This past week was an emotional rollercoaster. Being allowed to share our nomad life with Susanne was a privilege that specifically Benni and Alex made sure to enjoy. It was, however, also a reminder of the home and friends we so dearly miss and saying goodbye to both Susanne and Gabriel was hence a painful exercise. In only seven weeks we will return home and by now we couldn’t be happier that we are approaching the end of our adventure. Being a nomad has been the experience of a life time. Knowing that we have a home and loving family and friends to come back too, however, is the true blessing in our lives.
Our application to extend our visa is still pending. We have been able to confirm the following:
Even though you are not actually in a lawful nonimmigrant status, you do not accrue “unlawful presence” for purposes of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, while your extension of status application is pending if it was filed prior to the expiration of your Form I-94.
In short: As of 15th of September we will no longer be in the US in a lawful state, however, as long as our application continues to be pending this unlawful presence can not be held against us in the future. We are therefore currently planning on returning home as originally planned and should therefore be back in Berlin on the 21st of October.
Susanne was so kind to blog about her experience with us. I will make sure to share Gabriel’s final post with you next week.
I can’t believe our long weekend together has already come to an end. Whoever said that “time is flying when you are having the best time”, was truly right.
But let’s start from the beginning. Mieke picked me up at my Vegas Hotel at 4:00. Me, not being a morning person who just got 2.5 hours of sleep, had simply zero chance to be grumpy confronted with her smiling face and the warmest of welcomes. It just made me fall in love with her all over again ❤!
The same happened a couple of hours later when the boys woke up. I was not sure what to expect and how they would react after not seeing me for such a long time, but I guess they are 100% like their parents, cause It was like we had just seen each other yesterday.
Not to forget Tim and Gabriel, of course, but they are simply not as cute as the other three…
Being new to camping, I was super impressed about how this vehicle turned into a luxurious camp, shortly after we had arrived. Within several minutes Tim and Gabriel turned the RV into a “HotelTonight worthy” stay @Gonki Palace 😉.
My first night comprised of 12h of beauty sleep should leave no doubt about the comfiness of this palace and how relaxed I felt with the Meyer Travel Crew!
Staying at Gonki Palace also includes a daily changing breakfast and dinner menu and let me tell you the food was delish!!!!
Prep time, dinner and cleaning was so smooth that it seemed like the crew had been working together forever. #efficiency
This all inclusive experience comes with daily hikes or an option of enjoy and relax.
The two hikes we did were simply amazing. I could have stood and stared at the Grand Canyon forever. It looked so picturesque that it seemed almost unreal.
When the guys went on their record hike mission, Mieke, the boys and I enjoyed a beautiful Sunday morning. It actually was a Saturday, but it still felt like one of these Sunday morning brunches you never want to end.
Full of laughter, chatter, sunshine and PANCAKES! I loved it! 🤗
I specifically enjoyed the time with the two boys. Watching them discover the world. How Benni interacts with our camping neighbours in English and how he took care of me when I was not feeling well. How this cute little boy Alex becomes a real charmer! Watch out girls, he has a game going on 😍!
When the time at the Mather Campground ended, we only had a couple of hours in Vegas together, before saying goodbye to Gabriel 😢 and I have to say… I don’t hate Vegas!
Instead, I had the best Vegas experience possible. Picture me, sitting on the terrace of the suite Tim booked, sipping red wine, watching the Bellagio fountain show every 15min…. pretty f… nice.
All topped by a beautiful dinner with Mieke and Tim at Momofuku followed by crack pie and a cereal milk soft serve! 😋😋😋
Oh and then came the real goodbye meal: in-and-out-burger! Being skeptical at first about such a highly praised burger, I have to admit they won me over. Sad thing about the burgers was that it was time to say goodbye now. I left the RV a little heartbroken and I am counting the days until you guys are back 🤗
Flying back to NYC, I am reflecting about the past days and I could not have wished for a better time. Thanks for welcoming me into your nomad life and for literally making space and giving me the chance to share your awesome experience with you.
Hope you are aware of the fact that you gained a fellow traveler on your next trip cause we have nothing to lose and a world to discover ❤!
Visiting the Grand Canyon for me means to hike down to the Colorado River. This time around I was hoping to be accompanied by Gabriel and Susanne. Unfortunately, Susanne was thwarted by a cocktail of meds to fight the inflammation in her throat forcing me and Gabriel to set out alone.
- We accomplished the trip in a fantastic time that I would have not believed Gabriel to be capable of.
- The hike itself continues to be one of the most breath taking experiences of my life.
- Distance: 34.6 km
- Elevation gain: 1.320m
- Departure Time: 02:00
- Return Time: 12:30
- Total Time: 10:30
- We left in the middle of the night because in principle it’s forbidden to attempt the descent to and return from Colorado River within a single day due to the severe heat in the canyon. To leave at 02:00 was a recommendation we received 9 years ago from a Ranger who realized we would go down all the way no matter what he said.
- The distance from the rim to Colorado River is 12.6km one way. The additional distance we had to cover was caused by the necessity to get to the trailhead from our campsite.
- It took us 03:15 to go down and only 03:00 back up for myself and 3:30 for Gabriel.
- @ Gabriel – I am proud of you. Du hast Dir das große Bergziegenabzeichen redlich verdient.
- @ Susanne – We will make sure to get another chance to attempt this challenge together.
- @ Mieke – Thank you for staying behind to watch the kids. I love you!
For the past six months we have been living in the wilderness without any remarkable accidents. Civilisation turns out to be the treacherous mistress. Stepping out of the shower at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas Mieke managed to slip and fall hurting her back and elbow. To ensure she didn’t fracture anything in her arm I sent her to the hospital. Luckily, two short hours later the doctors confirmed that she had only sprained her elbow. Summary: The urban jungle is just as dangerous as the wild. So stop worrying about our lifestyle and watch out for that lantern pole while reading this post!
Our week in bullet points:
- Gabriel and I spent a day cleaning Gonki inside and out in the boiling heat of Las Vegas to ensure that Susanne can enjoy a clean and shining stay with us.
- We spent three glorious days at the Grand Canyon. We walked the rim, went for ice cream, got Benni his second junior ranger badge and enjoyed each other’s company.
- Gabriel and I hiked down to the Colorado River.
- We were kept awake by the loudest thunder storm I have experienced in my life. I assume this is how exploding bombs sound like. I also assume that the Grand Canyon makes for a rather excellent resonating body.
- We spent the best two days imaginable in Vegas. Being upgraded to a suite with a view of the Bellagio fountains we spent the afternoon on the terrace sipping wine and enjoying the panorama. The boys soaked in the bathtub and revelled in the vast space of the appartment. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Momofuku, thanks to an internet based babyphone and the reliability of our two boys sleeping through the night once they pass out! We introduced Susanne to In-N-Out Burger making sure to get our last fix before heading further east.
- We said goodbye to Gabriel and Susanne.
- We enjoyed dinner on a side curb at Walmart on route to Zion National Park where we spent the first day relaxing at the river and giving Mieke an opportunity to attend to her bruises.