Chris and Ali’s American road trip – The final chapter

26.03.12

Day one

 

Howdy!

 

Well, Chris and I have arrived!…sort of.

We’re currently sat in the Minneapolis airport wait for our flight to L.A.

Chris is half sleeping; half getting annoyed watching the American news and half playing on his iphone.

So, how did we get here? The day started about 19 hours ago when I was awoken by my trusty alarm clock. Jumping out of bed I went to the lounge to do a quick workout whilst Chris got some extra winks.

Finishing my exercises I decided to brave waking Christoph up. Tentatively opening the door, I started with the softly softly approach of stroking his hair asking in my sweetest voice what the time was. (I knew full well it was 8.07am, approximately 83 minutes until we had to leave and I’d hoped by asking Chris, it would remind him too of this fact.) Sadly, he simply responded with a grunt and rolling back under the covers.

Conscious of the ticking clock, I took a more traditional ‘Ali style’ wake up method and opened the curtains, turned the TV on and proceeded to bang extremely loudly around the room.

This approach was much more successful and after a few more grunts, Chris was out of bed and in the shower.

Clean and slightly more responsive, Chris finished off his packing, munched a bowl of Shreddies and drank a cup of tea (made by moi.) we then hit the road and headed Hebenton bound.

Arriving at the Hebbo residence we were both slightly concerned when we realised we were going to be travelling to the airport in the Mini. Not because we didn’t love the trusted mum mobile (because we really do) but because we now faced the task of squeezing Chris’ normal size suitcase and my gigantic one in…

Luckily our fears were unfounded and after some clever manoeuvring, Chris, mum and myself were all comfortably wedged within the car.

A sunny drive (and a quick Guildford loo stop) later we were at Heathrow.

Kissing mum goodbye, we trotted along to check in, where I had my normal ‘I’ve gone over the weight limit’ scare – thankfully and sort of surprisingly, I was well within the limit – few!

Noticing some hand bagage scales, Chris and I thought it would be fun to weigh ourselves – this was honestly a lot more fun than it sounds. Thoroughly entertained, we decided to do a wee weigh experiment, where we weighed ourselves after weeing. The results showed that weeing drastically reduces your weight.

Scale fun over, we went through security. Here I (aka criminal mastermind) managed to sneak through three yoghurts that technically were liquids – I know i’m bad.

Buzzing from my terrorist escapade, we had a mooch around the airport shops where I began my hunt for a notebook. A simple task you might think…oh no. The search began in reputable stationery outlet, WH Smith. Now I know I’m not the biggest spender (a frequent shopper in bargain outlets such as Primarni and the 99p shop.) However, I don’t think I’m alone in thinking £7.50 is rather extortionate for an exceptionally average looking notebook. Chris agreed and said we should look somewhere else.

“But Chris surely there’ll be no where else, this is my only option?” I worriedly asked.

“Fear not Ali, we will find you a reasonably priced notebook,” Chris reassured.

True to his word, in the very next shop we went in (Harrods of all places) they had a much prettier notebook for cheaper. The notebook was so pretty in fact that I was tempted to buy it until Chris warned me against it.

“Ali yes this notebook is pretty,” he explained. “However, it is rather small, I think we can still do better.”

Surely not I thought. But trusting Chris I continued my search. And to my delight a few shops down we stumbled upon a Cath Kidston store, where I found a perfectly priced and sized notebook!

Notebook bought, it was time to board. Sitting on the plane we got wrapped in our blankets and all set for our flight. Before long my holiday questioning had begun, leading me to discover who Chris thought was pretty, what he would serve at a wedding and what he thought were the best sandwich combinations.

Coincidently (and conveniently) after our sandwich conversation the airhostesses started serving the food – just in time, as we’d both become rather hungry. Now my past plane food experiences haven’t been great, so I can’t say that I was that I was that excited when I heard it was lunchtime. However, this plane food experience was quite different.

Not only was the chicken salad served edible, it was actually quite tasty! Chris of course added his own touch to his meal, turning it into a sandwich, which he seasoned, sliced and combined with the dressing. This was followed by cheese and biscuits, a chocolate vanilla cookie, finished off with a fresh fruit salad.

Suitably refreshed we settled down to watch a movie. Chris watched Crazy Stupid Love while I went for the Descendants – which despite dealing with a depressing subject matter was actually quite sweet and uplifting. I then watched When Harry met Sally, on a recommendation I had received the day previous from Laurenbob. To my pleasure the film didn’t disappoint causing many a giggle.

