diamondlife: (All I wanted - evercool)
I'm sure you've all gathered, if you've been following my posts, that I've had an amazing time in the US (and Canada, for that brief time I was there!). It was an incredible experience, and I'm a little bit sad that I had to come home and get back into the real world of working and washing up and the British autumn (*shudder* it's my least favourite season, I hate it)! But thank you to everyone I met for making my trip so fantastic and memorable! And I already have a list of things (and people!) to see next time! :D

Of course, I have a stack of photos, so I'll be uploading some of those at some point over the next few days. But for now, I prepared a short "best of" list, going by area rather than thing, otherwise I'd've been here forever!

Niagara Falls had the best waterfall (well, duh!).
Boston had the best host. (*snugs [livejournal.com profile] sublimeparadigm*)
Chicago is the best city (and had the best museum).
Albuquerque had the best people.
Santa Fe had the best hostel (and, for that matter, atmosphere).
Taos had the best smell.
Flagstaff has the best memories.
Phoenix gave me the best meal (I can't stop thinking about the posole I ate at the museum! :9)
San Francisco had the best con (again, bit of a gimme there ;).

The south west showed me the delights of sopaipillas, delicious beer and the most magnificent scenery. It's one of the most breathtaking areas I've ever been to, and I really am looking forward to going back. ♥ The last thing I want to point out, though, is more for my fellow Brits. America wasn't nearly as different to Britain as I was expecting, in terms of culture and people! The differences were small or superficial, but by and large, I felt not far removed from home. With one major exception - the size. I found America to be pretty much like Britain - but much, much bigger. XD
diamondlife: (Cherish - opiumgaze)
San Francisco is a weird place. I feel more vulnerable here than I have anywhere else in the US or, probably, anywhere ever. Everywhere else I've been pleased to have my accent, as people have always been curious and eager to chat; here, I just feel it marks me as a small-town, probably-posh, naive tourist, ripe for the taking advantage of. :/ I daredn't go anywhere, cos I don't know who or where to trust. I think I'm just worn out! I'm tired now, tired of having to pack and repack my case, tired of dragging it around, tired of having to find places to stay. I can't even be bothered to look for cheap things or interesting food anymore! I bought my train ticket, though, so I'm setting off at 8.20 tomorrow morning for Chicago - a three-day train journey! It would've been nice to have stocked up on food etc (train food here is ...not the most exciting) but I just can't be bothered having another bag to lug around.

Today I went to Golden Gate park, which is freakin' huge! I had tea in the Japanese tea gardens, which was lovely, and wandered down Haight looking for hippies, but like I say, I just can't get into San Francisco. It's all either too cool, or too seedy, or some weird mixture of both.

Nevertheless, last night will remain one of the most fun of my trip here. [livejournal.com profile] new_kate and [livejournal.com profile] hibem took me cruising in the gay district, and it was one of the most memorable (and surreal XD) nights of my life. ♥ Thanks, you guys, cos I'd never have had the nerve to go myself! ;D

Now I might go sit on the roof terrace (if Lawrence Wong hasn't taken it over o.o) and drink some of that delicious wine I had last night, and book my flight!!! *chomp*
diamondlife: (Every day could be like this-dawn_icons2)
Well, the weather's picked up! But I still had nothing to do yesterday, so I headed down to Phoenix on the bus. Again, the trip didn't start well, as the bus was 2 hours late, but the ride down was gorgeous (though I sat next to an old man who talked at me for the whole 3 hours, non-stop). Lots of cacti! :D It was a beautiful day in Phoenix - the weather was absolutely perfect for me, just the right temperature. However. It was Sunday, and Phoenix appears to be undergoing extensive renovations and roadworks, so we had to walk quite a way to get to, well, anywhere. When we *found* the Heard museum, though, it had a really delicious restaurant, but we only had time for a quick dash round the museum itself before we had to head back to the bus station. ^^' So Phoenix wasn't quite the day of the greatest achievement ever, but still, we had a good laugh and the journeys there and back were beautiful.

