AmericaTravelUSAWriting

USA Trip Update no. 2!

Hiya folks!

It’s time for another USA Trip Update!

First up, I’ll admit I’m playing catch-up here. This trip has been so much more awesome, and so much more demanding, than I could have imagined. I’ve been hiding from Facebook lately, as even without posting anything I find myself drowning in over 200 notifications per day. I know what you’re saying! Somewhere there is a tiny violin playing just for me…

In all seriousness though, the mountain of emails and messages I put off daily is keeping me from my real job – which is putting off writing blog posts! So in an abrupt turnaround, I’ve taken a day off to do all of the above.

(Incidentally, Roo is also taking this day off. Only she gets to spend hers sunbathing by the pool!).

To make you all feel better, I will be drinking THIS intriguing concoction:

Cheap Booze

So don’t feel TOO sorry for me. And apologies in advance if this blog gets a bit weird by the end…

Anyway, to get you all up to speed with our adventures so far, here is a potted pictorial history of our USA trip to date:

Before we left, we had one absolutely vital task to complete – yes, you’ve guessed it! Like any seasoned traveller, I made damn sure my wife was completely rainbowed-up. This particular dye job took 5 hours to accomplish, and has received on average three to five compliments per day from random strangers. This is working wonders on Roo’s natural shyness…

Roo Hair Dye

Our first stop was in downtown LA. Actually our first stop was in the airport, where the cash machine refused to spit out the money it said it had given us… What IS IT with me and cash machines, anyway?

Downtown was a trip. Homeless dudes pushing shopping trolleys down the middle of the road, street bands drumming up a storm, homemade art markets on the sidewalk, and more people walking around at 11pm than I’d see in Perth on Saturday at lunchtime! We also got to visit an AMAZING book shop, called (ironically) the Last Bookstore. As the publishing industry falls to its knees, this could never have been more appropriate. But the shop itself was incredible, with sculptures made of books (like a tunnel, windows, and the counter itself) – and displays like the ‘Horror Vault’ and the shelves themselves, which were arranged into a labyrinth! 

Last Bookstore

Our first visits with readers Eliza and Sue saw us sneaking under the Santa Monica pier… (no-one obeys those warning signs, right?)

Under Santa Monica Pier

…and exploring the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Sadly we weren’t there when someone built a tiny wall around Donald Trump’s star, but we did find this conveniently empty one…

Tonys Star

I knew we’d be a bit stressed at the prospect of the tour stretching out in front of us, so I squeezed in a couple of days off over our 5th wedding anniversary. Naturally, we chose to spend them in VEGAS, baby, YEAH!

Our hotel/casino overlooked the famous Freemont Street Experience – well, actually our room overlooked an alley full of skip bins and what looked suspiciously like the Thunder Dome from Mad Max…

Alley View

The dome turned out to be a multi-million-dollar canopy which projects sound and light shows all night – I even had a go at zip-lining underneath it all, as a birthday pressie from Roo’s family (thanks guys!)

Fremont Canopy
This is what the canopy looks like! I sailed under it in the ‘Superman’ position, which was (according to Roo) “bastard impossible to catch a photo of!”

We spent three days in Vegas, and we didn’t gamble a dime. The inside of the casinos, though awash with lights and abuzz with a bewildering array of people and machines, still seemed kind of sad. Almost no-one in them looked happy – some wired with adrenaline and booze, some driven, some suspicious… I understand the mechanism of addiction by which gambling works, but I couldn’t figure out what made them all want to do it in the first place. It certainly wasn’t glamorous, despite the fact that all the croupiers were sexy chicks in their bras and panties… It probably says something about our budget that we ended up in the only hotel staffed entirely by strippers.

Casino Girls

We explored the famous Las Vegas Strip quite thoroughly. It hadn’t occurred to us just how far it was between the big casinos, and we ended up walking for five hours straight. We still only saw half of it, so had to come back the following night to check out the crazy castle and the fake Statue of Liberty…

Vegas Landmarks

And I’ll leave it there for now! My biggest fear (apart from going bald) is boring you nice folks with too much waffle. So next time I promise there’ll be thrills and spills… well, I’ve been drinking a lot of milkshakes, so there’s bound to be at least one of the two  🙂 

Until next time!

Tony

18 thoughts on “USA Trip Update no. 2!

  1. Hi Tony and Roo! This is sooo great to follow you on your journey!! This is something I’ve always wanted to do – don’t know why I didn’t just “do it!” – but here I am at 66 leaving vicariously through you. Presently I’m trying to get the $ and courage to get to Europe. You encourage me to do it!

    1. Yay! And you CAN do it – it’s not easy, and it’s certainly quite scary, but it IS safe, and fun, and will leave you thirsting for more! If travel was too easy, everyone would do it and the rewards wouldn’t be so great. As it is… well, I think it’s the best thing a person can do! It certainly feels like a challenge when you’re just starting out… GOOD LUCK! 😉

  2. great to see you in USA Roos hair is totally awesome my daughters is blue hope you are having a great time ,loved your last book i tried to make it last but it didn’t so im waiting patiently for the next one safe and fun travels to you both peg

  3. I’ll be in Vegas for a few days, late September, and am not psyched re: the sad gamblers and glitz. We’re traveling through en route “home” to Seattle after a week soaking in the beauty of Southern Utah’s National Parks. So, tying to be a good sport, I took the assignment of entertainment and got us tickets for Penn and Teller (magicians) and a Cirque de Soleil. If I weren’t a passenger with friends, I would fly home. I understand our hotel has a Jacuzzi, though. Yay!

  4. I am mad at you, Tony! I absolutely hate going to L.A., but now, because of your fabulous description of The Last Bookstore, I must go again and check out the store before I move next spring. Aaargh! Also, your trip seems to be going entirely too well. How are you ever going to find enough material to write a book? Sorry to say, but I hope something catastrophic happens to you and Roo soon (as long as no one is permanently injured). I am looking forward to more updates and really do hope the rest of your trip is a fantastic as the beginning. With love, Lily & Kelly

  5. Tony and Roo,
    So good to read your updates on your trip to our vast country. I know what you mean about Vegas being so big! Did you see the dancing water at the Bellagio? We also found the tram helpful to get around. Look forward to hearing more about your trip soon.

    1. We LOVED the Bellagio fountains! Roo was obsessed with seeing them… took two gos though, as the first time we walked towards them for 2 hours, and arrived just after the last show had finished… only us! 😉

  6. So glad to hear from u and Roo. I agree that Lost Wages is sad. Just go to the shows and pity the gamblers! You must work your way south.

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