1. The prospect of driving* on the right-hand side of the road, with unknown road rules, in a strange city on the other side of the world is a thousand times scarier than the actuality. *Not that I drove, mind, but I navigated. And navigation turned out to be heaps more intuitive than in Australian cities, thanks to the street numbering system and the excellent signage and the numbering of exits. Pretty hard to miss Exit 51 knowing it'll be the one after Exit 50. And 5th Street is always the one after 4th.
|In Shelbyville, Kentucky
2. The Grand Canyon really is grand. And no matter how many photos you take, from how many angles, each meant to catch a unique shift in light and shadow and colour, you simply cannot capture what you see. We stayed in the park, right by the south rim, so we could experience both sunset and sunrise. Totally worth it.
|Picture 158 of this same view!
3. Usually I rely on the trusty iPhone but for this trip I borrowed a real camera. I probably should have spent some time learning how to use it, but that's another story. I borrowed the camera partly because of the Grand Canyon and partly in anticipation of wildlife sightings (Montana and the Canadian Rockies, you guys!) Yeah, well, I ended up buying prints from a wildlife photographer's gallery who told us that we'd need to get up a lot earlier and hike a lot further to capture anything remotely wild. He had a point.
|Encounter with some not-so-wild-life
4. Speaking of not-so-wild-life: Dogs are allowed on planes. In their own seats. Who knew? This guy was so well behaved and safety-conscious and he had his own ID (passport?) attached to his harness. Here he is listening to the safety briefing. In case of emergency, I was backing him to know more than most passengers.
|Dog On A Plane
5. This wasn't my first visit to Las Vegas, but on my first visit I think I was completely dazzled by the glitter and glamour and bright lights. This visit opened my eyes a little wider. Perhaps we were travel-worn, this being our last stop, but we found ourselves retreating to our hotel rather often. Turned out that the piano bar in the Bellagio was more our speed than negotiating the hawkers on the Strip.
|From our Room with a View
6. I've kept the least surprising observation for last: no matter where I go, no matter what my intentions, I will always find a bookstore that I cannot walk past. This was in Columbus, Ohio. I stopped. I shopped. Nothing more to say…except 32 rooms! Of bargain books!!
|Could you resist?