Sunday, 18 August 2013

Napa Valley

As mentioned earlier, my dad's friend from high school (#friendship) was our quasi tour guide during our trip to San Francisco, and the great Napa Valley was a stop on our 2 day grand San Fran trip. I was also totally excited for Napa because it brought back memories of Lindsay Lohan's 'The Parent Trap' where Callie's dad/Dennis Quaid owns a vineyard in the area (#coolstory.)  

Here are a couple of photos from the 'cutest town i've ever been to' or as it's most commonly known by its name Yongueville, as well as snaps from a fancy castle/winery called Castello di Amarosa. 

Its official. I've decided my future wedding will definitely take place in Napa. Wine and great food for all.

San Francisco

To be quite honest, my time in San Francisco was short but sweet; although it was extremely, extremely cold (pretty much a 20 degree celcius drop compared to Las Vegas.) San Fran is a beautiful city from what I could tell riding those typical hop-on-hop-off big red tourist busses around town. Also loved the fact that it was just such a bustling, sophisticated, multicultural hub. 

Also courtesy of my dad's friend who took us around town, I was able to visit the Berkeley campus. Before visiting, I was seriously considering putting Berkeley as a tentative university choice for student exchange (although it's very unlikely my marks would suffice to get a place at such a prestigious college,) but after visiting the campus, my heart has told me otherwise. I wanna have that stereotypical American campus/college experience, at a university with the big stone buildings, and the leaves slowly falling as I lay on the grass sunbathing. Here are a couple of photos of Berkeley and San Fran in general.

The Painted Ladies
San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Las Vegas (pt deux): The Grand Canyon

This has been an extremely delayed post; but since i'm back home in Aus now and have perfectly good wifi and a bit of time on my hands, here is a new post from my travels (albeit there are many more parts to go...i'll get there eventually).

I didn't have much of an idea of the Grand Canyon before going to Las Vegas. I mean, this was partly due to the fact that I erroneously believed that the Grand Canyon was part of Mount Rushmore (you know the place in Wisconsin where the faces of all the US Presidents are carved into rock?) But after travelling for a solid two hours in the desert, with cacti and barren land the only view from my bus window, the Grand Canyon simply blew my mind (like nothing that I have ever seen before in my very short lifespan). Pictures do not do the Canyon justice at all; and it was pretty amazing to see how good 'ol mother nature could create something so beautiful. You might be thinking, 'but you're basically staring at rocks.' That is true, my friend, but you have to see it with your own eyes to fully grasp how awesome it is. So even though I just said that photos don't do it justice, hopefully the brilliance of the Grand Canyon still translates.

I also went on the Skywalk, a new tourist attraction where glass basically juts out past the cliff edge, so that you can see the canyon below you. You also have to wear special slippers on your shoes to prevent any destruction to the glass floor (ooOOoo fancy). NGL, the glass floor absolutely terrified me (i'd rather be stuck in the desert with hyenas circling around me, than look down through that glass floor...well that's a lie but let's go with that). PS: embarrassing family photo on the Skywalk to come.

ridin' via an old horse + carriage (courtesy of the Hualapai tribe)

We also detoured via the Hooverdam, one of the 'largest hydroelectric projects in US history'. It was huge, and that is all.

Photos: Las Vegas

Friday, 12 July 2013

Las Vegas

I'm currently sitting in LAX waiting for my flight to San Francisco; and I thought 'hey, might as well mooch off the glorious free wifi available at the moment' (thank you Amurrica), so here is the first post of my travel diary. I've been in the US for about a week now, sweating it out in the 46-degree heat (celcius btw); but haven’t had the chance to post anything since I’ve been out from early morning to the next early morning. Nevertheless, this is a recap of my trip to Vegas.

Day 1
After travelling approximately 18 hours to Las Vegas/ ‘the adult Disneyland', I was pretty shellshocked to arrive straight out of the gate at the airport to see endless rows of slot machines (the USA ERRYONE...freedom is clearly alive and well). If the airport was any indication, I assumed the city would be pretty insane; and driving down the Strip, all I could think about was how Vegas was pretty much the tackiest place I’ve ever visited. I’ve never seen so many billboards offering bail and half price lawyers (I mean, i'm no lawyer yet myself, but this shit just seemed dodgy as heck), and signs for call girls/escorts/prostitutes/idk what else. Here are a couple of photos of the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Strip in general. The only word to describe the hotels/casinos on the Strip: extravagant.

