hola!! ok so i´m currently in an internet cafe in mexico city in the zona rosa area! my hotel is just around the corner and at the bottom of the road is the statue you see in the photo! that road is the main road of mexico city and if in doubt the road to find in my exploring!!
sorry for the poor lack of communication but now i have time i´m going to try and summarise the fantasticx 21 day trip that i experienced across the states! although the places were fab, i have to admit the tour was fab due to the people on my tour and the tour bus travelling with us! met such a fab bunch, who hope to stay in touch with!
10th october- meet in hotel lobby at 7am, sort paper work and meet and greet with everyone on bus (12 of us in total: lauren, steph, bojan, kate, asa, annet, junka, js, nik, ivan, j and me!!!) J the tour guide, introduced us to the basics and the bus which we later labelled j force 1 and we were the smeeners....jus because!! ok so we head off to washington,i sit in the front seat as noone else volunteered! once arrive at our camp site, j shows us our tents and how to set them up (my tent buddy was asa) and how to set up stove etc. That night i cojoined with kate, lauren and steph to form group a for duties and we were first to cook-buritos that night! after food we headed into washingtonn dc to see it in its glory at night! once returned every one was shattered and it was early doors!
11th- free day in washington dc- wandered arond the sites, visited the holocaust museum which was fantastic but deeply disturbing as you can imagine!! then to brighten ourselves up went to another museum and saw the heart of the ocean diamond, the largest i the world!! beautiful!! that night it was time to get to know each other and we just socialised within our group, some of us introducing alcohol, of course i was involved!!!!
12th- wake up and de-camp, pack everything in the van and it was a 10hour journey to bristol, tennessee! journey really didn´t seem that long and i came to enjoy the journeys lots cos was in such good company! bristol is a bible belt so there were loads of churches, crosses, religious schools and advertisements with religious connotations! on my journey had time to stop and think and thought about you all at home individually! arrived at ´sue´s´ camping ground, she was a scary but nice lady, that had steph and i in fits of giggles before bed as she said remeber me in the swamp!! we thought that a bit odd!! anyway that night we had a bbq and it was cold so we all dressed up in our warm togs, looking particularly stylish. where we were staying was a concrete floor, so we didn´t set up tents just huddled all together each in our sleeping bags!!
13th- tennessee!! 6 hour journey, heading to nashville! scenery on drive was lovely, so much vast space and greenery, services every other mile and mainly fast food! j played country and wstern music to get us in the spirit and it set the tone for the day!! Nashville had a buzzing atmosphere and there were lots of street entertainers playing honky tonk music! had the best ice-cream of my life from mikes ice cream parloue, white choc raspberry and cookies and cream in one big waffle cone!! yummy! our turn to cook again-jamboree, and then it was time to get ready and go sample the night life of nashville! went to a place called the wildhorse saloon where they taught you to line dance so got involved with that and then introduced everyone to my wild dancing!! moved on then to as little honky tonk place where live music is played and the lead singer was a performer. he even jumped up on to the ceiling and hung and carried on singing! i guess he was under soome influence, but he put on a good show! j picked us up in j force 1 at 12 and it was time for bed!
14th- memphis, tennessee. went to elvis´home in graceland. his house was tasteful and beautiful, and saw his huge collection of vinyls and awards and costumes and cars and plane... alot of ands cos there was so much to see!! that night sampled a traditional memphis meal of ribs, spicy sausage, pork, coleslaw (none my fave foods!). Next we headed to sample a bit of the nightlife for 30minutes, lots of blues music being played, lotsof men out drinking but an absence of women or children unless they were strays performing for money!! quite intimidating place, i was approached only by one beggar. Bt still it was lively atmosphere!
15th- New orleans! journey to and arrived to stay in the french quarter suites-which was a huge house with lots of suitre bedrooms, it was luxury, esp after a tent. shared a room with steph, lauren and kate, each having a queen bed! had food and then headed to bourbon street for some partying!! j informed us we must try the locl speciality, a hand grenage cocktail! they were pretty toxic but nice! it is customary to throw beads at women who flash their breasts! although i didn´t flash i received lots of beads....so funny, random people chucking u jewellery, if only it had been silver or gold and not plastic fantastic!! lots and lots of dancing and drinking and sheninagans!
16th- free day in new orleans to overcome a hangover!! went wandering around the shops and to the french market. lauren tasted the gumbo and then was sick!! we had our tarot cards read...mine was quite intuitive of me! at night we took part in a ghost tour, and the lady taking us round had such a dry satirical sense of humour and kept ending stories with oooops, that it became a catch phrase! This was also the night thaty an ongoing joke about a jackalope began between me, lauren, steph and j-due to a stuffed jackalope in flannagans pub! it looks like a rabbit but has antelope horns, we thought j was making it up and then we saw a jackalope joes shop in san antonio and read all about the myth of a jackalope! we bought j a cuddly toy jackalope cos we found it so funny and he became our mascot names jskies!!! don´t ask, every word was followed by skies!! oo after flaningans we went to an absinthe bar and then lauren made us drink tequila in the kebab shop!!! we were only going our for a few!!!