For the same price as the bus ticket to Phoenix, today, I had a full 10-hour tour of the Grand Canyon. Words can't quite do it justice, but as I haven't uploaded my pics off my camera yet, you'll just have to take my word for it that it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. We had perfect weather, and a very entertaining tour guide, and I just don't think I could ever get bored of it. This isn't a lot of explanation, I know, but it was just so, so incredible.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll also be able to cross another thing I thought I was going to miss off my list - Monument Valley. *crosses fingers* I knew my road map would come in handy!
diamondlife: (5 a day - dawn_icons2)
It rained. I went to the mall. They have a Waldenbooks. I bought Reload 5, which, I have to say, brightened my day considerably. It's a bit of a weak volume - I'm waiting for the big stuff that's coming up - but I have to say, it's easier to get into when you have the collected chapters, hard copy, in your hands. I don't think the chapters flow quite as well as they have done before, though - it feels like there are chunks missing, which is fair enough as of course we don't need continuous narration, but it feels a little choppy. Loved Goku's fanboying Gato, though, more than I remembered. And the sequence at the end with the kid. Sometimes I worry that Minekura forgot how to make a point purely through having the characters be themselves, as she of course so cleverly has done before; but Sanzo in that sequence demonstrates that she hasn't. (Or, at least, hadn't 18 months ago. ^^')

Also wrote a bit of my weird 39 reinc fic that's been kicking round my brain for a year or so. I should give my OTP more attention, ficwise, though they're the hardest *ever* OTP to write.(As opposed to hardest *pairing*, cos some of the random stuff PoT throws up must be much harder, in actual terms. XD)

Anyway. Then, fulfilled, I came back to the hostel and bumped into my new friend, who invited me to see a play about Anne Frank, so along we went. It as actually very good, but it was intense stuff for a Saturday night. So, as he said, we've done all the typical Arizona things - watched a play about the Holocaust, ate sushi... Looks like tomorrow's Sedona trip isn't going ahead, so will probably take the bus to Phoenix, just for the hell of it. Then the GC on Monday (*crosses fingers* I keep believing!!!), and I'll head on to Sedona on Tuesday, probably stay the night, then back through Flagstaff and straight on to SF, I reckon. I'm attempting to salvage what I can! *shakes fist at weather*
diamondlife: (Happy bunnies - gnicons)
Grand Canyon tour cancelled due to the weather - 0% visibility.

There wasn't enough in Flagstaff itself to last me a *day* - even though Sedona is only 30 minutes away there's no way of getting there till 4 this afternoon; ditto Phoenix.

Flagstaff is becoming known as the town of failure. Unless I can find my new friend and persuade him he wants to go halves on hiring a car and drive us somewhere. -_-
diamondlife: (Bedtime z_z - ssjbento)
After yesterday morning's ...incident, I should've known that Thursday the 12th would prove unlucky. All my connections were perfectly planned; I rang ahead and booked my hostel room, and put my name down for their Grand Canyon tour. It all looked organised, for the first time in my trip!

But no. Greyhound decided to thwart my plans. The person in front of me for the queue for the 5.15. bus from Albuquerque to Flagstaff was the last one allowed on. It was full. The next bus was at 2.35am, the exact bus I'd thought I'd managed to avoid! Livid, I ended up unable to hold back the tears in the middle of Albuquerque bus station. After a quick cry in the toilets, I thought I'd go out and see if I could get some decent food and a much-needed Margarita. Luckily there were a few of us, so I teamed up with a very friendly guy from North Carolina and we went to a strange (but delicious) Brazilian grill place (where the Margarita was, of course, substituted for Caipirinha). Then, still having 6 hours to spare, we went and saw The Departed, which was surprisingly good! I'm always surprised how much I like Leonardo diCaprio, and the staff sergeant guy was great (and reminded me of the sarcastic priest in that Father Ted ep!). Must rewatch Infernal Affairs.