Filmed out I decided to write a Chrisnaire (a questionnaire for Chris.)  Top questions included ‘what would you do if you were invisible for the day?’ ‘what are you more passionate about food or football?’ and ‘what is your biggest secret?’ – the answers were interesting to say the least, however, they must remain unprinted to protect certain identities…

It was then time for more plane food. Again this didn’t meet my usual depressing plane expectations and was a tasty offering of pizza and ice cream! A few puzzles later it was time to land and get ready for our next flight.

Entering security we saw many a sign forbidding the entry of fruits and veg into the country. Not one to play by the rules I decided to ignore these signs and went on to walk through security with a good few apples hidden within my bag. Thanks to my cherub face, my rebellious act paid off and I cruised through I effortlessly.

Chris and I then moseyed around the shops for a bit before it was time to go to our gate again. Since I started writing we have now boarded the plane and as the quality of my writing shows I am incredibly sleepy and losing the ability to hold my pen. I’ll therefore love you and leave you but I’ll be back…..

 

27.03.12

Day two

 

Well we’re finally here!

And it only took a half an hour drive to my mum’s, a two hour drive to Heathrow, an eight hour flight to Minneapolis, a two hour stop off, a three and half hour flight to LA, a fifteen minute shuttle trip to the hire care place and a twenty minute drive to the hotel!

Ok so after last time we spoke I was EXTREMELY sleepy and after reading just a few short pages of my book I was out! Then in what seemed like moments of my slumber we had landed. Chris and I thought we were at our destination and it had all been surprisingly painless…but as the beginning of my entry suggests we still had quite a lot to get through before we could get to our much-desired beds.

First we had the always-fun job of finding our luggage. Directed by our airhostess we made our way to the first carousel. However, on arrival at said carrousel we were directed to the second carrousel, then after a good fifteen minutes of nervous bag hunting, we were told that our luggage was in fact at the third carrousel! Thankfully when we were finally at the correct carrousel it was only actually another five minutes before we were reunited with our suitcases. Luggage in tow, we headed to the hire car shuttle bus stop.

Waiting at the bus stop we saw busses for every car hire company you can think of (i’m sure you can think of lots!) There were Hertz Cars, Enterprise, Thrifty, Budget, Avis… but no Apollo! – That’s who were booked with by the way, probably should have mentioned that earlier.

Another TWENTY minutes and at least four more care hire companies later there was still no Alamo!

As the clock ticked and the cars passed our nerves increased. Then just as Chris was reaching his boiling point and about to slip into his hard man act with the bus steward, we saw a ray of green heaven and our Alamo shuttle appeared!

Jumping into the bus we had another short trip before we arrived at the car hire station. Here Chris used his best Apprentice style negotiation skills to waggle us a free car upgrade. Chris’ energy and excitement then soon increased as the car man told him he could go in the car lot and pick any car he wanted – less into cars than Chris, I wasn’t as enthusiastic and when Chris asked me my views on a series of different automobiles, I had to use every bit of will power not to simply scream; ‘they all the look bloody same so just pick any bloody one so we can go bloody home!’

With my temper in tact, Chris eventually picked a car and made the exceptionally stress free journey to the hotel.  Getting to the hotel we then had a short conversation with the eerie horror film style hotel man, before we finally got in our bed and fell straight to sleep.

As we had both managed to keep awake the majority of the previous day we were pleased to find we weren’t really suffering with jet lag and woke up at the relatively normal hour of 8 am. I then had my first holiday run whilst Chris had a much-needed shower!

Freshly clean, we then began the hunt for breakfast. On our travels we came across a cute super market called Whole Foods, where they had all these random ingredients and salad bars and cakes and meats – basically a whole lot of food! Chris was very impressed by their selection of groceries, whilst I was impressed by their beautiful looking apples – Chris was then less than impressed when he discovered we’d paid $17 for said apples. After going to a cheaper supermarket for some coke and bowls we headed back to the room to eat our finds.

We then hit the road for some mooching. Chris had his pic taken outside Hank Moody’s house from Californication and I had mine on Venice beach and the famous pier. Chris is currently eating a monstoursous sandwich, which is making me feel slightly hungry, so I think I join him for some eats. Ciao for now xxx

 

28.03.12

Day three

 

Well since my last entry there has been thrills, film crews and celeb sightings!

