Monday, October 12, 2009
Sidenote, Mustangs aren't as cool and spacious with four guys in there.
This was the first trip wher I had a go in the back, and I found it funny how when I was in the front of the Mustang I thought "hmm, where does all the wind go when the roof is down, because I can barely feel it. You wanna know? It goes to the back. My reasoning for being in the back was that Steve was somewhere about 6 ft 2, and Keiran, one of the shortest among us, was driving. So yeah, me an Harry, the littlest, sat in the back unable to hear anything being said due to the roaring of the air on our faces, though we did say hi to some lovely ladies in there cars, not wolf whistling, just hi. None of their boyfriends/fiances/husbands seemed pleased about this.
We did have a stop at a Coffee place, where we had a fun time on their leather couches riding their Wi-fi, well by that I mean Keiran checked up on google maps to make sure that we were, indeed, going to Las Vegas. Don't worry, we were cool. We wanted to be in a starbucks but when we asked where one was, he told us it was somewhere on the othert side of the shopping centre. When we got to the other side of the shopping centre, another guy told us we should go back to the other side to get a starbucks, we gave up chasing that goose fairly quickly.
Also, Keiran thought it would be nice to let Harry have a go at driving the Mustang around the parking lot. after he sped away, a tiny Vietnemese man came out of his restaurant claiming to be the manager and demanded we leave, or 'Reave'. As we did he started to call the 'Porice', which hinestly I was all up for, I would love to have had a car chase in that Mustang, I reckon Keiran could have held his own.
Disclaimer: Any racist comments made by Mr. Quilty in this article is purely a joke and hysterical, any person who finds them offensive should not judge his entire personality by these jokes for he is really a lovely person...also they should lighten up.
SO, a few hours, a lot of miles, and many moments of me standing up in the car with Keirans camera to take pictures of Las Vegas signs later, We were in VEGAS...and it was pretty. Me and Harry decided that we should test the leniancy of the local law enforcers by sitting on the back of the car, rather than in it. The only regret we picked up from getting to Las Vegas was that we got there to early, so we didnt drive through the lights. Never the less though we were so taken away by how awsome it all was we all had feelings that I could only describe as "Las-Vegasms!!"
Sidenote: The Coppers didn't care, they just didn't care
We checked into the Monte Carlo, thats right, at about 5 o'clock in the pm's. I should add it was quite a nice hotel. We got to the top, we Showered and we were ready...well they were ready, turns out they had shirts and ties and stuff...I brought Jeans and a t-shirt, what am I like, eh? also I had been surprisingly sunburnt on the face, sunburnt for the first time this year I might add wothout wearing any suncream. So that was a little bit embarrassing, but was all in good fun. another realisation that came to us was that only one of us was 21...so the other three became cheerleaders. By that I mean, we meant to be cheerleaders, until we lost Keiran somewhere in a casino half an hour into leaving our Hotel. NEVER THE LESS... we had a great time. The thing about being in Las Vegas for a night is that even if you can't drink, gamble, or go see extremely hot girls on stage... I mean pray for the sins of your bretheren, or if you haven't go the money to gamble, drink and...pray...You can still have an amazing time.
We checked out the Belajio (or however you're meant to spell it) and the dancing fountain in front of it. I couldn't help but wonder how long it took them to train the water to do that...what?
We saw Caesars Palace, and all the amazing Statues inside. Also they have an artificial sky there so it always seems like day there. That creeped me out. This made me realise the complete lack of window in the casino's meaning that peopl who are getting into the gambling spirit never realise that they are staying out too late, just like Ikea, those evil Swedish bastards.
ALSO, despite my limitations of age I did gamble...by that I mean I put a quarter in a slot machine, won a dollar, put another quarter in, lost, then took my winnings and ran. Thats right, I beat the bank by 50, freaking, cents.
Sidenote: it turns out that we weren't even allowed to watch the tables, and we totally would have gotten away with it if weren't for Harry and him looking like a young Harry Potter.