Anyway, we still had 4 hours to wait till the bus, so we just sat in the bus station and tried to stay awake, largely successfully though brain power was failing by the time we eventually set off, at 3am. ~_~ I kind of slept on the bus, but kept waking up; at least I was awake to see the sunrise in Arizona. Looking forward to the sunset, as it's a gorgeous day. Think I'm going to try and catch the bus to the museum. The hostel staff are wonderful (they picked us up from the bus station and put my name down for tomorrow's trip, rather than today's), but the hostel is full of young, trendy types and it's not quite as cool and cosy as Santa Fe, with its free random food and mix of hippies and genuinely cool young hipsters.

That story wasn't especially exciting, and as it mainly filled me with rage and distress at the time, I won't dwell on it. -_- At least everything (seems to have) worked out OK, and now I'm going to get washed and go out in the sun. :3

[Edit] All you NaNo people are bonkers, y'hear me? ^_~ Best of luck to you all. And incidentally, if any of you ever see me picking up a pen and looking thoughtful ever again, please just save me the hassle, and remind me it's not worth it. ([livejournal.com profile] yaoi_challenge excepting. You're allowed to poke me with sticks about that, because I kind of put it on the back burner and need to get going again with it. ^^;;)
diamondlife: (Sunflower - psycho_shoelace)
Yesterday when I arrived in Santa Fe, I wondered briefly why I hadn't just cut my losses and gone straight west. If Santa Fe didn't answer that yesterday, Taos certainly did today.

The bus journey from Santa Fe to Taos takes almost two hours, and covers some of the most amazing scenery I've yet experienced over here - or, indeed, anywhere. As soon as you get out of Santa Fe, you start to see these wonderful rock formations and brick-red cliffs on either side of the road - I'm surprised my neck isn't stiff from all the turning and craning and peering I was doing. After the rather ugly blip that is the town of Espanola, the bus then follows the Rio Grande up towards Taos. On this stretch the road runs up the valley between steep cliffs, always keeping in view the absolutely awe-inspiring sight of the mountains above Taos Pueblo. It was a glorious day, and there was the most picturesque cap of snow on the mountains; sadly, I hadn't realised the scenery would be quite so magnificent, so, knowing Taos Pueblo charges for camera admission anyway, I hadn't been too worried when I realised I'd forgotten my camera - hence, the only pictures I have are rather crappy ones from my phone on the return journey, and none of some of the most impressive bits between Santa Fe and Espanola, because my battery had run out and it was dark by the time we got there anyway. :/

When I got to Taos it was already 2.30, and my main priority was, of course, the pueblo. I got there around 3, and spent the rest of the afternoon there, including the guided tour (by a young woman who appeared to have learnt the whole 20 minute talk by rote, so it might not have been the most unique interpretation I could've got, but still, it was informative and interesting). The rest of the time I spent looking in all the little craft shops around the pueblo - most of the jewellery was surprisingly expensive, though I guess I would've been willing to pay more than I did for the necklace I did choose in the end, but all the stuff I liked best was way out of my range. I heard some middle-aged ladies speaking Tiwa, though I wondered if maybe they were doing it because I was there, in the same way that Welsh shopkeepers will switch into Welsh when English people walk in so they can talk about them. ^^' However, it did give me a little thrill to hear a dialect that's you'd never hear anywhere else, except spoken by a few thousand people in this part of the world. But I am a language geek. The most impressive part of the village is of course the tiny church, with its beautiful folk-type statues of the Virgin Mary and the santos. The church, and the whole village, smelt wonderful too, of burning cedar - all the shops had their fires going, and I can still smell the smoke on me. I bought a couple of smudges to try and get that evocative scent when I go home.

My only regret about Taos is that I didn't get any time to look round the town itself, but then, I guess I would only have been looking in the craft shops anyway, and in the village you know you're buying things the sellers and their families have made themselves, so it feels much better to support the community directly, and meet the craftspeople themselves. I feel patronising saying it, but I really do love to see and learn about traditional ways of life and indiginous cultures, and it's fascinating seeing them being preserved.

