Rachel & I had only 1 1/2 months to plan for our US and Canada trip. Rachel did most of the planning and bookings of the internal air flights in US.
So the day finally came, 5th March 05, Saturday. We skipped our last day of class in STM. Rachel went to buy a tri-band phone. Our flight was scheduled to take off at 3.15pm. The plane delayed for 3 hours. Rachel was worried because we had a 4 hour in between flights in LA. We arrived at the LA airport, brisk walked to the immigration counter, answered a few questions, had our passport stamped, asked permission to jump queue at the customs, ask for directions and ran to the America West terminal.We were just in time (thank God) and relaxed a little just before boarding the aircraft.We transited at Las Vegas and had some problems there too. The flight to Minneapolis was canceled!!!! People were scrambling to the front counter to rebook their flights. Rachel and I were just too tired, but we managed to get a flight at 7.45am (it was after 12 midnight when we were lining up at the front counter), that would transit in 2 other cities before reaching Minneapolis at 5.30pm. So we went to get our luggages, and guess what???!!! They were not in good condition. Well, not only our bags were torn and broken , but other passengers had more to complain. Anyway, by 6.45am, feeling so sleepy (didn't have proper sleep for more than 52 hours) and tired, we were at the boarding area.... waiting and waiting and... oh no, they canceled the flight again!!!!!! So for the second time, we had to rebook our flight, and this time, we just wanted a direct flight to Minneapolis and the ground attendant gave us the earliest possible flight, 12.05am.. and also a room in Hampton's Inn just off the Strip. Upon reaching the Inn, Rachel said we could only sleep for a few hours so that there was time to sightsee Las Vegas famous Strip.
By 8pm, we left Hampton's Inn, had our dinner in the airport and wait anxiously at the boarding area. Thank God.... no more flights canceled.
By the time the plane landed at Minneapolis, it was about 6am (or so) and Ruth's mom and sister came to pick us up from the airport. The journey to their farm took about 3 1/2 - 4 hours. They proudly showed us their farm, introduce the animals and let us see a bit of their everyday lives. They used firewood to heat the whole house. Imagine, wearing shorts in Minnesota in the month of March.
The next day, we stayed in another friend's house in Winona, and the following day, to yet another friend in Minneapolis.
Then we took a flight to New York, transited in Chicago. Stayed in my ex-colleague's house for 7 days, visited all the tourist places like Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square & saw a Broadway show, then flew to Canada and stayed with my cousin.
They brought us to Niagara Falls, Toronto Zoo, Airport Church, Casa Loma, CN Tower and Montreal. We stayed there for 12 days, flew back to NY, and my friend took us to the Newark airport. It was raining and she had some car trouble. We flagged down a taxi that cost us USD60. We were about 15minutes from the airport. The plane to back to Malaysia was delayed, another blessing because we took some time checking what was wrong with the car.
We landed in Malaysia on the 30th March, and the weather was SO HOT, compared to when we left NY.