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The Deep South! Darren & Carley's Trip Dec 2010

Darren & Carley are setting out on an adventure, driving through the deep south of America in December 2010. We will be visiting Nashville, Memphis, Montgomery, Birmingham, Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, Lafayette, Houston, Austin and then ending up in New York for new years eve!

Diary Entries

Monday, 03 January 2011

Location: Bristol - Belmont Road, UK

Well hello from good old England ! Its Darren here with the final update of the blog for our USA travels ! (Carley is asleep on the sofa as we have not had alot of sleep the last 48 hours !!)

Firstly all of the pics are now on the blog from NYC so enjoy !

When we left you last we had a bit of a sore head on New Years Day. We had to get up for midday to get to the Statue Of Liberty Tour. We were thankful we pre-booked as when we got to the docks the queue must have been about 1000+ people long !! So after a short queue for us (only 15 mins compared to a couple of hours if we had not booked!!) We got on Miss New York and travelled over to the Statue of Liberty !

The Hangovers got a nice blowing out and it was a great way to clear the head !!! The Statue was amazing and we got some really amazing pics. We had a little lunch on the island then did the tour of the museum. The State itself was amazing and whilst we did not get to go up the crown we did climb inside and go to the top of the pedalstal where we got some great views.

After that we decided to skip Ellis Island as it was getting on a bit and so we headed for the World Trade Centre site. When we have been walkling around New York its so compact and to come across this massive area where the towers were is crazy. They are nearly 10 years on and its still a building site. The Freedom tower is around 40 levels high at the moment and I think it has a long way to go !!! After spending some time at the site we headed to Wall Street and to the famous Wall Street Bull...... Honestly it was a load of Bull as it was 5 deep with Tourists and you could not even see the thing !!! As we had the rememnants of the hangover still we decided to head back to the hotel and chill out for a bit.

That night we just ate at a pub just off time square and did some TAT shopping. Honestly we have come back with that many fridge magnets and keyrings I am surprised we were allowed through the airport scanner !! Especially as they were all in my hand luggage !!

Our last day yesterday was a long one and in fact its still kinda going on ! We checked out of the hotel at 11am and headed for the New Meadowlands Stadium to see the New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills. Its a massive stadium and was wicked. To save a long story about American Football which I am sure not one of you reading this understand the Jets won 38-7 which is a hammering in American Football Terms !

After the game we got the train back into New York (well actually 2 trains, a lot of queuing and one unhappy Carley as I had dragged her to it ! She enjoyed it but it was alot of queueing getting to the stadium etc) We literally got back to the hotel grabbed the cases and then back on the train to the Airport. Our flight left at 10pm NYC time and arrived at heathrow this mornin 10am so with the time difference I am battling to stay awake (Carley has lost the battle! Although I am going to wake her up in a bit !! or she will be jetlagged)

Finally I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been reading the blog the past 3 weeks. We really cant believe everyone was that interested ! ha ha ! Thank you to both sets of parents and everyone else for all the $$$ for xmas that meant we did not have to skint it and thanks to Vicki for all those doubletree hotels !

We have about 1400 photos ! Yes 1400 photos !! So if you see Carley coming at you with a camera leg it because you will be there for a bloody long time ! We have had such an amazing time the last 3 weeks and will be boring the heck out of you all with our stories for a long long time !!

Until next time
See Ya
Darren :-) (And an asleep Carley !!!)

Saturday, 01 January 2011

Location: New York - new York , USA

Happy new year from new York city !!!!!

Yesterday was amazing ! We started off with a lovely lunch at Gordon ramsey's maze restaurant, it was lush !!! After that we did a carriage ride around central park, the snow made the park look very beautiful. We then did some more exploring going to the plaza hotel, trump tower, bloomingdales, tiffineys (no don't get excited mum ha ha) gucci and Louis vittuon. We did not buy anythig which did not make Carley happy ! :-)

After chilling out at the hotel for a bit we headed to the docks for our new years eve riverboat cruise. It really was amazing and seeing the fireworks over the statue if liberty was something we won't ever forget. It was a free bar as well so we got pissed !

Managed to get to bed about 3am and are up now getting ready. Were off to the statue if liberty today. We will upload pics later on when we get to the business centre here.

