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From: Family Sumroy [family@sumroy.com]

To: Trip List

Subject: "Last leg ..."

Sent: Monday, June 24 2002


I write to you for the last time as the Traveling Sumroys.  We are at the airport and fly tomorrow.
We have spent a long time in California and done a huge amount.  As I told you last time, we explored the Californian parks: Death Valley, Inyo National Forrest (with the earth's oldest trees), Mono Basin National Forrest, The Senora Pass (where we were snowed in!!) and Yosemite.  We also followed the history of the gold rush, panning for gold in the rivers, as they did 150 years ago, as well as visiting an active, modern mine.  All these photos are on the site (www.sumroy.com)
We discovered (hick!!) the wine regions of Lodi and Napa and then slept it off; and I took an exciting and tranquil hot air balloon trip over the vineyards.
In San Francisco we were the guests of my relations, Toby and Michael Hopstone and their 4 boys (thanks) and Shuli and Lionel (Ari) Brigs, who also return to Israel, the week after us - thanks for the use of your driveways, showers and washing machines.  We cycled the city (which it turns out has a number of hills!!) to the Golden Gate Bridge and visited Alcatraz.  We all enjoyed one of the best 'hands-on' kids museum of the trip. The Exploratorium, including the cows-eye dissection (especially Gidon who had to feel every part as it was removed ... a budding Ophthalmologist or Taxidermist!)  I also had one of the worst days of my life, deep sea fishing with Lionel and his mates.  We later found out there had been a 'Small Boat Advisory' that morning, but no one mentioned it to us.  I laughed as, 10-minutes into the trip everyone was violently ill until it hit me.  They have to have been the seven most miserable hours I can remember ... EVER.
We spent a week slowly working our way down the coast towards Los Angeles: the beaches and amusement parks of Santa Cruz; the huge redwood forests in Roaring Camp, Felton; more cycling around Monterey; the beautiful 17-mile Drive to Carmel and the magnificent Hearst Castle.  We also spent a night camping outside the RV in our new tent and watched hundreds of seal, sunning themselves on the beach in their short mating season.
Last stop ... LA.  We stayed with (outside) Marni and Trevor Scheftz in Irvine and have used the last week for a holiday (from our holiday!).  Beach, swimming pool, theme parks, etc.  We also unloaded the RV and sold it ... WOW.  We finally stayed with Karen and John (Buckley/Kaminichi) in Mission Viejo until today (thanks for the great hospitality).  None of these photos are up yet they will have to wait till we land.
bullet4 months
bullet10,000 miles (exactly)
bullet10 different forms of transport
bullet20 states
bullet4,000 photos
We are so lucky to have had the opportunity.  Although Tal probably won't remember as much detail as the rest of us, we have all enjoyed every second, learned so much and grown - both as individuals and as a family.
These are the five most popular questions asked of our trip:
1.    What is the best thing we did?
It's a silly question, we have done 101 completely different things.  However, we all agreed to pick one:
bulletJon - Zion Canyon
bulletRhoanna - Yosemite
bulletIlan - Kings Dominion Theme Park
bulletGidon - Grand Canyon (and swimming yesterday)
bulletTal - His $2:00 toy school bus
2.    How much did it cost?
Don't know, we will work it out at some point for our own curiosity, but one thing is clear; it is much, much, much cheaper than 4-months of mortgage, school fees, car payments, utility bills, etc.  Our gut feel is that the most expensive items were - in order:
bulletRenting the RV (and insuring and fixing it etc.)
bulletPetrol (gas)
bulletEntry fees to 101 different attractions
3.    How did you manage to live in such a small space with the kids (we think the innuendo was also relating to a degree of privacy)?
Easy, take our word for it.  If this is the only reason you are not doing the same thing do not worry.  Videos and Game Boys help.
4.    How is it living 24-hours a day with each other?  (Actually this was only asked of Rhoanna, about me, by her friends) but we agree on the answer.  We loved it, it was great.
5.    What are we doing now?
On June 25 we fly back to Israel
6.    Why Israel?
If you don't mind, I'll answer that another time
We started in March by saying that "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure, or Nothing" - this has been the most amazing adventure.  Thank you for joining us, looking at the web site, writing e-mails, etc.
Jon Rhoanna Ilan Gidon and Tal