Location: Dublin, Ireland
We missed our flight from syd to Darwin but luckily qantas put us up for the night so it was no big deal. Hawaii was awsome and everything youd expect for tropical and american.
We went to the shack in Mandorah, out of darwin for the weekend which is really nice to just do nothing and talk with family and friends. Lots of catching up with everyone and getting organised this week. twoah is glad to have us home but is quite confused on who is Mum and Dad for the moment.
we're going to mackay on the 14th and I have a job meeting on the 15th, will be go go go to get organised and settled.
We both havent got a mobile number yet, will do this week and let you know.
Our trip was awsome and more than we ever expected. All the cliques but it really was an experience of a life time. Bretts ready to hang up his backpack for 10 years but I feel a bit like theres so much more world out there to see. But for now I really feel the urge to work, use my brains and settle with family : )
Thanks for taking time to stay in contact with us while we were away, and hope to call you or email in the coming weeks.
Over and out!!!!!
Location: Honolulu, USA
Aloha from Honolulu, Oahu! Had a great anniversary yesterday, went for a buffet breakfast right on the beach with a little champagne to go. Then just relaxed hawaiian style around the many pools before heading off for a traditional luau dinner - another all you can eat affair, so a very happy, memorable (and very full) anniversary.
This will be our last diary entry before we get back to oz Friday (will drop a few more photos though), so we hope you have enjoyed following our adventures as much as we have had experiencing them!
Location: California, USA
We've had a couple of nice days driving down the coast from San Fran to LA. A highlight was visiting Pebble Beach Golf Course in Monterey Bay, the most lux we've ever seen, and beautiful at sunset. Today we ran into our third pod of seals- these were elephant seals- massive and blubbery but so mesmerising and cute, hundreds of them. On the plane tomorrow to Honolulu!!!! Not sure if we'll have internet so may not hear from us until we get home on Friday! A big weekend planned at the shack with all of the Darwin crew as soon as we get back.
Location: San Francisco, USA
San Francisco is lovely and today's weather was beautiful. The bridges along with the Golden Gate allow you to circumnavigate the whole city, are really really long with perculiar angles and turns. Downtown is very hilly with great vistas and the tram that runs down to the piers in movies on a huge gradient. When we parked up we could hear some 'barking' so follwed it to find hundreds of Californian Sea lions at the pier, jumping on and pushing each other off pontoons. Very cool and intriguing to watch. Could see the small island Alcatraz where scar face was held, and several guys have ried to swim to shore without making it. Overall San Fran was pretty and interesting place to see. The next few days we will be working our way down the coast back to LA.
Location: Napa Valley, USA
I had a great day yesterday, the hugest surprise at dinner when Mum and Dad called the restaurant! Tasted fantastic wines all day and relaxed in our pool and spa. Napa valley is really pretty, like a bigger scale of Margaret River region. Off to San Francicso today to see the bridge and parks : )
Location: Yosimite, USA
Yosimite was beautiful today. A toughish hike to some waterfalls, and lots of driving along windy roads with sheer drops and no side rails! Got close to deer and squirrels, and hugged a huge sequioa red wood. Made sandwiches next to a bubbling brook, looking up to bridal veil falls, named for the swirling wind that makes the water a sheer mist. Brett loved the sheer size of a monolith rock (like ayes rock) called El Capitan. There were great panorama views of the valley and rock formations from every road pullover. Up to Napa valley tomorrow for some rest and wine for my birthday!
Location: Yosimite, USA
Another big day in the car, from Panamint valley to Yosimite national park via Mammoth lakes and Tiogra pass. More spectacular scenery, mountains, lakes, autumn coloured trees and clear blue skies. In big bear territory now, they're preparing for hibernation so hope they are busy! Yosimite is of gigantic proportions- a valley thats been carved by shifting iceglaciers, waterfalls and huge rock formations. Will spend all day tomorrow exploring, will have heaps of great photos!
Location: Death Valley, USA
A very interesting day in Death Valley today, home of road runner and coyotes. Went up and down from 300 feet below sea level at the salt lakes to 5000 feet above in the mountains, several times in and out of the valley. Saw multi coloured minerals of Artists palette, salt crystals, canyons, snow capped peaks and met a friendly highway patrol man. Staying in the wild west movies setting tonight.
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Just a quick update, havent had any internet.
Weve had 4 days in Las Vegas, pretty action packed.
