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Richie's Europe Trip

Good Day Everyone!

Welcome back to my travel diary!

This trip I am off to England and Spain for a quick get away from the Melbourne winter.

For this trip I will be traveling with Boar and Nathan for most of the trip and a cameo by Darren at the end of the trip.

Nathan is taking a full world trip that will include Japan, England, Spain and the USA.

Boar as most of you know has been traveling for well over a year. Check out www.planetranger.com/boar to keep up with everwhere he has been in the last 14 months.

I have also left all my old posts from my USA trip is you want to red through them.

Diary Entries

Friday, 13 July 2007

Location: London, England

Well, it is my second last day on holiday and as per the norm it has gone way to fast.

Yesterday and Today we have spent all our time seeing the sites that London has to offer of which there is many.

Big Ben
British Museum
Buckingham Palace
St. Paul's Cathedral
Tower of London
Tower Bridge
Westmister Abby
Leicester Square
Piccadilly Circus
Imperial War Museum

Just to name a few!

Tomorrow I am flying home and I will get back in on Sunday night. Big thanks to Boar for letting us crash at his house and being our tour guide in Spain!

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Hello Everyone,

Nathan and I are now in Barcelona and Boar is back at work, As promised here is the you tube video for our day running with the bulls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgFs3HljkVA take a good look at the carnage that one bull can do when he is turned around!

We are only here in Barcelona until noon tomorrow when we head back to London to do some touristing.

I will try to find somewhere that lets us upload photos so I can add more to the site.

Sunday, 08 July 2007

Location: Pamplona, Spain

Today we Ran with the Bulls!

And I am OK, as is Boar and Nathan. I ran into my Cuz Stu in the stadium and lost him almost straight away again, he is also fine and was backing up from running yesterday.

The reports from the run have started to filter down to the people, their were a few people gored and many people with cuts and grazes nothing to major.

We hope that someone uploads the run to You Tube, if they do I will put a link to it.

I hope to have a photo or two from the run very soon.

Friday, 06 July 2007

Location: Pamplona, Spain

Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of updates I have made the change to try and tell the story of my trip through photos which you can find on the right hand side of the web page.

I am currently in Pamplona and having a ball, It was the opening of the festival today and was with out question it was the craziest party I have ever been apart of. Photo's are coming soon.

Sunday, 01 July 2007

Location: Southampton, England

After far too much to drink last night at the walkabout we sleep well into the 1st day of a new month.

Not not we could have none that much as is was raining... again.

We crawled out of bead and headed out for a meal at one of the many many pubs in Southampton. Like Victoria, England have introduced a smoking ban indoors in public places! and the law begins today so we enjoyed a meal smoke free.

Tomorrow we head to Bath and after that to Stonghenge

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Location: Southampton, England

Sorry for the lack of update but I am doing my best to catch up.

Today I played AFL football for Boar's team the Southampton Titans. The Titans play in a Sydney style of jumper, we were up against the Sussex Swans who had beaten the titans earlier in the season. The game was played in Thanet which was a 4 hour drive from Southampton... And I thought driving to Geelong for a Gridiron game was crap.

There are a few rule changes fro the AFL we know.

1. The game is played on a Rugby pitch.
2. It is 9 a side.
3. If the ball goes out of bounds who ever touched it last, a free kick will be awarded to the other team.
4. You can only kick for goal from inside 40 meters and you cant kick for goal from an out of bounds free kick.

Now it may be Summer her in England but you would never know it, it has rained ever single day we have been here and the rain would not hold off for our game of football. I was planning on playing about 2 quarters for the game, well 10 min into the first and one of the forwards goes down "Richie your, on play in the forward pocket" what was also the last time I saw the bench.

By the last quarter it was pissing down and I out on my feet, worse than that we were down by three points. Up until this point I was playing like the hero Matthew Richardson, I had kicked three behind and one out on the full. It was then time for the Chirsnside Park connection to get the Titans home, Boar kick a goal to give us the lead only to see Sussex kick a goal from the very next bounce down we were behind again. I was the trailing my man as he went for a mark but he dropped it and lost his feet so I scooped the ball up ran on and kicked the ball between the big sticks we had the lead and did not give it up.

After the long drive back to Southampton with 5 guys in the smallest car in England we headed out to the walkabout for drinks... well alot of drinks.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Well, I have made it to Hong Kong!
A Little bit under half way to London, just sitting here chilling out in the Qantas club waiting to reboard the jumbo.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Location: Victoria, Australia

Welcome Back All,

I fly out to London tomorrow everning via Hong Kong. I will meet up with Boar and Nathan once we all get in.

