Day Twenty Five – The End
24th September, 2012
We woke up this morning and left our hotel at 9am to head to the shops for one last shopping trip. We returned to check out of our hotel at 12pm but had to wait until 3:00pm for the shuttle to pick us up to take us to the airport for our 6:50pm flight. To fill in time we went for a walk down to Pier 39 and had lunch at a restaurant called Wipeout Bar & Grill and then returned to the hotel lobby to wait. Not looking forward to the long flight home but we are looking forward to seeing our family and friends and the animals of course.
We have had a great holiday and seen so many great places which we will try to summarise below…
Our highlight was definitely New York. We crammed a lot into that first week but we enjoyed every moment and would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been. We would love to go back sometime down the track. Every night offers a different experience, be it a show, festival or new place to eat. You could live there your whole life and still not tick off everything on the list that the city has to offer. It’s funny because many streets are dirty and gritty, yet beautiful at the same time. The contrast of the serene nature found in Central Park, to the loud, bustling city that surrounds it is the perfect meeting of 2 worlds.
Washington offered us the chance to delve into some of Americas historical and political side and was a jam packed day for us. We don’t feel the need to go back, but we would definitely not have left it off this trip as we saw many landmark sites, monuments and postcard scenery.
New Orleans was also quite interesting and an enjoyable city which was a little different to the others. Whilst Bourbon Street was definitely sleazy, it was pretty damn fun and an interesting night to say the least. Being out in the Louisiana Swamps and face to face with alligators in the wild is something that we do not get the chance to experience every day and was a highlight for sure. The whole vibe around Jackson Square was also fun to take in for an afternoon. Would have loved to have hung out in Frenchman Street for a night, but we ran out of time.
San Diego was our first taste of the California Coast and we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere here. Petco Park and the Gaslamp Quarter was great and our day trip to La Jolla was a highlight. Some stunning scenery there! We also enjoyed our drive up the coast to Santa Monica and LA. Santa Monica mixes some very interesting people with a great sunset backdrop and makes for a bit of a carnival atmosphere. We probably enjoyed Santa Monica more than LA which goes against what most people had told us before we left. We are glad that we got to experience LA, but also don’t really feel the need to go back anytime soon. It certainly has it’s attractions (the live music scene being a big one), but we felt it to be a little fake and touristy. At least in the areas that we visited anyway. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that the areas we visited were the tourist hang outs, although we did a lot of tourist activities in other cities and never felt them to be fake like we did with LA.
Vegas was very cool and a good change of pace to what was a very busy trip up to that point. It was very relaxing to laze by the pool during the day, and get amongst what the city had to offer when the sun went down. Rinse and repeat, and the pool helped cure the hangover of the night before. A perfect cycle!
San Fran was nice and has a lot of big ticket items like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. The area where we stayed at Fisherman’s Wharf is cool, but after the initial novelty of the wharfs attractions wears off, the street merchants, fishy smell, and seagull shit becomes quite noticeable. That is not to say that we didn’t enjoy our time there, because we did. Can cross it off the list of places to visit now and biking across the bridge was a highlight of the trip (not sure what Mushroom Head thinks about that).
All in all, this was the trip of a lifetime and one we will surely never forget. Next stop, Sydney. See you soon! Yeah bitch…. Magnets!
Paul and Bron