I didn't get back to Santa Fe till 7.30, and as no buses were forthcoming I rather grumpily made my way back to the hostel. As there were *still* no buses, I couldn't go back to the Blue Corn cafe, but instead went to Mu Du noodles, just down the road from the hostel, and man, I'm so glad I did! It was pricier than I've been paying, but still, in English money I can only say "ker-ching". Especially when I realised she hadn't charged me for my glass of plum wine, and when I pointed it out she said "Oh, that's fine" - score! I also had the most massive pot of white jasmine tea, most of which I got through. :9 Plus there was a yummy brownie dessert.*

So yes - one of the most worthwhile days I've had so far, because even I didn't spend long at my destination, the journey was just as impressive. I can't stress enough the beauty and variety of the landscape - the dry scrub, the soft red rocks, the river, the backdrop of the snowy blue mountains. One of the most scenic drives I've ever been on.

Onwards to Flagstaff tomorrow! Grand Canyon territory, and my first taste of Arizona. :D

* Notice how food plays a big role in my enjoyment of this trip? ^^' Well, it's a very important part of any experience!
diamondlife: (Bedtime z_z - ssjbento)
For some reason I woke up at 6.30 this morning (though maybe it was cos I fell asleep about 10.30 last night *cough*). So, thought I, I'll get sorted before I set off to Santa Fe on that 11am bus!

Well, I had my tentative plan all drawn up - two nights in Santa Fe, day trip to Taos, back to Albuquerque, up to Durango, back to Albuquerque again... then west. It was only as I was lugging my case onto a teeny weeny bus in Santa Fe that it really hit me how much time I'd not been able to use doing things I wanted. Not that I've really *wasted* any, in particular - but it just takes so long to get to places, and so long to organise, and then you've got to wait around (sometimes overnight, meaning you've got to book a room, cos I ain't hanging round Albuquerque Greyhound station between 10pm and 2am), that the time I've been able to actually spend doing the things I'd planned to has been minimal.

So, long story short, plans have changed again! I'm going to have to cut out Durango altogether, by the looks of it, just because of the having to arse about in Albu for two more separate nights - I just can't justify it. :/ So, no Mesa Verde for me this time. *sigh* Just like no Monument Valley, and no Canyon de Chelly, and no Acoma. Instead, I'm going to try and have a few days around Flagstaff and St George, where *maybe* I'll get to see the Grand Canyon, and, even more maybe, I'll get to Bryce or Zion.

But, despite my feelings of disenchantment as I got to Santa Fe, they were soon dispelled because it is a truly gorgeous town - Museum Hill is an amazing location, and you drive through such a lovely adobe-style area that you could almost imagine you were in some kind of pueblo setting anyway. So, hopefully I'll get to Taos and see a real pueblo tomorrow, and hopefully I *will* actually then get to do some hiking, and see some canyons, and maybe even some archaeology, from Flagstaff.

Sorry, this has been a slightly more downbeat entry! But I shall wrap up by recounting my dinner, cos hey, it was a highlight for me! I went to a place called the Blue Corn cafe, and they have a microbrewery! So I had a pint (an actual pint!) of a lovely dark brown ale, and there were lots more on the menu. :9 I also attempted to eat a fry bread taco, but I got halfway through before it defeated me. ^^;; It was, like, 2 inches deep with beans and mince and guacamole and cheese and fry bread! But damn, it was good guac. And good chile. :9 I'm currently working on a cheesecake chimichanga, but it's a bit odd. o.o Also, forgot to mention I'm staying in my very first hostel! :D It's so cosy! Though I do have to make my own bed. Boo! But they have a well-stocked kitchen and you can help yourself to anything, and there's a ovely laidback, friendly atmosphere. All very hippyish, but that's what I am at heart. ^_~