Overall Vegas was too awsome for words, and it was sad to have to leave...although We did leave in a Mustang which made it all better.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
On the way to San Diego we realised that there was another friend from camp who was renting a Condo with some of his mates. What luck. So we asked, he said yes, we wrote down his address. Floorless plan right? you'd think so anyway...
once getting into San Diego at about midnight, we looked at the address, we looked at the map, we looked at the address again, we looked back at the map a little harder this time, we swore loudly. the Address wasnt on the map. I can't remember exactly what was written down but it was something along the lines of "21 east F Enchilada"...really we didnt think it through. what was even better was that no one else understood it either. It got so stessful I actually thought the ozzie was about to tear up the mustang, and that is not OK.
Sidenote: It didn't say Enchillada, but thats what Keiran kept on calling it, and I'm not sure if its a good thing to put down the real address
We found ourselves at 21st and F at one point, no it wasn't the right place. and while there I met a nice couple, Katy and Richard, who uckily work late at a bar and had only just got back home, and were more then helpful. They let me use their phone, my phone plugged into their outlet, and Keirans phone plugged into their outlet. None of them worked. While I was doing this, Keiran sat in the middle of the street with his mac trying to pick up a connection, and then trying to get in contact with Harry (Aka; Condo-Man). In the end we managed to get in contact and find the place, though we had to meet up with Harry at a 7/11 on his Push-Bike, while we drove behind in a mustang, his reaction to the mustang being "F@*$ off, where'd you steal that from" which is understandable...you know, keiran being austraillian and all. so yeah, we didn't get in until about 3 0'clock, but it was all cool. 1.because they had a hot tub, I didn't use it but you know...hot tub, 2. because Harry's mate was a che, and therefore made us some kickass brakfast, and then a fantastic Curry, and 3. because we had a fecking mustang.
Sidenote: Keiran never actually saw Katy and Richard, and same vise versa, so i think they all thought i was crazy and imagining people. good times.
We stopped by a town whose name escapes me, but I do remember clearly that it was home to the inventor of the split-pea soup.
While speeding down the road, in the mustang of course, we were playing our own burned CD’s consisting mainly of Aerosmith and Will Smith. It was frickin sweet.
When we finally arrived at San Fran, we knew exactly what our priority should be. Drive over the golden gate bridge. That was a pretty good thing to be able to say I’ve done…despite the fact that there was no toll leaving across the bridge, but a six dollar toll going back. Darn you, creators of the bridge, you had this planned from the start I have no doubt.
Sidenote: the hills in San Francisco are so steep that when driving up them, its like being on a roller coaster, except scarier when you’re at the top cause you’re meant to be able to see the traffic going in front of you, but you just can’t. Also walking down the hills Keiran decided firmly that “if we trip,or slip here, we will die…” reassuring…
We were then faced with the difficult task…of finding somewhere else to stay the night. It was more or less the same as the night before; we decided not to sleep in the car park of either ends of the golden gate bridge, as security was heavy. We then found ourselves driving through the bad looking neighbourhood, the sort of one you can’t help but think you’re always about 20 seconds away from a drug den.
It was decided we’d stay in the front drive of what seemed to be an abandoned mansion…yeah I know, horror movie stupid idea number one. Well that’s what was first decided anyway, up to the point where Keiran left the car to take a slash (horror movie stupid idea number two) where he then abruptly came charging back into the car slamming the door, saying “We’ve got to get out of here, I think this place is haunted”. Well I think that’s what he said though it had a lot more swearing and I’m fail sure he ‘crikey’ at least twice. Anyway I, luckily, did not commit horror movie stupid idea number three and say “meh, its probably nothing”, instead I said “oh dear God, GOGOGOGOGO!!!” and go we did.
(Side note: turns out it wasn’t a ghost. But instead, as Keiran revealed to me later, a hobo whom Keiran didn’t want to share a drive with.)
Sunday, September 20, 2009
OK, so I on my last day in Austin I checked up my schedule, made sure that I knew what time the bus was so I knew a good time to re-meet Keiran in LA. It said my bus left Austin at 4:50pm, and would arrive in LA at about 9:45 pm later that day. Simple enough, right?
