Thursday, 22 September 2011

Down under in the Big Apple

And so finally arriving in NYC after a hellish way of getting here, Jackie meets me at the airport - so good to see a familiar face :) - other good thing was my bag decieded to come all the way through to :) head off the Jackies place on Long Island - a very nice area something that i never thought i would see in NYC so this was a real bonus. Head off to bed ready for a big week in NYC :)

 Jackie takes me off for a traditional NY breakfast - bagel with cream cheese - so i was expecting just a spread of cream chesse on the bagel, though i forget that i'm in america - and the bagel is filled with about two fingers thickness of cream cheese, still able to eat it thought quite sickly lol we spend the day relaxing (sleeping) at jones beach - this is something that i never thought i would do - sleeping on a beach in NYC a great way to be introduced into NY, a great relaxing afternoon. Was a weird sensation to as within a week i have had my feet in both the pacific and Atlantic oceans.  After the beach we head over to Jackies aunty and uncles place where we have a bit of a swim in the heated pool with her little cousins and a BBQ for dinner - was a really great day something that i thought again would never happen while i was in amcerica so it was a really nice suprise and had a great time.

My first trip in Manhatten to experience the Big Apple - my first thought was to go to the Statue of Liberty but when i got into the city the weather wasnt too kind and not very good visabilty so i catch the train to ground zero. Ground Zero is a very large construction site with the memorial well underway and the largest tower about 1/3 built. It was just hard to walk around and thing what was there and what happened there and how it was when the towers came down - it was just weird to walk around the area and just think. a very somber area. I visit the church that is opposite ground zero which was a refuge for most ppl on the 11th and became a lost persons vigil as well as a rest area for the fireman and emergency services - it was very surreal, one of the places that you have to experience for urself as words cannot describe it. I visit the memorial muesum that is being used until construction is complete - due to open this year for 10th ann. the memorial is very moving with many stories and videos, just hard to imagine what it would have been like to be there on that day. One of the Saddest things was 2 walls of a room filled with photos of every single person killed on 9/11, tissues where placed around the room and it was hard to look at these photos and not have tears in your eyes - someones dad, son, mum, grandfather, daughter - all so innocent in these photos and to be taken away like that - it was really powerful and emotional.There was another area where paper cranes where displayed made by ppl thoughtout the area - easily over a couple of thousand - also had one of the original paper crane made by Sadako Sasaki  when she was dying after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. One of the stories that i did read was a voice mail left by a husband to his wife - i had to take a photo to remember it, it read:

" Hey Jules, this is Brian...ah listen Im on a plane that has been hijacked....if things dont go well, and theyre not looking good, I want you to know that i absoulety love you. I want ou to do good, have good times, same with my parents. Ill see you when you get here, i want you to know that i totally love you. Bye Babe, hope i will call you......"

After this i went down to Wall st and checked out where the stock echange was and the place where George Washington had his inauguration. After this i slowly walked my way up Lower manhatten back the train station passing through the districts. Soho has some very good shopping - would like to go back there again :) Its amazing the secruity around some of the buildings such as city hall - complete opposite to back home. Walked past the CIA building to lol the architecture of NYC is amazing - i loved it, so mayn different styles all so unique and lots of art deco designs which i loved, it was in one day that NYC became one of my top 3 fav cities.

Todays weather wasn't to good so a trip to the statue of liberty was put off again, with visabilty at about 5 meters so i decided to go for a walk around midtown - first stop was the  Empire State Building - as a big lover of Art Deco - this building was amazing - i only went into the lobby but still it is beautiful and i loved it and if it was decent weather i properly would have gone up. Then moving onto Time Square - wow its amazing just to stand there and look around and you really just have to pinch yourself that you are actually here - so many people so many lights and good hotdogs! After seeing one marvel of the art deco world - i go to the next art deco stand out in NYC - the Crystla  Building - this building you can only go in to the lobby but still it was a lovely lobby and filled with art deco - a happy Marty :) On the way to UN i went via Grand Central station - this is place is pardon the irony but grand - the main hall is amzing - felt like sean connery and kevin costner were going to appear from the untouchables. This is deffently a place to see. The UN is having major renos so i just went into the foyer and muesum -(secruity council was closed and didnt want to pay $20 to be told this is where it is but we cant go in) Still great to say that i have been - the twisted gun statue was awesome.  The final trip for today was to MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, this was amazing - i got to see so many pieces of art and so many artists for the first time. Monets large water lillies - Van Goughs Starry Night, Ansel Adams, William Eggeslston actual prints. So this was a great end to a very busy long walking day!

Finally some nice weather! i head out to the statue! After a short 1 hour wait in line to get on the ferry, i get on liberty island around about 1230, i never thought that the statue was that tall and impressive - i took the free walking headphone tour around the isalnd - but it amzing how long you can just stand there and look at this lady standing there over you and  just thinking about what she means to everyone and just what she stands there for - its very impressive. I would love to go back there and go to the muesum under the the statue - just have to remember to book 6 months in advanced........
Ellis Island was very interesting just to learn the immigration story of another country - after being so close and knowing the story so well of Point Nepean it was good to learn how others found a "new world'
it was awesome to send the day in the sun beginning to remember how close summer was :)

 The good weather continues today and with good visabilty i head over to 30 rock. (Rockafella Centre) you may remember the building from such famous pictures as the group of men on the steelwork above the NYC skyline. on the top (shorter then the Eureka in melbourne) but it was great to see the NYC skyline from above, some say its a better view then the Empire State- i can understand why - u get a great view and get to have a great view of the Empire State itself! The view of centeral park is awesome - u actually get a real sense of how actually big the park is. This was my next stop - out if the Rock i head down to the park and spend the next 2 hours travelling up, down and across the park, it is huge, and so peaceful - the great thing is that as you make your way up the park the sounds of the city die out and you become lost in this park and forget that your in NYC unless you look back and see the skyline. The grassy fields - the multiple baseball fields, turtle ponds, lakes and resivores. This place is huge - you could spend a whole day walking around all the areas. I loved every minute - this is something that you don't get to experience in many of the major cities around the world - i'm very jealous of the people who live in NYC and get to go to this amazing place and whenever they like it really is something else.
That night Jackie and I head out to see Pirates 4 - cinemas over hear and nice all with recling chairs and check out the candy bar - didn't buy anything but the popcorn seems to be double the size of the large back home with add your own extra butter station......mmmmm cholesterol

Last day in NYC :( So i go and see the Museum of Natural History - 4 stories of history - if you can go to this place - its amazing so much in it so much history. it was amazing to walk around just get lost in all parts of the world throughout history - the stuffed animals where amazing, it felt like i was walking around Africa, was a bit freaky as to how they felt like it was about to turn around or blink!
After wondering around the museum for about 2 hours i went over to Central Park where i met up with Clancie again! who i had  met in LA so we had lunch in the park which was great for another random catch up! i also got a chance to have a real lunch - real chicken and a real sandwich - something that wasn't deep fried! lol After having another good walk around the park i head back to Jackies where we were having a BBQ for Jackies brothers birthday. Was great to have a family meal before heading off to camp. On the last night i begun to feel really nervous about camp, it was becoming more of a reality and wondering if this was going to be good, would i fit in, was it that right choice - this was the same feeling i would have for the next 3 days until i arrived at Lincoln. Next day on the plane to Minnesota...

FRIDAY - SUNDAY                                                                                                         
So dropped off at the airport and about to begin the journey to Camp Lincoln. I had no idea what to expect when i got there. so i fly off from NY and land in the windy city and have a hour to kill in the largest airport! not to hard, just walk half the length of the terminal and walk back and its your time killed lol.  so another short flight to MN and im in the state where i will spend the next 3 months in lol. i stand at the baggage carosel for about 15 minutes, after having a stop over in Chicago and knowing my luck with baggage for this trip so far, i was pretty confident that my luggage wouldnt turn up! and yes i was correct - i should start writing horoscopes... arrive at the hotel, decent will do me. just have a night in, about 6 pm my bags arrive at the hotel, hoorah! Have a decent sleep and enjoy being alone, cause i think it might be a while b4 i get to sleep alone for a while! head off to Mall of America the next day! this place is bloody dangerous, its cheap, it has three levels of shops, and i had a whole day there. Hide the credit card. Too late first shop was a two for 1 deal, so was the next shop! damn bank holiday sails! lol i walk away with a new wardrobe almost - i wish i came over with a empty suitcase! I saw Hangover II that night - quite enjoyable same story different location but the jokes are taken to a whole new level! The next day, Sunday, this was the day, the big day, the day i go to camp!, i head off to the mall to kill some time b4 i have to go to the airport to be picked up to head to camp. I watch Thor, my neck feels sore after watching it because i felt that  every shot was done on a angle and watched the whole thing on a angle - weird technique - i think this was a real distraction to the whole movie so anyways - i head back to get my bags from the hotel and head out to the airport and wait to be picked up...but that story will have to wait for another time!



