Location: New York, USA
So its the last journal entry. What a sad day. Anyway, let me tell u what we did for our last week. From Vegas we flew to Washington D.C. Obviously security is very strict for domestic flights in the U.S now and it was quite funny when Tom got stopped for having high levels of explosive substances on his shoes! After a few retests and X-rays, we were allowed to proceed.
On our first day in Washington we were up early and marched down to the pub to watch the first England game-disappointing performance but the three points is what counts!
After that, it was all about sight seeing. Washington is like one big museum. We went to The White House, The Washington Monument, Various War memorials, Abraham Lincoln memorial, Capitol Hill. We also went to the Air and Space museum, which is the most popular museum in the world and is actually in the guiness book of records for having the most customers in one day. We also went to the National gallery of art!
In the evening we decided to go to this club, but when we got there we realised that we were pretty much the only white people in the queue! However we decided to go in and it turned out to be a great night!
Following day we went to a place called Geaorgetown, which is regarded as the nicest area in D.C where all the wealthy live. It reminded me of a wealthy, leafy Surrey area actually. Had a nice walk down by the canal, and watched a canal boat getting locked. All the workers on the canal where traditional, old school clothes which was cool. We also saw the Watergate building down by the river. In the evening we went to the National Gallery for a classical piano concert-very cultural eh? The pianist was awesome actually!
Next day, it was off to New York. After arriving in New York, we got the subway to our accommodation. As we came out of the subway, it looked liked we'd entered the ghetto! I mean we were only a few streets down from Harlem, so it was probably to expected. By our hostel was nice enough. In the evening, we got the subway dwon to Times Square-what a cool place. The place just stimulates all ur senses. There's so many things going on! Flashing lights, street sellers, yellow taxi cabs roaring past etc! Anyway, we got some pizza and headed back to our ghetto for some much needed sleep.
Next day we changed accommodation and moved to the more classy east side of central park, as opposed to the west side where we had been staying. I never realsied that Central park is actually smack bang in the middle of Manhattan and is a perfect rectangle!
Later that day, we did a cruise round the Manhattan Island. We saw the statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, passed under the famous brooklyn bridge and saw the awesome Manhattan skyline including the Empire State and Chrysler buildings.
Next day, we got the lift right to the hhhhof the Empire State building, got awesome views over New York. Unfortunately it was a bit hazy, so photos aren't all that. We got the subway down to Wall street, and passed the New York Stock Exchange. We walked to Ground Zero-still just a huge building site-hard to believe that the twin towers came down almost 5 years ago now. In the evening we went to a show on Broadway. We went to see Mamma Mia!! It was really gd. Very entertaining. Lots of chessy abba songs! And after that, we went to Connolly's Irish Pub. Yes an Irish pub named after myself, the exact spelling, in the centre of New York. I got quite excited about that!
Watched the England game the next day, and then did some shopping New York Style. Went to Bloomingdales and Macy's. Tome bought a couple of Abercrombie and Fitch shirts. I bought nothing as I have about -$4000! In the evening we went to this posh lounge bar at the top of the marriot hotel, which rotates over the Manhatten skyline. Had champagne and watched the sun go down over the city and our travels. After remenising our travels, we headed down to the trendy "meat packing" district of New York. I know it doesn't sound very trendy but it is. We went to a couple of bars before heading back to bed.
Later today, we fly back to London. Well its been a fabulous 5 months. Had some of the best times of my life and seen some amazing things. We've had ups and downs but it's been a great adventure. We're both quite sad to be going home but we're looking forward to seeing everyone again. Like to give a big shout out to my parents who came to my rescue when I ran out of money! Thanks guys!
Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!
Location: Las Vegas, USA
After our 11hr flight from Fiji, we arrived in LA. My first impression of LA was not good to be honest. Tom, Kit and I got a bus to Venice Beach (where we were staying), and the bus and Venice Beach were full of freaks. We had one mad woman on the bus shouting about how she was gonna execute black people, and in Venice Beach, there was some guy who looked like a fat axel rose, dancing like a maniac to Shakira in Subway! There was plenty of other fruit cakes aswell but I wont go into it!