*JUST KIDDING MY FLIGHT IS CANCELLED HA ha; but in all seriousness scary stuff that a plane crashed at San Fran :/ * 

Day 2
Went to see the show 'One: the Michael Jackson Experience' a Cirque du Soleil production. Overall it was a pretty good show. Majority of it just involved dancing to MJ songs; so it lacked in terms of the acrobatics which CdS is famous for. The highlight was hologram Michael dancing to Man in the Mirror. Did a tear form in my eye/everyone else’s eye during that song? Potentially.

Day 3
Went to the Venetian and got sucked into visiting a time-share thing for ‘2 hours’ in return for free tickets to Rock of Ages. Damn the sales/marketing people in America know how to sweet talk innocent tourists. Although the day was lost, it was worth sitting through a four-hour presentation for tickets. Rock of Ages was pretty much the funniest musical I have ever seen, and the music was pretty decent. Plus, the guys wearing fake mullets behind us were pretty LOLz.

All in all, Vegas is a hot mess. But a hot mess that eventually grew on me.  You can’t help but get into the Vegas spirit; and when I say that, I mean wasting a couple of $ on the Hangover slot game, whilst drinking a shitty cheap alcoholic slushy with Viva Las Vegas playing in the background.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Hello sweet, sweet holidays. I've missed you.

So it's been a month since I last blogged (oops), but to be fair I was pretty much consumed by uni work, freaking out about things in general, busy having the occasional weekly breakdown...basically, you know, the usual. Seriously, who knew that uni would be so time consuming? (not me).

ANYWAYS after weeks of having to endure shitty group members (who i'd probably dropkick if such practices were accepted in society), finishing off endless assignments, preparing for exams, and then doing said exams...  UNI IS OVER FOR THE SEMESTER!!!

WOOHOO! Can i get a hallelujah?! Perhaps a small gospel choir singing Hanson's MmmBop as I jump for joy, cause that's how I'm feeling right about now?!

Holidays are here now; and as per usual, doing nothing is perhaps the best feeling in the world. So as I sit in my warm, electrically heated bed (ooohyeah), I thought i'd write a quick blog post about nothing in particular. 'Cause basically life is pretty simple right about now (apart from the drama that's happening on the latest episode of Made in Chelsea that i'm watching, 'cause that shit is never simple).

Perhaps I should write a to-do list...but, you know that's kinda lame...but #yolo #swaggy #onedirectioninfection #unihasmademerealise (these are all current trends on twitter right now btw).

Here is my list-of-things-to-do-but-not-really-i'll-be-doing-nothing-before-i-go-to-amurrica:

  • Miraculously become somewhat fluent in Japanese in the span of 2 weeks (I hate being the translator)
  • Watch so much trashy TV my mind explodes and I realise how dumb everything is
  • Write more on this blog 
  • Actually write more on this blog since I just said I would 
  • Plan what the hell i'm gonna do in America 
So basically this blog is gonna transform into a sort of travel blog whilst I'm away. I wanna try and post stuff about my trip as I move from city to city, and country to country. 

Until I actually get out of my bed and do something productive with my life...i'll post something then I guess. 

Fuck yeah holidays.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

This is the Voiiiceeee *dun dun dun duuuuun*

This is pretty delayed, but a couple of weeks ago I went to a live taping of The Voice Australia, and it was cool. Apart from the fact that I was in a queue for 5 hours (we were told to arrive at 5:30, the taping was scheduled for 8:30, we only got in the studio at 10:30...go figure), and because of the wait I would probably never go to a taping of The Voice ever again; overall the talent was decent, and the judges were right in my line of view. Yes, I did manage to get a hand grab from Joel, Delta and Seal, and almost one from Ricky, but alas it was not fated to be. If anyone's wondering, Delta is just as annoying in real life as she is onscreen with all her odd hand movements (oops), surprisingly Joel isn't as chipper, and there were wayyy too many middle aged women screaming for Ricky Martin to come over and touch them.

Here are a few photos: