Madhu Menon noted: >>Gotta try the Texas barbecue I've heard so much about. I plan to bring >>my knives, so I am on a "pay for your stay by cooking" kind of holiday >>with some friends. ;) Hi Madhu, We'd love to have you stop in and stay a spell! The grill is always ready and the margaritas are close at hand! ;-) As Matt pointed out, the US is quite a big place. Heck - even the parts that aren't Texas are pretty good size! But I think I'd have to recommend the Grand Canyon as a "must see" for any 1st time visitor. You can see great deserts, forests, ocean views, museums, zoos, beaches, and night clubs anywhere in the world. (Okay - maybe not everywhere - the ocean view from Liechtenstein isn't so great - but many places.) The gobsmacking scale of the Grand Canyon truly makes it unique. If you get up early and drive quickly you can make it a 'day trip' out of Vegas. While you're out in the Bay area a visit to Napa is an absolute must for any 'foodie'. I'd also recommend checking out Muir Woods to see the giant trees up close. And, if you're a Hitchcock fan, why not take a nice drive up PCH 1 and have a friend take your picture next to the Bodega Bay sign. Cheers, RonL. Dang! I need to make a trip over to Austin, say hi to Matt, pick up some wine, do some hiking. Hmmm ... maybe after the holidays.