Saturday, 29 September 2012

It's a small world after all

Hello strangers,

Well we are still in Florida so that means it's the longest amount of time we've spent in any state so far! And what a magical time it has been...  Firstly we stayed in tampa and visited busch gardens. It was a bit touch and go at times on the rollercoasters due to the lightning storm that kept threatening (and even appeared) a few times. Luckily our day wasn't ruined as the storm continued on its way and we continued to be hurled around on as many ridiculous rides as possible, although doing that straight after a pizza and pasta buffet may not have been the best idea... but we managed to keep it all down and there were no incidents.

After that we moved on to Orlando to spend 5 days immersing ourselves in Disney and Harry Potter (me) and more rollercoasters (sean). On the first day there we went to Downtown Disney and watched Finding Nemo in 3D which was very cool. The day after that we headed to Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I was in absolute heaven, I got to walk around Hogwarts and fly around with Harry and Ron and have a butterbeer. I was like a child running around trying to see everything all at once.

The next day we went to Magic Kingdom at Disney which. Is. huge! I was a bit gutted because they are currently building a MASSIVE new section which will have the little mermaids castle and the castle from beauty and the beast but it's not quite finished so I couldn't go in :-(  will just have to come back again very soon. The day was a bit stressful at times though as it was so busy - I was desperate for a bit of personal space by about midday! The next day we had to decide whether to go back to the magic Kingdom or try one of the other parks and we couldn't face another day of being jostled around so we decided to give Hollywood studios a go. We ended up having a really good day, and there were far fewer people body slamming us which is always pleasant. Hollywood studios was actually really good -  it was all still very Disney ish but themed on old movies so there was loads to do and see plus I met Mike and Sully! At the end of the day we went to see an AMAZING show where they somehow managed to play clips of films onto mist with fireworks and mickey mouse running around. So exciting!

I don't want to be boring so I won't spend ages waffling on about our return trip to Universal. I will say that I got a gryffindor top and pyjama bottoms and was a right geek all day long. And also a toilet flushed twice while I was on it. Blooming plumbing.

After all that excitement I was quite depressed about leaving Orlando, and I don't think it was helped by how absolutely knackered we were after walking around for 12 hours at a time, four days in a row! Yesterday we drove from miami to Florida Keys and basked in the ridiculous sun, it was like an oven! Nice to get the last bit of sun before returning to the beautiful weather in England! Of course sean turned a pretty shade of pink and matches my new Minnie mouse toy.

So, we have now driven 6 and a half thousand miles and have started to head back up north towards new york and home! We have one theme park left and about another 2000 miles, and then it will be back to reality with a bump, I can't wait for some baked beans and a proper cup of tea though!


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Kentucky fried morgan

Hello from Florida this time! I was going to blog on Monday but I discovered a Kentucky fried chicken buffet and after that I just had to go and die quietly in a corner. I've recovered now though and am ready to update you all with my latest adventures.

So last Monday was our first day at Yellowstone. I've done a lot of documentary watching on the subject so was ridiculously excited, and definitely not disappointed! It was amazing. We had been in the park all of 10 minutes before we saw our first bison (I still want one for transportation) and its nothing like being at the zoo because these are wild animals, there is no fence between you and them and its so scary, but good scary! Our hotel was a 100 year old multistory log cabin, complete with real bear and beaver skins on the wall and to get to our room you had to walk between a moose head and an elk head! I went to sleep that night with the thought in my head that if a bear fancied it he could be standing right outside our window! The next day was even more exciting as not only did we explore all the geothermal activity we could dream of (including seeing old faithful erupt) but we also saw a wild and dangerous... CHIPMUNK. Oh and did I mention the bear and coyote as well? WILD ones! I could have been eaten at any moment but I am a survival expert and so stayed safely in the car. Took lots of photographs though! We both agreed that a highlight of the trip was getting surrounded by a herd of bison on the road (they were about the same size as our car!) It was terrifying but such an adrenaline rush.