Anyone who answered yes to that question should feel ashamed of themselves as I did. Turns out it takes longer than 5 hours to get from Austin to LA…about 24 hours longer. So just before my bus left I sent him a message saying I was getting there for later that day, turns out he would be waiting a whole other day. When I got there he was a little tiny bit pissed. Especially when it turned out my bag was on another bus that was 45 minutes late.
But fear not, for no man, English or Aussie, can stay pissed at the bus system long enough when they have in their possession a ford mustang (and a beauty of one at that). So, sooner then you could say “Crikey, mate, if you mess me about like that again I’ll skin you like a kangaroo what tried to steal my can keg of fosters…” we were zooming down route 101.
(Side note: He didn’t say that, but I can only assume he would have if it weren’t for the whole ‘zooming’ part)
We ended up spending that night getting ‘the ultimate grease burger’ at the Hard Rock café, where I strongly contemplated jumping of off the railings into the ZZ-top style Cadillac rotating above the bar. And then headed down to take a look at the Universal Studios, which we strongly contemplated breaking into and then charging out of in the morning. We didn’t do this though, as I wasn’t fond of the idea of being kicked out of America when my blogging skills had only just began to bloom. Not my idea of fun.
Unfortunately my American under-aged-ness stopped us from being able to enter the clubbing style event happening a couple of yards away, so we retreated to try and find somewhere to sleep. I fell asleep whilst travelling though so I don’t really remember it too well, other than us talking of weird stories about corrupt police that pulled over victims in LA, and then in turn ourselves believing a police car was tailing us. But other than that, no memory of getting out of thee car and sleeping.
Oh that’s right, I woke up in the parked car the next morning.
When I arrived in Austin, I arrived alone. It was a bit of a sad though but I fought through. There was a bit of a wait before I could take the city bus down town, so I took a bit of a wander to the local mall. Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch, because I really tested the boundaries of my dignity as I walked into the food court expecting to buy a burger but instead being called over to a Chinese food stand, where they offered me a taste from every single one of their delicious meals. I tried some of them twice, you know, so I could make a fair decision on what I would purchase. Then they told me the price, but I was gone before they finished their sentence.
The great thing was they weren’t the only stand to do it, I was well and truly full up on free samples. Just a tip for someone in a mall.
The next day the guy whose couch I had made my temporary bed said I could take his bike out into the city, and I did so. There were some pretty sweet sites, although it was then that it struck me that being alone no one else could document my travels by video, so I need to remember to dust of my old taped together digital camera.
One of my favourite sites was a statue of a woman firing a cannon in her nighty, I was thinking about the thoughts of all those woman empowerment people I knew. Turns out she had a pretty badass story of trying to kill a guy called “Sam Houston” who was trying to steal Austin’s private records or something.
I also stopped of to have a burger at a pretty nice looking place, so I ordered at the bar, sat down, enjoyed the burger, and eventually (after convincing the waitress that we didn’t have squirrels, chipmunks or deer in England) left. Now as I left I thought about how that probably wasn’t nearly an interesting enough story to put in the blog/ that’s when I looked in my wallet to find that there had been no change to the amount of cash in my wallet hadn’t changed since before going into the place.
Barbeque Burger, Cooked Rare $8.50
Homemade Fries - $2.50
Shake - $3.50
Amount Paid by Rowan – Nothing whatsoever…oops
Oh yeah, I fell off of the bike, putting a big graze on my knee and a big tear in my jeans, I asked for help from a dude nearby (you know, a bandage or something) and he taped some kitchen role to my leg…that bit sucked!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
We turned up to New Orleans lucky to be alive, but despite our traumatic journey I had high hopes.
My mind went back to when I was 9 years old, I remembered the music, the food, the random awesome people we met, the first American football game I ever watched, the voodoo, the Mardi Gras floats…I was amazingly excited.
It was a bit of a $#%! Hole to be honest. Well at first anyway, I looked around and saw all of the back life of New Orleans. The buildings were worn down, some plants were dying, and there was metallic fencing, barbed wire, everywhere. I wondered whether this was the cause of Katrina all those years ago, or if it was always like it here and I just never saw this side when I was a kid. Either way we stumbled along with our bags, me dragging behind a little bit, feeling sorry for myself, alongside my shattered dreams of a never ending party.