Monday, 30 May 2011

Hollywood PT II

Once arriving back to Hollywood, almost felt like coming home in a silly way. But Tuesday was pretty crap weather but head downtown to check out downtown LA, not alot to be said or seen there. The architecture is fantastic - quite alot of art deco which i loved but some really nice buildings and some not so nice. The Broadway district is a sad state now - what once was obviously a thriving business and area is run down and all theatres are closed up and filled with cheap shops, a real shame. Tried to get into the MoMA (museum of modern art) but was closed :( so just bummed around and headed back to Hollywood. That night i walk into the hostel lobby and i see a old mate from padua randomly - Hayden and get chatting swap stories etc - next thing i no im going to Disneyland tomorrow with them! Only in Hollywood! lol

So i have to get up to book the tickets nice and early - meet in the lobby at 730 - drainer, anyways - got all booked with a discount thanks to the hostel! #Winning So Disneyland - awesome, you get to become a kid again and love it for everything that it is! the parade was closed and having a new one put in the next week! o well got to see a few characters walking around the place which was cool, and i would like to go back and see the star wars ride that Disney and George Lucas made together for a FOX movie - please explain
Let me go through the worlds and rides for brief explanation etc:
Alice in Wonderland Teacups - there teacups that spin - what isn't cool about that?
Space mountain - good fun - small, fast and pitch black roller coaster

Matterhorn - this shits all over the one they use to have at rye carnival though don't put ur hands up because ull probably loose them lol

When moving around Disneyland u get a little peckish... so why not have a pickle? yes, indeed ill enhance my stay at Disneyland today by munching on a whole pickle.......and a bargin a $2.79, why wouldn't you have one? i personally chose not to have one because it was a pickle.

The Indiana Jones area and ride was shut due to renovations... :( but we went on the river cruise, what a wild ride that was, i don't no what was more interesting the drivers puns or the look in his eyes at he looked at all the ways he could kill himself to allow him not to do the tour ever again..... enjoyable none the least

haunted mansion - has nothing on the universal haunted house but still good fun :)

The grounds of Disneyland are immaculate - and just a really nice place to walk around and enjoy the whole atmosphere - it has a full sized working Louisiana style paddle steamer taking people of rides :)

The mickey mouse ice creams where good ( btw im going off pictures to try and tell u everything lol) toon town was crazy fun - just good fun to be around and lots of silly photo ops, best one was i got to have my photo taken with the one and only Mr. Mickey Mouse :) its amazing though cause as i walked through the park he moved to two separate locations and a costume change - clever guy that one. Now that everything got done in Disneyland it was time for some fun, this means going to the other side to California land - where all the good rides are lol.
First up was a flight simulator that flew over California. not like ur regular simulator- but u sit in a seat and put in from of a 180 imax like screen and moved backwards and forwards - this description dose not do it justice but it was prob my fav ride really really awesome.
Next the log ride - we got spun, dunked and saturated - good fun though. the main park - paradise park where the insane roller coaster was good fun - they hold the pirates of the Caribbean premiere there 2 weeks ago :)  the roller coaster was insane - a lot of fun - three times in fact! and slowly but surely the day came to a end leaving Disneyland at about 7. headed out for Thai that night for dinner-  the best meal i had had since being to the US, because it was REAL and not covered in grease! lol great little funky place that we even sat next to limp biscuit! (heavy rock band mum) only in Hollywood! a great end to a awesome day

note to self: need to stop saying awesome its even getting annoying to me - get thesaurus out....