Finally, the weirdest thing happened to me on the bus back! Two ladies got on, and I could hear they were English, and, even more, I could hear they were Northern. So I asked where they were from, and it turned out that one was from Nottingham, and the other was from the next village to my mum! Unbelievable - I've probably passed her in the street before, but I get thousands of miles away and bump into her! Amazing. I love these little coincidences!
diamondlife: (Cock! - psycho_shoelace)
When I came to New Mexico, I did not expect it to bucket it down! Today started off cloudy, but by 4pm it was pouring, with thunder and lightning and everything; it didn't let up, so I had to get the scary bus back to my motel. ;_;

However! I completely made up for it by meeting [livejournal.com profile] alissa tonight! :D We went for dinner and I had a chimichanga and a margarita (which wasn't that sour at all, despite it being apparently packed with lemons). [livejournal.com profile] alissa is wonderful company and a very brave driver! ;D Thank you very much for taking me out, and you must visit us sometime! Maybe for the Beard Championships next year... :3

Earlier in the day I visited the very interesting Indian Pueblo Cultural Centre, where I got to see several interesting Indian dances (though I don't think lame [that is, lah-may] is a traditional native fabric), and had a really delicious Green Chile Stew. Not to mention learnt a lot about the 19 pueblos of New Mexico. I'm a little frustrated because of the weather - I'd wanted to see more around Albuquerque, but I think I'm going to move onto Santa Fe tomorrow. I'm realising I won't have time to fit in even a third of the things I wanted to see - some by necessity, because I'm not driving, but some simply because of the time needed to get there and do them justice. So my current plan is - Santa Fe -> Taos -> Albuquerque -> Durango -> Mesa Verde -> Albuquerque (yes, it's where all the buses go through!) -> Flagstaff/Williams -> Grand Canyon -> Flagstaff -> SAN FRANCISCO! So yeah, I'm not going to fit in some of the biggies, like Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly (and even Acoma, unless I'm very lucky), but hey, I've got something to come back to see, right? ^_~ All the people in Albuquerque have been lovely and friendly and a joy to talk to, especially the shopkeepers in Old Town (and excluding the bus of fear, but let's not go there again ^^'), so it's really been fun, even if I haven't quite done all I intended.
diamondlife: (Mine - peach_ponta)
Or rather: Boston-Washington-Chicago-Albuquerque. The last time you saw the intrepid [livejournal.com profile] elyndys, she was waiting for a train. While in Boston I somehow ended up going to church, then eating a delicious meal at the Happy Buddha vegetarian resaurant (highly recommended - I had the Happy Buddha's Feast. :9 It was Buddelicious!). Then I had to get up at 5 in order to catch my 6am train, had a bit of a run-in with an arsey taxi driver (yes, I know I should've tipped him right off the bat, but I didn't have any dollar bills!), but then enjoyed the best hot chocolate I've had in a very long time, if not ever, from Au Bon Pain (who also do a refreshingly good range of teas. Don't know if they're just an Eastern thing, cos I haven't seen one since Washington. ;_;)

I then had to get the train to Washington. It wasn't a great train, and it was quite full, but there was an electric socket so I was able to listen to some music and watch some Juu-Ou-Sei on the journey! (Juu-Ou-Sei, btw, is brilliant. Seen 5 eps now!) And it only took, like, 6 hours. Which is peanuts compared to the rest of my journey.

I just had time for a slice of pizza and a cuppa in Washington Station (the only station I've been in that was rammed with people) before it was back on the train for Chicago. This one took 18 hours and got me in at around 10am. As I had about 5 hours to spare, I decided to visit the Field Museum (someone I'd met in the church told me it was good). So I walked part of the way, subway'd the rest, and spent a fascinating few hours looking at the artefacts. They had a large collection of Native American exhibits, but the thing I spent most time on was an absolutely vast display of Pacific island artefacts. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before - it was fantastic. (Note to self: Google the Noisy Boys. Though I reckon Sancho won't get many results for a 1940s Tok Pisin group...) There was also a smaller, though no less absorbing, exhibition of Tibetan things, and also a "Hall of Jades" ([livejournal.com profile] nichaedemus, don't go there!!).

