Monday, December 21, 2009

Visit to the USA

October/November saw MrLaurie and I take off on a grand adventure, travelling to New York, Washington DC, San Francisico, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The whole tale would take quite some doing, so here are just a couple of highlights:

Unexpected things:
1) I completely loved what I saw of the USA. It was way way down my list of places to visit, but I'm so glad I went.
2) Not withstanding the above, I was shocked that I was bored witless in Washington DC. How is that even possible for a politics nerd like me? Must have been the rain and the boring hotel in a boring bit of town. The Washington monument was pretty cool though.
3) LA was actually kind of awesome. Santa Monica in particular was brilliant.
4) LA had useable public transport. Huh.
5) Las Vegas was a strange bizarro world where you can drink on the street at noon and seem quite restrained, as unlike many, at least you didn't start at 9am. It is also where pole dancing is a public event. In trucks. On the main street.
6) San Francisico is utterly beautiful and amazing, but oh my gosh, the people must have calves of steel to handle those hills.
7) Baseball is actually kind of interesting. American football remains a slow mess of a game.
8) The cutest halloween costume was a little kid in a bumblebee outfit, following her mum around the supermarket. The weirdest was a girl at the party we went to, who went as 'Octomum', and proceeded to give birth to eight small dolls every half an hour.
9) The most irritating part of New York was the uber-wealthy part where there were no cute shops, and lots of nannies pushing small children wearing shoes more expensive than I will ever own. The best part was a tie between the Blue Note jazz club and the Trailer Park bar in Chelsea.

Geeky highlights:
1) Dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History. T-Rex! Stegosauras! Triceratops! Eeei!
2) MoMA. Van Gogh, Cezanne, my school books coming to life.
3) The actual return module from Apollo 11.

'Place' highlights:
1) Looking over the Golden Gate Bridge from high on the cliff on a gorgeous sunshiny day, with the sailboats bobbing about the harbour.
2) Standing on top of the Empire State Building on a clear cool night after 27 hours of travel. Wow.
3) Sitting on Santa Monica pier drinking margaritas and just contemplating the gorgeous wide beach.

*sigh* I want to go back!

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