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Paradise on Earth August 8, 2006

Posted by Mick in Travelling.
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The 'Infinity' Pool

Sunrise and the Gazebo

Yes, these are my photos. I was worried a little that the brochure shots might not be accurate. I shouldn’t have worried!

This is the view out of my room…

View from the Room

It was awesome. Just some of the best 5 days I have ever had.

Mexican people are wonderful. We went for a bike ride through a small Mexican town and we were saying ‘Hola’ to everyone and they were waving and all. We visted some freshwater pools (cenotes) which were absolutely gorgeous. Deep fresh water that you could dive into from rocks or ropes. Families were down there having a picnic or just relaxing. And this was in the middle of a Mexican jungle in the Riviera. Panthers are around!

The resort was better than i could have ever hoped. “All Inclusive” has become the 2 best words in the English Language! Food was great, drinks were plentiful and the pools and facilities were top notch. There were some bad reviews for this place, but I can’t believe anyone could have a bad time there.

Click on any of those photos to check some more photos I took whilst there.

Now it’s back to real life again. I don’t want to work, I want to swim on a beach forever!

We tried to stay another night but it was going to cost too much to change the flight. Dammit!

Oh well….there’s always next time!

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How to Make Someone Jealous 101 August 2, 2006

Posted by Mick in Travelling.
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In 18 hours I will be….

…lounging by this pool.. or…

….relaxing on this pool…..or…

…sleeping under one of these tree umbrellas…or…

…looking out over the ocean from this rooftop…or…

…sitting on one of those underwater barstools whilst drinking a cocktail….or…

….swimming in this infinity pool.

Yes, for the next 5 days I will be in Cancun, Mexico at this place.

All inclusive…all you can eat…all you can drink…all you can lounge around in the sun and in the clear blue water..

So…do I pass?

See ya next Tuesday!

One more week in my 20’s… July 22, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Travelling.
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Bah!

Life doesn’t get much easier over here, but hey, at least I managed to make it back safe and sound.

Eventually.

After the plane coming in from Sydney was 2 1/2 hours late, and then we waited another 90 minutes on the tarmac, I finally made it from the East to the West of this big _____ land. (insert your own descriptor here)

4 1/2 hours later (which was fast) we landed at JFK. 2 hours later I made it out and on my way to Manhattan. Missed the last Chinatown bus by about 15 minutes ($20 bus trip to DC). Headed to the Port Authority to catch the last Greyhound to DC. At 2am, I was on my way back and 4 1/2 hours later with little or no sleep I arrived in DC and went straight to work.

It was probably Wednesday before I actually felt human again.

I have checked out a few places to live, and then met up with a cute Labradoodle today that I will be dogsitting in late August. I think I will probably hold off finding a place until after that, but it’s getting frustrating not having a place to stay.

In other news, a week out from my 30th, and THANKS to my little sister (who did a damn good job cutting my hair), I discovered white/grey hairs in my side-burns.

I was looking forward to turning 30!! ๐Ÿ˜›

What I did on my holidays…. July 15, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Travelling.
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Aaah Australia.

This is the first time that I have had a holiday back in my own country, and wow. I wanted to stay ๐Ÿ™‚

Had a fantastic time with the kids. After being there a day it felt like I had never left and they seemed to have fun with me being there. I did have doubts at one stage as to whether it would be harder for them to see me and then for me to leave again, but I am sure I did the right thing now. Seeing them during the year should break up the time a bit easier for them I hope.

So, yeah we stayed down at Lake Eucembene for a couple of nights. It snowed pretty heavily on the first night and we drove up to Mt Selwyn so the kids could have some fun on the toboggan slopes. Unfortunately the snow cover was pretty light-on, but aaah for the wonder of Snow Making machines!

Lake Eucembene appears to have become a mud bog now. It is really really low. They seem to be pumping all the water out for some reason.

Full Moon over the drying up Lake Eucembene

I knew I was in the high country when we saw cows grazing on the side of the road on the way to where we were staying. These cows just wouldn’t get off the road. I was scared to honk cause they had big arse horns…. My daughter decided to name it “Cow World”. See cows, walking down the road! Eating Grass! Getting the way of people! Almost as hot a ticket as Disneyland ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of Disneyland, I am in that territory right now as I type this.

I have just spent the day in “LA LA Land”, Los Angeles. I did a ‘Grand Tour’ of the city and it was totally worth the $58. The highlight was probably Venice Beach.

Me at Venice beach

I really really liked the feel of the place and the weather was beautiful. I wanted to get a shot of a hot girl roller-skating down the boardwalk, but only managed to find a skateboarder….

Skeg Girl at Venice Beach

Click on the image to check out some other shots from my day in LA.

I have heard a lot of bad comments about Los Angeles, but I must say that I really enjoyed the place. It is definitely different to anywhere else I have been in the states so far, and our tour guide, “Jack”, was extremely knowledgeable about the city and gave the bus load of tourists some great information. He impressed on us that the town is really run by 9 different Billionaires (7 of them producers), now that the richest person in LA, Aaron Spelling, has passed away.

Money rules this town, which is little wonder seeing as though the State of California is something like No. 4 in the list of highest GDP’s in the whole world by itself.

