Over two years after being on this trip I am only getting round to writing about it now. Many trips and experiences in between with a few I wrote about. But I was told when you start something you feel the need to finish it and thats what I wanted to do with this post. But also starting from the beginning is also a good idea, where as I can’t seem to find the beginning of this trip? Did I just skip San Fransisco and Yosemite? Oops or maybe it’s lost somewhere… None the less I will find it or just have to write about it again. Then again this is two years after so let’s hope I remember something. Here’s a shot at it anyway from what I remember from the last of the trip.
Driving down from Santa Barbara we arrived in our next place to stay in Long Beach. Main reason for staying here was to see Huntington Beach and go into Hollywood in the centre of Los Angles. We also saw the Queen Mary where my Dad had family who used to work on it when it was in use. Got this great photo of it while we went out for a night walk.
There were many great restaurant choices here with great international food and friendly people. Possibly too friendly when walking down a street and my brother and dad were invited into a certain club but declined as looking behind they were carrying extra baggage (my mum and I).
Huntington Beach was probably one of the main reasons we stayed here. Arriving it was like no other beach I’d been to before even to find parking along this long stretch of road seemed impossible. The main thing I was looking forward to was renting a surfboard and giving it a go however there were no surf-able waves so this would have been a waste. There was also a temporary skate park in place on the beach which was cool to take a look at. Everything was different to home that even something I would normally have no internet in seemed interesting.
Taking a day trip into the centre of Hollywood was a different experience to say the least. Crowd after crowd of people everywhere we went, rappers shoving there CD in your hands expecting for money but then grabbing it back after you didn’t give them any. Everyone seems to have their own opinion of LA and specifically Hollywood. Having been there I feel like some people need to stop reading online and making comments about things even though they haven’t been there. But I suppose that human mate to gossip about things. While there we wanted to see a lot bit more than just the walk of fame, Hollywood sign from afar and the Dolby Theatre so we went on some bus tour… more like a minivan with the top cut off. Totally makeshift with no proper stand, only accepting cash and parking illegally to pick up and drop off with the police constantly telling them they had to move and hurry up. Not to get into details but many things that were advertised were not acted upon such as getting close up the the Holly wood sign which we had already seen before as it could be seen from the main road. Needless to say we were rightly annoyed especially when the driver started asking for tips (he didn’t get one) after complaining we managed to scare off many potential customers. Not only is but other people of the same tour were promised different things and told differently to us that we all had no idea what was going on. Sure it was an experience and we did get to see some things just perhaps not as much as we had hoped kinda annoying after travelling so far to get there.
Moving on from LA we drove to Las Vegas. Miles after miles of pure dessert until we suddenly arrived at this neon lit city. Completely different again to anywhere I have been. I keep saying that a lot but I can’t rly compare it to anywhere I had been before. Condensed city where everything you can walk to and from with casinos in each and every hotel. Buffets with more choice than you can ever imagine. I was expecting the city to be a lot warmer than it was given it was roasting I expected more. But I was happy without that. After just arriving we got the wow of our hotel and how nice it was and looked. But after taking a short look around we saw nicer and nicer hotels making our hotel looking dull in comparison.
We took a quick visit to ATM an acrylic tank manufacturing company that I had seen on the show Tanked. Not that there was much to see but it was interesting none the less. Essentially just a workshop where they make these tanks. Although walking in and seeing a car converted into a fish tank looked very cool to see in person rather than the comfort of my couch at home.
The following day we took a day trip to the Grand Canyon. We decided to go to the south rim which was the far side and about five and a half hours each way. I had high hopes but honestly we didn’t stay there too long as you kinda look at it and everywhere looked the same. I do think like this could have been because we weren’t there for long. But also it felt like we had seen enough. While it was nice to see and I probably have limited thoughts on what I saw but I don’t think it would be somewhere I would be pushing to go again, where as experiencing somewhere new would be more appealing and intriguing.
The hoover dam on the way back though rly excited me however rushing as we had limited time being told we only had like twenty minutes to get in and out before they closed. Me interested in night photography I wanted to take a few photos… not the kinda where you just stand there and snap the picture… but where you get a tripod and each photo could take up to a minute to capture depending on what I was looking for. In the end I was really happy with the photo that I had captured.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Last on our trip was a stop in Charlotte, North Carolina. This was a nice stop to see my aunt and uncle and stop the travelling for a moment and relax and spend a bit of time with family. However every time I stay here the majority of the time is spent inside of a shopping centre or mall/outlet as they like to call them or watching something in the cinema as it’s not out in Ireland and we get that early preview. Being in the city once or twice while I was younger was nice but I don’t feel like I really have managed to experience what the city is like. While the mountains are a couple hours drive away and the nearest beach is even further going to these places would have been nice as it’s something new to see and experience and with my love for photography these would have been great place to snap a few pictures.
Before I knew it the month was and I was on a plane heading back home after being on a trip of a life time. I am so fortunate to have the experiences I have had and I hope that some say I will be able to say thank you for this.