Hope you all had a wicked new years and only 2 days left of the hols for us now! Parents we don't have a phone card so will call when were back in the uk.

See ya !
Darren :-)

Friday, 31 December 2010

Location: New York - New York, USA

Start spreading the news........... Were here in the big apple !!!!

It's actually our first night but it's 12.22 now as we have been out on the towns technically it's new years eve already.

Flight was all on time and good today. We got the train into new York Penn station which is literally across the road from the hotel. First inpressions of new York were wow !!!!!! It's such a sight and this time year dragging suitcases through the people was not easy !

Anyway after a quick rest stop in our tiny 35th floor room (the view is wicked and we see right over Maddison square garden) we hit the streets ! After a few blocks we hit time square and it was packed. They are starting to put up the barriers up in prep for tomorrow night. We could see the studio they were setting up with a big crowd so went to investigate. Ryan Seacreast was there doing what looked like either a live link or a rehearsal ! Carley was very excited and we got some pics which we will stick up on the blog when we find a computer (I am using my phone at present to write the on the hotels free wifi)

We then grabbed some food at an Italian restaurant. It was lush and was the first food I had eaten all day !!!! After that it was off to the rockafella centre where the famous Christmas tree from home alone and other such films is. It was wicked but again so busy. We had decided to do the top of the rock tour rather than the empire state one so up we went to the leg shaking 67th floor !! Heights are not a strong point for me but I survived (just!!!) the views were amazing and you got such an amazing view over the city.

We had walked about 10-15 blocks so decided to head back to the hotel. On the way back we saw radio city, the m&m shop on time square, Hershey's factory and also the chaos that was time square getting ready for tomorrow. After a couple of cheeky beers in a pub we have plodded back to the hotel feet very much aching !!!!!

Tomorrow is central park, Guggenheim, Gordon ramsey's for lunch, possibly the plaza for drinks oh and the small matter of new years eve river cruise by the statue of liberty !!!!!! Unlikey we will update before tomorrow so happy new year to everyone in the uk (it will be 7pm here when your all celebrating) we will have a drink for you all then :-)

Happy 2011 !!!! Speak soon :-)
Darren (& Carley) :-)

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Howdy from a lovely warm Austin in Texas! Got up to about 23c today.

Anyway, following Sager's update from last night we decided to go out local around the Galleria area for some food. We didn't get out until about 9.30am as had to wait for washing to finish. Took an age as the Bayor Football team (some College football team) and their crew/family/followers etc had taken over the hotel so took an age to wait for the lift and when it did arrive we were sharing with football players or cheerleaders! Random.....

Anyway, the Galleria area is lovely, obviously where the 'money' in Houston stay. We ended up at a place called Grand Lux Cafe which was massive and had the biggest menu ever. Darren went for a bit Texas steak and we had a few drinks and was lovely. We then headed back to the hotel and chilled on the balcony (well I did.....Darren was too scared!)

Today we set off from Houston later and Darren drove and the weather was absolutely awful! I dont know how he saw through the windscreen for about 30 minutes! Anyway, we got to Austin safe and sound late afternoon.

After chilling for an hour or so, we ventured out and turns out our hotel is located adjacent to 6th Ave which is where all the bars and restaurants are located downtown. Anyway, we ended up having a few beers on a roof top bar in the warm overlooking Austin. Was lovely! Felt like a proper holiday. We then went next door for a tex mex meal which was scrummy and we're now back at the hotel about to go up to the 18th floor for a late drink (I say late, but it is only 7.40pm!) and then too bed ready for our early-ish flight to NEW YORK tomorrow- WAHOOOOOOOOO! Flight is 10.30am so not too bad but we have to drop off the car etc and fingers crossed the snow in New York wont affect our flight - fingers crossed anyway!

So will leave it there. Next update will be from NEW YORK!! Wahoo!!

Love to all


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Location: Houston - Texas, USA

Yeeeeee Hawwww !!!! Hello from Houston Texas !! 19 degrees today and muggy !! Yesterday it was 5 degrees !! The weather is very changeable to say the least !!!

We arrived yesterday afternoon after the non event that was Lafayette !!! My god it was dull !! The “hotel” was a pit and then next door had there telly on full wack at 6am after we had little or no sleep !!!

