Archive for USA 2006

Oct
28

Weekend in the Big Apple

October 28th, 2006 -- 1 Comment »

After a sleepless night we got up real early to get on the flight to New York. With a stop over in Cleveland and some time-zone differences we arrived at NY in the afternoon.
Its up to you - new york, new york
Since we were flying out the Saturday following, we only had one and a half day in NY. We managed to cram in the most obvious attractions, all in all I really liked NY. A bit grotty (that subway makes the London tube look good!), but that just adds character to the place…
We even saw a live TV set complete with blown up cars, I was attacked by a crazy jumping squirrel, and the last day we got absolutely soaked by some torrential rain storm. (Oh and that Empire State building was COLD)

Oct
25

Very Important Jelte & Linda

October 25th, 2006 -- No Comments »

VIP… stands for Linda & Jelte. We had our VIP tour at Universal Studios today and it was great fun! I highly recommend anyone thinking of going there (and probably any theme park for that matter) to get VIP tickets. Not only are you treated like celebs, most importantly you dont have to wait in any queue! We had loads of fun on all the rides and seeing all the various sets. Not many pictures though; we were too busy.
Who he?
Unfortunately today did not end as good. Since our flight is tomorrow at some god forsaken early hour, we have checked in to the Super8 near LAX. I’m writing this with Linda snoring in bed next to me, whilst the planes (including 747′s) are landing 100 yards from here. The noise is horrendous! and the planes aren’t quiet either! Luckily I have some earplugs.

Oct
24

“Marine Haze”

October 24th, 2006 -- No Comments »

Today was a quite day (Linda recovering from the White Russians). All we did was drive to LA. Remind me never to go to a Travel Lodge again! After a lot of hassle (don’t ask) we left the Travel Lodge in LA for a Best Western. We spent the rest of the evening just looking around LA. Its surprising how run down and dodgy some parts of even Hollywood Blvd are!
Marine Haze my arse
The place seemed very smoggy as well, until we were reliably told that it was not smog but a “marine hase” (uh huh)

Oct
23

Iron, Lion…. Zion

October 23rd, 2006 -- No Comments »

Pretty
Zion is by far my favourite park of all the ones we’ve seen so far. It’s more of a real park, with trees, waterfalls and animals. We even went proper horse back riding! My horse was called “SB”, and after 10 minutes on the stubborn ‘ole bastard you know why he’s called “Son of a B….”!!
We decided to go back to Vegas for the night and see the Circus de Soleil show that evening. Once we were there though, it turned out only one of the five was showing on the Monday and that one was sold out. So instead Linda decided to get drunk on White Russians….

Oct
22

@#$@%@#$^#@#@!!!

October 22nd, 2006 -- No Comments »

Our second and final day in Moab we decided to spend white-water rafting. We debated this for quite some time since it’s pretty cold up here, but in the end decided we wont be near the Colorado river any time soon so what the heck. We need not have worried. The “intro” rafting was more like doodling along. Linda got her bum wet once, and that was about it. Still a good trip though with a lot of pretty sights of the canyon walls.
Having seen a LOT of rock now, we’ve decided to skip Bryce and go straight to Zion. This involved driving down a big, wide, empty freeway… When I say empty I mean *EMPTY*…. no-bloody-body on it except us… and… one highway patrol car…. @#$@$@#! $157 that one cost me!!!
I'm NOT HAPPY

Oct
21

Exercise time!

October 21st, 2006 -- No Comments »

A full week in to our holiday and today we finally did some serious hiking. We spent a few hours up in Arches and finished that off with a long hike up to the Double O arches. Linda even ignored her fear of heights for a day and managed to climb over the rock fin which is part of the trail!
Fear of heights?? Not me!!!
We went out to celebrate that evening and found some pretty weird people in the bar. They can’t be all that bad though, since most had t-shirts with
“He’s *still* not my president!”,
“I already vote NO to the next war”, and
“Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot”.

Oct
20

Scenic Monument Valley

October 20th, 2006 -- No Comments »

We had a little revise of our plan today. We were meant to go up to Bryce, then stay somewhere along the Escalante and then on to Moab (Arches) the next day. But that would mean going back the same route, which would be boring. So we went through the Navajo reserve, south of the Glendale canyon instead and drove straight up to Moab instead. This meant we now also have some pictures of Monument Valley (which really is a must on this trip).
Check out Linda's depth of field shot!
Getting to Moab it was quite good to see some civilisation again, and Moab even stays open after dark! (shock horror)

Oct
19

POWER!!!

