S: America 2011
FC: America Holiday 2011 | N.Y.C | San Francisco | L.A | Las Vegas
1: Saturday 2nd April 2011 We were all ready by 7am, when we drove to the airport and quickly checked in for our flight to New York City via Los Angeles. After saying our final goodbyes and making our way through a chaotic customs area, we knew our adventure was beginning when we heard the boarding call for flight DL16 to Los Angeles. With plenty of time to spare, we settled onto our 14 hour flight to Los Angeles, which would be followed by another 6 hour flight to New York. We were all buzzing with excitement. America, here we come!
3: Almost 16000km later, we finally arrived in NYC!! YES!!! After waiting patiently for our luggage, we were offered a taxi ride to our apartment in Manhattan. After much struggle, we eventually arrived at 560 West 43rd St - the Sky City Apartments. his would be our home for the next six days in New York. We had a great view of the city skyline and the Hudson River. Although we were tired, we couldn't wait to head out for a Saturday night in New York City. But firstly, we headed straight to the rooftop of the apartment building to get a taste of New York itself....
5: 7pm, 2nd April (Continued) Now this was a Saturday night we would never forget! We headed out into the bitter cold and made our way to the centre of Manhattan, Times Square! The lights were absolutely amazing! The atmosphere was electric! Thousands and thousands of people flooded the streets to experience the magic for themselves. We were awestruck! After a quick dinner at Sbarro's Pizza, we explored Times Square and dropped into M&M World. Everything that night was fantastic! However, our batteries gradually ran out and we slept until 11am the next morning!
7: Sunday 3rd April 2011 After awaking at 11am due to jet lag and lack of sleep, we set off to Central Park and walked through Hell's Kitchen (an area filled with cafe's and restaurants). We spend some time at the "Strawberry Fields" memorial to John Lennon in Central Park before walking to Columbus Circle. We walked down to the MET Arts Museum and catch our first yellow cab to Battery Park. Here, we catch the Staten Island ferry (which passes the Statue of Liberty). After a quick walk on Staten Island, we head back to Manhattan and walk around the Ground Zero Memorial. From here, we head to Wall Street and the US Stock Exchange. Next, we catch another yellow taxi to the Empire State Building where we head to the top level. By now it was night time and the view was spectacular!
9: Monday 4th April 2011 Today we met up with Patrick and Carol, who also happened to be in New York at the same time. We caught the hop-on-hop-off bus to the Greenwich Village and got off at SoHo, where we went shopping and enjoyed the colourful atmosphere. We later caught the bus to Grand Central Station, where we got off and walked to the famous Waldorf hotel. When we gradually made our way back to Times Square, we took a night time bus ride to Brooklyn. This two hour trip was fantastic! When we arrived back in Manhattan, we had a late dinner at the Dallas BBQ for a typical American meal. We had a fantastic day with Carol and Patrick!
10: New York City
11: Tuesday 5th April 2011 As we began walking from our apartment to Times Square, it began to pour down with rain and the weather turned bitterly cold. But we continued on and ended up at Macy's on 34th and 7th - the largest store in the world. After exploring the city sites, including Madison Square Garden, Rockefeller Centre and Bryant Park, we bought tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway that night. The show was amazing and we all loved the unique experience.
13: Wednesday 6th April 2011 Today we went back to Central Park and had a dry frozen ice cream! (Weird!) We then caught a cab to SoHo and did some more shopping. After purchasing a Tiffany Bracelet from Wall Street, we bought some souvenirs in Madison Ave, Fifth Avenue and Times Square. For our last night in New York we decided to have dinner at Don Giovanni's Italian Restaurant which was fantastic. A great way to spend our last night in NYC.
15: Thursday 7th April 2011 We caught a yellow cab this morning at 6.30am to JFK Airport to board a 6 hour flight to San Francisco. At 2.30pm we arrive in San Francisco and immediately catch a cab to the Hilton Union Square. This was a great place to stay because it is working distance to everything. After settling in to the room, we walked to Chinatown and Little Italy. Here, we had dinner at a cute restaurant called Trattoria Pinocchio which was beautiful! From here, we headed to Lombard St which is famous for being the crookedest street in the world. As we walked home, we discovered "The Cheesecake Factory" - a massive restaurant chain throughout America. We bought two small pieces - they were delicious!!
17: Friday 8th April 2011 Today we caught a cable car to Fisherman's Warf, where we boarded a ferry to Alcatraz. We did a tour of the island which was very eerie and informative at the same time. It was a little strange to walk through the cells but we all learned a lot about the criminals and the history of the jail. Later on, we had lunch in Fisherman's Wharf. We had clam chowder in sourdough bowls which was a new experience. After a few hours shopping in Union Square we had a great dinner in a great retro style diner.
19: San Francisco, California | Saturday 9th April 2011 This morning, we caught a cab to Alamo Square to see the beautiful Victorian Homes. Then, we walked to a suburb called Haight Ashbury - not knowing what to expect. When we got to the main strip we realised that it was a 'hippie' town. Despite some aspects, the street had a colourful atmosphere and there were many tourists. Later on, we caught a cab to Presidio which is a residential park area with a fantastic view of Golden Gate Bridge.
