Houston we have lift off! (Corny, I know)

Trip Start Jun 11, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Thursday, June 14, 2007

Howdy all,

Well we've finally got on a plane, escorted all the way by Cathe & Kelvin who ensured that everyone got their mony's worth by getting us on it.

We've had our first trauma (already!) when we got to the airport we tried to check-in and couldn't as we needed a detination address in USA.  As you know we were just gonna land then find a place to stay!!! panic!  I had to use one of those silly internet machines in the airport to book a hotel online.  We picked the first cheapest on that came up, went through the online proccedure then the time ran out and it wouldn't accept our money (well cathe's money) and it cut me off mid-booking AAArrrgh! At the second attempt we got one booked ($158) thats about 80quid!! about 4 times our daily accommodation budget.  Looks like we're really gonna be needing the tent.

In the end it was nice that we could get off the plane and get a cab to the hotel straight away and just flop into the shower then bed (I suppose it's the most comfy we'll be for a while) gotta find a cheaper place to stay today! might just use the pool and jacuzi and steam room first!

The flight was ok.  We had do do the airport dash in Detroit (#I love this city).  We had to get off our plane, go through immigration, collect our bags, pass back though checking, deposit bags and run to board our plane before it left for Houston (and it was the same plane we'd arrived on!)  They asked us loads of questions in immigration.  They wanted to know how much money we had and why we were travelling for 12 months and why we would leave our jobs to do this (do this one really need an answer?)

It is now Friday 15th June we've been in Houston for 2 days and we've both come to the conclusion that we don't really like it. It might be better if we had a car but as an on foot / public transport traveller it's pants!!  Everything is just so big and spaced out and Downtown Houston is just offices, we only just found a pharmacy today (in search of cough mix!) which also sold a bit of food and wine.  You have to drive miles to get to the large shopping areas and even then you've to drive between the shops!

On Thursday we found the Greyhound office and booked our Discovery Passes for travel through USA & Canada... What a farce! The Halifax rejected my credit card and blocked it when Grey hound tried to process the payment, I had to ring UK to get it released and go back to the desk ( I swear she thought we were criminals trying to use a stolen card).

We then transfered to our new hotel that we booked online (at the Holiday Inn) it's a third of the price of the Holiday Inn,  however next trauma was that I'd booked for two nights and they'd only got us down for one, as we'd booked through Hotwire at a very discounted rate they said to get the same rate we'd have to go back through Hotwire... Their systems were down!!!!!!! ARGH!  we ended up paying the full rate for the second night (at this rate you'll be seeing us both by Christmas!!

We went to a Mexican place for dinner and got caught in a torrential downpour, I thought is was fun but Rob was worried about his hair getting wet! so he had to buy a brolly from the sporting goods store next to us (he says it was a bargin at 2 pounds 50p).  It went on for ages and the road flooded.  Food was good, I brought some back for Robs tea tonight.

Today we did the touristy thing and have been to the Huston Nasa Space Centre, (on the bus - it only $1 each (bargin) the Space Centre was $17 each and it was a bit cheesy but ok.  We saw the old command centre and some BIG rockets and watched some live feed from the International Space Station where they were carrying out some repairs (that was pretty cool)

We've book our accommodation for Sat & Sun night in New Orleans so tomorrow we get the Greyhound at mid-day and arrive about 8pm (Thank god for Play station!)

Bye for now....
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paulsara on

Hello form Paul in rainy Huddersfield
Hi guys, sounds like you are having frestrating fun so far, lookforward to seeing some photies.
Not much happening here apart from work, work & more work for me, its 7.18am sat and im at work writing this. Put a smile on mi face though when I saw your mail so thought I would wright you. We have had the same down poor as you have I think it started raining thursday and hasnt stopped yet, (not good for bikes).
Missin you guys 2 but great to be following you through the travel pod. Take good care of you both n stay safe, happy traveling mail soon.
Love Paul n Sara x

grrlscout on

Arrrgh! and yaaay, you're there!
Aw, hell! Sorry to hear you had such a hassle at the immigration checkpoint. Mick has had some exciting times with them as well, in the past, including having the lining of his suitcase stripped, being pulled aside for questioning, etc. For what its worth, I think they take a line of folks and ask them to count off A & B - the As become prison guards and the Bs become immigration control officers. If you need a destination address in the US, you can always use the one I sent you if you need it. :) (You might when you cross the Canadian border, both coming and going)

At least it's raining - I was worried it was going to be hot! You'll have a better time of it in New Orleans and onward, for sure. I'm curious to see what you think of New Orleans post Katrina, tbh.

I know it might seem a strange thought, but have you thought about having a Paypal donation link on here somewhere? :)

Mmmm, real Mexican food. Me jealous!

pgabo on

Welcome to the real worlds of travelling :-)
Well, don't worry, it's just the start, and then again the US - they're a bit peculiar, as if everyone wanted to stay there for good (as long as you do not prove that you're not, you are down as illegal immigrant...) - it all will become a lot easier in other countries!

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