Anyway, we had a look around Venice Beach, saw muscle beach, quite famous gym in america where people work out on the beach. Arnie used to work out there! In the evening we walked to Santa Monica, passed lots more weirdos, went to a couple of bars, but ended up playing pool for the whole night.
The next morning we hired a car. Now this is the USA where everything is huge, including the cars. So we hired ourselves an SUV! Big Ford Escape! After getting the hang of driving on the right hand side of the road, with the steering column on the left, we cruised over to Hollywood, took the obligatory photo of the Hollywood sign. Then we went star spotting in Beverly Hills. We parked up beside the famous Rodeo Drive pronounced Ro-Day-O drive, which is where all the clebs shop. The array of cars parked on this street was spectacualar. Porshes, ferraris, rolls, bentleys! I had to take a picture of a Mclaren Mercedes! Unfortunately we didnt see any celebs. If there were any, they were prob in the shops, as there were plenty of shifty looking body guards hanging around outside the shops. Tom reckons he saw nicky hilton gettin into a rolls royce though!
After Beverly Hills, we made the journey to San Francisco, to meet Neil, which we slightly underestimated, so we ended up sleeping in a motel in Silicon Valley, just outside San Fran. Well nice though, had cable tv and a spa, for less than what we paid for our dorm in LA!
San Francisco is the most hilly place Ive seen in the world. "Jackass " used the streets for urban snowboarding. San Fran is also home to the most twisting, downhill street in the world! It has a 5mph speedlimit! After meeting Neil, we did a boat tour of the bay. We passed under the Golden Gate Bridge and went round Alcatraz. We had a decent night out in San Fran and then it was on to Vegas baby yeah!
Vegas was amazing! Loved it! It's such a crazy place. It feels like it's totally detatched from the rest of the world. Its also the hottest place in the world I've ever been. We're talking 45degreesC here! The journey there was great. Driving down the strip was so much fun. We had the windows down chatting to americans as we went by. We styaed in a massive hotel, with the biggest indoor theme park in america, 2 swimming pools, etc, etc! Plus we got an en-suite room between the 4 us for a bargain! Well as soon as we got there we went straight onto the roulette table. We all boshed $20 each on red and.......it landed on.....black! Gd start. After another couple of gos on the roulette, I was $30 down. Time to move on. Thought I'd try my hand on the blackjack table. Put down $10 and it didnt take long for me to have $70 worth of chips in my hand. Gd enough for me for the first night. $40 up. Neil and Kit both finished the night $60 down and Tom finished the night $110 down!
Next day we had the buffet in our hotel-all u can eat-typically american. By the way, all the stereotypes that u know when u think of america are actually true! The people are loud, they're fat, the cars are huge! However I have found them to be pretty friendly actually!
Neil and Kit entered a poker tournament the next day. They both lost another $60 dollars each! We all chilled by the pool later in the day and rode the indoor rollercoaster. We also had a look round some of the amazing casinos. I could actually talk for hours about the casinos, they're simply incredible! Later that night, we went to club in the Mirage called Jet-awesome! Unfortunately we all came out pretty drunk at 4.30am and decided to go gambling-bad idea. I lost $80. $40 down after 2 days.
Next day we looked in more casinos, all the famous ones, such as caesars, MGM, Bellagio etc. And at night we went to the club "Studio 54" in the MGM Grand. Again an incredible club! But again more gambling was to be had afterwards-lost $60. $100 down after 3 days.
The follwing night, we didnt go out and decided to do some sober gambling, gd idea, won $60. Finished off my vegas adventure $40 down. Neil finished $120 up, Tom finished bout $150 down, Kit finished bout $210 down.
Neil and Kit left us the following day to fly back to England. Tom and I hired a convertable and drove to the Grand Canyon. It was spectacular! Possibly the most amazing sight I've seen over the last 5 months, only rivalled by the sight of the tallest mountains in the world 5500m up in the Himalayas. Unfortunately it's hazy 90% of the time at the Canyon, so the photos dont do it justice.
Thats all for now folkes.
One more entry to come and I'll be home!
Location: Nadi, Fiji
Well what can I say about fiji. The perfect tropical island destination! Absolutely loved the week we had there! Gettin there was fun too. Our flight was at 6.55am in the morning so instead of paying for a dorm in Auckland we decided to go out to a bar and then get a taxi to the airport from there. We also met a guy from our school in Auckland (Ian Gallagher boys!) so we went out and got drunk with him. We got a taxi fom outside the bar at 4.15 am and staggered through check in and immigration-well funny!