Please check as I update the diary during the trip.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Location: LAX, USA

Well this is it,

Today is the last day of my trip, I am sitting here at LAX waiting for my plane which is due to fly out in about 3 hours.

I would like to thank everyone who looked after me while I was in the States.

To Stu and Jamie thanks for taking care of me in Dallas and thanks to Amy (Jamie's friend) who was my tour guide while we were all in New Orleans.

I will update New Orleans once I get home.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Location: Dallas, USA

The weather has been crap in Dallas for the last week, everything from ice storms and freezing temperatures (I will put some photos up soon). I was not going to be stuck inside for the whole week so I headed out to American Airlines Center to see a Mavericks game.

The Dallas Mavericks have been on a tear this season and are one of the best teams in the league, hence tickets are not easy to come by.

American Airlines Center is a relatively new stadium and you can tell, I had a good seat at about half court but as has been the norm this trip I was waaay up in the nose bleed. Dallas was playing Houston the cross state rivals so it was set up to be a good game, Houston was missing Yao Ming so it was up to Tracy McGrady to lift the Rockets which he did, McGrady shot the lights out early in the game and finished with 45 for the game. It was not going to be enough, Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard took the game over in the second half turning a 10 deficit into a 12 point lead and ultimately a 10 point win.

Tomorrow we fly down to New Orleans for the weekend which will be the last part of my trip as I fly home on Tuesday night.

Monday, 15 January 2007

Location: Dallas, USA

Hello all, today is Martin Luther King Day which is also a public holiday in the US, but so many people I talked to over the weekend said they were working.

Today was also meant to be the day of the big ice storm, lucky for Dallas it did not really hit, there was ice on the ground in the morning but nothing to bad. Oklahoma City on the other hand was hit really hard, ice made the roads slick and cars ran off the road and ice brought down power lines and trees.

Looking back to last week, Ash and I went to down town Dallas to have a look around and see Dealey Plaza which is where JFK was assassinated. We walked around Dealey Plaza for a while looking at the two X's that are marked on the road to show where JFK was when two of three bullets struck him. We also looked up at the building were Lee Harvey Oswald who was said to be the lone gunman in the assassination fired from. Then we took a walk up to the grassy knoll where many Americans say there was another gunman.

After walking around for a while and taking some photos we headed into the 6th Floor Museum. The Museum looks at Kennedy's life and his legacy as well as the assassination and the investigation into it. The museum also takes a look at conspiracy theories that have formed since the Warren Commission released the official findings from their investigation, which said that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing JFK.

After we left the museum we headed over to Pioneer Plaza which has fifty life size longhorns as well as three mounted cowboys, after a few photos we headed back to the west end.

The next day we decided to go out to Texas Stadium and take a tour (because we could not see a game), then head over to Fort Worth to have a look around. Public transport is not well thought out, we had to catch a bus, then train, anther train, then another bus, it took just under three hours to get to Texas Stadium. Once we got out there the tour takes you through a corporate box, player’s locker room and race and the field. The best thing about the field was they throw out some footballs and you can just stuff around, kick field goals or even extra points, something Tony Romo has problems with.

After another Bus, Train and Bus we made it out to Fort Worth, this city is much smaller than Dallas but has set itself apart with cows and culture. The legendary Chisholm Trail cattle drives used to pass through Fort Worth in the 1800's, this history is celebrated at the Historic Stockyards. The main area is of town is called the Sundance Square which is full of bars and restaurants, a spot I will have to get back to before I head home. We met up with Stu and grabbed some beer and dinner before heading back to Dallas.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Location: Dallas, USA

****UPDATE****
I am going to New Orleans next weekend! I can't wait to get down to the big easy and check it out.

Also Ash flys home today, it only seems like a few weeks ago we landed in LAX, I guess time really does fly when your having fun.

Been in Dallas for the week, this is a cool town I will catch everyone up once I have taken care of Vegas.

Also the Cowboys suck! not only did they lose 3 out of 4 games so we could not go to a home playoff game but they then lost their first playoff game when they fumbled a snap for the game winning fieldgoal.

Thursday, 04 January 2007

Location: Las Vegas - Dallas, USA

For the last few days in Vegas we ran at a slower pace than we did when we first got there.

We entered a $50 buy in Texas Hold'em event, if you read my earlier effort in a poker tournament you will know I was out in the first hand. Well this time around I was not on first hand! I even won the first hand, there were around 30 odd people in the tournament Ash busted out and it was left to me to try and pick up some money. I was taken out right on the bubble (That means I was the last person out before they start giving money back) I was pissed but what can you do.