Arrived and went straight to the NBA game between LA Lakers and Phonix Suns. A good close game, great to see a big game. Dazzled by the lights on the strip of at least 40 casinos. Were in the middle of the dessert, surrounded by mountains where the Indians first settled. Had a day touring inside all of the casinos- theres heaps to see like lions, flamingos, New York New York replicas, Paris replicas- they are all the big attractions of the cities in half scale, so a good reminiscing for us of the eiffel tower, Chrysler building etc. Watched the Bellagios amazing fountain show- free outside the casino, to music and with water cannons shooting up 15 stories high. Had a huge day driving out to the Grand Canyon, Brett drove 1000km in one day, but it was worth it to see the gigantic scale of the canyon. It snowed for us! Was absolutely freezing, even more than Niagara ( something about us visiting the wonders of the world and it being freakishly cold
) about 3 degree celcius, coming from Vegas of nice mid twenties! And we were the ignorant fools who only wore shorts! The colours and changing light on the layered rock was beautiful. Last night we went to a dancing girls show- very classy albeit topless, but a proper show of different dances through the decades, a juggler who managed 2 bowling balls and a W&W (Australian M&Ms
) and thir award winning can-can with great acrobatics. More outlet shopping (believe it or not, still more bargains to fit in the suitcase). I rode 3 thrill rides yesterday all off the side of the observation tower in Vegas, about a 1200 feet in the air! Another few things to see today before we head into Death Valley this afternoon.
Had a pretty horrible morning in downtown LA, really disgusted in the sluminess of the city. But anyway, only took an hour to see the (non-)sights then headed back to our hotel for lunch. Hit Hollywood again for a second chance and really glad we did coz it was fun for Friday 13th, heaps of horror characters and the odd princess fiona costume. Saw The Departed- and excellent movie, at the Chinese Theatre- an awsome interior of chinese art and decor, very indulgent. Will put pics on tomorrow. Found the Hollywood sign this time (we really glossed over that area last time in our eagerness to see everything that day). Read the pavement anonymous stories of how actor were discovered. A good vibe of thetres, people dressed up in fancy restaurants and celeb names on the pavement. Tomorrow to the beach if the weather permits, a bit wet and grey, and maybe Universal studios?? I have to convince Brett he'll fit on the rides...
Location: LA, California, USA
Well Hollywood and Sunset Boulevade really werent much chop and not as flash as we'd expected. Ok to see Kodak theatre where the acadamy awards etc are and the chinese theatre with stars handprints, but that only took a few minutes, then a very long walk followed to the sunset strip, but there wasnt anything to look at. Got glimpses of the city from the hills, its undescribably big and packed in- LA has half the population as all of Aus! Finally got a bus to Rodeo drive through Beverley Hills, which was a wonderfully lush suburb of the rich and famous, complete with security fences and manicure lawns and fountains. This lead to the shopping strip part of Rodeo drive with all the usual designers. A lovely place to be.
Then we caught a long bus trip to Santa Monica- the closest beach to Hollywood, which was a really nice area, apart from the huge amount of homeless people. The welfare/health system has really failed a large number of mentally ill people over here. But otherwise, the beaches were fantastic- wide with white sand, volleyball, gyms, bball courts etc. We found the courts we think were in White Men Cant Jump at Venice Beach, and the muscle beach gyms. Walked a long way today, competing with the London miles. Beautiful weather today- mildly warm and clear blue skies. Really looking forward to getting the car in a few days to see the rest of California and Vegas.
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Hey from LA!
We flew in today to LA, and went straight over the Grand Canyon! We flew over low to get away from turbulence, and on such a clear day! LA is just what you'd imagine- mega tangled freeways, smog, palm tree lined roads and the Hollywood hills- which we can see from our hotel room. And Mexicans everywhere. Accom is pretty cheap here- $50 for a small but clean room in the city. Off to explore LA for a few days before we hire a car for our big road trip to Vegas! We want to hire a Mustang but may have too much luggage for it!
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Hi from the home of Mickey Mouse!
We are hitting the shops again, staying clear of the theme parks (Brett's excuse is he doesnt fit in the rides...), but still soaking up the atmosphere. We are stayign on the Kissimee strip- 'All America' as you would imagine- atleast 20 steak/burger/shake houses and all you can eat buffets and designer outlets. Crazy stuff. Flying out to California tomorrow. Dont worry, we are staying away from Schools over here, they seem to be the most dangerous place to be after a series of shootings. Sooo looking forward to California in all its glory over the next few weeks.
Location: Daytona Beach, USA
Hi from our beautiful seaside balcony!!!
Long walks on the beach, pelicans bobbing in the surf and a fab room- anyone would think we were on holidays! In the home of NASCAR Daytona 500, which is just up the road. Its alot smaller and quieter here than Miami, a nice change. Not much else to do but relax and enjoy the beach!!
Location: Miami, USA
Miami Beach was awsome, we stayed a road back from the beach and made the most of the hot weather at the beach and pool. The beach was nice- white and really long with all the highrises along it, and the odd Baywatch towers. Hired some beach cruiser bikes and ripped around Ocean Drive- just how you would imagine Miami- music pumping from sidewalk cafes, Bentleys and Hummers cruising gby women in bikinis and heel and overly muscly African guys. All the buildings were pastel art deco (ie tacky) with neon lights. Didnt spot any celebs but apparently Mathew McConnaughy and Nicky Hilton were in town this week. Had a flash dinner via limo transfer- very cool- on the way home we opened up the moon roof and got some pics with the wind through my hair. Very Miami.