Anyway the drive into Houston and the driving in general around here is bloody mental !! 5 / 6 and 7 lane motorways all doing 60mph with no indicating and undertaking galore !!! Honestly its unreal it really is. I have done the majority of driving and am just taking the approach that everyone on the road wants to kill us so just ignoring them all. Dolly the sat nav is working overtime to say the least with me missing a few junctions !!

We arrived yesterday and then after getting settled into the best hotel room so far this holiday (Vicki we cant say thank you enough for this one !!) The Suite is bigger than our flat and includes a full kitchen with cooker, fridge freezer and dishwasher. A lounge with a sofa and a nice high def TV. The bedroom has a desk and enough room for a small game of 5 a side football and the bathroom is twice the size of ours at home ! After the horror room that was Lafayette its amazing ! Also I managed to catch the last 45 mins of the Arsenal vs Chelsea game on ESPN which was good as it was the better half to watch!

After setting in we went to downtown to watch the Houston Rockets vs Washington Wizards ! We had a drink in a local bar and a few snacks before heading to the stadium. The atmosphere was different to the ice hockey with music being played throughout the game and also the announcer basically moaning at everything the other team did. The game was pretty good with Washington about 10 point in front with a quarter to go but the Rockets won 100 – 93 in the end ! Our luck for supporting the home teams continue ! It was a really good experience and loved it !! If you goto and then click on 12.27.10 vs Wizards. Then click on gallery 78 there should a pic of us on there (we cant view it here as the computer does not have the right software).

Anyway after that we headed back to the hotel for a drink and to bed as the previous 2 nights we had not slept to much.

Today after a nice lay in we headed to the Houston Space Centre (Via the bloody crazy roads !!!) It was a mixed day. The bad side was that the place was rammed !! When we bought our tickets the lady said it was he 3rd receipt roll she was on so we should have twigged. A lot of the place is designed for kids and the best bit is to go on a tour on a little kart thing. The place is a working area not a museum so we saw a lot of buildings. The best bit was that normally on the tour you would view historic mission control however this time they were allowing you to go to the current mission control !! We went into a room where there was a gallery where you sat overlookinf the current mission control which is the international space station !!! It was amazing and the guide said it was only the 5th time in 2 years they had allowed people to go in and see it. It was just like from Apollo 13 ! The only down side was that you were not allowed to take photos.

After that we saw the Saturn V rocket which was massive and then by that point I wanted to kick the next child about 40 yards and Carley had enough so we got back into the car for the death race back to the hotel !! ha ha !!

Anyhowse were just doing some laundry now and then gonna grab some food close to us as were by a place called the Galleria which is a hugh shopping mall with restaurants etc.

Tomorrow its off to Austin Texas and then hopefully off to New York the day after (Thats if the flights ok ! There has been chaos in NYC with snow with with thousands of passengers stranded but we think we will be ok as were booked on a flight so should be ok)

See ya
Darren :-) !


Sunday, 26 December 2010

Location: Lafayette, Louisiana, USA

Hello from a very small and quiet boring Lafayette! Seriously, we got here about 1hr 1/2 ago and we've already seen everything that is here and had dinner in the fine establishment that is Taco Bell!

Anyway, not much to update as after we did the update yesterday we headed back to the hotel, got in comfy clothes and sat in front of the tv with a few drinks and snacks. Very Christmas Day!

We left New Orleans this morning about 11.30am and were planning to go to the Tabasco factory on the way in Avery Island but we called before we left and were closed. Therefore we came straight to Lafayette and were in the hotel room by 2.00pm. We decided to go 'downtown' about 3.30pm to get some food and see what was about, put the main street in the sat nav but literally when we got there, everything was shut. We tried all of the places recommended in lonley planet guide also but they were all shut! Therefore we looked for food in the sat nav and found a taco bell near the hotel so went there - very plush!

So now we're back at the motel, wondering what the hell we can do tonight! Perhaps something exciting like washing and re packing suitcase!! Bet you are all jealous......

never mind! On to Houston - TEXAS tomorrow. We're in a lovely Doubletree Suite only hotel for 2 nights (thank you Vicki again!) and then off to see the Houston Rockets (Basketball) tomorrow night so will almost certainly be a better day. Hopefully this Doubletree has internet!

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas day and are celebrating boxing day well. Just checked the City score and less said about that the better me thinks!!



