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Chris's travel page

Welcome to Chris's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me and I'll will reply as soon as poss! However everyone can read these messages, including the parents, so boys, keep them clean! If u like you can just e-mail me instead!

Diary Entries

Friday, 16 June 2006

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!

Friday, 09 June 2006

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 landed! 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!

Thursday, 01 June 2006

Location: Nadi, Fiji

Hey people!
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!

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

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!

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Recent Messages

From louise
Hey Chris, it is so nice to hear from you, I have to be honest, I have only read the first few emails..I need to take some time out and read them all. It is so cool you are keeping everyone know you'll have the best journal entries..great to read and look back over too. Hi to Tom gambler...I hope he has been good !!!
I am really looking forward to you coming back..we can hit the town like old times...walking you back home with Jules at like 3.30am...yeah !!! See you soon, Love Lou xxx
Response: Hey Louise! Yeah I'm looking forward to seein everyone too and having a few nights out together. I'll see u very soon! Hope uve been keeping Jules in check! haha! xx
From jules
aright chris! sounds like youve had a wicked time in the states! its even cooler that you were hanging out with the knight rider car! ha
Response: Yeah I know! We had quite a few jokes about that! I'll see u very soon Jules. I'll give u a txt when I get back. Am so weak now, no point doin weights anymore...give up!haha!
From KC
ssup CC! So, the scummy traveller is on his way doubt with a filthy tan too (although hopefully no white sleeve-marks like last year...). Looking forward to seeing you. Get yo ass back in time for July so you can make me another "birthday surprise" - think I've just about recovered from the last one!

Dig my chat, KC xxxxxxxxxxx
Response: Hey Katie! Haven't reallly got a tan actually! Went for the factor 30 suncream as opposed to the skin cancer! I'll be back for ur birthday to provide the entertainment!hehe! I am seriously diggin ur chat! xx
From Dad
Hi Chris
Got the Telegraph today. the transfer Password is HOPE.
See you Saturday, have a brilliant last few days.

Loads of love Mum, Dad and Chris XXX
Response: Thanks Dad.
Went up the empire state building today, walked down wallstreet, went to ground zero. Now we're off to see a broadway show! Mama Mia!! See u sat
From Ellen
Bloody hell, can't believe you're gonna be back soon.
It sounds like you've had one amazing time.
Char's wedding was lovely. It's a shame that the Smiths crew wasn't complete with you there. Way too much drink for me.
See you soon!
Response: Hey Ellen! Yeah gutted I missed the wedding. Havent heard from u in ages! U still at smiths? xx
From Dad
Hi Chris
Fiji looked lovely. Mum and myself are coming to collect you and Tom on Saturday 17th June. Chris my PA has looked up the flight number (VS004) and it appears you leave on Friday and 18.45pm and arrive in London at 6.35am. Can't wait to see you and Tom. I am sure you will both have to detox for the next six months.
Mum may write to you later this week.

Loadsa Love Mum, Dad and Paul XXX
Response: Yep all details are correct dad. Thanks for coming to pick us up. Yes detox is definately on the cards. By the way I opened up an overdraft with nationwide, so letter may come through in next few days. Could u also buy telegraph on weds and send me the transfer password for the world cup. Thanks Dad.
From Hannah Cole
Hey Chris, I'm so jealous, your adventures look amazing! Most peoples tenancy agreements run out at the end of June, so def come down for some partying if you have the time, would be lovely to see you! Lots of love, Hannahbans xXx
Response: Hey hans
Yeah having great time. Just finishing off with some partying in USA. Currently in New York! Coll I'll try and get down to Bristol at some point. Even though I have no money whatsoever. In fact I think my debts for travelling are around 1500pounds! nice!
Chris xxx
From charlene
hey chris
seems like uve been having a great time!
don't supose u wana com home a week early to com to my wedding? lol, ive gt the rest of whsmiths comim, should b a gud day, its on the 10th, so only got a couple of days left! ahh scary stuff!
speak soon!
love char xxx
Response: Hey Char.
Yes all is still goin well! Need a serious detox when I get home tho! I'm definately the most unhealthy ive ever been! USA is all about super sized fast food. Unfortunately all my flights are booked and stuff so wont be able to return home early. I'll be thinking of u on ur big day tho. Give my regards to lukey boy too.
Gd luck
From Dad
Dear Chris
We received your brief email. You need to send us details soon about your flight back into Heathrow. Time, date etc. Fiji sounded really relaxing. Hope you enjoyed Las Vegas. We are all keeping well here. I am sure I will hear from you soon.
Love Mum, Dad and Paul XXX
Response: Hey dad
Will get back on internet later this afternoon with details of flight etc! Vegas is stealing all my money! Soo much fun tho! Going to the Grand Canyon tmrw.
From Dad
Hi Chris
Have deposited £600 into your Nationwide account today. You now owe me loads of favours. Speak to you soon.

Loads of love Mum, Dad and Paul XXXX

PS Mum will email you sometime in the next couple of days.
Response: Massive thanks dad! Really needed that! NZ properly saps ur cash. I owe u big time! That should see me through easily now! Wont spend too much in Fiji. Thanks again dad.
From Jon
Also Chris, we're gonna do a World Cup fantasy team. I'll email you the details, but it'll be through the Telegraph again. The previous prem TFF was just a warm-up i.e. it doesn't count for anything.
Response: Alright sounds gd. Yeah that was just a warm up for me too! Looked like u were warming up for a hell of a long time though!
From Jon
Look at Tom all dressed up in his jumpsuit. Bet he thought he was well "Top Gun". Living the fantasy huh Tom?

