Thank you, Michele Lee!

This is the most amazing wedding present! Michele Lee, the co-star in Walt Disney’s “The Love Bug”, congratulated us on our marriage by signing personal autographs for us. Lyle Gregory, dear friend and our Californian camp host, introduced Herbie’s World Tour to this lovely actress from Los Angeles. Thank you both so much for this!

Domi and Zainab – You  are as amazing as this car!” (by Michele Lee)

Domi and Zainab – The Red heartBug loves you!” (by Michele Lee)

Domi + Zainab, Happy Tour! Happy Herbie! Happy marriage!” (by Michele Lee 2014)

Leaving Herbie Behind

Before we were heading back home to Austria again, Domi took Herbie for a final ride following the railway tracks towards Trona and its Pinnacles, a national natural landmark.

It’s always sad leaving Herbie behind but our Californian friends will keep an eye on him!

The Tales on the Trails

Today Jeanne and Dave Hecht of “Tales on the Trails” visited us out here in Ridgecrest. They wanted to meet up with us because they’re actually planning to travel the world in their Jeep Cherokee pulling “Tater”, a special custom made off-road camper.

These two adventurers contacted us because they were looking for people who have already experienced traveling the world with a trailer in tow. They got to our website through Sheena and Brad van Orden from Flagstaff, Arizona, who’re touring around the globe in a Volkswagen Vanagon named “Nacho” (find on “Drive Nacho Drive”).

We spent hours literally telling each other “tales on trails” and sharing our story of Herbie’s World Tour. We wish you, Jeanne and Dave, bon voyage and a safe journey!

Viva Las Vegas

The Love Bug is back in Las Vegas again! On Herbie’s World Tour we spent a lot of time in “Sin City”. This time we had a room at the “Circus Circus” in Northern part of the Strip.

We love to drive Herbie up and down the Las Vegas Boulevard and taking pictures from the parking lots from where you get excellent views over Nevada’s most populous city.

The Bryce Canyon

As we’re trying to visit our most favorite spots in the US Southwest on this short leg of Herbie’s World Tour, we explored the Bryce Canyon National Park today in the morning.

Last night we were staying at a neat little motel in Panguitch, not far from Bryce Canyon.

The Land of Canyons

Today we toured Domi’s favorite national park in the United States. It’s the Canyonlands National Park nearby the city of Moab where we’ve been already many times in the past.

After our visit at Canyonlands we headed back to our motel in the town of Green River.

Scenic Highway No. 128

As we were passing the city of Moab in Southeastern Utah today, we reunited with our most favorite route. For us, the Highway 128 is probably the most scenic on our planet.

Those 50 miles are a byway that connects Moab with freeway I-70 which lead us to Green River where we’ll stay for the next two nights in order to visit the local national parks.

The Monument Valley

We just crossed the border entering the State of Utah. Right on the frontier between Arizona and Utah we visited one of Domi’s most favorite spots in the United States of America, the Navajo Tribal Park of the so-called Monument Valley.

Canyon de Chelly

Today we visited Canyon de Chelly, a National Monument just outside Chinle, a town located in the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American Reservation in the USA.

In the morning we started out heading North by leaving Holbrook, where we spent last night at a motel on the old Route 66. Our destination for today was the State of Utah.

The Salt River Canyon

Today we were driving the scenic route through the Salt River Canyon again, which is located within the White Mountain Apache Reservation on the Eastern side of Arizona.

As we left Tucson, where we spent the last two nights in a motel on Benson Highway, we were heading North all the way to Holbrook at the world famous nostalgic Route 66.

The gas prices in Arizona range around 3.30 US-Dollar a gallon right now, which would be around 0.60 Euro per liter – less than half the price we’d have to pay for fuel in Austria.

Arizona Rangeland Honey

Before we left Tucson, we visited Dee Lusby. She is a luminary in terms of natural and fully organic beekeeping. We spent hours chatting while she showed us her bees.

Her pristine honey is without any doubt one of the most exquisite throughout the entire world and is free of all 171 named pesticides tested (in parts per billion) by the USDA.

Dee Lusby’s beeyards are spread over an area as large as the island of Cyprus, just to get an impression how many bee colonies she has. And she is the only caretaker!

We really enjoyed spending time with Dee chatting and learning about the only truthful way how beekeeping and hence living in general will remain possible in the future of our planet!

The Land of Dates

We are in love with dates ever since! On Herbie’s World Tour we got the chance to check them all out and we found the best of them all – and you may not believe it – in the United States of America. Here we’ve had the by far best Medjool dates world wide.

Our most favorite dates so far come from “Berryman Farms” in Bard, Southern California. These long standing date palm trees are irrigated by the world famous Colorado river.

Yesterday we just bought another bunch of delicious Medjool dates at “Berryman Farms” where we also met Roberto again – the head “palmero” of Berryman’s date ranch.

On our US road trip visiting all 48 lower states, we were hanging out for weeks and weeks in Yuma, Arizona, which is right on the other side of the impressive Colorado river.

As Zainab was spending a big part of her childhood in Egypt and in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), she has a deep bond with dates and of course their palm trees.

And as we headed towards Tucson, we stopped (as we’d always do) at the town and freeway travel center called “Dateland” in the Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona.