October 19th, 2006 -- No Comments »

Aye skipper!
Power boats rock! Although they are a whole lot more boring than a sailing boat, they have their place. And a carbon fiber, light-as-hell, 19 foot small boat with 150 break horse power (!) can put a smile on anyone’s face!
Phwooarrrr!!!!
After blasting around for about 4 hours though, we were bored of all the canyons (sorry, but if you’ve seen one, you’ve kinda seen them all) so we just chilled in the resort. Linda also had her first drive in the big american muscle car! And wow! 25 mph sure is fast innit?! ;-P After 20 min of that, I drove back (in 5 min)

Oct
18

Time for a bit of water

October 18th, 2006 -- No Comments »

Lake Powell was our next stop. A man made lake, and all the amenities to go along with that (kayaking, power boating, water skiing, wake boarding, you name it). We got there in the afternoon and booked a powerboat for the next day. Since we were now a day ahead of schedule we decided to spend that on a boat rather than moving on.
Lake Powel

Oct
17

Cold canyon

October 17th, 2006 -- No Comments »

I found the canyon!
So the next two days were planned in the Grand Canyon. It’s an amazing sight this huge canyon, but from when I was a kid that is all I remember: a big hole (that and the fact that some idiot had driven his car down the edge when we were there! -did that really happen or have I watched too many movies?). Linda specifically wanted to spend two days here since there is SOO much to do. I wondered about that, but what the heck.
It took exactly 3 minutes and 23 seconds at the edge of the south rim for Linda to decide that two days might actually be a bit too much. Sure it is pretty, but DAMN IT’S COLD!!! 38 degrees Fahrenheit plus a blazing wind!
On top of that the hotel was crap, the steak house appalling, and the breakfast consisted of one (old) muffin… time to move on

Oct
16

Time to heat up

October 16th, 2006 -- No Comments »

The one and only tree in the whole of Death Valley
Time for some heat! Today we spent driving through death valley. TomTom is one wonderful piece of kit! No worrying about roads, crossings or any other nonsense. Death Valley, and all the detours we took became easy navigating. Just go where you want, and by the time you want to head off to your end destination, let TomTom do the work for you.
So apart from the tech endorsement, Death Valley itself was beautiful. I had forgotten about the salt lakes in the valley (I thought they were only in salt lake city!). But I had remembered how deserted it was… or rather how deserted it *was*. No longer. Tourists *everywhere*, including a complete luxury resort right smack in the middle of it!
Once we’d seen enough, we took off for Vegas, which oddly enough was a bit of a disappointment. The last time I was there, I was nine. Apart from the big neon signs, I didn’t see much (anything) that time around. We had both expected big, glamorous casinos. And although the exterior of some is impressive, inside they are all the same: tacky and non exciting. We spent exactly 0 dollars…

Oct
15

Middle of nowhere

October 15th, 2006 -- No Comments »

After spending four hours last night reverse engineering the TomTom’s inner workings, I have got the US maps to work! (note to self: write a long email to those TomTom boys). That was a good thing too, because we went for a trip around Santa Barbara. It’s been 20 years since I lived here, and although I went back for a bit a few years back, I honestly would not have been able to find anything without TomTom.
In the afternoon we set out to Ridgecrest. We knew there wouldn’t be much there, but it was to be our pitstop before we head into Death Valley tomorrow. However, when we got there we realised just how little there was in Ridgecrest! 20 trailers, 2 gas pumps, in the middle of nothing, some people with three eyes and some married people looking distinctly like brothers and sisters…
My opinion of Ridgecrest

So since we made some good time with our muscle car, we decided to keep going to a little town called Lone Pine. We had no idea what it would be like, but it’s great! A very small, sweet town, which seems to have some film history. We stayed in the little motel that John Wayne used to stay in, which the whole town seems to advertise as if the man himself had built the whole country… by hand!

Oct
14

Pimp my ride!

October 14th, 2006 -- No Comments »

After flying for about 11 hours we arrived in LA. And after having spent close to 300 quid on a TomTom sat-nav system with maps for the US, it has failed on us already. Although it worked fine in the UK, it seems to have developed a general disliking of Americans. It simply wont boot.

Fast and Furious!

But even without it, we found our way to Santa Barbara and the hotel without any problems. We even did it a whole lot quicker than expected, but that could have something to do with the fact that we spent a little extra to get an upgraded, pimped up, monstrous car :-)

PHVsPjwvdWw+