21: Sunday 10th April 2011 After breakfast this morning, we picked up our hire car to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The trip was one straight road which continued for about 630 miles. We stopped off for lunch at Denny on the way. We were surprised to discover that the sold Bacon Sundaes! Yuk! When we arrived in LA we met up with Josephine Fallah. After a quick dinner with Jo, we were extremely tired and we crashed at midnight after our daily dose of My Wife and Kids.
23: Monday 11th April 2011 This morning, we caught the shuttle bus from our hotel to Disneyland! We loved it so much that we stayed from 9am - 11.30pm! It had such an amazing atmosphere. We went on all the great rides, including the Matterhorn, Big Thunder, Space Mountain and Indiana Jones. We had dinner at a small Mexican restaurant at Downtown Disney before returning to watch the fireworks. However, they were cancelled due to technical difficulties which was disappointing. We were all very tired and we crashed out at the hotel around midnight.
25: Tuesday 12th April 2011 Today, we went to the other part of Disneyland, California Adventure Park! It was great but there was a lot of construction happening. There, we went on some fantastic rides. Later on, we returned to Disneyland for a second visit. Next, we met up with Jo to have dinner at a great Lebanese restaurant in Anaheim. After that we returned to Disneyland to watch the fireworks. They were absolutely amazing!
27: Wednesday 13th April 2011 This morning, we had a few extra hours so we went to Disneyland for the final time and went on some of our favourite rides again. Later on, Jo picked us up from our hotel and we went to the Griffith Observatory. From there, we had a fantastic view of LA and the Hollywood sign. After that, we went to Hollywood Boulevard and saw the stars on the Walk of Fame. We walked through to the Chinese Theatre - where stars and celebrities since the 30's have put their handprints and footprints and have signed their name into the concrete. We also went to the Kodak Theatre. We then drove down Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, which was followed by dinner in Beverly Hills.
29: Thursday 14th April 2011 Today, we moved from our Anaheim hotel to the Hilton Santa Monica. It was great to see the famous Santa Monica Pier! Later on, we caught a bus to Hollywood and hopped on a 'Star Homes' tour. On the tour we drove through the streets of Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Hollywood Hills. We saw about 40 homes and places of interest along the way. We got to see the homes of many celebrities including Christina Aguilera, Orlando Bloom, Tom Cruise, The Presley's, The Osbourne's and Michael Jackson. After a long bus ride back to Santa Monica, we had a quick diner before heading back to the hotel.
31: Friday 15th April 2011 Today, we went to Universal Studios, which is about 40 minutes from Santa Monica. We did a tour of the movie sets while they were filming shows such as Desperate Housewives and Parenthood. We also went on rides such as the Simpsons ride, Jurassic Park and the Mummy rollercoaster. When we returned to Santa Monica we walked on the pier and had dinner at the Promenade shopping strip.
32: Los Angeles, California
33: Saturday 16th April 2011 This morning, we met up with Jo and headed straight to Rodeo Drive. We looked at all the expensive shops there before heading to the Beverly Centre and the Grive/Farmers Market. After lunch we had a quick look at the shops, where Sarah was lucky enough to meet an Abercrombie and Fitch model. We then drove down the Pacific Cost Highway to Malibu Beach and Venice Beach. Later we had dinner at Yankee Doodle's in Santa Monica. | A&F
35: Sunday 17th April 2011 Today we drove from Santa Monica to Las Vegas but there was heaps of traffic!! We stopped out two shopping outlets along the way before arriving in Las Vegas around 7pm. We are staying in the MGM Grand for two days before moving to the Bellagio. Vegas is a fantastic place! We loved it!!
37: Monday 18th April 2011 This afternoon, we caught a monorail around the hotels of Las Vegas and went to the South Shopping Outlets. Later on, we went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum where we took photos with our favourite celebrities and athletes. After, we explored the Venetian and the Palazzo hotels. They were absolutely beautiful!
39: Tuesday 19th April 2011 Today we checked into the Bellagio Hotel and went to the North Shopping Outlets. That night, we saw a fantastic Vegas show called V Variety. The tricks and talent were amazing! We also went to the buffet at the MGM Grand. Another excellent day in Vegas!
41: Wednesday 20th April 2011 Today we headed out to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon West Rim. Hoover Dam was huge and we realised that it is the border between Nevada and Arizona. The Grand Canyon was absolutely breathtaking! The view and scenery were spectacular! When we returned to Vegas we had dinner at the Excalibur (which wasn't very good) and dessert at the Sugar Factory.
43: Thursday 21st April 2011 This morning we walked around the strip and went shopping at the Fashion Show Mall. Everyone was exhausted so after an afternoon rest, we explored the Mirage, Palazzo, Caesars Palace and Wynn Hotels. We then went to the Bellagio Buffet and received a text from Maria Fazzalaro that her family was in Las Vegas. We met up with them for a drink at Serendipity and went back to our hotel.
44: America 2011
45: Friday 22nd April 2011 Last day in the USA! Today, we drove from Las Vegas back to LA. We arrived at 2pm and dropped in to visit Jo for the last time. After lunch and some time in Long Beach, we headed to LAX Airport for a 10.30pm flight. Overall it was a brilliant holiday we will never forget!
46: New York City
47: New York City
48: San Francisco
49: Los Angeles
50: Las Vegas
51: Las Vegas