But before I get ahead of myself lets go back to where I left you last…Venice beach. After finishing my diary Chris alerted me our parking was soon to be up – parking that I’d actually paid for twice thanks to the stupid confusing American parking meters, which made me pay for the car next to ours, parking as well grrr… Expensive parking trip up, we decided to go for a drive in the hills.

Listening to our favourite black radio station (featuring to hits like ‘late night munchies’ and ‘bail for your jail’ we cruised through Bel Air. Tunes blaring we were busy playing ‘I want that house’ when we stumbled upon a Fox film crew. We’re not sure what exactly they were filming, but if you’re watching any Fox programs in the future, be sure to keep an eye out for two curious tourists in the background.

TV crew excitement over, we returned to our room for some nail art fun. Chris lived up to his nail art reputation and painted some very pretty hearts on my toes. Tired from the strenuous nail art, Chris then had a nap and I naughtily watched an episode of 90210. I almost didn’t because the USA is way ahead of us in the UK, but I couldn’t help myself. Apu the episode was AMAZING! There were lots of spoilers, which I won’t reveal to you 90210 fans out there to avoid disappointment. As 90210 came to an end and my stomach began to rumble, I thought it was time to awake Chris get some grub. This was as always, quite challenge, but by using my gentle powers of persuasion and turning up the TV I managed to get him up from his slumber.

Awake and sort of reenergised, we drove down to Broadway for dinner. Searching for an appropriate eatery, we saw some interesting sights; including an impressive dinosaur shaped topiary and a fat homeless man singing ‘don’t you wish your boyfriend was fat like me?’ Pre dinner entertainment over, we stumbled across an Italian, where I had a lovely piece of chicken, while Chris had gnocchi that was ‘creamy and cheesy with nice spicy sausage.’ Full from our tasty meal we had another little drive before retuning home.

This morning I went a lovely run along the beach – well mostly lovely apart from the bit where I got lost and scared I was going to get stranded in L.A. Following my run I retuned home to awake Christoph. We then enjoyed munching on our breakfast on the patio/ table in the car park, before driving to Universal Studios. Thankfully, we survived our first time on the freeway and got to the park in one piece. On arrival, Chris was slightly annoyed when he was asked to either eat his crisps he had packed for his lunch now or rebag them, as in their current bag they were not permitted entry – we didn’t understand either. Crisps rebagged we were allowed to enter the park and start our day of fun! As well as lots of rides, and shows we also got to see another TV show being filmed in the park with big chinned television personality, Jay Leno! A few celeb pics later, we made our journey home.

Unfortunately, this journey wasn’t as easy as the drive to the park due to a crazy amount of traffic. Fortunately, this didn’t rain on our parade, as we were having lots of fun listening to our favourite black radio station and spotting different Califonication and landmarks. After our long journey home, we were both ready for dinner. So after a quick outfit change we began another meal search. We ended up going to a really cute Italian, where I had some lemon chicken and Chris had a spicy pizza that was ‘not v spicy but particularly pleasing and crisp.’ Chris is currently looking for Hollywood tours we can do tomo, while I’m feeling v sleepy so I’ll love you and leave you xxx

 

29.03.12

Day four

 

Well welcome! So we have come to the 4th day of our holiday and apu there has been stars, film crews and mansions. In the morning I went for my daily run and got my daily scare as I got daily lost. Luckily, I still did manage to get home but when I did, I was jealous to see Christoph had been watching this breakfast show that had just had Tyra Banks on it! Christoph told me he’d learnt how to pose, how to walk on the catwalk, but most importantly how to do Tyra’s signature smize! When I’d finally dealt with this tragedy, we had breakfast before heading to Hollywood for a movie stars’ home tour.

 

Arriving at the same hotel where they filmed the Oscars, we had a bit of time to spare before our tour started. And what does a Hebbo do when they’ve got time to spare? That’s right, they take photos! Snapping pictures, we were approached by a rapper who loved our accents and wanted us to buy his CD. We also saw a group of Japanese people chanting about God, as well as countless other random dressed up as movie stars.