Chicago was good fun today, shopping, sights and got an all day bus passes so that was mad, a la The Amazing Race style running for busses and asking strangers for directions. The city is interesting, on Lake Michigan, which is so huge it looks just like its on the coast. You cant see the other side of the lake at all. A modern and clean city, unlike New York which was older and narrower roads and more squished in coz it is on an island.
Went to the Bulls stdium but couldnt get in, saw the Micheal Jordan statue- Bretts absolute idol, especially as a teenager, so that was very significant for him. Both really pumped to see a game sometime, maybe in Vegas, a bit tricky trying to book a ticket with our itinary.
More soon, Love D
Location: Chicago, USA
Heya from Chicago- the windy city is playing it up big time for us- severe strom warnings, hail, and at one point a tornado warning! A quick flight from New York, which was sad to leave. We really loved the buzz of the big apple. A load of Micheal Jordan stuff to see tomorrow, not sure what else yet, will let you know ; )
Location: New York, USA
Go West Coast!
We all tracked down an aussie bar playing the game in midtown New York- what an amazing atmosphere! Strolled Central Park including the Friends opening scene fountain, the hill out of Big Daddy and The Mall- an Elm lined avenue in heaps of movies. But otherwise we have done little- after the game finished at 4am we're pretty knacked. Heaps to finish off tomorrow before flying to Chicago on Monday.
Location: Niagara Falls, USA
What an amazing day - we did an outrageously not like us thing and bought flights to Niagara for a day! It was so crazy- we got off the plane and hired a car to get to the falls, jumped on the Maid of the Mist boat which took us right into the spray of the Horseshoe falls! Then we climbed the stairs of the Winds of the Caves to the Hurricane platform - right under the American falls (just next to the Horseshoe falls), all part of the Niagara river falls. Can't believe how close we could get! Even without the adventure sport tours, you can go onto the falls at the lookout about a metre from the river! The leaves are starting to turn yellow and red- a really nice feel of autumn approaching on the maple trees.
Had the best buffet in our lives Im sure- anything gourmet you could imagine- sushi, salad, roasts, wok, all American comfort food and about 20 desserts- for $17 - and we had a view of the falls! The most amazing time was when we came out from dinner to walk back across the bridge and the lights came onto the falls- rainbow glow came form the mist!!! There are high rises right next to the falls on the Canadian side, like a mini Vegas, which is cool but also a tacky, shame. Had to get our passports checked to walk over the bridge from America to Canada! Got home at 1.30am (started at 5:30am) exhausted after such an amazing day- 10/10!
Location: New York City, USA
Hey from the Big Apple!
This place is awesome! Weve been sightseeing for 2 days and nights in Manhattan and still need 2 more- there is an unbelievable amount of stuff to see and do and its H-U-G-E. Staying at Kat and Daves, who are loving it here too. We can see the statue of liberty from the lounge room!
First day we hopped on the ferry to Staten Island which goes right past the Statue of Liberty. Was a beautiful day, a little cool but perfect in the sun. Can notice the pink haze of pollution sometimes, but not too bad. Then wandered around Wall street, ground zero, and hit the designer outlet warehouses- Brett totally out shopped me! That night went out for an American supper of milkshakes, French toast and cheesecake at Juniors
Next day we hit Times square at day, then at night, where it really came to life- the entire region glows with neon billboards and is mad busy with cabs and cops- just like the movies. Dropped in to Hard Rock café in Times square- very cool with all its genuine rock god memorabilia. Saw all the show ads on Broadway, may find time for The Lion King or Chicago with Usher in it- who Kat got a photo with yesterday, just walking along the street! Browsed 5th Avenue with all its huge names like Saks, Versace, Tiffany and Co etc. Went in to the Trump Towers- its so OTT with marble and gold fittings. Went into the NBA store where a few players (Tony Parker and Tracy McGrady) were there for the release of NBA 2007 on PS. Took the elevator (only 45 seconds for 86 floors) up the Empire state building for the most spectacular view of all of New York at dusk then with all the city lights and traffic. It was amazing- the high rises stretches all far as I could see, and I could track the planes from the 3 airports surrounding the city.
Location: Exmouth, UK
Our road trip was fantastic - 8 countries and 5,000 miles, lots of sights, experiences and memories. We also got to spend 2 days in East Anglia area with Adam, a mate from our earlier ski trip. Was great for a local to show us around (and not to drive/get lost anymore!), a very picturesque area so close to London, not what we expected. Day trip to Cambridge was very nice, all the universities to see and a very educated feel to the place, just a few toffs riding around. Got to see Windsor Castle on the way down, was a good stop to see the Queen's 'hood.
Back to our 2nd home in Exmouth now with great aunt Kathy, getting ready for our next and last adventure - the US of A! Will be sad to go but had a fantastic time, and hopefully have plenty of pommie visitors when we get back.