Wrapping up the Summer Trip in US

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).

The Trip

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.

Personal Adventure

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.

View Larger Map

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.

7 thoughts on “Wrapping up the Summer Trip in US

  1. This is a very good road trip you took.

    Knowing a country is consisting of knowing their people, history and geography. The only way the leaning the geography is to walk, drive on it, feel the air, water and dirt, see what kind of plants/vegetation is growing there and what kinds of wild life live there.

    I’m curious in finding out what kind of feeling do you have when you drove on the open highway as the land opened up all around you as far as you can see.

  2. @ILH, yes, you are perfectly right. Now, we I watched “The Ghost Writer” on the United aircraft, I started to associate the Aspen Institute they mentioned with the travel experience myself, and I started to pay attention to the Le Reve show ad in Las Vegas at the Hemisphere magazine, and I started to pay attention when people talks about Arizona, Nevada even Mexico…

    This time, I really started my first lesson of my geography of US, and started to understand the impact of the ocean, and the role of mountains/ranges, and the role of altitude…

    To answer your question, when I drive along the open highway, I felt more similarity between US and China than before. There are vast of land like this in China, especially in the west part of China, and the new highway system was just built to allow cars to travel like that. The biggest difference is, we started to understand that US is not all about California, or New York.

  3. hi JS:

    Glad to know that you enjoyed your vacation in SW US. Just wondering, do you have an American driving license or were you able to rent and drive a car using your Chinese license? Thanks, Joe

  4. @Joe, the Chinese version of the driver’s license is OK. At least I used that in all the 10+ rental at AVIS in America, and in Australia – both have no problem.

  5. Hello JS, so glad you were able to visit my home sweet home in SW US. I am moving to your city of Shanghai in less than a week and look forward to creating a travel diary of my own, especially getting out of the city and seeing the vast places in China.

  6. Does the Toyota Camry served you well during your western expedition? how does it compare to your Nissan Teana/Altima.

  7. That Carmy is great. It didn’t break or has any problem, except the MANT REQD lights were always on after few days (the roadside assist guy told me to ignore that light).

    Comparing to Teana, I like Teana better. Maybe that is because Teana is what I have, and a brand new car, and Carmy I borrowed has 20K mileage already.

    The reason is:

    1. The changing of gears is too obvious – Teana has CVT, which I have gotten used to – no changing gear at any time.

    2. Internal equipments. I love the button ON/OFF without a key. Maybe it is just because it is a rental car that they don’t have it?

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