We stayed at the Stratosphere on the first night we were in Vegas but did not go up to the top of the tower to look at the view. We thought there would be no better way to finish our trip in Vegas than a trip to the top at night, the view is fantastic you can see all the way down the strip and all around Vegas.

On Thursday morning I ran out before we had to be out of our room to buy a few things, after that we checked out of our room and headed for the airport for our flight to Dallas where I will be staying with my cuz Stu.

Las Vegas is truly the city that never sleeps, I would love to come back here in summer so you can use the hotel pools and really hit the clubs, which is something we did not get a chance to do... maybe next year.

We got into Dallas at about 6:30pm Stu was waiting to pick us up, it is good to see him again as it had been a few years. After getting the tour on the way back to the house (Texas Stadium, Downtown and West End) we headed out for dinner where we met Stu's girlfriend Jamie. After dinner we all went out for a few drinks with some of Jamie's friends.

I will be based in Dallas now until I head home later in Jan.

Tuesday, 02 January 2007

Location: Las Vegas, USA

Well today is moving day, Boar is moving back to the UK after his USA holiday and Ash and I are moving from the Luxor to Harrah's Hotel and Casino to save some cash as the Luxor was not as cheap split 2 ways instead 3.

Boar, it was fantastic to see you again and travel with you. Have a great time in your next adventure’ I hope to see you in the UK some time this year.

Ash and I did not get up to a whole lot today, we spent the afternoon playing low limit craps and looking around our new casino and the night drinking in the sports bar while we watched the Orange Bowl, it was a good game Louisville never looked like they were going to lose even though they trailed early in the fourth quarter to Wake Forest. Louisville proved to strong scoring the games last two touchdowns and running out victors 24-13.

For the first time since getting to Vegas I was in bed before 1am, as I put my head on the pillow I am sure I heard my body say "Thank the lord, one night off".

Monday, 01 January 2007

Location: Las Vegas, USA

Happy New Year to All !!!

My head hurts... God another hangover, you would think my body would be getting used to this treatment.

Now first thing (by popular demand) I need to tell what happened to Ash on NYE, as I said it is not that exciting. Ash got way too pissed way to fast, he puked well before midnight and was kicked out of the club some time after midnight and then was kicked out of Mandalay Bay some time after that and made it safely back to our room around 2am still it is pretty funny.

Now New Years Day in the USA means college bowl games, on the football menu today is the Outback Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Capital One Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl and of course the grand daddy of them all the Rose Bowl. Being in Vegas we are in the Pacific Time zone which means the first of these game kicks off at 8am, well we all know we are not making it to that one.

The main game we wanted to watch was the Rose Bowl which had USC (Who Ash and I saw in LA) taking on Michigan. This game started at about 1pm local time, we dragged our butts out of bed and headed off to the ESPN zone to get lunch and watch the game. Well the waiting line at ESPN Zone did not move for 15 min so we gave up and went to Hooters to watch the game, some chicken wings and a burger each and kick off. Well the first half of this game sucked, it was all tied up at the half 3-3 wow this was sending us to sleep (that and our hangovers were really starting to kick in).

By unanimous decision we headed back to the room to watch the second half so we could lie down and rest as we watched. USC came out in the second half and took Michigan apart, the game was over USC won 32-18.

Tonight we had planned to gamble a bit at the Bellagio and then head up to Downtown, which is where all the first casinos in Vegas opened before the strip took off. We watched the first quarter of the Fiesta Bowl which had old school power house Oklahoma up against this season's cinderella team Boise State. To our surprise Boise State were leading after the first quarter 14-7, well there you go, it wont take long for the bubble to burst.

We headed out to the Bellagio were I handed over $100 of my hard earned in record time (I hate blackjack and should have not played it). After we had been at the Bellagio for a while we started the move up to Downtown, while waiting for the bus Boar noticed a TV in margaritaville with the Fiesta Bowl on after looking at the score it was game on, 1:30 left on the clock Boise State leading 28-20 and Oklahoma with the ball.

Well we better watch the end of this, BANG just like that it was tied up 28-28. Then disaster for Boise State QB Jared Zabransky was intercepted and returned to the house, it looked like it was all over for Boise State down by 7, but Jared Zabransky would make up for his mistake. With less than 1:00min on the clock he drove Bosie State 80 yards and scored on a hook and ladder with 2 seconds left to tie the game at 35 all.

