I love you Shamu!! (God damn I love that whale...)

Trip Start Aug 15, 2006
Trip End Feb 02, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, October 18, 2006

When I checked my emails for the first time in weeks yesterday I had 17 waiting for me, and a few were from unhappy people back home complaining about the lack of emails! I quote Miss Jane Alsop's one liner "Not impressed with the lack of emails Macpherson".

So we arrived in Los Angeles on the 25th of September and started our Contiki tour on the 27th. On our day before starting I dragged David to Universal Studios. He had a good time though, but we were disappointed that there were no rides. It was fun though, although the $100 cab ride back to the place we were staying wasn't...

On the first day of our tour we went to Tijuana, Mexico. That was fun! We only spent the afternoon there, had a terrible Mexican lunch but got tequila poured down our throats at every oportunity! Then we went to San Diego for 2 nights. On the first night we went to this restaurant called Dicks where people throw napkins, toilet roll, everything at anyone! We had a really good first night out with the 53 people there were on our tour.

The next day we went to see the legend that is Shamu the killer whale at Sea World. We had such a good day. We did the ride 3 times! One of the guys got his face painted as Spiderman, and david had to stand up during the Shamu show because he was a "defender of freedom" and Shamu supports all the troops in Iraq... I'm sure he does... I love that fricken whale... (just for you garry)

Then we went to Phoenix where it was like 40 degrees, not my cup of tea! David ran up the sand dunes where they filmed Star Wars and nearly died of de-hydration. We also did a jeep ride in Sedona national park (the red rock place) with some real life cowboys.

Next it was on to the Grand Canyon for 2 nights. Donnie boy kindly paid for us to take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon which was so amazing. They played some ambient music whilst flying which included the Titanic soundtrack and good old Braveheart! David being the man he is, climbed down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with some others, where as I got like a quarter down and turned around with the rest of the girls (Rolly and Pye) which was the smartest thing I've ever done! I did see a snake though, and David saw a lizard (how exciting!)

Then it was on to Sin City where I won $135 in the Bellagio, oh yea!! And I only spent $20 to win it! We had the best time there, partied all night on the first night, crawled in at 5am and then got up nice and early the next day and did the rollercoaster over New York, New York. I was too hungover to realise what was happening to me. Emily, remember when you dragged me on it and I had my eyes closed the whole time! Much the same again. We did make it to Studio 54 in the MGM Grande the next night but didn't last long due to the disgusting hangover.

Bass lake was our next stop for 2 nights, where they filmed The Great Outdoors with John Candy and Dan Ackroyd. We stayed in these amazing lodges (more like houses) each slept 4 peole and 2 lodges were adjoining. We held a bad taste fancy dress party the first night, with some very funny outfits! The next day we hired a speed boat and David scared the hell out of everyone by showing off! People kept asking me if he really knew what he was doing!

San Francisco was next for another 2 nights, where we arrived just in time for fleet week which is when all the lovely navy boys come in to port for a good old time with the local ladies. We watched the Blue Angels (American version of the red arrows) from Pier 39 and Alcatraz. We lost most of our friends to San Fran as their tour ended there and ours continued on back to Los Angeles. Boo hoo :o(

On the way back to LA we stopped off for a night in Santa Barbara, which is a very pretty place although all we did was 2 loads of washing there and were off again in the morning back to the hole that is Los Angeles.
It really is a horrible dirty place, as we found out as we had booked in to a hostel in Venice Beach (Muscle Beach) for 4 nights. During the day the place is full of weirdos and the whole of LA's homeless population, but at night there's even more of them! Not a nice or safe place at all. So the next day we swiftly left and went back to Anaheim (1hr away) where we stayed at the begining of the tour and where a couple of our friends were staying too. We got the biggest room with the biggest bed in a new Holiday Inn for $1 cheaper than the hostel in Venice Beach! There was a really nice swimming pool there too where we spent the next day playing in.

In conclusion, we had an awesome (getting in with the lingo) 2 weeks, made some amazing friends one of whom has invited us to stay with her in Sydney for Christmas! Aren't we lucky bunnies!

So now we are sitting in a hostel right at the top of New Zealand freezing our wee bums off! So not used to temperatures below 25!

Hope everyone's well, and please email us with any news etc from home or afar...

We'll add some more photo's soon, but it takes ages to get them on.

(a little extra from New Zealand: We've so far met 2 guys from Edmonton in Canada (small city we visited for our family reunion) and a girl who works in ward 103 (I worked in 105) and went to Susie and Euans wedding in Oban a couple of weeks ago (one of my best friends from home!) How weird is that!

Its still cold...
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