Response: Haha! I got the top Gun theme on the DVD for my skydive!
From Dad
Hi Chris
Received the CD with all your photos on. I have put it away safe. Thomas got your email wishing him a happy and sunny wedding day. It was a lovely service at Ely Cathedral (Mum bought a magnet). AFC did not make the play offs. Theres always next season. Blackburn are in the UEFA Cup. Do you need any money from the Connolly Bank!!! Hope u r enjoying NZ. Hear from you soon, Love Mum, Dad and Paul XXXX
Response: Hi dad, glad u got the photos! Yeah got a reply from Thomas too. Bad news about AFC. Ive been following Blackburns progress, looking like a gd team now! Money is ok for now thanks. Will let u know in about a weeks time after we've done some more adrenalin pumping activities!
From Dad
Dear Chris
Your boots came today. Keep spending the money. By the sound of it you will have to live at home for the next ten years to pay off your debt!!! I think Arsenal will built Barcelona. Enjoy New Zealand. Hear from you soon.

Lots of Love
Mum Dad and Paul XXX
Response: Oh right cool. Gonna be sending a cd home soon, with quite a few photos on. Should be there in a couple of weeks or so.
From jules
bet you were well scared of the dingo tom, your about the size of a 9 year old boy maybe even a bit smaller! could of done some serious damage to your little frame!haha! oh and cheers for the txt at 3 in the morning! alright chris hope your good. my cousin ran the marathon yesterday! 4.2 hours, he had some amazing blisters on his feet! anyway speak to you again soon.
Response: Hahaha!! Alright Jules! 4.2 hrs sounds like a pretty gd time. I had some serious blisters going on when i did just a half marathon! Have seen quite a few skylines razzing around aus. One guy in Sydney was cruising around in his evo, with all the lights and tv screens on the back of the head rests. proper pimp my ride style.
From Dad
Hiya Chris
I hope you are pleased that the Connolly Bank has deposited some money in your account. The interest rate will not be too high lol. I am trying to get your golf fees as if you are a student so they are not too expensive. I cleaned the house from top to bottom while Mum was in Rome, but I'm still not up to her standard. Looking forward to seeing you in June.

Lots of love Mum, Dad and Paul XXXX
Response: Hey dad, yeah thanks for the money. Im trying not to spend too much, but I seem to be paying for things everyday! Gonna try and start work straight away when I get back to start paying all my debts off! Thats cool about the golf but dont worry about it too much, as not sure if i can really afford that at the mo! Got money going out all over the show!
From rich
conners, was watchin round the twist on sunday morning! they're repeating the series on channel 5. used to think the sister was well hot back in the day! (to be fair she is pretty fit!)
Response: Haha wkd. Me and Tom were saying the same thing when we there!
From Paul
I remember round the twist! loved it! jelly belly looks like a bit of a ledge however sky looks a wee bit uncomfortable!
Response: Yeah jelly belly was pretty legendary, but dont know what ur chattin bout skye!? She looks well comfortable standing next to me! I made sure of it!
From Jon
Pete?......hmmmm...sounds familiar......
Response: Thats nice jon!
From Tim
I can't believe someone with the nickname 'poo-boy' is calling other people uncouth! You must've turned over a few new leaves since I saw you last!
Glad you're having a good time tho mate. I think you should write a book when you get back called 'Me and McDonalds'', recounting regional variations across the globe!!
Response: Haha, yeah maybe that was a bit harsh on the aussies. Think It was only the first couple I met that were a bit ''uncouth''. The rest have been pretty cool actually! Mate I met skye last night from neighbours! Oh yes she is fit! I know you boys will be jealous! Yeah I cant believe the guidebooks dont point out where all the mcdonalds are in the cities! I mean thats what everyone wants to know! Well i do anyway!
From Matt
Good to see you for a week kid. Apologies I couldn't join you on all the benders but i've tried the going straight to work from the night out before and it aint pretty. Hope you had a good time and took some interesting memories away with you ;) Take care and enjoy the rest of Oz boss. Matty.
Response: Yeah mate it was great to see u. Yeah I wudnt enjoy going out and then having to go to work, its not about that. Had a wkd time and we'll catch up again back in blighty sometime. CC
From rich
uncooth eh connolly? coz ur such a shrinking violet!
Response: yeah u know it rich, innit, like, yeah!
From KC
Aaaaaaaah, my boys rockin it up down under...How jealous am I?!? Glad you're having a wicked time though - see now why Sydney rules?!! Take care CC, oh and bar brawl? Was someone not diggin your chat??? Luv ya xxxxxxx
Response: Yeah we had a quality time! Sydney was awesome. In Melbourne now and I love it here too, bit colder tho. Dont worry, I wasnt involved in the bar brawl, I was a mere spectator. Hopefully I havent upset anyone not digging my chat!lol! xxx
From rich
tom, what is it you and two wheeled machines, first kos, then the camera incident in thailand, now tryin to maverick it up a mountain doin wheelies! get a push bike mate! (conners u deserved to stack it for lettin him loose with the throttle in the first place!)
Response: Haha! I know it probably was a bit stupid to let Tom loose on the bike, but he has more experience on them than me! Think we'll give them a rest for now!
From Larks
Alright guys, loving that the trip completely revolves around beer and drinks! Thats the way it should be!
Response: You know that makes sense larks! Probably only gonna get worse now in Australia!