Sorry it has been so long since I updated the blog its been hard to get to a computer since Ive been in the bantervan for the last two weeks! A LOT has happened since the last time I wrote when I was in Miami. I met up with Kat and we had about 5 more days in Miami visiting South Beach and the famous homes etc. From there we flew to Cancun, Mexico where we had about 5 and a half days. The plane landed on Sunday afternoon so we got to the Hostel (which turned out to be a wodden hut on the roof of a building with a shower but no hotwater). We then went out for a drink and to watch the last game of the NBA playoffs and then came back to the hostel and went to bed as we were getting picked up at 8.30 in the morning to go on a tour of some of the islands just off the coast and to go diving/snorkling etc. When we woke up on the monday morning there was a thunderstorm and the trip was almost cancelled but the rain cleared and it was amazing! Again we had to have an early night as we were getting picked up at 8 to go to an underground water park near Tulum (just over an hour away). I will put pictures up asap for all this which will help to explain it better, but it was basically full of zip lines and jumps into underground caves. When we got back we thought we would head into the heart of Cancun where all the bars were... this turned out to be a bad idea. We were getting picked up the next morning at 7 to go to Chitchen Itza but we found a bar which was offering open bar all night for around 8 pounds (it would have been rude not to go in). To cut a long storey short we got about an hour sleep and the Chitchen Itza trip was a very impressive but long day! Finally, the last full day in Mexico we got a bus to Playa Del Carmen which is easily the most beautiful place I have been to so far and seemed much better than Cancun as it was much less touristy.
The next flight was to LA to meet up with Luke and Nicola.... unfortunatly this didnt quiet go as planned, as they said they were staying in the Banana Bungelows Hostel in Hollywood so we went and booked in there only to find out the next day that there were 2 Banana bungelow hostels in hollywood! Anyway we eventually met up and went to collect the Van!! On collecting the van we decided I should drive as I had driven in Florida already, however I forgot to look left on the first junction from the van rental place and nearly caused a bump or two. However from here I was back into the swing of things and everything went smoothly until it was time to change drivers. Everyone had had a go to get used to it whilst the roads werent very busy when I had go us out of LA apart from Nicola... So about 6 hours after picking the van up we were taking down the details from a very nice latino man as she smashed the wingmirror off his 4x4 at some traffic lights, from then on the driving was split between three. The first night we struggled to find anywhere to park as we werent sure where we were allowed we ended up parking in the car park at the beach (Huntington beach) however at about 2 the police woke us up and said we had to move on so we drove about 1 minute down the road and found a place where a few other cars were parked.
The next day we began the drive to Vegas. It was a very long drive so we boke it up by stopping off a few places but im struggling to remember without looking at the pictures (this computer freezes when I try to load them). We did stop off and stayed the night at a rest stop with some crazy american lady who treated us to her guitar playing and we stopped off in Big Bear National Park and went for a swim/wash in the lake and had some food cooked on the stove that came with the van. I will do this bit in more detail when I can see the photos so Ill just skip to Vegas... As we got to Vegas for the Monday and Tuesday nights it was the cheapest time of the week to come! so we booked into the New York New York hotel and then managed to get a free upgrade becasue I ased them if there was anything they could do becasue it was Kats birthday on the Tuesday. After some gambling and a walk around some of the hotels and casinos (and randomly meeting tom catherall) we came back to the hotel got changed and ready to go to the worlds most expesive (150 million to build) and apparantly voted best club (the XS in the encore casion/hotel). This turned out to be an eventful night (but i will leave this storey for when im home mum). The next day was Kats bday so we went to have a look around a few more casinos and then went to another club at night on the 54th floor of the Rio casino/hotel. We got a bottle of vodka and a vip table between me luke and Kat and had a 'high-roller' Vegas night!!!! We ended up staying one more night in the hotel but we all shared a room so it was cheaper and left early the next morning heading the grand canyon. This turned out to be much, much, much further from vegas than you can imagine. I think it was about a 600 mile round trip but definatly worth it and whilst we were at the grand canyon there was a telescope convention on or something and a bloke let us look at the sun which just looked like a red dot, he seemed pretty happy with it though said he'd been watching it all day.
From here we headed for Yosemite national Park and San Fransico. The drive to and from Vegas/grand canyon was hard because it was miles and miles and miles of desert. We drove for 6 hours some days and saw nothing but sand and road. When we finally reached Yosemite National Park which was really beautiful especially the half dome and the yosemite falls. We stuggled to find anywhere to stay as it was a national park/the weekend and the start of school holidays. Eventually we ended up asking the 'elk' club who were supposedly a priate campsite in the park only for members but the let us in and it was only $15 for all 4 of us in the van!! we just had to agree to go for a drink at the bar with them. Im pretty sure it was some sort of swingers club they were all about 55 and completely mental. It was an easy drive over to San Fran from here we even managed to find a street to park on near the beach for free! We went in to the centre of San Fran which was interesting to say the least as it was gay pride day so things were kicking off big time with parades and people dancing etc! We then went to watch the San Fransico Giants play Basball against the chicago cubs which San Fran won 3-1. Leaving san Fran we took about 3 or 4 days to drive back down the coast to LA stopping off to stay at a few campsites at night and the major sights along the way; carmel by the sea, santa barbera, santa monica, venice (muscle) beach, malibu and a few others. Finally back in LA we had one night and almost the full day to see the rest of the sights (flights out were at 10;30). We mainly wnet to see the rest of Hollywood and found out it was the premier for horrible bosses that night so stayed around to see Jamie Foxx, Jenifer Anniston, Kevin Spacey etc on the red carpet! Unfortunatly luke and nicola had to go home before this so they didnt get to stay but kat and i got some good photos!
I think thats all, well its all i can remember at the moment anyway ill get photos up asap! It was hard to get ones with me in at the start as i was on my own but there should be loads now! Speak soon.