so my last day has arrived :( what to do? go to the beach! head off to Santa Monica - with two British guys, l2 buses and 1.5 hours later we get there! and the weather is perfect, check out the shops down 3rd avenue really nice area such a change from Hollywood - could easily live here lol grab some lunch and then head down to the place where we have all been wanting - THE BEACH :) never got to have a last walk on a peninsula beach - so this was awesome to chuck the thongs off and get sand between the toes! huge beach not to busy just right chuck our stuff down, first thing i do is, gotta check out the water and see how it is - cold! lol regular back beach temp but i forgot my towel so didn't brave going in, we stay at the beach for about a hour just chilling and enjoying the sun :) was magical, mango mango mango mango, mango for sale on the beach lol.

back in Hollywood and the Hangover II premiere was in full swing so i got to play paparazzi - saw Robert Downy jrn, Bradley cooper, mike Tyson, was cool just to be there in the middle of it! heading home back from the premiere and i was walking home when i here "Marty" i look over and there is Kathy Mc! i couldn't believe it - i was walking back to the hostel to see her - it was so cool. Kath and I walk around Hollywood bvld and grab a pizza - biggest cheesiest and greasiest pizza in the world lol still good - then off to get a real drink down at the Irish pub! had a couple of $3 pints and end the night ready for my trip off to NY the next day.l

it was so surreal walking around Hollywood with Kathy - was a big highlight of the trip :)

Leaving LA
i get on the super shuttle headed towards LAX, I'm the last one off the bus and lined up to get my ticket and halfway through i realise that the bag that i have isn't actually isn't mine. So i had to spend the next 1 1/2 hours trying to find my bag - i finally get it after spending about $40 on a phone call and miss my flight so i have top spend the next 3 hours in a very small terminal - not easy - i somehow do it and I'm finally on the way to NYC to see Jackie!!!

And i shall talk to you all next when i am in the big apple

much love


Monday, 23 May 2011

San Francisco Road Trip

After checking out and having some pancakes - i head down to Greyhound to catch the bus to San Fran, im wearing shorts as the past few days have been around 22-25 today is cold and overcast - i change into jeans. As the tickets states please arrive a hour before hand, ok fair enough, for that hour i am the only person to grace the station except for a homeless person who never gave up at trying to get into the locked toilet  - points for trying. So greyhound - im expecting a decent coach for this 9 hour drive to san fran, i guess maintanice must have missed this bus. i get on to find it more ghetto, i sit down behind a pair of seats that have been forced up, these seats looks like its only had less then 10  bodily fluids spilt on it. as the coach lurches onto the road the aircon is a bit cold i reach up to adjust the airflow only to notice that it has been punched into the roof and was sitting at a delecate angle so it wouldnt fall down - this was my amusement for the next hour how many times i could be hit in the head by this vent, somehow i manange some sleep while clutching my backpack and camera bag for dear life so they wont b grabbed. After 9 hours and about 6 stops in some lets say "cultural" "rural" "eye opening" stops we make it to san fran ! thank god ! its only about 830 at night, awesome! but it gets better its raining! fantastic! and marty forgot to print out a map of where the hell he is going ! brilliant ! san fran isnt that kind in its less then flat streets. so there i go treking across  downtown san fran with my mother of a suitcase and only hoping i was going in the right diection. 930 rocks up and i check into the hostel! almost a rocky moment at the top of the stairs! lol

hostel is nice as like the other one just missing a private bathroom - though cant complain only 4 in this dorm. shower up and head to sleep before a big day tomorrow

SUNDAY - about 9
head out down the street ready for my 11am ferry out to alcatraz, i allow for a hour to get there - thank god i did as bay 2 breakers - a fun run was on, cutting all tram services pretty much to nill - sound familiar melbourninens? except metro stops trams because they can, anywho make it down to the pier ready to board about 1045. Alcatraz - wow, brilliant fantastic, awesome, love every minute of it. the free audio tour is chilling scary, but fascinating. a lovely day outside but a bit of a cool breeze (gale) on the rock, i dont no how anyone could have swam the channel, it looks impossible - u hear about the currents but until u see the mini whirlpools in the currents u understand! I look at my watch its 2pm, shit i been here for 3 hours and i still have to see the rest of the city!