Surviving the craziness, we jumped on our tour bus and got greeted by our guide (aka Robbie savages American twin.) On our tour we saw over 40 celebrity homes, Rodeo Drive and freakishly the places where Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson died. After the tour, we had a mooch down the walk of fame for a few more photos. As well as the previous crazies, this time we also saw this funny guy doing all these stunts, including jumping over four people! Hungry from all the madness we found a cute spot in the Kodak theatre to munch our lunch. Refuelled we walked along to Madame Tussauds to use the complimentary passes we got as part of our tour. This was a lot of fun because it was the perfect excuse to take A LOT more photos! So many photos were taken in fact that even I got slightly snapped out!

Reaching our photo limit, we decided to do our own Hollywood tour and go for a drive through hills. It was very easy to do our own tour, as on our drive we came across to other Hollywood tour busses to follow. On our second hijacked tour we saw another TV program being filmed, (we’re so over film crews now!) lots more mansions and got a great photo by the Hollywood sign. We then made a quick trip to tour local supermarket for some beer and some VERY big apples, before headed back to the ranch. Tonight we’re going to the same street we went to last night for eats as we were so impressed- i’ll let you know how we get on.

 

30.03.12

Day five

 

Ok so shortly after my last diary entry there was a light change in dinner plans when we saw an advert for Sizzlers on the TV. Drawn in by the advertising, we decided to go against our original plans and started a hunt for our local Sizzlers. Typing Sizzlers into the iphone we discovered there was a restaurant just 15 minutes away- perfect! So as we set off our Sizzlers adventure, we drove down many a dark road without a clue where we were going, before we finally landed upon Sizzlers in a dark neighbourhood – literally! Entering the restaurant we chose our food and sat down to munch on our salad cart. Chomping away, we soon noticed that we were in fact the only white faces in the restaurant.

The food lived up to my previous Sizzlers experiences, but we couldn’t help but feel slightly uncomfortable by the amount of stares we recieved throughout the meal. Not to mention the crazy old lady that came over to tell us to say grace before we ate. Surviving our ghetto meal, we went back to the motel to watch some quality USA TV. This time it was this random cooking program, which I thought was quite good- unlike Chris who was getting increasingly agitated throughout, as the chef didn’t make his own stock… Today I went for, yep you’ve guessed it… a run before Chris and I drove to Westfield for shopping! Of course I went straight to f21, which, while still amazing, wasn’t quite as special now with it being in the UK.

I still managed to buy some beautiful things though, including a maxi/ mini skirt, a mini pleated skirt, a crochet top, a funky dress, some jogging trousers (chosen by Chris) and a really pretty glittery nail polish. Chris got some jeans, but unfortunately he wasn’t terribly impressed by the size of the male section. Sadly Chris’ luck didn’t improve in Macys Bloomingdales or any of the other shops, so we decided to call it a day on the shopping and go for a drive. On our drive we saw lots more pretty houses, as well as a Lamborghini that Chris felt the need to follow for three blocks. Losing the Lamborghini, we decided to head back to our hotel to get ready for our last night in Santa Monica L We’ve had an amazing time, here but we are V excited about the next part of our holiday as we head to Monterey Bay tomorrow! Toodles xxx

 

31.03.12 –

01.04.12

Day six – seven

 

Right, so since my last entry there has been one or two dramas. Hens the reason there was no entry yesterday. Drama number one took place when Chris and I set off for our last meal in Santa Monica. Getting in the car, we were both excited about getting some tasty eats. Unfortunately, our excitement was short lived because as soon as we put the key in the car the engine made a funny noise and wouldn’t start. A few more failed attempts and we accepted we wouldn’t be driving anywhere so we went to get our receptionist to phone us a taxi.

A hop skip and a cliché cab conversation later, we found ourselves at a funky looking fish restaurant. I had some tasty salmon, with a funky BBQ coca cola glaze, while Chris had some cool looking fish kebab- another hop skip and a taxi trip (this time minus the cliché conversation as the driver wasn’t that friendly) and we were back at the hotel. We quickly went to bed in preparation for the big day of driving that awaited us. Waking up bright and early I went for a final Santa Monica run and Chris got on the phone to Alamo to sort out our car drama. I then finished off packing and had an interesting conversation with our hotel owner Fred about dollars and pounds. Meanwhile, Chris went with the Alamo man to get us a new car and returned shortly after with a shiny new (working) automobile.