When we got to Fiji, I started to feel bit rough, but things picked up again when I saw the beautiful islands! The first Island we went to was called beachcomber Island. Its regarded as the party island of Fiji. The island was so cool! You could walk round it in 10mins! The food was great as well. Did some snorkelling. The fijian people are the nicest people in the world too. We had so much fun with them. We were lucky as well that coca cola were putting on a massive show on the island for prize winners in New Zealand-well gd!
After beachcomber island, it was off to Manta Ray island. This was a quieter island, but still very pretty, saw some awesome sunsets. I had the beach to myself a lot of the time! I made myself a bracelet out of a coconut (as u do) and did some kayaking.
Our final island was Bounty Island or celebrity love island-probably my favourite. It was so cool gettin off the boat and seeing the pool used in celebrity love island. A lot of the set is still there. Met some great people on Bounty including Neil and Kit who we're travelling to USA with. We played loads of games and just generally had a great laugh. We also went sailing. Sailing was fun-they let u take a sailing boat out on your own. None of us really had any sailing experience but we learnt pretty quick!
Will be writinga again soon!
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Well the New Zealand experience has come to an end! And wow was the south Island worth seeing!! Its a geography teachers dream: Snow capped mountains, fiordlands, green inland pastures, dazzling lakes, glaciers etc!
Our ferry over to the South Island was one of the roughest ferry rides ever! All the other ferries cancelled their trips apart from ours! People and furniture were going all over the place! And the night before, we had an earthquake in Wellington, which measured 5 on the richter scale. I slept right through it though. After spending our first night on the south island in a place called Nelson, we got the coach down to Franz Josef-the most famous glacier in New Zealand. Even though it was a long journey, the scenery all around kept me entertained. It's quite funny because on one of our journeys we asked the driver what the in flight entertainment was, and he replied "look out the window...thats the entertainment", and he was right!
Franz Josef is one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, moving up to 5m a day! We booked a full day trip of the glacier, which gave us about 6hrs on the ice-awesome! It was so cool to actually be walking on and through ice! We went through narrow crevasses and ice caves. It was so different to the trek we did in the Himalayas.
After Franz Josef, it was off to Queenstown, my favourite place on the south Island. We ended up staying longer than intended here! It had great nightlife, awesome activities and stunning scenery to go with it! Even met some guy from my school! Oh and it had it had the nicest burger place in the world! The first thing I did in Queenstown was book my bungy jump. The bungy jump was so much scarier than the skydive! When I was up there looking over the edge, I was thinking 'Chris, what the hell are u doing!' But it was amazing, an incredible feeling! Would like to do another but not at the price they charge! I only did the smaller of the two jumps aswell. I got to touch the water at the bottom though which was cool. The bungy operation is really accurate! It's the site of the first commercial bungy in the world. You can decide whether to stop before the water, touch the water, go half in, all the way in etc! I said I wanted to touch it and they got it to perfection-very impressive! After the bungy, we got a gondula to the top of Queenstown hill and went on the luge about 5 times! It was so much fun, skidding down the track, which was pretty icy as it's damn cold in NZ now.
Tom went quad biking the next day, but I'd already spent enough money so it was time to have a rest! The day after, we hired a car and went to a place called Milford Sound which is the most visited of all the southland fiords. Unfortunately it rained the whole day, but it meant we got to see the water falls cascading spectacularly down the rock faces. Also saw some seals flapping about on the rocks.
The rest of our time in Queenstown was spent going out at night etc. Went to see the Da Vinci Code aswell-not as gd as the book. We also booked our holiday in Fiji. Going to 3 Islands. Two of which are like popular, party islands, but supposed to be beautiful and the other is where they supposedly filmed 'Castaway' and 'Celebrity Love Island'-should be interesting! Be nice to get some warm weather again too!
After Queenstown we went to Christchurch, which is just like an english city. Had a few drinks there but that was about it. Then we travelled back up to the top of the south island, ferry across to Wellington and back to Auckland where we are now. Gettin a plane at 6.55am to Fiji!
Will be in contact again soon!