After much deliberation and close consultation with various West Coast friends, we are getting closer to finalizing our home leave itinerary. This week we nailed down our summer flights, of which there will be close to a dozen. With each part of the itinerary that falls into place, we get more and more excited about our upcoming American travels.
We had originally thought about road-tripping East across the country, starting in Seattle where we have friends. It turns out, however, that there is more to do and see just in California than we can do on this trip, never mind the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or all the other cool places further East. D had toyed with the idea of going out to the Moab desert to do a tandem B.A.S.E. jump, but has finally come to terms with the fact that we simply do not have enough time to drive close to a thousand miles to eastern Utah only to turn back towards the West Coast (one more thing to add to the bucket list).
Here is our tentative itinerary:
May 1 — Bid adieu to Kenya.
May 2-3 — Celebrate D’s mom’s birthday in NYC, drop our excess baggage, and catch a flight to the West Coast.
May 3-5 — Hang out in Seattle with friends and go hiking in Mt. Rainier National Park.
May 6 — Spend a day in San Francisco, likely hiking in the Muir Woods/Mt. Tamalpais, as we’ve both been to SF before.
May 7-21 — Road trip around California, visiting various national parks. We are still working this part out as a lot of places sound awesome and few of them are conveniently connected to each other. Some possibilities include: Big Sur, Yosemite, Sequoia National Park, Mono Lake, Inyo National Forest, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley. Part of the problem is that the more research we do, the more intriguing places we come across and we’re having a hard time narrowing them down into a workable itinerary.
May 22-25 — End our West Coast swing with a few days in Santa Barbara visiting friends, touring the nearby vinyards, and sailing.
May 26-27 — D’s sister gets married in DC.
May 27-30 — Visit friends in Chicago. The first tickets we confirmed were for the Cubs-White Sox interleague series.
May 31 – June 2 — Spend a few days with friends in Boston.
June 2-6 — Hang out with S’s family in Maine.
June 7-11 — Visit D’s family in Connecticut and see friends in NYC.
June 12 — At this point, D will have to take vacation days, as home leave can only be spent inside the United States and we have to attend a wedding in France.
June 12-16 — Wedding in France.
June 17 — Catch our breath and drive to DC.
June 18 — The fun is over; D starts training.
If you live in any of the places that are mentioned above, take note. There are too many people we want to visit to name you all individually, but if we’re going to be in your city or anywhere within easy driving distance, we hope to see you.