It was a glorious day in Chicago - bright sunshine, random accordian players, and an absolutely classic American skyline viewed from the harbour. Though Chicago itself seemed like any other city, I'm sure it's worth revisiting, if only to look at the rest of the museums.

So, from Chicago was the *long* leg - 26 hours, with no battery on my laptop and nowhere (except the toilet) to plug it in. @_@ Luckily, especially as we started to get further west, the scenery was fairly interesting, though a lot of Colorado-New Mexico reminded me of going up to Holme Moss ([livejournal.com profile] zalia is the only person who might understand what I mean by that!). When I said I was going to Albuquerque, people kept wondering why, but when we were getting close, passing the pueblos and the mountains, I was thinking "Yeah, this is what I came for".

Albuquerque itself seems like a pretty decent place! I managed to get a motel room, which wasn't cheap, but I hadn't realised it was the balloon festival until I was on the train! Still, it's a nice motel, even if the promised wireless doesn't seem to work - though they do have ethernet too, so it's all OK. :3 I had a meal at a nice place on Old Town Plaza called La Plancita (I think!) - had a Negra Modelo (it was very good :9) and carne asada, which was also very good. I also was introduced to sopaipillas, which are, like, the nicest things ever (though I used the first one to mop my plate, before the guy pointed out to me you were meant to put honey on).

All this Mexican-type stuff is making me miss [livejournal.com profile] davechan more. ;_; Sorry I didn't call, but by the time I got in here it was after midnight!

Tomorrow I'm going to check out the museums and the aquarium. :D Will probably stay here tomorrow night too, before heading to Santa Fe... Then I might take a look at Taos, but I want to call into Durango, Colorado, as it seems to make a good base for Mesa Verde. (Though I'm rapidly losing faith in my guidebook - one of the hotels it recommends here has shut down, and it still goes on about "modems" and "internet cafes" *guffaw*.) [livejournal.com profile] caerfree - how far into Colorado do you live, exactly...?

Friends page = probably lost cause, so if there's anything in particular (fics especially ;) please link me! :D
diamondlife: (Ahahahaha (I hate you) - ssjbento)
OK, so the plane thing wasn't working out. It costs a fortune to buy a ticket if you just walk in, so I thought I'd go for the old train idea after all.

No train till tomorrow. And between Boston and Albany is booked up (Columbus Day travellers, apparently). But! The man at Boston station was very helpful and kind (he called me classy! Aww, it's cos I was wearing my smart cardigan! XD) and helped me get a different ticket. The price seemed reasonable, and I was cheered to realise it's Thursday today, so it does only take the 3 days I was expecting anyway. I do have to set off at 6am tomorrow (o.o), so I'm staying in a Milton Hotel in Boston, but it does mean I get to spend a couple of hours in places I didn't expect to see.

Hence! I will be in:

Washington between 2pm and 4pm tomorrow
and
Chicago between 8.30am and 3.15pm on Saturday! So anyone in those areas who wants to meet up for a coffee, I'd love to see you! :D Especially Chicagoans! ;D

I'll then be arriving into Albuquerque at 4.05pm on Sunday. o.o I better book a hotel tonight, to be sure of it! ^^'

My only regret about this sequence of umming and ahhing is that I could've spent more time with [livejournal.com profile] sublimeparadigm. ;_; (Though I would've had to stay here tonight anyway, due to the early departure!) Ah well, you've just got to come to England instead, Jackie~! ^_~
diamondlife: (Default)
I'm at [livejournal.com profile] sublimeparadigm's house! :D :D :D She's lovely, her parents are lovely, her house is lovely, her cat is lovely. We went out for tea and cake and it was the best tea I've had since I set off from home! Worcester seems like a really nice town - it's the most "English"-seeming place I've seen so far (though admittedly a lot of places I've seen have been from the point of view of the bus station). Incidentally, I've really enjoyed travelling on the Greyhounds - I was hoping they weren't going to be rickety tin cans full of winos, but they're nice coaches with backpackers and old ladies on! I got through all of Night Watch, plus managed to fit in 3 hours of halfway-decent sleep!