It’s a pity I was only here for a day, because i would love to go to Universal Studio, Hermosa Beach, Malibu, San Diego and up to Mulholland Drive. (speaking of which, I watched the movie on the plane on the way here and boy was that a weird-arse movie. Go David Lynch!)

I am running on about 4 hours sleep for the last 48 hours, so I am thinking it is time to get some shut eye. I fly across the country in the morning to NYC before bussing back to DC tomorrow evening. it’s going to be a long day!

Then back to work on Monday…..*sigh*

Juicy juicy apple… May 14, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Travelling.
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Hey! I am alive! Really I am!

Look! I’m even typing this right now, so my fingers must be here and my eyes are reading this as I type, so yeah, I’m here!

Ok, so what’s been going on and where have I been?

Life has been a bit hectic. I have now officially lived in Alexandria, Pentagon City, U Street, Dupont, Adams Morgan, Cleveland Park, Brookland. That’s 7 different addresses since I have lived here, and it’ll be 8 from next weekend. I am going ok with it. I don’t mind living in different places, but it can be hard having to transport my belongings around the place all the time.

But in between all this, I…

ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Washington DC

attended the Dawn Service on Anzac Day, and…

My First Baseball game!
went to my first ever baseball game! And….of course…

Cabs Galore

….visited the Biggest City in the World, New York, which, quite simply, kicks arse!

I will write more about my adventures soon, but just wanted to remind you all that I am here, but also remind you that you can always email me! (mickrad@gmail.com). I try and reply as quick as I can!

Day 1 – I made it. Finally! January 28, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Travelling.
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It was a long day.

The 27th of January, 2006 lasted 41 hours for me and 28 hours of that was travelling on planes and trains, sitting in terminal and bus stations, and walking around looking for transport.

The plane trip was good. I managed to get an exit door seat on the window and could stretch my right leg out, and could (thanks to a suggestion from the crew) sling my left leg on the exit door and sleep pretty well. I reckon I got about 4 – 5 hours on the plane as well as watching 40 Year Old Virgin, Four Brothers, some Vicar of Dibley, and Everybody Loves Raymond. QANTAS now has the little individual screens to watch, which was nice, but it runs on a 2 1/2 hour loop, so if you sleep and miss the start of the movie, it’s hard to catch up!

So anyway, the flight from Sydney to LA was the long haul. 12 hrs and 55 minutes to be exact, We rolled into LAX at around 7am and the fog was thick but the weather was fine. Then came the Customs and security lines. I was expecting a lot of rigmarole, but it was so smooth and easy and I didn’t even have to get fingerprinted or photographed. (thanks to the job!) I didn’t see much in the airport other than a couple of shops before boarding again and doing the 5 hours to JFK Airport, New York. I slept for half the flight, and read a little bit before landing in New York at around 5pm. I tried to see some of the city in the landing, but the window was just above the wing and I didn’t see much! (downside to the exit seat!).

So, I had arrived in New York, and remember has I was trying to decide how to get to DC from there? Well I had decided to fly, but then I went to buy the ticket online and i couldn’t becase I didn’t have an American credit card. So I thought I would just buy the ticket when I got there.

Mistake No 1! When I got the American Airlines desk, they kindly informed me that the ticket I could have bought for $130 online, was now $400. He told me that I should have pre-booked. Oops.

So, there I was in a big-arse airport trying to figure out what to do next. I went on the AirTrain around the circle a bit and then somehow i ended up on the train to Howard Station, and then left the AirTrain and went onto the New York City Subway. Holy crap. I wasn’t expecting to do that. The trains all seemed to come straight away. i hardly waited and they were always the right trains. The subway took me all way through Brookyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, past Broadway and on to Penn Station. I then bought me an Amtrak ticket for the first train to DC. $85 was a decent compromise even if it was a 3 1/2 hour trip. I bought a Chicken Salad roll, some Nacho Cheese Doritos and a ‘Classic’ Coke as my first meal in the USA. They were good, and I was damn hungry after the ordinary airline food (crap chicken and beef dishes for all!). So I read ‘The Alchemist’ on my trip to DC and went through around 5 states on the way (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland).

I arrived in DC at about midnight of the 28th of January. I dragged my 26kg bag from the Amtrak to the Metro and came across my first beggar in the US. He asked for a buck and said he’d help with my bag. Although I could have done with help with the bag, I didn’t think his puny muscles would really be much help. I gave him a couple of bucks anyway, and then got my ticket to Huntington and headed off to the platform. Getting on that final train,I had the biggest feeling of relief. Mostly glad that I didn’t have to drag my 3 heavy-arse bags any further.

My lift arrived and then we drove to the house and to the bed. I was finally here and I could finally settle into my new country for the next 11 months.

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Welcome to my America Blog that I will be using over the next year to record my life and my travels. Sometimes I will just report shit that happens to me, sometimes I will give you some of the amusing parts, or the far out parts that will blow my mind is this extravagant country.

I am looking forward to hearing from all of you as well. Let me know what is happening in your life. Send me email to mick{AT}blight{DOT}com and I will reply!

Check out the page on the right hand side as well with reports on other quirky things from my time over here