Back on dry land i head up to fisermans wharf and check out pier 39 - really cool - complete with a lefthanded shop! the seals on the wharf where great - shocked a local when i said i had swam with them in the wild back home! Now onto the cable car - got to watch it be spun around on the turn table - rode it up - on the outside ( awesome fun) at almost a 45 degree angle, head to lombard st - laugh at the cars trying to get down it and film out the window at the same time. cant believe people actually live on it - not the best drive way for visitors! jump back on the cabel car and go downtown a bit - bit scary going down - u do have to hang on! i get off at the cable car muesum which is cool to see the cables being moved around and how it works, move into chinatown - amazingily just like melbourne! not much difference, maybe a little more commerical.

Head back to the hostel and meet up with craig and steve two guys from sydney that i had met at hollywood - we head down to the bar after visiting the liquir store over the road (cheap grog again) and a crazy night follows - teaching two brittish girls waterfall/kings cup/ring of fire (i think they regretted it in the morning) random group karoke follows with a group sing along to bohemian rhapsody with the large group of asains trying to sing along as well - a great end to the night.

the next day - i hop on the door to door shuttle so its a much quicker trip and more relaxed and comftable ride as well, and i arrive back in hollywood for part II 

until part deux




Friday, 13 May 2011

Hollywood happenings

Ok so let me try my best to remember where i left off last time and go from there....

A long time ago in far off land there was a back lot, which had universal appeal... ok i cant do this anymore - so Wednesday i head down the metro train station - and the train was scheduled to arrive at 1035 and to my shock it turned up exactly on time - how i do not miss Melbourne's transport system and really envy everyone else trains systems compared to our own!

Anywho...i get on the train and head off to universal city - arriving at the studio i have the compulsory photo taken at the universal fountain before venturing in.. i love every minute of it - the whole place it quite commercial very family based but i still love it and enjoy every minute of it. The haunted house was hilarious cheap shocks but loved it - even got attacked by mother bates... lol then onto the Simpson's ride which was great - a roller coaster simulator - very well done.. then heading off on the studio tour - really well done and got to see quite a bit - the king Kong experience was fantastic! you go into a studio and the doors close behind you and inside is a 360 screen encasing you and a fight between king Kong and a trex takes place with the train shaking - very well done and very cleverly presented in 3D. the rest of the tour was great seeing some of the old sets- personal fav was the bates motel with the original house in the background. after the tour i go into Jurassic park - the ride was great and the drop was more then expected - loved it all the same! i leave the park around 330 and get back into Hollywood and go to the Hollywood museum - this was fantastic very well done and alot of memorabilia on show. the Hannibal lector cell was great a little freaky but still really well done.  I finally get back to the hostel and as I'm walking past the parking lot next to me i notice a truck - im going i no that truck - it looks like optimus prime (transformer) and sure enough it was. there was a magazine party going on in the car park that night and for some reason optimus was there! so me and a guy from the hostel head off round the back way to see if we can get a photo with the truck - the Mexican guard who i  don't think had ever heard of transformers let us in and went and got some great photos with it!

Later that night was a pub crawl...yes i went..and yes it was awesome...$3 pints...yes $3 pints =) love America - though we finished up at a bar with $8 corona's - it like i was back home being ripped off! lol i slept well that night lol

So Thursday turns up and lets say I'm not feeling to refreshed - anyway doesn't stop me, i head out the warner brother studio (WB) for a tour with a uk guy that i was in a dorm with - this tour was great because we were able to get out and wonder around the sets and get some great photos - the WB museum was exceptional unfortunately no photos but it was amazing - original batman/joker costumes (dark knight) watchemen costumes,inception, 300 etc, and a whole level dedicated to harry potter which was cool. continue through the lot and get to check out the WB classic car collection - THIS WAS AWESOME =) tumbler and batpod from dark knight, batmobile from tim burton batman,  gran tarino, harry potter flying car, matrix car, cornial lee, mystery machine, it was just really cool :)

Got to have a wonder around the "chuck" TV set - im not sure it is on over at home but cool to see a working set all so fake lol get to sit in the set from friends and got to see all of WB props - they have alot lol

head back to Hollywood and chill in the hostel for a while, get in contact with a old school mate of mine Clancy who is staying just down from Kodak theatre with a friend and we have dinner in a classic 1950s hamburger diner very funky, then go off to madam Tussuad's which was a lot of fun and got some funny shots, end the night at hooters lol with a cocktail which goes down very easily and got to get a photo with a hooters girl - we were all very excited lol
come back to the hostel and have a game of beer pong - lost, just bit still a lot of fun!