OVERTIME. The pub is going crazy at this stage, Oklahoma score on their first play of over time and get the extra point and lead by 7. Bosie State answer the challenge and score, then to everyone’s amazement they went for 2 points or the win not just the tie, They run the Statute of Liberty play with Ian Johnson taking it in for the win, if that play did not work they would have lost the pub went nuts this game became an instant classic.

Well after watching the greatest finish to a college game ever we made our move to Downtown also know by its feature street Fremont.

How best to describe this place... I am going to go with forgotten, Fremont Street has been left behind by the Strip and everything it offers, here you will find all the classic casinos like the Golden Nugget, Binion's, 4 Queens and the Fremont. All of these casinos have low limits I and I managed to get my $100 back I lost earlier in the night (thanks to craps a real game).

The Fremont Street Experience was built back in the mid 90s to try to draw people back to downtown, it is a barrel vault canopy, 90 feet high at the peak, which covers four blocks of down town. The underside of the canopy is covered with an LED display programmed to show periodic sound-and-light presentations after dark, it is kinda cool but I won’t bother to travel up to Downtown the next time I am in Vegas.


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Recent Messages

From Nath
Hey Rich, looks like you've had a ball, the pics of Stonehenge & Bath took me back!
Catch u soon,
Nath.
Say hi to Boar!
From Diana
glad to hear you're safe and well after running with the bulls!!!
Response: Yes, We are all OK and we made it into the Pamplona paper, there is a photo of our run with us in it.
From mum
hey richie, are you there yet?? hope you had a good trip over and have a great couple of weeks!
Response: I am here, and will do an update very soon
From Tracy (Chicago)
Hey Richie ~ I hope Dallas is treating you well, minus the weather and the Cowboys! New Orleans should be great but you were going to cheer for the Saints....I guess that proved to be a mistake??? I just apologized to my cousin for saying "one and done" but I see he only gave the Bears two weeks. I hope travel is well!
Response: Yeah you were spot on with the "one and done"
From Boar
Hey chief... missing travel already! But did get the videos from Vegas up (guns, canyon and NYE), you have to check out the last one! We're in classic form...