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Recent Messages

From Dad - more hair(just
Welcome home!!
From mum
glad you back safe n sound...what an amazing blog its been....see you tom xxxxx
From mum
tiffanys eh and u didnt buy me anything...cheeky.glad ya had a good new year, we did too...bed at 4 am!! chilling today.gas losin,shit winning which is good as leeds only managed a draw.pool drawing at the mo, safe trip home xxx
Response: Thanks yeah just caught up on the rovers and pool results. will put some photos of NYC on now.
From The Webbs
Happy new year guys !!! Looks like you hve had lots of fun and enjoyed yourselves. Only just managed to catch up with your travels, as trying to work out the new bloody laptop. Glad the accommodation I arranged has been up to standard, when i read about some of the motels - paniced abit. See you when you get back and enjoy the last day. safe trip back,Vic & Andy x
Response: Happy new year the webbs :-) all the hotels have been brilliant thank you so much hope little Webb ain't giving you too much grief x
From mum
Happy new year to you guys too,have a wicked time xxxxxxxxx
Response: Thanks we will ! Just getting ready to goto Gordon Ramsey ! :-)
From aLEX
well guys, you are now on the last few days of the most memerable blog ever, sounds as though you have memories too cherish for ever. May I take this opportunity to wish you both a Happy & Prosperous 2011, all the best from the Hamilton Clan & see you both soon xx
Response: Cheers mate happy new year to you and the Hamilton clan as well ! See you at rovers in the new year ! :-)
From mum
glad u both ok, did txt daz so ignore the txt...sounds like u having so much fun..well the ashes r ours and rightly so, we were awesome, just done the sales in cabot, not as good as yours will be in maceys.!!! hint hint...enjoy new york guys xxxxxxxx
Response: I wish we could bring more home but our suitcases are full !! Ha ha
From Jo
Hey Guys, my god your blog is amazing, puts mine to shame, will definately have to do a good update! Your trip sounds amazing and the photos are wicked, im jealous and im in New Zealand!!! Lol, anywho, glad your both having an amazing time and really enjoying reading your blog, Merry Christmas by the way, hope you guys have a wicked new year, I will be spending it in Napier which is on the coast so looking forward to being next to the beach! Keep having an amazing time and will catch up soon, take care x
Response: Hey Jo! Didn't expect you to be reading! I'm so glad you are having a good time, you've been away for sooo long now! Have a wonderful New Year and hope you enjoyed your Christmas. With the time difference between us it'll probably the evening of New Years day there by the time we celebrate it in New York!! he he! Take care Jo xxx
From The Birthday girl!
Thank u so much 4 my pressies! I love my card it's wicked! :) Hope ur gonna have a birthday drink or 3 for me over there. Looadsa love Kel xxx
Response: Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Kelly, Happy Birthday to you!! I hope you are having a wonderful day and Kev is proper spoiling you. We will be going out later so will definitely celebrate it with a drink!! xxxxxxx
From dad sage
hope you had a great xmas day. photos r really good but i dont think i will be able to speak with you on the phone again without having bad images. drive carefully and enjoy yourself
Response: I was wearing pants ! Nice to see we're trouncing the aussie's in the cricket !
From mum
merry chrimbo to bad heads today...amazing speak to you later xxx
Response: Merry Xmas too !!!!
From Jodie
Merry Christmas to you both! Sounds like you're having a wicked time and love the pics! Just opened presents and now waiting for my dinner! Have a good Christmas. Lots of love, me, Mum, Dad, Shaun and Paul xxxx
Response: Merry Christmas Couz ! Hope your all having a lovely day we have just come from the roosevelt buffet lunch - stuffed aint the word !!! xxx
From MUM
Response: Pisshead !!
From Lauren
I probably wont get time in the morning so 'Merry Christmas and a happy new year' have a brilliant time x x x
Response: Merry Christmas too Sis ! :-) Hope all is well and Erin and Freya are getting spoiled !
From Kev & Kel
Glad u2 r warm it's bloody freezing over here! Loving ur pics especially the one of u both on the beach u look so happy :) Hope u like ur pressie Carley. Darren u don't get one as santa told me ur on the naughty list lol Have a wonderful Christmas, eat, drink & be merry! Love Kev & Kel xxx
Response: Thank you so much for the Radley keyring I love it !!! Hope your having a lovely christmas day all our love Carley & Darren x x x
