarter. After we booked into our hotel we walked around the French market, had wholemeal pizzas for lunch, walked along the Mississippi river and then walked up and down every street in the French quarter. IMG_0027.jpgIMG_0029.jpg2IMG_0030.jpg IMG_0038.jpg2IMG_0032.jpg

We finally did Bourbon street which has an awesome atmosphere with its bars, souvenir shops and “Gentlemen’s clubs” where the ladies actually stand in the door ways and wave their behinds around hoping to attract guys. IMG_0039.jpgIMG_0047.jpg6IMG_0048.jpg IMG_0041.jpgIMG_0043.jpg

Bourbon street is also the street where all the bars have balconies. So guys go and stand on the balconies with bead necklaces and when a female walks past and shows her breasts the guys throw beads at her. It is then a challenge for the females to see who can gather the most beads in one night. There are also trucks driving around with the back bit enclosed in glass. Inside is a dancing pole and females with very little on, dancing around it. It is quite an experience.

22 Jan – I am a quarter century old today and we spent most of it in the car driving to our next destination - Aspen, Colorado. We took the scenic route for a bit and went to Avery Island where the Tobasco factory can be found. IMG_0064.jpgIMG_0067.jpg4IMG_0068.jpg

Unfortunately we missed a factory tour by 5mins but we did go into the shop where we sampled their sauces and had Tobasco flavoured soft drink and ice cream. Afterwards we walked around the Irish moss trees which are really cool and kind of a bit scary. IMG_0069.jpg3IMG_0074.jpgIMG_0077.jpg

Dan then took me to Chili’s restaurant IMG_0082.jpg
IMG_0083.jpgIMG_0084.jpgand we drove to Shreveport where we were lucky to book into the only room available at the Days inn hotel which had just become available due to a cancelled booking.

23 Jan – We had a great free breakfast at the hotel this morning and got on the road at around 10am. We drove through Texas and drove past Dallas. IMG_0085.jpgIMG_0086.jpgIMG_0094.jpg

We were going to stop and walk around but it was heavily raining so we took a photo of downtown on the drive past. The next state we entered was Oklahoma. IMG_0099.jpg6IMG_0104.jpg

Here we went on a small scenic route and went to look at the Turner falls which is a 77foot waterfall. 9IMG_0109.jpgIMG_0112.jpg

Then we stopped for food, yes again it was dinner time. We had the local FRIED PIES :-/ IMG_0113.jpg Not the healthiest of options but when in Rome… I had potato and vegetables in mine and Dan had chicken and vegetables in his. IMG_0114.jpg They were awesome, Dan even had 2 and then we bought a chocolate filled one for dessert but the girl gave us one free so we could have another one the following day.

24 Jan – Today we drove through Kansas and I decided I wanted to do some sightseeing again. 1IMG_0116.jpg

So we went to go and have a look at Castle rock, which is a random huge rock about 20miles into the unknown. Once we arrived it was really cool as it just stood there all alone with nothing and no one around it. 88IMG_0123.jpg6IMG_0125.jpgIMG_0130.jpglarge_IMG_0131.jpgIMG_0138.jpg

We kept it company for a little while then headed back to civilization. IMG_0118.jpg9IMG_0120.jpgIMG_0142.jpg

We drove to the town Limon and stayed in the hotel called 1st inn Gold. For dinner we went to the local pub called South side. Here they had the NFL game on between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orlean Saints. The Saints have never been to the super bowl and when we visited New Orleans everyone told us about this big match being played on Sunday. We totally cheered the Saints and they won during over time which is really cool as they are the NFC champions now and have the opportunity to go to the super bowl for the first time in history. GO THE SAINTS!!!


