Trip Start Aug 27, 2005
Trip End Sep 26, 2005

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, September 22, 2005

When we last wrote a journal it capped up to the 12th day of the trip. It's been a while since then and we are now in San Diego and will attempt to cover off the last 2 weeks in fairly short fashion. The reason for the lack of updates is due to the phenomenal price of access in Las Vegas, and the lack thereof in Dallas (where it seemed the internet had only reached the citizens in rumour form - "interwhat?")
Also, please ignore the map as it is completely screwed and doesnt at all reflect our actual journey.
On second thoughts, this is gonna be a LONG journal and if you read all the way through then you rule. If you dont then you suck. Its simple as that.

DAY 12: I Woke Up Two Days Later and My Kidney Was Gone
NO IDEA what happened on this day. I think we just walked around town some more and ate some good food. Probably hungover. Ah just remembered, saw 'The 40 Year Old Virgin'. Good laughs. Definately hungover.

DAY 13: The Better You Look, The More You See
The most popular site to see in San Fransisco is the Golden Gate bridge, which is where we headed for our last day in the bay. Also, it was free and you cant beat that.
We got a bus or two north to the bridge walked across it, with Jezza hugging the railings on the water side, and me hugging the opposite railings closer to the traffic. The bridge itself is a marvel of engineering and its hard to fathom how something so complicated and revolutionary was constructed so many decades ago. Architecture is one of many things that still evade my understanding. The view from the bridge is of the entire harbour in both directions and breathtaking. We walked along and back across it and then got a bus to Golden Gate Park, which is said to dwarf Central Park in New York with its sheer size. This was testified too as we walked for about 45 minutes into the park without coming across anything worth talking about. Dont get me wrong, there is apparently plenty to see, all kinds of beautiful gardens and fields and forests, we just couldnt find any. We caught a subcar/tram back into the city and were accompanied by a crazy woman who wandered back and forth throughout the carriadges, getting off and back on again at every stop and telling people who werent there to stop following her. Thankfully we werent approached for 'conversation'.
Luck would be on our side today as we spotted an announced book signing by mine (and soon to be Jezza's) favourite author - Bret Easton Ellis, author of Less Than Zero, American Psycho, Rules of Attraction and more.
We made our way to borders and snapped up copies of his new novel, Lunar Park, and jumped in line. The fanboy inside of me was well alive as he read passages from this new book, and then everyone lined up for a signing. Being cheeky, and realising this was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity I also managed to get a couple of photos with him. Definately a highlight of the trip for me. Was having a good talk to him until some *****'n ****h found out we were from NZ and started telling us about her daughters honeymoon. Thanks lady, thanks a bunch.

DAY 14: On The Road Again
The next stop on our tour is Las Vegas - the place you go to just to say you've been there. We hired a car for the day and hit the road heading east. We took the opportunity to get lost driving through the Yosemite National Park which was an incredibly panoramic and the stuff that postcards are made of. Without getting lost we probably would have missed some of the highlights, so we are thankful for skipping turnoffs while being distracted by the scenery.
The desert at night is a creepy place, I wouldnt recommend travelling through there at night alone. We entered Death Valley 'National Park' (since when did scorching hot desert and a bunch of cacti equal a park?) sometime around 8 oclock at night just as the sun disappeared over the horizon. "Phew" we thought, dont have to drive through the desert during the day. This judgement lasted about as long as it took til one of us wound down the window, put there hand out into the darkness and felt hot air all around. The "phew" then turned into "lets just hope we dont break down and/or crash into any UFO's". We drove for about an hour and a half through the desert seeing only one other car but a few unexplained lights in the sky above a Chinese Missile testing facility. The roads were looooong and straight after passing through Death Valley and we pointed our car straight towards Vegas, the mecca of excess.

We stayed in the hostel in Vegas, which is situated in the 'bad part of town'. We were later informed by a cab driver that 'this is where everyone who gets out of jail comes to live'. Cool.
The day was spent walking up the strip and indulging the unreal sites. Casino's and hotels built as if a city on their own. New York, Paris and Venice recreated in stunning detail. Lights everywhere. Everything EVERYWHERE. Too much to take in with one viewing.
Hotels with their own f*cking ZOO'S in them. Sharks in the casino, rollercoasters criss-crossing buildings, rare white tigers, a 5 story building dedicated to M&M's, a hundred mexican guys handing out cards for 'to your door strippers'. It seemed only fitting that our night would start with a 45 minute ride down the strip in a stretch-Hummer, drinking champagne and bopping our heads to hip hop. We had VIP access to Coyote Ugly (where the beers were $8 each!), House of Blues and club in the MGM Grand. We drank, talked and danced our way through the night. Jezza even 'overdanced' injuring his knee and jeopardising further boogie down evenings.
We came back to the Hostel later that night and played 'spot the drug deal' out our window. We counted 6 in 30 minutes. Good ratio.

DAY 16: Straight to the Top
Waking up 5 minutes after checkout and extremely hungover the next morning, we found overselves in a bind for accomodation. A quick trip to the reliable sorted us out with a cheap room at the Stratosphere, the highest hotel in the city. Part of the Stratosphere is a tower no dissimilar to the Sky Tower, however this one has a rollercoaster ON TOP of it and all kinds of other rides related to dropping you over the edge and scaring the bejesus out of you. We had lunch at the top of the tower with some Swiss friends from the hostel and marvelled rather blurry-eyed at the view from the restraunt. Later that night we booked ourselves in for some show called 'Bite', a topless rock and roll vampire review that combined music, dancing, magic and acrobatics.

DAY 17: Chicken Tenders for Dinner
Staying again at the Stratosphere we lounged around for a while then went for another walk down the strip. The heat was too much for us and we spent most of the day inside and airconditioned. Later that night we checked out a show called 'La Femme', which was much more than just a titty show. Inspired by the legendary French bar 'Crazy Horse', the show comprised erotic dance and music routines into canvases for the artistic kaleidoscope of lighting projected onto them. Went out drinking afterwards and didnt visit any strippers. I Swear.

2 UPDATES TO GO! - Catch 'em while their hot!
1) The trip takes us to Dallas and back too the Westcoast where we visit Fresno, San Diego and Tijuana!
2) The final update will be the long promised debut of all the photos we have taken. Except those ones in the strip club, you have to pay for those.

Ramble on....
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