From Elaine
Loving reading your blogs and seeing pictures - you two are so witty!!! Following your iternary day by day - not doing any work just looking at planet ranger!!
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you both
Lots of Love
Auntie E and Uncle V xxx
Response: Merry Christmas Auntie E :-) We hope your having a lovely christmas day thanks for reading and hopefully we will get a few more pics on now x x x
From Alex
Am I envious or what!!! this soundz like the trip of all trips keep the Union Jack flyin over there, "have yourselves a merry Xmas"(gonna break in2 song in a min8) & dont eat too much lots of best wishes from the Hamilton Clan xx
Response: Cheers fella. We are in New Orleans now and its amazing ! Looking forward to a southern Christmas day buffet ! Merry Christmas !
From mum
glad you are both safe,was wondering,so cold here but roads are news,gas trying to save the pitch for boxing day,wont be going as have a house full on boxing night, speak toyou on xmas day, lots of love xxxxx
Response: Yeah we saw on the news that the weather in England was bad ! Just getting ready to head off to new Orleans now ! Wahoo !
From Bruce&Sheila
hi guys, good to catch up on your travels! it sounds like you are having a good time. its our last night in perth we leave for melbourne tomorrow so if we dont get chance merry christmas to you both xx
Response: Cheers Bruce an sheila ! ha ha ! hope you have a wicked time in Melbourne and hope that last result was just a blip for England ! Merry christmas as well ! Hope you have a good flight :-)
From Dad with slightly mo
Haven't heard anything for two days so hope everything is ok and than you have arrive in New Orleans ok 2morrow. I suppose we haven't heard from you cos it's Darren's turn - lazy sod!
Response: Hiya Dad. Sorry for delay in update. Rubbish hotels with no internet and a lot of travelling! We're here safe in Mobile now just chilling after a long day of travelling and sight seeing and will go local for some food i expect. Will try and call when we get to new orleans tomorrow. Gotta find somewhere to buy a phone card etc xx
From Lauren
Hi guys, just caught up on your travels...first time i've had chance since little one arrived. She is totally edible! Erin has taken to her so well, loves being a big sister! Not sure if mum or stew confirmed but she was born on the 16th, only just mind you... at 23:43! Cant wait for you to meet her... in the meantime though... have a great time and enjoy yourselves!!! lots of love x x x
Response: Cheers sis ! yeah we can't wait to see her :-) hope she is not keeping you awake too much. X
From Den
Hi Carley - Got the job! Very pleaseed & glad you guys having a good time over there. Will see you in the building next year. Take care, luv Den X
Response: Hiya Den! Great to hear from you. Well done on getting the job, that's brilliant news!! See u in the new year x
From Mum Sanders
Hiya! Glad to hear it's a bit warmer in Montgomery anyway! Just to update you both - Dad and I went to check out your flat today - everything was fine but the road is closed again - very icey! Oh guess what - it looks as though the Hobgoblin is open for business again!
Response: Hiya mum. Ahh thanks for checking the flat. Weather is obviously yuk there then! A lovely 20c today! Well muggy if i'm honest but at least it's warm. Will call when we get to new orleans tomorrow if not too late. Merry Christmas! Xx
From mum
hi guys back in the land of livivg....had a few to wet the babys head..she is so sweet..hope you had a safe s lives in filton !!! other dad s woulnt be so rude about the gas game off today...snow lots of love x x x
Response: Yeah saw the Gas off today a little bit of snow and it all goes to pot ! Saw the photos dad sent on e-mail and she looks like Stew ! :-)
From Kel
Hey peeps!
Glad ur enjoying urselves, pics look fab! :) Congrats on ur new niece! Me & Kev went ice skating the other day & saw ice hockey games advertised so we were planning on going in new year for something different to do. Won't quiet be on the same level as game u saw but looking forward to it now u've said it was good. No gossip yet I'm afraid but that might be a good thing means I'm keeping out of trouble & no drama while ur away lol
Anyways keep having fun & take care.
Kel xxx
Response: Hey Kel! Well we will invite ourselves along to the ice hockey game if that's ok. We'll teach you the American chants! Well, i cant quite believe there is no drama since i've been out of the country ;-) must be something....but perhaps not blog worthy! :-) xxx