You cannot miss “Dateland” when you’re driving the freeway I-8 between Yuma to Tucson, although the biggest occurrence of date palm tree farms is in the Coachella Valley.

Before we came to the United States the first time, we’d never have thought that we could find here our most favorite dates in the whole world. We love to have them together with Pine refined coffee and unsalted raw crunchy almond butter (see above).

Herbie’s Honeymooning

Yesterday we got married in California! Today we left Ridgecrest for our honeymoon with the Love Bug. After hundreds of miles heading South, we just arrived in Yuma, Arizona.

Domi’s family clinked glasses back in Austria while we were having our wedding ceremony: Florian, Sara, Georg, Felicitas, Konstanze, Severin and Domi’s mum Silvia.

We want to thank all our friends and followers for their wonderful compliments on our wedding! Thanks for all your lovely messages, comments and the positive energy!

Special thanks go to our friend Rudi from Vienna who endowed us a self-made clock dedicated to our marriage including Herbie who’s driving all around the globe!

Just Married!

After loving each other since more than five years and exploring the world together for almost four years, we finally got married! And Herbie of course was part of our wedding!

Our ceremony took place in a park of Independence in Inyo County, Southern California. As for the entrance we’d listen to Johnny Cash’s version of “Rose of my Heart”.

We invited our closest friends from Ridgecrest to our marriage. Here they are from left to right: Diego, Pablo, Charles, (Zainab & Domi), Mike & Susie as well as Lilian and Luis.

Charles Quinlan was our clergy and Michael Lee Phillips and his wife Susie Burgess were our witnesses. And thanks to Emily Smith we have these wonderful pictures.

Zainab was wearing this gorgeous gown by “Maggie Sottero”. Everything was fitting together. Herbie’s color is pearl white, just as Zainab’s dress and Domi’s gilet and tie.

Michael Lee Phillips was also the so-called best man of Domi. We know Mike since the year 2010. He was always a very important supporter of Herbie’s World Tour to us.

At this point we want to send to all our family members, our friends and of course to the fans of our Love Bug our kindest regards from our wedding day in California!

Yours,
Domi & Zainab
Red heart

Ready for the Road!

After plenty of maintenance work, Herbie is prepared to hit the road again. On Sunday we’ll start heading South towards Yuma, Arizona, passing Palm Springs and so forth.

Today Domi replaced the hand brake cable on the driver’s side. We had to change it for the first time, but as you can see, this one is pretty worn out though (see below).

We’ll be gone from Ridgecrest for about two weeks, touring onwards through Arizona, Utah and Nevada. If everything works out fine, we’ll be back in town on May 22.

Trona, California

Domi and his close friend Mike watched a drama movie called “Land of Plenty” by the German director Wim Wenders. This film shows Trona, Ridgecrest’s neighboring town and the place where our friend Michael was born.

His parents are buried on the local cemetery, which appears in the movie as well (see left).

Trona is also the gateway to Death Valley and famous for the so-called “Trona Pinnacles” (see below).

Exceeding the Limits

Thousands and thousands of miles show significant effects on Herbie’s parts which would never wear out under normal conditions. On the left hand side below you can see for example the old push rod which Domi had to replace with a new one (below right).

This massive wear caused major problems as the push rod is responsible for powering the fuel pump. So finally, we found the reason for the misfires of Herbie’s engine.

The chassis clearance was not always ideal while touring continents like South America. One of its outcomes was that we had to replace the exhaust tailpipes as they got broken because of streaking the “road” obviously too often. We just got them fixed!

The Love Bug got back his original sound coming from the exhaust and he’s almost ready to cover another leg of Herbie’s tour around the world. See you on the road soon!

From the Desert to the Mountains

Yesterday we went on a trip heading North. We bypassed Death Valley, the lowest spot in the United States, but we passed the highest one: Mount Whitney (14,505 ft or 4,421 m).

On our way there we came across places like Inyokern, Olancha, Cartago, Lone Pine and the historical site of Manzanar – a “Japanese American Internment Camp” from World War II. In the town of Independence we had lunch before turning back again.

And we also visited Pearsonville, the self-proclaimed “hubcap capital of the world”.

Herbie’s New Clothes

Finally, after sitting on Herbie’s seats for many years and countless miles, we decided that he definitely needed new “clothes” and bought him these Southwestern style covers.

The old ones looked disgusting! But no wonder, we traveled five continents with them. By the way, initially they were white when we started Herbie’s World Tour in the year 2009.

Herbie’s Reunited

We are back in the States! After two years we reunited with Herbie No. I again. He was parking at our friend’s house in the Mojave Desert where we returned to on May 1.

After such a long time Domi had to repair one of the brake cylinders which was leaking pretty heavily. But the battery was still like new and started the engine right away.

Our dear friend, Lyle Gregory (see below), invited us to stay at his place, the famous “West Oz House”. He was also taking care of Herbie and the camper while we were gone.

We won’t use the camper this time but we were curious to take a look inside when we arrived. The little caravan was our home while we’ve traveled the world from 2009 on.

There’s a lot to discover at Lyle’s place. Ridgecrest is located in the Mojave Desert, not far from the well known Death Valley, the largest National Park of the United States.

We already took the Love Bug for a ride to Palmdale and Lancaster in order to go shopping. The engine was running smoothly, even though the gas is two years old.

Sorry that there’s no picture of Zainab! The next time Domi will take the photos.