Things picked up a bit though when we saw a sign of life, a restaurant. We were all a bit hungry so it was decided that this’d do for breakfast. Jambalaya. That cheered me up a bit. Great tasting, I don’t know if I ever had it as a kid, but I was having a taste from New Orleans, and it tasted great.
From there I felt happy about where I was, the dust didn’t bother me, the heat didn’t bother me, the crazy gangsters in their cars with 50 cent didn’t bother me...much. Although, I was bothered by the height restriction thing, created for restricting the car parks use to regular cars…being place in the middle of a great empty space, being forced to watch as trucks and big rigs simply travelled around it. First time in a while I pitied an inanimate object.
It took us a while to arrive at their hostel, the one that I wasn’t staying the night at, and after that we decided to go to Wal-Mart, for the first time in weeks (I was getting the shakes) and then headed down in the cities…general…direction.
That’s when things really got good, we went past the Mardi gras float world, and I managed to persuade the others to go in there. Pictures were taken, fun wa had…and then we got to the tickets office and decided not to go, but it was still fun whle it lasted.
(Side note: -
Jack: so this Mardi Gras things a parade, huh? How longs it been going on for?
Tickets Lady: a good 3 and a half hundred years now
Ahh the Mississippi river, that was good fun. The people from the good ship “Natchez” shouted us at, the Natchez being a stern-wheeler as you may learn from our educational video. I started to get edgy when I saw flashes coming from the ship and didn’t like the idea of being photograph against my will.
So I decided to go inside the river walk mall thing, where we saw cool shops, and a very cool fudge-making factory. I had now forgotten all ill feelings against new Orleans, for a good time was being had by all.
The following day was just as bright and exciting, I had to break off from the group the previous night so I could sleep on a couch, but the next morning I checked into their hostel and just happened to be in their room, where I found them sleeping… at 2 o’clock in the afternoon…
Went for another walk through the city and re-watched ‘Inglorious Basterds” which was still a fantastic film by the way, and headed down to a bar where they were playing a bit of jazz, was sweet. At this point I should say that they were offering free refills for large drinks at the theatre, so I got a large one and made sure I got my moneys worth by getting 4 refills, so it goes without saying that I was in and out of the restroom for the majority of that time.
(Side note: I had a conversation with a woman about how Shawn of the dead is one of the only British made zombie films, and it still is the best)
Later that night, we went down to more bars, including one which had an awesome open mike night thing on, where you could go up with an instrument and join in with the jamming. Made me wish I had brought my harmonica, darn it all.
Learnt a fun fact about bartenders in Louisiana, they get paid about $20 every 3 days, and depend entirely on tips. This made it amusing when she shouted at, and refused to serve, Grant as he did not tip the nice lady. When called upon this we pointed out to her that that was basically like paying a dog to play fetch. This wasn’t good. So poor old grant had to wait until the next bartender turned up, at which point he decided to get another drink, and hoping the previous bargirl was watching, paid a very generous tip.
The night continued, the music played, we rocked out on the bongos to the music, but we decided it was time to see more of the nightlife. As we ventured out we remembered a warning of the previous days’ taxi driver, that we had chosen a bad time of year to visit, at the time we had no idea at that point that he meant that our three day visit to new Orleans coincided with a three day gay festival thing. This made things awkward, simply due to the fact that it was difficult to get any girls attention when the girls probably wouldn’t be into men, and any girls that were into men wouldn’t pay attention to four men walking together through a street full of homosexuals.
(Side note: you don’t know awkward until you’ve had a drunken, deaf, mute, gay guy coming onto you)
Due to this we though maybe it was time to leave, but a random dude “Blue” came up to us and asked us to visit his restaurant, we thought about it but then he came up with a better idea, he decided to send us to a club. I explained I was under aged and wouldn’t get in, but he took a bit of the old mafia-like “I know people, I can get you in” attitude, which made us all too nervous to reject him. As he sent u though the front door of the club we realised that Blue had sent us to a strip joint.
Don't worry though, you SHALL read about it...although I may have put your hopes up, so you could be slightly disapointed...ah well