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Orlando - The world of Disney

Tinekerbell and her pals are found everywhere in this city

16 Jan – We got up this morning, packed our bags and loaded them into the car and headed for Kissimmee / Orland, Florida. On the road we had a one hour stop at the arts festival on Ocean drive in Delray beach. The artwork was amazing and everything had the island theme which totally suits that part of Florida. We also drove on the A1A towards Palm beach and drove past Donald Trump’s Mansion. We booked into Knights inn in Kissimmee as they were the ‘cheapest’ in the area. Their rate was $27.99 per night. They advertised themselves to have FREE internet, FREE breakfast and a FREE shuttle to the theme parks. Once we arrived there they charged us and additional $6 per day for the so called free stuff on top of a $4 per day surcharge as it was a long weekend and 14% tax, which brought the final bill to $43 per day. We were not impressed and cancelled our booking and dropped in at a few hotels to find a better, cheaper one. We then found Econolodge, where everything was included and it was FREE. They charged us $99 for 3 days and then gave us one night free and their tax was only 11%.
The staff behind the counter was also super friendly and helpful which made our stay great. There was also a Lamborgini Countache which Dan totally freaked out about.

17 Jan – We got up nice and early to have our breakfast and then walked down the main road and did some window shopping, we walked for about 8km.IMG_0987.jpg.

The souvenier shops are awesomely decorated to match the whole Disney theme of the surrounding area. IMG_0981.jpg IMG_0989.jpg "Only in America"

For lunch we went to Falafel o King and had Lentil soup and Falafel dishes. The lentil soup was amazing and a highlight of Dan's trip. I had a peanut butter milkshake tonight which was absolutely amazing. IMG_0996.jpg Our healthy dinner.

18 Jan – We played mini golf today as the mini golf courses around here are all very cool and are all made up according to a theme.IMG_0990.jpg Dan had 2 very very lucky holes which meant our final score was 50/53 in his favour. So yes he won, but ILL BE BACK!

19 Jan – We got up super early this morning so we could be at the Universal Orlando theme park gates at 9am. PICT0018.jpg Dean and Audrey had some spare tickets which they gave to us, this saved us $210, thanks heaps guys! Anyway Universal Orlando is divided into 2 theme parks, one is the Islands of Adventure park and the other is Universal studios. We entered Islands of Adventure at 8:55am and went straight to the back of the park. There where no or hardly any people at that side of the park which was really cool as no rides had queues. We went on the Jurassic park ride first which ends in a water drop which is seriously high. As we fell my tummy turned and I screamed but we fell for so long that I stopped screaming. Then you hit the water just as an extra bonus. Our second ride was the Rip Saw falls, this ride consists of a log ride on the water with some serious turns which flood your boat and then your clothes. It also ends in a very fast drop which makes you extra wet. PICT0004.jpgPICT0002.jpg8PICT0005.jpg

We thought we should go and dry off at the Doctor Dooms Fearfall. It totally caught me by surprise as I thought it was going to go up slowly and then drop rapidly, well it was the opposite and I nearly wet my pants even more. While we were still wet we thought it would be best to go and do the final water ride. Popeye's Bilge-rat barges, with this ride you sit in a huge tube and then you go down a river with serious rapids and waterfalls. It was an extremely fun ride and once we were finished there our underwear was wet. We then did the Spiderman 3D ride and the Incredible Hulk rollercoaster.
PICT0007.jpg Making the most of the sun!

This basically covered Islands of Adventure so we went onto exploring Universal studios. Our first ride was Jaws, then MIB, Simpsons and then the Woody Woodpecker rollercoaster. It was at this point where Dan just could not take any more and he felt seriously sick. He laid down for about half an hour while I went exploring. Once he thought he was strong enough again we went on the extreme rollercoaster called The Rip Ride Rockit. When the rollercoaster ascends you literally lay on your back.

You also choose the song you want to hear once you start descending your song starts playing which is a really cool feature. Once the ride came to a stand still Dan went white in the face and I thought this is it… But he managed to keep it where it belongs and then laid down on the grass again while I went and did Shrek 4D. PICT0011.jpg

The day was really cool but you have to have a tummy made of steel in order to carry no consequences of all those tummy turning rides.


20 Jan - Before we left Orlando today we went to Dan's family name street - He was so proud! IMG_0013.jpg


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