Unfortunately for me, toilet dramas seem to have found me again. It all started when I locked myself OUT of the bathroom at the hotel in Yellowstone. Which you wouldn't think would be annoying except that all my toiletries were IN the bathroom waiting for me to use them. All I did was pull the door closed behind me when I nipped back to the room for something, as I didn't want any dodgy characters nicking my neutrogena, apparently in America closing a door means you want to lock it! I rattled the door a few times, stared at it, said a rude word at it but nothing would work. Got halfway downstairs to reception while trying to wok out how not to make myself sound stupid when I remembered the room key in my pocket. Seemed like a long shot to use my room key on a public bathroom but I was desperate. Sure enough, open it popped and there was my shampoo. If only this was the end of my troubles. The next day we treated ourselves to a Chinese for dinner and were seated on the same table as an angry looking French family. Popped to the bathroom and before I knew what was happening the little french girl and her mum had opened the door and were staring at me with open mouths. So apparently not ALL the locks in America are as efficient as in the hotel. It would have been awkward enough but the door to the ladies was right next to the door to the kitchen. Poor waiters. Had to then listen to the girl laughing while I finished AND sit and eat my dinner at the same table as them.

After all that excitement we had a few days with a lot of driving to do. We had a brief stop at mount Rushmore which was impressive except for the multistory car park they've built right in front of it! Then our next real stop was Chicago. This was our first big eastern city and I though it had a lot more character than LA. I liked it, especially the angry traffic directors that stand in the middle of intersections with nothing but a whistle and scream at you! On Sunday we went to watch the Chicago Cubs play the Pittsburgh Pirates (baseball). Cue an angry man with a whistle telling you which bus to get on. The baseball was so much fun! On the way in we saw a bride and groom getting their wedding pics done - whatever floats your boat! We had a hotdog and pretended to sing along to 'God bless America' and 'star spangled banner' but we cheered for real when we scored a home run (sean actually lost concentration and cheered when the other team scored a home run but luckily no one heard). I did enjoy it, and definitely felt like we'd got our money's worth as the game lasted four hours and four minutes! Since then we have been heading south towards Florida. We have already driven well over 5000 miles in the 3 and a half weeks we've been in the USA so are pretty tired! Staying in Florida for a while though so hopefully will recover!

Hope everyone is getting excited for our return, I know I am!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Rocking out.

Hello everyone.

Well I did promise I would do these every week, I have even put a reminder in my diary so that I actually notice when a week has gone past!

After Vegas we headed to a place called flagstaff, via the Hoover dam which was really impressive. Saw lots of lightning and rain on the way in which was quite exciting as it had just been so unbelievably hot in Vegas and LA. Our room in flagstaff was... unique. There was a slight smell we couldn't quite put our fingers on (and probably didn't want to) and a man walking two huge Rottweilers up and down the car park the whole time we were there! We used flagstaff as a base to visit the grand canyon which again was very impressive. There is just so much SPACE in this country! We walked right along the edge of the canyon and even saw some elk. Sean was a bit annoyed that it wasn't sunny but it made the heat a lot more bearable to be honest!

The next day we set off again for a very long and very very scenic drive to monument valley (some of you may have seen the picture sean posted on facebook of the view from the road) which was exactly the scene you would picture if someone said American road trip! After that we drove to a place called four corners which is where four different states meet (Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado - check out my geography skills!) So you can stand in four states at once! Very cool. From there we went right into the middle of nowhere and stayed in a place called Monticello. This is near canyonlands which is another national park and which was really amazing. We went for a hike in here and the views from every direction were just ridiculous - I'm worried I will find England very boring to look at when I get back! I did think we were going to die at one point though as they only mark the 'trail' with little piles of stones here and there and there is no other sign you're where you are supposed to be. Fine except that some of the piles of stone had fallen over in the wind. So we obviously missed one or it wasn't there but either way we ended up roaming around in the desert for a while totally lost and quite worried. Eventually found the road except we were on the wrong side of a valley! We did make it back in one piece though. Just about. The next day we went to look at more rocks in Arches national park which was probably the most spectacular yet for me. Kept expecting to see road  runner being chased by Wiley coyote appearing round the corner! Another absolutely baking day.

We spent the night in the town that time forgot aka green river. When I tried to Google green river the only result it came up with was 'green river killer'. Yikes. Luckily we were only there one night, although after driving through the town (which took under 1.5 minutes I timed it) I found it hard to understand how 71 girls were murdered without anyone noticing. I don't think there were even that many people living there. From there we drove to Salt Lake City for a couple of days of much needed laziness. The mall here is the most beautiful mall I have ever has a retractable roof and streams with fish in them! I bought myself some treats for when we get back home so I don't look like such a scruffbag. Bargains all over the place! The good news is that because it is a big city there is actually a choice of food here, so we had Vietnamese food the first night and Chinese the second. Hello vegetables, even if you are fried at least I remember what you look like now! We climbed to the top of ensign peak and were rewarded with a brilliant view of the city and the salt flats and looked at the state capital building. More importantly though... I've been make up shopping! I am not going to wear any of it until I get back as I promised but its so cheap here! Just to make people jealous, when I got back I added up on the boots website how much my little collection would cost me in the uk... £94. I paid £49!!!!! I may need to visit America more often in the future!

On that note I best go as we have places to be!
Lots of love

Monday, 3 September 2012

The land of the buffet

Howdy! (Sorry I've been watching toy story 2!)

I am going to have to do these blogs a lot more often as we are literally doing stuff every single day. I will try to keep them interesting for everyone and not waffle on too much. Los Angeles was fab, although one thing that I just could not get over was the TRAFFIC. Every road we went on was about 5 lanes wide each way, and still absolutely packed with lone drivers in the hugest cars I have ever seen. Indicating is not too popular either but lane changing is so there were some hairy moments. On Monday we went to 6 flags magic mountain which is like Disneyland for sean. He was so excited,  he had a huge grin on his face all day. The rides were all HUGE and so so tall. Some of them were so intense that I actually lost my vision in places which was a bit disconcerting but overall it was really good.

The day after that we went to Hollywood boulevard and did all the proper touristy things like sticking our hands into famous peoples hand prints at the Chinese theatre which was really brilliant  except that it was so hot that the floor burnt if you actually touched it (which was proved again later when we saw a group of girls carrying their dog as he wouldn't walk on the pavement because of the heat. Or maybe he was embarrassed because he'd had his toenails painted bright pink - I'm not joking). We walked along and looked at the stars but it was difficult to stop and stare as there are lots of people going about their daily lives who keep walking even if you stop! After that we went up to Griffith's observatory where you can see alllllllll of LA. Its pretty flipping big I can tell you, and totally covered with a thick layer of smog even on a clear day which isn't that surprising. From there we also got a good view of the Hollywood sign which was very exciting!

The next day was super duper exciting as it was my first visit to Disneyland! I was squeaking as we went in and I did not know where to look first! It was AMAZING. I met all my favourites and made friends with them all, went on space mountain twice and nearly cried when they did the fireworks at the end. We were there 12 hours and I didn't want to go home but I was comforted by the fact that we are going again when we get to Florida. I cannot wait!

On Friday we drove through a ridiculous amount of desert (stopping at a diner which looked like something out of a horror movie where you shout 'get back in the car' but made the biggest hot dog I have ever seen in my life). We stayed our first night at the stratosphere and went up 900ft to get amazing views of Vegas. Driving up the strip was incredible, everything here is ENORMOUS. Hotels like Excalibur are made out of 30 story high castles and new York new York has an actual statue of liberty and a Brooklyn bridge stuck on the front. We walked along just staring for about 3 hours, plus watched the bellagio fountains which were amazing. Next day we tried a buffet. Oh my gosh. I thought we ate a lot but we're basically anorexic in this country. We saw one man with such a big plate that we thought he'd picked stuff up for his whole family, but no, it was his SIDE PLATE. After that we went to the aquarium the Mandalay bay hotel (where else would you put an aquarium). The size of these places is difficult to explain. Then, in the evening it was to the MGM grand to see Cirque du soleil. It was gorgeous, and so clever the way they make the scenery. Man flying around on a ribbon scared me though as he was wearing a very small pink thong which I just wasn't sure was necessary! Yesterday we went to Caesar's palace where I pined at the louboutin shop and we played the slots ($1 each and we didn't win). Saw a man just grab $1000 out his wallet and start betting. Wish I had that kind of money to throw away! We also went to the adventuredome, a theme park INSIDE a hotel. Was so tacky we loved it! Won some little baby shreks so I was chuffed. After THAT we went to the mirage to see Siegfried and Roy's secret garden. A dolphin pool and collection of white tigers and a white lion INSIDE THE HOTEL. See what I mean about this place being excessive?! Last night we went to the tournament of kings, where you get a 3 course meal while watching a medieval tournament complete with horses, jousting, dragons and indoor fireworks. I ate a whole chicken with my hands as you didn't have cutlery in those days. It was inside a hotel in case you were wondering, and sooo much fun. At first we felt a bit too British to be whooping and banging on the table etc but its infectious and before long we were the loudest ones there! Had so much fun!

Well that's about where we're up to. Sorry if its been a bit long but I havent even told you all of it!

Lots of love, less than 6 weeks left!