So yes, I entered the US at about 2am yesterday morning. My first experience was not the best, as I had the arsiest immigration official imaginable. He didn't know what an administrator was, and he'd never heard of Worcester (didn't even know how to spell it) even though he probably lives about as far from it as I do from the Worcester where [livejournal.com profile] egrek lives. When he asked me where I was from I was confused - I mean, is "Sheffield" going to mean anything to him?! I could've made up any name at all, if he doesn't even know the names of places in the next bloody state! (I also had a moment of panic going through customs when I realised I had a certain tentacle-related doujinshi in my case, but luckily my bag was so heavy the guy couldn't be arsed lifting it onto the table and looking through it, so my embarrassment was saved. XD)

I then had to wait in Syracuse for 2 hours because the bus driver hadn't turned up! There were a big group of Amish people there, which was a minor fascination for me. I eventually arrived in Worcester about 1.15pm yesterday. The bad news is I'm feeling slightly lurgified (damn you, housemates!!), so I hope I'm not introducing any deadly English germs to an America that has no immunity to them! ^^'

Now it looks like the next leg of my journey will have to be to Phoenix. I also think I'm going to have to fly, just looking at things from a time perspective, though I want to fit in a train somewhere! The problem is, the cheaper fares I saw before have now disappeared, so I suspect you may have to book in advance to get them. Which isn't really going to work with my modus operandi, but there we go. At least I can visit Saguaro if I'm down that way - mm, cactussy.

OK. *rolls up sleeves* Shower, then flight-hunting! :D Thanks again for you, Jackie, for having me! I'm so grateful!! ♥♥♥

PS Can someone in the house please dl the first eps of Death Note and D.Gray Man? I don't want to miss the bandwagon... Love to all! xx
diamondlife: (Sky blue - farferello)
Heehee... free interweb! I couldn't make the wireless in the Travelodge I stayed in last night work, which was a bugger, cos I wanted to upload my pics - not to mention kill some time (I ended up falling asleep at about 10pm, but then I woke up at 2 and couldn't sleep again till, like, 5 -_-). But I'm in a Starbucks and the nice barista told me I might be able to get signal, and lo and behold, I can. :3

So! I'm in Niagara Falls! I arrived here about 1.30pm from Toronto, and I kind of regret not spending longer there (I was driven in, waited 15 minutes for my bus then was out again) - it looks like a great city, so it's on the list for a re-visit! Niagara Falls is as amazing as you'd expect. I went Behind the Falls yesterday, and took loads of photos; the weather was gorgeous all day, so I walked up and down the riverside and spent some time sitting in the beautiful Garden Theatre, as well as visiting an aviary. I needn't really have stayed the night, as the buses to Boston don't leave till 12.50am (...I still have 7 hours to kill, woohoo ^^;;), but at least I had somewhere to keep my case! The town itself is kind of tacky, especially after dark, and I had a bugger of a time trying to find food last night! I ended up in a dubious "Mexican" place that didn't even serve me a real Margarita - though I have to admit I had to change my order cos I didn't have enough cash for my original one. *cough* I subsequently found $50 in my suitcase, but somehow I've managed to spend most of that today. Still, this trip isn't about being cheap - it's about seeing and doing as many things as possible, and if that costs money I'm prepared to pay it.

Hence, today I walked out of town to find this butterfly conservatory - not realising it must've been, like, 4 miles away! ^^;; It was raining too, and by the time I got there I was starving, but it was very nice, and the Botanical Gardens surrounding it were absolutely gorgeous. It brightened up just as I was getting there, and I stopped to do the White Water walk alongside the rapids on the way.

So in short, Niagara Falls is a bit of a racket, but I'm very pleased I got to see it. I have also mastered making tea in a coffee maker. And the hardest thing here is crossing the road. I never thought how ingrained it is to look *right* first, then left!

