Travel Journal

USA 1 California - Nevada - Utah

(Tuesday 3 April 2012) by Karen O'Shea
Howdie y’all ;-)

You know as I sit here and write this I still can’t believe I am here. After so many months of researching and planning of what I wanted to do in amerikay ….I am finally here…putting all my plans into practice! I am only here 9 days so far but it’s been full on and I have seen so much already….

Los Angeles (]California)

I started off in LA, spent a few days there. I stayed in a hotel off Hollywood boulevard pretty close to the Kodak Theater where the Oscars are held, the Chinese theatre and the walk of fame (where all the film stars names are on stars…on the sidewalk…like my American lingo!!)
Actually the first name I knew was Angela Lansbury…she rocks!! Actually outside the Kodak theater it is full of people in costume, buzz lightyear, Mr T, superman, all trying to get a buck off you…(see more lingo).

And the smell of marijuana hit me the minute I walked out the door…apparently its legal here if you have a card from your doc to say you need it for medicinal purposes…(think I might pay a visit to Ralph when I get home…ha..ha). ;-)

Kind of hung out in the hotel a bit as I thought I won’t really be having much comfort over the next few weeks…so may as well take advantage. I met up with a friend from LA who I had met on a tour in Australia, so it was cool to wreck her head and ask her so many questions about the place.

Everyone in Hollywood is an actor, writer or musician. And they like to tell you they are between jobs, as in this bar job or waitressing job is only a filler until they get a call up………(yeah whatever love..);-);-)

What I was amazed at was the amount of homeless and people just begging on the street, I suppose I just never saw this side to Hollywood, all I know is the glitz and the glam. There were so many of them all competing to get your money…some were pretty original with signs…”Need money for weed”, or “Alcohol research”.

Los Angeles to San Diego (California)

Met up with the tour today. It’s a five week tour from LA to New York, (my other tour is 4 weeks from NY back to LA). The group is pretty nice. 12 of us in total, Australia, Norway, Scotland, England, Denmark, Holland, south korean, Austrian and of course myself flying the tricolour.

We hit for San Diego. Set up camp and hit the beach. You know every beach looks the same after a while…..sun, water and bronzed bodies…not too unlike lahinch…lol. Found this famous hotel called hotel Del Coronado. Apparently it’s on a list of 100 things to visit before you die. Fantastic hotel which was build around the 1890’s but what gripped me about the hotel. A lady named Kate Morgan was found dead there in 1897. Turned out to be murder but with more questions than answers…maybe Google it because I could write about it for a while, I found it so interesting!! We even snooped around the hotel and found the room she was in…(using my jessica fletcher skills..);-)

Honestly I so wasn’t prepared for the weather here. It’s warm by day…not overly hot mind you. But by god does the temp drop at night…single figures. But I’ll get on with it I know I have written so much over the last few months about sun sun sun so I guess I deserve it…….god I was so wishing for them bed socks from dunnes…..I even had to by thermals…….I mean really!!!!!!!!!!!……lol

San Diego to Las Vegas (Nevada)

Oh Vegas baby…What a place. It’s a big playground. Casino after casino. Even found an O’Shea’s casino on the strip. It was pretty cool seeing the strip for real cause I had seen it so much on the TV. We got a limo party bus to drive us around and drop us off at light shows. The bus was excellent. Blacked out windows, neon lights, hell of a sound system, bring your own booze and a pole for those who wanted to do some serious moves….(I sat that one out…didn’t want to outdo any of the others….lol);-)

Anything goes in Vegas…nothing looks out of place. You could wear a wonder woman costume or eat fire…its normal there. Met so many elvis’s busking….excellent!! It’s legal to drink on the street here, so everyone goes from a to b swinging a bottle or a jug of beer….what I couldn’t get over was the fact it was a Tuesday and everyone was in party mode….its 24/7. It is fun mind you.

But you would want to keep your head about you and not lose the run of yourself in the casinos. I would imagine it’s easy to blow all your money in such a little amount of time. The casinos are open 24 hours a day, 368 days a year…(just threw the 368 in to make sure you hadn’t tuned out). They pump oxygen in to keep you awake, give you free drink and let you smoke….anything to get your dollar….(lingo).

Some of the casinos are themed. New York New York has the statue of liberty. Paris casino has the Eiffel tower…the Venetian I loved. Had gondolas, st marks square and a whole street of shops inside all like Venice with the sky painted on the ceiling….ah man it was amazing.

Found this casino called ‘’Bills gambling hall and Saloon”, it was so old fashioned in comparison to all the glitzy other casinos. ‘Big Elvis” performed on stage….well not stage really…as the giveaway is in his name….man he was massive… More like he sat on a custom made chair beside the stage..and boy could he sing like Elvis… although he was missing the moves….;-)

I even found myself getting into the whole Elvis theme without realizing it….if someone held a door open for me I found myself saying “Thank you very much” just like the king but without the lip think going on….;-)

Las Vegas to Zion National Park (Utah)

On the drive we stopped off at a shop called……….………”Guns and Guitars” ………yep that’s exactly what you could buy in there. The owner loves them both so opened a shop. ..(why not this is america!!) ;-) My god the amount of guns. They even come in different colours….there is a pink one called the pink lady. They are so cheap I couldn’t believe it. They had some form of what I could only describe as a sniper rifle for $1400. Totally Mad!!

Trekked to the top of a mountain in Zion, took 4 hours, it was a little hairy at times but the view was amazing. Saw some chipmunks, they look like mice with hair and attitude, kept expecting them to break into song…… I was wrecked after it, even more wrecked after setting up camp.

Zion NP to Lake Powell (Utah)

The drive today had spectacular scenery. Long open roads, amazing mountains and some real country towns where some of the stores look like they should be on the set of a western movie. We trekked again, this time through Bryce canyon…………… this was breathtaking. It blew me away. Much better than Vegas for me. It was full of hoodoo’s which are rocks in the shape of spires. Bloody amazing!!This is the real America I wanted to see.

Than we set up camp in a ranch!! Awesome………!! As if I wasn’t sore from the two treks in the last two days…I decided to go horse riding for 2 hours with some cowboys!! So glad I did. Rode through the desert, over hills and through streams……again the America I came here to see... I really loved it!! The scenery was magnificent. ;-);-);-);-)

Between the treks and the horse riding I can honestly say “I feel like I just got off a horse”, so on that note I will sign off folks…….actually realistically more like limp off into the leaba…………………

Have a good day y’all……………………………

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