17th- rabies day!!! lauren is a nurse so gave me my rabies injection in the morning! we then packed up and j drove us to experience a swamp tour with cajun jack oooo. he was quite a character and we sped along on the boat until we reached floating houses where cajun people live, we also saw bald eagles, an otter in his den, and an alligator. cajun jack had never left the river til the age of 4, its quite a crazy lifestyle and i´m guessing incestuos! then travelled off again to texas where we were camping! again feeling lazy didn´t set up tents and jus slept in sleeping bags!! it was so humid though so i wanted to be outside my sleeping bag but was also fearful of mosquitos and ants, they´d taken a liking to me! woke up to find a frog at my head!! good alarm clock!
18th- san antonio, texas. looked at the alamo building and walked down the riverside which was beautiful and scenic with restaurants and shops either side. then back on j force 1 and headed to austin where we were staying in log cabins! night out-was electric, we were worried about id though cos steph is only 20 but we managed to blag her in...they loved the english accent so that was a distraction! also meant that every time i went to the bar i got free drinks and in the end the barman named a cocktail sarah after me!! felt like a celebrity that night, everyone was digging the english accent!
19th- day in austin. went to see the capital building, texas state history museum with asa and then everyone met up for chipotle to taste a burito which j had recommended! it was yummy too! Then headed to barton springs where i swam a mile and played in the water, while most others got out and sunbathed!! BBQ just on the hillside beside the springs and then headed back to log cabin! most people went out but i stayed in, had a read, listened to ipod and relaxed! but not enough as that night i couldn´t sleep so just sat on the swinging bench outside the cabin til i was tired!
20th-travelling day to carlsbad. ate lunch at whataburger!! had pizza at night and then a few wineskies with lauren, annett, bojan, nik and j before bed!!
21st- visited carlsbad caverns to marvel in the wonder of stalacmites, stalactites, popcorn and drapers. Next, drive to roswell where ufo´s exist! had a little wander and enjoyed a cup of english tea from a cafe called óut of this world´. honestly everything used ufo and alien existence as a selliung point in roswell! freezing cold night sop we opted to pay 6 dollars extra eaxh to get log cabins-was a wise choice. night time we had a campfire and played hotseat where everyone has the chance to ask everyoine 1 question, was realy interesting and got deep. Was strange as spending so much time with each other we felt like we knew everyone, but this game helped everyone reveal more about themselves!
22nd- monument valley. headed into sante fe for breakfast and a starbucks! some beautiful jewellery, bright reds, turquoise, silver...i wanted to buyt, but resisted as expensive!! drive to mnument valley to see the navaho nation. scenery on drive was breathtaking, so many sandstone mountains, land so vast and colourful. Monument valley was sensational the monuments naturally carved through wind and water erosion were amazing and you could identify so many shapes like mittens, snoopy, vw, and then on closer inspection an indian face etc. ernie was our tour guide around monument valley and he sang and playedthe tambour for us! after telling us that navahos dance to the music annet asked if we could too, so as a group we stood up held hands and skipped round in a circle!! as the sun set it became freezing so we were all singing hot songs such as íts getting hot in here, so take off all ur clothes¨the laughter kept us warm and happy! tea was served in a navaho family house, they were very hospitable and took 24 of us in and fed us a chilli taco, yum!
23rd- early morning start to see sunrise over monument valley and run the forrest gump road where he finally decided to stop running! back to camp to put tents away and then headedto grand canyon!! went for a little walk into canyon to gain a glimpse before i joined steph, lauren, nik, kate, ivan and j in a helicopter ride above the canyon!! wow..words can not describe the sights it was breathtaking and fun to be in a helicopter! the hour went sooo fast! night time it was another campfire and some beverages!!
24th- early start to see sunrise over grand canyon and had doughnuts and tea which j took for us. continued to stay in gc and go for a little trek for 1 and a half! that was real good fun and good exercise. j force 1 journey to zion, utah. on way stopped at horseshoe bend which overlooks colorado river. arrived set up camp, laundry, drank margheritas and had dinner!! ooo today i purchased a new sports watch, small black and pink from j´s fave shop=walmart!! can´t believe not mentioned it already, had regular stops at walmart the supermarket with everything to buy our food, grog and any essentials!! staple part of the southern sun tour!
25th- Zion. or as annett sang the words of elvis...like a lion in zion! angels landing hike, such a sense of achievement from reaching the top and breathtaking views. junka and annett both overcame their fear of heights and made it to the top where we all had lunch and had to avoid the chipmonks scurrying around in the hope of food! much fun and laughter had along the hike. lauren, steph, j asa and i then headed to nero so asa, j and i could wade in some water!! evening involved tea and a relaxed eve with alcohol! notice a trend???!!!
26th- las vegas. drive to las vegas, stopped at ´the outlet´where we had an hour to speed shop! i purchased a red leopard print dress and so black calf high boots... ok not so practical for travelling but needed for las vegas!! and they were a bargain! food stop was wynne´s casino, all you can eat buffet with so many options we all looked pregnant, including the boys when we walked out!! quick detour into a fancy dress shop called attic, u paid a dollar to get in but hell was it worth it!! sarah u need to go there!! finally reached accomodation, super 8 motel jus a few blocks away from main strip of vegas baby. 2 hours to get glam and then we all ready and waiting outside for our vip night!! a truck of a limo appeared and we had champagne, vodka and lots of crazy dancing along the way. was a fab night!!
27th- free day in vegas to walk around casino´s, i spent 13 dollars on ice cream that like 7pounds and it was only a small tub!! oh well its vegas, everything a bit ludricuos!! had a henna tattoo, then went for a cat nap ready for another night!! went to hooters for tea, looked around mgm, went and watched the treasure island show-where a pirate ship sank, lots of dancing and some fab diving into the water. took in atmoshere of the strip and then headed to bed!
28th- drive to san diego. after all the worry that we might not be able to go due to fires it was deemed ok so that when i combine a little with my other blog!! went on buffalo bills roller coaster on way out of vegas and at night went to an italian restaurant and then to a funky club.
29th- free day in san diego, went to beach and got burnt as fell asleep by accident! night- last night of the tour, we had a bbq besides the pacific ocean and said our goodbyes, giving j a book with a photo and message from each of us.
30th- disneyland!! where dreamd really do come true!!! went on all the rides, my fave was the indiana jones. biggest highlight was getting my face painted like a panther, the crowds loved it, got many an admiring glance! lauren had a tiger face, steph a butterfly and kate a bat (sismis-croatian for bat!) and a pumpskies (i´d drawn a pumpkin face on j´s orange one day inthe van which became a mascot aka pumpskies!). drove to hacienda where tour finished, where i stayed sharing a room with lauren, steph and kate, and then all our group went to the grand for tea!! was nice we all had one more night together. goodbyes were said and it got a little sad. although humour was found in the hot tub of the hacienda when lauren and i just oozed face paint after entering, having not washed our faces!
31st-Halloween!!! some of us met for a group breakfast and then j drove me, lauren, steph and kate to the orbit, our hostel in melrose, west hollywood. we went to hollywood boulevard to but halloween costumes altho i´d already purchased a girls skeleton outfit with skirt and pink skull purse from walmart earlier in trip! then it was a mad rush to get steph to airport to say farewells...until australia!! Then j took us trick or treating before we went to santa monica to marvel and be part of the outlandish festioval where everyone is mega dressed up! it is a gay mans paradise for sure! ruby u need to go next year!! i´ll come with u!!
1st november- ventured around beverley hills, rodeo drive bel air, with shelley ann kelliee!! an organised tour, where she sang for us!!! tried my best not to laugh..its so LA!! houses were hhhuuuuuuuggggeeee, an unthinkable size for someone to live in!! saw eltons hopuse thats being built, part of the structure is a grand piano and on the top is goiung to be a pool!! also saw chinese theatre where they have concrete blocks where stars have left foot and hand prints-my hands are the same size as matt damon....luckily my feet aren´t!! in afternoon we checked out free tickets we had acquired from h. bvld to see craig ferguson´s late late show. a chat show with guest barry manilow and sir anthony hopkins!! thats not the end to my star studded day that night met up with some of the girls from the other tour bus along with bojan, martin, and lauren in a karoake bar. they said they´d seen backstreet boys go into a club near their hostel but tried to get in and were told it was vip!! always up for a challenge on the walk back to their hostel...we were planning on sitting ourtside to watch them leave, annie, lauren and i managed to blag our way into the clib at 1.30am and ended up ahving a photo with nick carter and howie!!! oh yes!!!!!i´m seeing stars, i´m seeing stars--just like the song!!!!!
2nd- santa monica nd venice beaches, with a annoyingly 3 hour duration to get a bus back!! all was well though when we got off and lauren and i got booze...until i fell over that is and smashed 2 of my bottles and my sunnies, grazed my knees and laughged so hard i thought i might wet myself! went out that night to the saddle ranch and it ended up me j and lauren, so some good company!!
3rd-fly to mexico! not arranged a hotel but at airport as crying some mexican guy called mauricio offered a kind smile and then we got talking and he booked a hotel for me, rearrnged our seats on the flight so he was across the aisle from me, to tell me about what to expect in mexico and where to go!! the taxi´s aren´t very trustworthy so he orderd me a cab and then took me to the hotel, piad for the cab and got me a discount on my room, claiming i´m working for his company! his kindness knew no bounds to which i was extremely grateful!