Things finally seem to have settled down for us now, so I am going to try and catch up on my postings. Rather than add to the previous request for advice when planning our trip, I thought that it would be better to start a new discussion and give you a summary of the journey. We left the UK on 12 Feb and travelled to Singapore, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand prior to arriving in Los Angeles on 8 Apr. We then spent until 1 May travelling through the southern states and finally heading north for 3 days in Chicago prior to our return to the UK. On our return to the UK, we had our 40th wedding anniversary lunch to organise and our eldest son's wedding … time seemed to fly!
As most of the Marriotts that we stayed in were in the USA, I thought that I'd start with a summary of that part of our trip before giving a summary of the rest. I'll put the hotel reviews in that section and just reference where we stayed in this summary.
Overall, the vacation was amazing and we had a great time on our road trip. The advice that you guys provided was extremely helpful and so a big "thank you" to you all. We avoided the freeways as much as we could and found some amazing little towns and stunning scenery on our way. We did have some interesting occurrences on our journey, e.g. the big fire in West whilst we were in Dallas and we reached Louisiana at the point when tornado warnings were being given over the radio. The fire in West looked devastating and we really felt for the folks there.
The tornado warnings worried us a bit as they gave locations by county and we didn't have a clue as to which county we were in. Therefore we stopped at a Pancake House to grab a coffee and check with the locals. I don't know if they were giving us a dose of 'tourist humour' or if they really are that relaxed. When I asked a couple of guys if we were in a dangerous area the response was along the lines of … "don't worry, you'll see it coming so just turn the truck around and drive as fast as you can in the opposite direction". They then carried on eating their pancakes and eggs etc.
We did not, fortunately, see any tornadoes. However, having seen the recent damage in the Mid West, I don't think that I would as relaxed the next time that I heard a warning.