Tomorrow - Boston Worcester and [livejournal.com profile] sublimeparadigm! :D I arrive at 12noon, so I *really* hope I can sleep on the bus - don't want to zomb out on you, Jackie!

Love to all! Will check flist now (and attempt to check flights from Boston to Albuquerque... though the buying of *anything* is limited to cash. *sigh* Oh well, it'll work out somehow! ^^')

[Edit] Someone please spoil me for the ending of Ouran? I watched up to 20 then just couldn't anymore, for reasons that are so idiotic I won't go into them (unless asked, of course ;). But I want to know all the details of the Tamaki/Haruhi-ness, with the rest glossed over, thanks. ^^'
diamondlife: (Bedtime z_z - ssjbento)
...I'm in Canada! I can't quite believe it! Thank you all for the wonderful well-wishes on my post this morning - I feel so loved, and I'm truly grateful for all your good vibes! ♥ My plane was delayed (ended up setting off about an hour and a half behind schedule) so I didn't get into Toronto till about 10, then there was much of the waiting and queueing and phoning and waiting again. But the trip to the hotel was pretty short and easy, and I'm using YON WIRELESS and I might tune into Radio 1 for a bit, just so I don't feel homesick. (I had a little cry in the toilets at Manchester after [livejournal.com profile] davechan and [livejournal.com profile] vanillafire and my mum had left, aren't I a puss!)

But yes. Stage one - complete! The flight was fine - the meal was small but tasty (and since then I've only eaten an apple I smuggled through Customs - well, it was in my pocket! I forgot about it!) and I got to see both The Devil Wears Prada and Click (don't pay money to see either of them, but for free they passed the time). Though, y'know, I've been so focussed on the flight, it's only just now dawning on me that there's plenty of other stuff to worry about now. Mainly involving my truly ginormous case, and the practicalities of getting it to Niagara Falls. Oh, crap. XD

But I shall worry about that tomorrow. For now, my body thinks it's 5.30am, so I'm well overdue for bed. Nighty night!
diamondlife: (One of those days - mojotmonkey)
Been attempting to book hotel room for Sunday. Wasn't quite prepared for the fact that *actually* nowhere will accept my Maestro card. International my arse!

Oh well. If all else fails, I go round till I find a room and offer them cold, hard cash. -_-

Feel free to marvel at my lack of panic in situations like this, when the mere thought of getting on the plane fills me with absolute blind terror. Heh, thanks, brain.

Also bought a shiny laptop yesterday! o.o Now got to make sure I have all the relevant cables and all that. Don't really know where to start. ^^;;

A while back I remember mentioning about going to Plug tonight, and I'd still like to - anyone up for that? They have an indie room and a 90s cheese room, so I reckon it'll be cool. :)
diamondlife: (Cakeulent - pos_praiser_01)
It's that time again... Yes, another Meat Day is upon us! Friday at our place - bring meat! And drinks! Feel free to turn up any time after 4pm (though it coincides with the beer festival, so population of 8 Clarke Street may vary at different times. I not there's a morris band on the Saturday!! I absolutely must see them!).

Thanks to everyone who's offered me advice and reassurance about America - it's been a huge help! ♥ I still have to sort out a lot of practical things, but I'm feeling much calmer about being over there. Now if only I could say the same about the flight. *sigh*
diamondlife: (Fly - stardustmajick)
Just booked my flight. It's slowly becoming more real. o.o

I'm leaving for Toronto on the 1st of October. (Yes, I am aware it's the wrong country. I'm just having a bigger adventure!) Typically, I have a number of Canadian friends, but none of them in that bit, so far as I know. Let me know if I'm wrong! ^^'

OK, so that was step one... now to figure out all those things I know nothing about, like insurance and the right documents and all that... Any help? Anyone? ^^;;

Damn, and I really want an mp3 of the Ouran ED. Such a great song. Anyone got it? *in begging mode tonight*

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