So we have finally got round to updating our blog for the first time... even though we have now been away over 2 weeks, but better late than never!
For those of you not there to wave us off (shame on you) we left Manchester for San Francisco on 12th Feb and arrived there later that evening. This was an interesting start to the trip as after our eleven hour flight we had to find our way through to the hostel past the various "crazies" and battle the hussle and bussle of San Fran on a Saturday night.
Our first day was spend finding our bearings and getting used to the new surroundings, took the tram to Fisherman's Warf and then walked back with a detour to Lombard street. That night, due to sheer coincidence my (Alex's) dad was staying over near the airport so we met up for a few drinks.
The weather took a turn for the worse so we spent our time looknig at "indoor stuff" - the Aquarium, Museum of Modern Art and Exploratorium (sciencey musem thing - which Alex loved!).
With the first site of good weather we jumped on a boat to Alcatraz and took the audip tour round the cell block - we tried for an evening tour but were to late and they were sold out. From there we hired some bikes and cycled 3-4 miles across the golden gate bridge and back.. with the return journey taking about 3 times as long due to the rediculous head wind!
Los Angeles - Part I
First morning, after having pancakes for the past 5 days in a row, we stumbled across a tour guide offering to take us round different stars home's in Beverly Hills and Bel Air. This had Natalie giddee with excitement... needless to say we ended up going. The walking tour included Michael Jackson's, Morgan Freeman's, Tori Spelling's family home (worth $150 million - most expensive house in USA) & the playboy mansion. Followed by Rodeo drive, basically lots of expensive shops & where they filmed Pretty Woman. We also went on a tour to the Hollywood sign - which was a bit of a trek!!
The hostel we stayed in was really close to the Kodak Theatre, where the Oscars are held, and we chanced upon Kobe Bryant (BIG basketball star) who was at some convention there, as we walked past.
We also changed our plans slightly - we decided to spend a couple of days in Vegas (baby!) - where we spent time on the strip and natalie managed to do some shopping - although she has nowhere to fit it in here back pack - so guess who will be carrying it!?!
The main highlight of this time in Las Vegas was our trip to the Grand Canyon. We spent nearly 14 hours on the coach in total that day and we had the single most annoying tour guide. He did not shut up on his PA for practically the entire journey.... To add to this misery we arrive at the GC national park to find a few inches of snow on the ground - which didn't suit Natalie who was only wearing pumps - but it was still a pretty amazing view!
LA Part II
We then flew back to the LA where we spent some time with Kathy who drove us around to see the OC, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach - it was nice to see how the other half live! On our final night in the states we went to see the Clippers @ the Lakers - which was quite a show! We both really enjoyed it although Kobe (see above) was being a bit a of a diva!
The final day was spent killing time ahead of hour evening flight to Auckland - we visited Manattan Beach and did a bit of shopping - although Natalie had obviosuly learnt here lesson and didn't buy anything else!
We obvously made it safely to NZ from where we are writing this up - but we will try and keep it much more up to date from now on!