Taking the pacific coast highway we enjoyed a leisurely drive, with many a pretty view and of course many a question from me. These included… ‘Who would you least like to do wife swap with? Who is getting married next and did you go to toys r us when you were growing up?’ A few hours and few hundred questions in, we decided to make a stop at Santa Barbra. Parking on the pier we had a fun little mosey before buying some salt-water taffy and hitting the road again.

Overtaking lots of slow American drivers, Chris then had lots of fun speeding along the coast. This was until we had a sudden burst of random torrential rain and he was forced to slow down. Thankfully, the rain didn’t last too long and before we knew it we were at our next stop. An elephant seal viewing point! Here we saw lots of seals (surprisingly) and because of the time of year, lots of cute baby ones!

After a few seal photos, we were back on the road and before long we were at our destination of Monterey Bay! We then had the job of finding our motel, bringing me to drama number two.  Travelling from motel to motel we felt increasingly like Mary and Joseph, repeatedly refused entry, until we finally met a nice man called Joe, who directed us to a random looking, but available, motel.

We then had a bit more lost driving, until we finally found the hotel. Here, we were greeted by a crazy Chinese lady whose only English was ‘yes’– this included when I asked her where was good to eat and where our room was. Luckily, Chris and I ended up finding eats using our own devices and went to a BBQ grill restaurant. I had BBQ chicken and Chris had a bacon cheeseburger. Refuelled we were just beginning to forget our two previous dramas when we noticed our petrol was extremely low – actually it was empty!

A frantic hunt for petrol then ensued and it wasn’t until we’d been to two closed petrol stations that we saw a beacon of an open petrol station light – tank full, we then just had job of finding our motel again… this went as easy as its sounds due to our creative sat nav. At midnight we finally got to our beds and forgot our dramas as we watched the cute fire in our hotel room.  Shattered from our dramafull day, we both enjoyed a lie in before setting sail for San Francisco! Byesy byes xxx

 

02.04.12

Day eight

 

Yo!

Well we have survived our first week in the states and officially entered the second leg of our holiday… after a short drive from Monetary Bay Chris and I arrived in San Francisco. Here, I got myself nice and clean, before Chris and I set out for our expedition to the Rainforest Café. There, our tour guide took us deep into the jungle to a table next to a massive fish tank, full of tropical lovelies. I then had some tasty Tuscan chicken, while Chris had a steak and shrimp platter that was “lovely” so lovely in fact that he even ate the tails!

We then scooted back to our hotel room where we watched this funny prog called Iron Chef, which I can only describe as a cross between Masterchef and Match of the day. This morning, I got up bright and early for a run round San Francisco before returning to eat some tepid porridge, which I had cooked with a hairdryer due to the lack of cooking appliances we had in our room.

Chris and I then made our way to Pier 33 to get our ferry to Alcatraz. To our surprise we didn’t get lost and were actually 40 minutes early. Chris saw this as a perfect opportunity to indulge in an apple fritter, which was “very tasty but oh so sinful.” Fatty snack consumed it was time to get our ferry – a ferry that I got to hear repeatedly how easy it would be to drive compared to Chris’ ship.

On the island we enjoyed a fun audio tour and learnt all about Alcatraz’ scary history. Returning from Alcatraz we hopped on a cable car and headed to the city centre for some shopping! To my delight there was another HUGE F21. I was V restrained though and only got a cardigan. Chris also got a pair of chinos and a t-shirt.

After F21, we went to Westfield, where Chris treated himself to a Jamba Juice, which was “so fruity, so tasty, so cold and so delicious!” I also treated myself to Benefit mascara. Another quick cable car trip later and we were back at our hotel.

 

03.04.12

Day nine

 

Hola!

Another 150 miles down and Chris and I have arrived at in Sacramento. Chris is currently watching some REALLY random film with Catherine Tate and Selina Gomez, so I thought I’d pay you a little visit….Last night Chris and I had our final meal in San Francisco. We decided to go to Fisherman’s Wharf, where we stumbled upon a cute restaurant called Aliotos. As the name suggests, the food was of course delicious. I had chicken and lots of courgette, while Chris had lobster, which was “lovely, sweet, meaty and the buttery sauce made it!” And I have to agree, as going on the taster he gave me it was quite yummy!

After dinner we had a nice walk back through the Frisco Bay and once Chris and I had stolen a few more apples from reception and got some fresh ice for the hotel beer supplies, we returned to the room. Here we watched some more quality USA TV. One particularly good program was called “Bethany ever after” – a reality TV program about possibly the most annoying person in the world.

In the morning I went for a final San Francisco run, overlooking the Golden Gate bridge and Alcatraz.  On my return, I finished packing, before tearing Chris away from his Iphone, so he could too finish packing. We then jumped in our ride and had a fun drive up and down the hills of San Francisco.

On our drive we landed at a perfect photo spot for the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, the two sets of Americans we asked to take our photo were slightly retarded and ended up cutting off half the bridge!  All was not lost though as I did manage to get a cool photo of a heron/stork.

Wildlife photography over, we got back on the road until our next stop at Sanoma Valley, alongside Napa Valley. Here, we saw A LOT of vineyards and found a really pretty picnic spot with a not so pretty portaloo. Refuelled we got back in the car and made the short drive to Sacramento (the capital of California.) We had a little drama finding a motel, because randomly there  are two 30th sts! Thankfully with some clever Chris driving, we managed to get there in the end. Tomorrow, we set sale for Yosemite, before our final stop in Vegas baby!!!

 

04.04.12

Day ten

 

Hello my name is Ali and I’m in the valley!

Chris and I have just arrived in the cutest lodge nested in the Yosemite Valley. After our random Selina Gomez film yesterday, we headed into the centre of Sacramento for dinner. Here, we found a lovely Italian restaurant, which, despite looking really posh and having silver service, actually offered very reasonably priced food!  I munched on a tasty chicken vegetable thing with artichoke, asparagus, pepper, tomato and of course Chicken! Chris also had chicken, but his was spicy. Unfortunately, I am unable to give you his review as he is out at the pool. But, I think going on memory, he was impressed. Randomly, right next to the restaurant, there was this museum about the history of Sacramento. So, after dinner, we went for a mooch around there, before returning home to watch Alpha Dog – a V violent but good film with J Timberlake.

Today I got up bright and early for a run around Sacramento. On said run I made a trip to Safeway, where I bought some ham for sandwiches and peanut butt M&M eggs. Back at the motel, I gave Chris the M&Ms, before making us both some porridge and finishing off our packing.

We then decided to explore some of Old Sacramento. It was just like stepping into an old Country and Western film, complete with a saloon and shooting range!

In Sacramento, we also found an olive oil and balsamic vinegar shop. Chris had lots of fun sampling the different offerings (his favourites included; raspberry, espresso and coconut!) Chris then gobbled a corn dog, before we got back on the road. I then fell asleep listening to Chris’ beautiful singing voice, waking up to find we were in another gorgeous picnic spot alongside a rapid style river.

Finishing lunch and failing to see any bears, we got back on the road. On our drive we saw everything from Hillbilly towns and winding valleys, to snow topped mountains and dusty desert tracks, until we final go to our Cedar lodge. As previously mentioned, Chris is at the pool and I’m just chilling before we hit the Yosemite night life (aka the one restaurant for bout 50 miles located next to our hotel) Tomorrow we go to Vegas after a 10-hour drive – wish us luck! Xx

 

05.04.12 –

07.04.12

Day 11-13

 

So where do I begin??? Chris and I have driven another few hundred miles, we’ve entered a new state and it’s been two days since I’ve written in you! Ok so lets go back to Yosemite where I left off. Chris had just been to the pool, whilst I was chilling watching Inception (a film that still confuses the hell out of me btw) before we headed to the hotel restaurant/diner. Entering, I was pleased to see they had my two favourite things in an eatery 1) a salad cart 2) unlimited refills! To go alongside my salad cart I ordered a chicken burger, which I enjoyed muchly. Chris also ordered a chicken burger…but I’m not sure how much he enjoyed it. For him, the whole experience was like an episode of Man Vs Food. This is because as well as the chips that came with his Chicken burger, he also had the ones that the waitress accidently brought me and an exceptionally large serving of Buffalo wings, some salad cart and two strawberry daccerys (the gayest drink ever!)

After dinner, I rolled Chris back to our room, where we watched this really good film with Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, Matt Dillon, Bill Murray and Kevin Bacon. I don’t what it was called but there were like a million twists in it. In the morning I decided not to go for a run. Partly because we had a really early start for our uber long journey and partly because I was scared of getting eaten by a bear. So after a quick bowl of porridge and a complimentary coffee from the lobby we got on our way.

Hitting the road, annoyingly, I began to feel nauseous so I decided to have a little nap. This nap ended up being about 3 hours long and when I awoke we’d left Yosemite and entered a new Hillbilly town. Still feeling ill, I fell back asleep listening to Chris’ doset tones, before being awoken by some VERY windey roads. Now I think these roads would have been pretty horrible whatever, but when I was feeling sick they were hell! They were so horrible in fact that at one point I had to ask Chris to pull over. Luckily, I didn’t vomit and after a bit of fresh air I felt A LOT better. So much better in fact that I was then in a fit state to begin questioning Chris about important matters like…his favourite roast, takeaway, snack and where’d he’d take a girl on a first date and what his first impression of Gay Matt was.

After a few more hundred questions, we were approaching Death Valley and we were ready for lunch. So, in a particularly desolate spot we made a stop. Unfortunately, after lunch I began to feel nauseous again so decided to have ANOTHER nap. As I slept Chris was kept entertained by the changing scenery; including some very impressive sand dunes. Awaking from my nap I was pleased to FINALLY see a sign for Vegas!

Hungry from our mammoth drive Chris and I decided to have dinner before finding our hotel. This wasn’t as easy as we’d hoped but eventually, after some slightly stressful trafficful driving down the strip, we found an Italian restaurant where every meal came with two bottles of wine and a cappuccino – this meant a lot of wine and cappuccino for Chris. Full from our overpriced Italian food, we set about finding our hotel.

A bit more of Las Vegas trafficful driving later, we landed at our hotel. Chris then parked the car as I got in the VERY long check in queue. When we finally got to the end we had the job finding our hotel room – que some more lost tourist action from Chris and I. At around midnight, we got to our rather lavish looking Egyptian style room. We then both enjoyed a lovely long sleep, in our lovely large bed.

In the morning I awoke relatively early. With Chris comatosed, I went to explore around the hotel and stumbled on their impressive gym. Here, I had fun working out before returning to the room, where Chris was still unsurprisingly unconscious. I then had a long shower, put some fake tan on, and did my hair and makeup, to find Chris still asleep!  Bored of my own company, I made Chris some power porridge and got him out of bed. Me and a half awake Chris then had a mooch around our casino before hitting the strip. On our travels we saw many a crazy, including a sweaty Spiderman, an even sweatier Spongebob and countless other hobos.

As well as the crazies we also came across M&M world. Here there were A LOT of M&MS and a lot of tourists wasting a lot of money.  Leaving M&M world we saw a magician doing some pretty lame tricks, before we went to Walgreens and met a crazy lady who couldn’t believe I was old enough to be in Vegas.  Hungry for lunch, we went to find some munchies. I ended up getting a subway while Chris got a Chinese from Panda Express that had “yummy Beijing beef that was particularly nice, chicken mushrooms which were also tasty and noodles that were very flavoursome, so didn’t need any additional sauce.”

After lunch, we went and got the car so we could play crazy golf at a course Chris had Googled. Technically Chris won, however, as I managed to get through the whole game without cheating or losing my temper, I think I had the moral victory.  Returning home, I had a quick outfit change before we started the hunt for dinner.  Walking along the strip, an initially cold Chris soon warmed up on receiving countless calling cards from different Vegas prostitutes. Many many many calling cards later, we arrived at our restaurant, a cute bistro in Caesar’s Palace. I had some very nice garlic chicken, while Chris had calamari “that was tender and not that crunchy,” a Caesar salad that was “ok, but a little bit over dressed with a sharp dressing” and a crème brule, that had “excellent presentation with passion fruit and raspberry, however this was slightly overpowering and the dish could have done with more vanilla and been a little harder on top.”

Masterfchef critique done, we then had another walk on the strip where we got to see the Bellagio fountain show. Today, I had another workout in the gym before awaking Chris so we could set sail for the Grand Canyon. We’ve just arrived at the Hoover dam so I better stop writing now or I’ll miss it! Toodle ooo xx

 

08.04.12

Day 14

 