head out to paramount pictures studio - kinda a recap of Warner bros but still good to see there sets and which films have used them - amazing how some of the films have cheated lol after all its the magic of Hollywood! we walk around the set of a nickelodeon show - it had its own 1.5m filtered pool!  amazing how much money the spend on these shows!! got to sit in the paramount theatre which was cool- only last week Spielberg and bay where putting the final touches on transformers 3! :)

head home and was going to do a tour of the Kodak theatre but they have all been suspend due to a performance coming up soon so bit upset i missed that. but decided to do a tour of Beverly hills and rodoe which was good seeing where all the rich ppl live and the houses are so big and so well maintained - didn't see anyone though :(
roedeo drive was incredible so expensive lol this was a really nice area of LA much nicer then downtown lol

back at the hostel now and ready for my trip out to San Fransisco tomorrow - a lovely 9 hour bus ride to look forward to lol well best go back my bags and get everything ready

will blog again when I'm back in Hollywood :0


love to everyone and hope everyone is surviving the cold - i actually have sunburn :)  lol



Monday, 9 May 2011


Well hello and greetings from Hollywood! its crazy to think that I'm hear and weirder to be able to walk down the street half a block and i am on the Hollywood walk of fame!

So i have been awake now for at least over 30 hours i think and its starting to get to me lol

The flight from Melbourne to Auckland was pretty uneventful had the seat next to me free so was able to spread out a little but it was only a 3 hour flight! got into Auckland about 430 or so local time and had to kill about 3 hours before we left again - grabbed a bite to eat and did some duty free browsing lol We left Auckland on time and we went off chasing the sunset - it is one of the worst flights to do 11 and half hours. i forgotten how boring it gets though i had a aisle seat so was able to get up when i wanted which was good. had a bit of turbulence bout 3 hours into the flight and went on for 10-15 minutes so that was a bit uncomfortable. had  dinner- and yes it was a credit to the airline lol Air NZ where really good - good food good service and comfortable as planes can get for a 11 hour haul

BTW mum - if this has bad grammer or bad spelling, at this point of time with 1 hour sleep - i don't care lol :) at least my room is clean

so after watching about 4 movies (i no you all want to know - little fockers - salt - green hornet - the special relationship and a top gear special) these kept me half sane as i couldn't sleep which is really hurting now!!
we arrive in LA a bit before 1230 and make it to passport control about 1240 - not as bad as heathrow but still bad enough - i finally get to the head of the cue and then sent back to fill out another form no one figured to tell me lol - loose my spot and go fill out this form due to my visas - finally get through i think this is about a hour or so after getting into passport control - luckily after the wait my bad was one of the only ones there so easily to pick out!

Head to customers hand them the form and waved me through - got away with the Vegemite! Score!  head out side to the white zone - but there is to be no standing in the white zone - the red zone is only for taxis ( flying high reference for all u film nuts)  get onto the bus and find it very hard to stay awake during the 40 minute trip from LAX > Hollywood. arrive at the hostel about 330 or so easily check in and go to the room - really nice double bed and shower and toilet to myself it will be hard to go to sharing with ppl in a could of days lol

So after dropping all my stuff in my room i head off and go down the street and check out the local area - walk half a block and start to  follow the stars! Hollywood is very different to the movies! its very touristy and not in the best condition - kinda surprised but hasn't let me down - i got to see Kodak theatre(Oscars) Chinese theatre and all the other cool landmarks up that end - will have more time to explore - just have to push off all the tourist operators - there worse then the gypsies in Europe - because these ones speak English and start a convo in any which way they can to get you to buy there shit. lol

It quite a weird feeling to relive a day that you have already lived lol which reminds me Carlton played the day i left and just found out they won! CARN THE BLUES!!!!!!!

doing a walking tour up to the Hollywood sign tomorrow so should get some good pics and going to buy a pass that will save me heaps on studios and lots of other places!- thx Lisa and Darcy for the tip! 

Yeah well that's all i have to report I'm going to go watch some TV - tempting to get involved in the beer pong ($2 cans, $3 coronas) but i think if i did i would have one drink and then be on the ground lol  so a early one tonight and go discover more of this very interesting city tomorrow!

Until next episode

Adios Amigos!