I am now in Hotel Jerome. With the antique light on the desktop, and piano from Colorado Public Radio (the housekeeper always tune to this channel and open the radio when they finished the house cleaning), it is a pretty quiet and “prestigious” night (This is the word Wendy learn from Amy in Arlington. From then, we used the word prestigious on almost anything that is nice).
This is the longest trip I had in the States. The board meeting in July 7, 2010 in Menlo Park is pre-determined, and there is no way to move it within two months, and the date of Fortune Brainstorm conference at July 22, 2010 is also set. It caused some challenges for me to arrange my schedule. There is about two weeks in the middle of the two important meetings. Typically, I will send about a week in the silicon valley meeting varies companies for both business and learning experience, but there is still another week in the middle. It does not make sense economically and logistically to fly back and forth between the two countries within a week. (I did fly back and forth in two weeks to attend the eBay Global Leadership Meeting, and the Leadership eBay workshop in 2006). So I took personal vacation from July 14 to July 21.
In the 7 days of personal trip, Wendy and I drive a Toyota Carmy leaving Los Angeles, went few hundreds miles in the west US, and back to LAX. Here is the trip:
- LAX to Las Vegas via I-105, I-605, CA-60 and a long way on I-15.
- Las Vegas to Hoover Dam via a short drive on US-93
- Via US-93, and I-40 arriving at Williams, AZ (briefly passed Seligman, AZ)
- Via NV-64 arriving at Grand Canyon
- Getting back via NV-64 and US-89 (really beautiful road) to Flagstaff.
- Continued on US-89A to Sedona, and stayed in Cottonwood, AZ for one night
- Go to Phoenix, AZ via AZ-260 to I-17.
- Used AZ-101 to bypass Phoenix, and went all way to San Diego that day, via US-8, via Yuma, and El Centra. Loved the desert section, and inspected few days along the way by Border Patrol
- Spent two nights in San Diego because we really love it, and then drive along I-5 and CA-1 to Los Angeles.
Here is the route map. Recommended for people who have few days in the west US.
The Way Back
Tomorrow, I am flying out from Aspen to Denver, and then to San Francisco, and then to Shanghai. The schedule looks like this:
25JUL 0800 ASE 0845 DEN UA6742 (45 min)
25JUL 1000 DEN 1146 SFO UA415 (2 hours 46 mins)
25JUL 1349 SFO 1725 SHA UA857 (12 hours 36 mins)
It takes 18 hours and 25 minutes to get back to my home, sweet home in Shanghai.
Again, I’d like the thank everyone in the Silicon Valley and in Aspen who spent the time to host and talk with me. It is always inspiring to travel to the States, and meet with different people, and get new ideas.
At the end of the day, trips are all about people. I visited Hollywood in Los Angeles. Obviously, I still don’t have any idea about that place and industry. If someone just arrives at the Silicon Valley without talking with the people there, it must be a boring experience. At least there is a strip in Hollywood that people can have some fun finding their favorite star on the street. There is no such amusement in the Silicon Valley. You have to be there, attending meetings, visiting companies, and talk with people to get the idea. The only movie studio I know is Pixar, but I didn’t find their address, and I don’t think there is any way to visit without trespassing. So, thanks for making the trip possible.