Ok so last time we spoke I had just arrived at the Hoover dam and it was dam good! Well as far as dams go anyway. Driving past the dam we followed the dusty roads through to the canyon. On our travels we passed through Arizona and A LOT of dust. So much dust in fact that Chris had to pus his lights on – the visibility was that bad! A few more miles and a lot more dust later, we arrived at the canyon. Unfortunately, when we got to the canyon (well a few miles from it to be precise) there was this big barrier and gift shop run by Indians asking for hundreds of dollars to go and see it.  Skint from our previous 14 days of over spending, we decided to give it a miss. So, once we’d had a quick coke and a ice cream, we got back on the road. Chris was incredibly disappointed about not seeing the canyon, but thankfully after some practically off road driving, he soon chirped up and before we knew it we were back at the dam. This time we parked up and Chris took some snaps before got on the road AGAIN! Enroute, I noticed a 99-cent store that I thought would be perfect for Sam’s $5 budget present. I was right and here we bought him a doop rag, diet pills, a hunk choc bar and a best of Israel rock CD.

Shopping done, we headed back to the hotel to get changed before hitting the strip for dinner. Tired from our canyon experience, we thought it’d be best to stay local for dinner and ended up going to a posh American restaurant at Mandalay Bay. I had some tomato chicken, while Chris had a blue cheese salad, this random soup and two $5 cocktails. After dinner, we went for a mooch round the casino.  Whilst mooching a guy gave us a voucher for free entry to this club. We decided to give it a gander, however, when the guy said free he actually meant free for me but $20 for Chris. Even poorer now after our Mandalay Bay meal we again decided to give it a miss and went gambling in the Luxor instead.

Missing out on the jackpot, we returned to our room. This morning I went to the gym before Chris and I went to IHOP for breakfast. I had some yummy eggs; bacon, toast and fruit while Chris had blueberry pancakes, bacon, eggs and hash browns. As well as the delicious food Chris and I took much enjoyment from observing our fellow diners – our favourites were a family of Hillbillies saying grace  (they included a lady/man that was Kim out of Kim and Aggy’s double, a googley eyed man and Morgan Freeman) Chris then took even more enjoyment when due to a dead leg I fell flat on my face in front of everyone in the restaurant…

After breakfast we planned to go shopping but we had forgotten it was Easter Sunday and the majority of shops were closed- lame! Luckily, on our travels we came across a Walgreens, where I managed to get some last min souvenirs, including a nail stamper that I’m particularly excited about!  Shopping done, we returned to the room so I could finish packing. Chris is now at the pool and I’ve just finished painting my nails. See you tomo for the last entry xx

 

09.04.12

Day 15

 

I’m sat on the plane, its 3.20 am and the last day of the holiday is here L After writing in you yesterday, I finished packing before Chris and I headed out for dinner. We decided to go to this Italian called Boccaccio Beppos. Partly because it came highly recommended in our guide and partly because was just next-door. So, a hop skip and a train ride later we arrived at the restaurant which although was v nice, all the food was served to share. This meant Chris had to go against his original chicken parmesan order and go with my order of salmon. He didn’t go hungry though, as he also got this cheesy spinachy bread thing. After dinner we made our way back to the Luxor. Here we decided to do a little bit of last minute gambling and thanks to my amazing skill, we actually won! It was only $3 but hey it was still a win! Winnings in hand, we went back to the room so Chris could finish packing.

Then we had approximately an hour sleep, before it was time to get up again. Walking through the casino was particularly surreal as it was absolutely no different at that time to any other. A short drive later we were at the car rental where we left our extremely dirty car behind. We then made a short trip to check in. Amazingly, we were early, so early in fact we couldn’t actually check in yet so we killed some time on Facebook. Statuses updated and a bit of random Googling about Las Vegas by Chris done, it was time to check in. This then ended up being a bit of a ball ache as I was over my weight limit (my suit case that is!) So, we had to do some clever repacking. Security then took a wee bit of time, so before we knew it, it was time to get on our first plane to Detroit. The journey went by in a flash as I had a nice Chris shaped pillow to sleep on through the journey.

Chris and I then had six hours to kill… while this sounds like a long time it flew by (no pun intended!) First we played eye spy (which Chris won), followed by 20 questions (Chris again won), then we mooched around the airport (including a psychedelic flashing light walkway) ate lunch/dinner/breakfast (depending which time zone you were going on) in a cute Mediterranean restaurant, finished off with some nail painting by Chris. Manicure done, we jumped on our plane to London. So far I’ve had a nap, watched Office Space, eaten some manky plane food and now i’m sort of watching Black Swan. I might try and have another nap in a bit so I can get back on English time in prep for when we land and the hol will officially be over L xxxx

 

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