www.planetranger.com/boar

Go those Bears... one and done? My ass - probably 2 and done tho!
Response: Hey Boarman, just had a look at the videos, man we must have been pissed. I will ne in New Orleans during the championship game, so I will be going for the saints
From Sandi
Hey Richie, Numero Uno!!....(had to put that in for Michael's benefit!)
Been enjoying your page and photos since you left us in Chicago. Just wondering where the pics of Dallas Cowgirls are!! Ha-ha!! Have you found any snow yet??? Saw on the news there was a little bit of a snow fall in Vegas yesterday! Wow. Enjoy the rest of your trip and we'll see you when you get back!
Response: Hi Sandi, still no snow but we did have ice.
From Dad
Bowl games are over and we in Oz did not see the BCS Championship game - no-on e covered it here!!!!! I watched abut 3 quarters until it was clear is was a washout on TVU on the computer (there goes this months download limit!) Saw the Boise state game highlights , must have been a classic. Hope Dallas goes well. Lots happening with work, but I won;t try to fill you in while you are away Enjoy the last couple of week, and I look forward to catching all the news when you get home.
Response: I heard you guys got no BSC Bowl games that is a joke Fox Sports is crap.
From Tracy
Did Boar send you that picture from Friday night before we hit Chicago? I didn't have your email....sorry but I sent it to his!
Response: send it to me r_garr@yahoo.com I have not seen it
From Liz & Mum
Slippery when wet huh? Noice!! Hurry up and fill us in on what happened to Ash, we're on tenterhooks here! Sounds like you're having a blast, so jealous (well Liz is jealous and mum is worried!! hehe!!!)
Response: OK it is there now have a read it is not that good a story
From Bec
Hey There! I am an aussie chick heading to the states in 54 days, by coincidence found your page looking up the US going with 2 mates, one of there names just happens to be richie!! I love your page, you have covered so much ground and seen some great things, how long have you been on the road for, and how you getting around? I am keen to get some travellers tips, like must sees, hidden beauties and also did you get a glimpse at the skywalk on the western rim of grand canyon, is it far off? I look forward to hearing from you, kinds regards Bec :)
Response: Thanks for the message Bec, check your e-mail.
From Tracy - from Chicago
Hey Richie~ Nice reading stories about Vegas. Barbary Coast is a great place for some cheap gambling. So is the old strip. Also, cannot believe you didn't know those facts about drinking in Vegas! It is a great town. Look forward to more info on your trip!
Response: We got up to Downtown and it was cheap. There is more info coming.
From dad
hey Rich, that free drinks thing is good in Vegas. I went with a mate, sat at a roulette table, ne backed red, I backed black and we both drank fror free all night - at least till zero came up! You can't beat the bastards!!
See you at home soon, give our best to Stew.
Response: I think craps is my game, you can yell put bets on for the dealers it is a fun game. I will pass on your best.
From Boar
All of those Vegas night photos look remarkebly like the ones I took - hahaha. Have a great time in Dallas, great to see you've fallen off the Romosexual bandwagon. And tell Jamie thanks for the 645am call... on Saturday!
Response: That is becuase they are your photos. She was happy to make the phone call!
From Mum
Hey Guys, Happy New Year!!! Hope you have a memorable one, no weddings in an Elvis chapel tho' please!! Love Mum
Response: Hi mum, no weddings a killer hangover tho.
From Liz
Hey Richie, was really good to talk to you at Christmas. Lachlan is pushing his gobble-n-go-hippo everywhere now. We think he's a day or so away from taking his first steps on his own. Was kinda hoping he'd wait for you!! Have a great time in Vegas!! xoxo
From max
Hi Richie! I finally logged on at some sleazy internet cafe and checked out your trip, it sounds amazing! Your packing so much. See you when you clear customs!
Response: Hi Max, three weeks until I clear customs
From dad
Hey rich, bad luck about Dallas loosing - you know you cannot rely on anything from the falcons! Hope you had a good day on 25th. Pretty much to usual Xmas here and goos time was had by all. The photos of lachlan surrounded by his 20 or so presents ar good. Looking forward to having you home in a few weeks. Love dad.
Response: Dallas did not do good by me that is for sure, no home playoff game, we will have to watch it on TV
From Tracy
Richie~Thanks as well for the recap of Friday night. The more I remember the less I want to remember but thanks! As I just said to Boar...I like to give you guys a hard time but it was my pleasure driving you around for some shopping. Thanks for buying something. I may or may not see you in Vegas but it was a pleasure meeting you. Safe travels, enjoy Vegas and Texas and Happy New Years!
Response: Thanks Tracy, Happy New Years to you as well.
From A Politically Correc
Happy Holidays :)
Response: Merry Christmas!
From Stu
happy Christmas eve to all. Getting ready for the big day tomorrow - Cowboys vs. Eagles! 4pm kick off so we'll be out there from noon tail-gating with all the fans...should be good fun. Playoffs round the corner and we could possibly scrounge up some tickets for that from our mate and pro-bowler McBriar! See ya soon in Big D.
Stu
Response: Hey Stu, I sure hope our boy Matt can help us out, the Cowboys are going to the post season and we will be there.
From Tracy
Beer, Maggianos, more beer, food, with cheese please, beer again. The 96th floor of the John Hancock building. Beer me please....or whatever that fruity drink was! Shenanigans, Miller Lite, Bar Chicago, any beer will do. And the cramped car ride home stuck next to me with Boar on the other side trying to hold your hand. And then Top Gun, a little sleep and "Good morning". I think that should sum up the last part of Dec. 22nd and the beginning of Dec. 23rd!
Response: Good Work Tracy, When I get to the Friday update I will put that in.
From Dad
Rich and Ash, I know you two will think you have had a good excuse about the fanstasy football, that you are in the US going to games for real, and who needs fantasy etc, but for the record I note that my Toilet Tigers have whipped both of you in the last two weeks to go from near bottom to mid table. I won't embarrass either of you by pointing out where you two finished!
Response: Well I would like to say I did not take any notice while I have been away, but I did see the thumping I have been taking.
From Ports
Hey mate. Spewin i missed ya in Aus. Have a ball and lead boar astray as much as possible. Rocket scientists! If the opportunity arises, please steal me some sort of life sized inflatable Eli from the big apple.
Response: He is playing crap the Giants might give ya the real thing
From Mum
Hey guys, Crikey it was a hot one today! Sue said it was 43, I guess she'd know, they moved house today. Lots of fires up round Mt Buller and the whole state is under a thick smoke haze, the light was really eerie. Hope Nathan's making good use of that pool!! No doubt the weather is the exact opposite in NY. Keep safe Love Mum
Response: Thats hot! it was -3C when I got to NYC & Chicago is colder than that
From Dad
Mate don't worry about West Wing, it available here now. Also lloked at Soranos season 6 but its about $80US for half the season, so unless you see it cheap, leave it until it comes out here.
Great you guys are having such a good trip. Keep up the blog, everyone hear is enjoying it.
Response: It has been at least $80 everywhere I have seen it