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this took me ages, so please humour me. - TEAM BEN [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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this took me ages, so please humour me. [Oct. 17th, 2005|06:09 pm]
[dancing naked to |air - talkie walkie]

so, right.. over the month of September I travelled to America with two of my friends: James and Matt. here is a semi-chronological, badly written account of our exploits-

*****HOUSTON - BEEF CITY******

we flew into Houston to stay with the first of three of James' cousins, Duncan, and his family (wife Kelly and kids Sydney and Samantha).
I don't have many pics of this leg of the trip, but it was a real nice introduction to the states - The kids were completely adorable, and Duncan and Kelly were lovely hosts. We played poker, ate BBQ and drunk Duncan's array of home brews. Life was good.

beachin - texas style - not quite as pretty as the california beaches, but the water is much warmer

baseball (astros vs. cardinals). quite a boring sport, but the atmosphere was really cool. pictured is james and sydney cheering on the astros

a swift flight over to phoenix, and we turned up on the doorstep of cousin #2 (rob)

rob (haha he'll learn not to pull that face again) and his girlfriend carmen. again, awesome hosts. they encouraged heavy drinking, and fed us with the best in mexican cuisine.

rob's house was pretty kick-ass.

.. and they gave us a truck! rahhhhh

james, matt and myself

phoenix is pretty dayam hot, so we spent much of our time sneaking into this neighbouring pool

after a hard days trespassing, there's nothing like a relaxing dip.

overall i really enjoyed phoenix - great shops, cool clubs and stunning landscape. highlight was hiring out tyres and floating down a river. was just beautiful.

anyway, once we'd had our fill of arizona, we began on our quest to the fabled city of Las Vegas

via ye grande canyone.. spectacular

rob, james, myself and mathew... DANGEROUSLY CLOSE to the canyon

i'm sorry. ALL guys are perverted.

rob making his escape


our hotel. we went on a rollercoaster at the top of the tower, but it was really lame.

drunk! here's the deal - vegas is insane - the scale and the oppulence of the hotels is crazy. however - as long as you get your round of drinks at one of the cheaper casino's ($1 a bottle anyone?) you can wander round as you please, like a king. assuming you don't mortgage your cat on the blackjack table.

we met up with some english girls, one of whom we knew from back home (sam). l-r james, forgot, forgot, rob, charlie, sam, matt.

annoyingly i had quite a bad cold while i was there, and then semi lost my voice. so by the second night, i was just kinda wandering around drugged up on cold medicine and $1 margheritas in a wide-eyed mess.

most of the girls had gone clubbing, but charlie came with us to prance around the casino's and drink through incredibly long straws

james - confused - out of pocket.. but still with a few hours of prancing left in him

eventually the bright lights were all too much and we had to retired (vegas is open 24 hours, so time kinda loses meaning)

OH - and we definately saw a UFO.

california, dude

we drove via yosemite. which perty

stunning scenery. and the best sandwiches in california. fact. didn't spot any bears unfortunately.

stayed over at a small motel, just off the highway. service was good, but the shower was broken. [sorry]

then we drove to sacremento to stay with cousin #3 (andrew) and his family (interesting fact - andrew's wife was miss new mexico nineteen-ninety-something). their kids (ages 4 and 1) were a little more screamy than duncan's, and the female dog kept humping our legs (?), but otherwise it was very nice staying with them. sacremento was pretty cool - quite small and relaxed with a leafy, colonial kinda style.

andrew took us on a brief tour of san fransisco. despite the clouds it seemed like a very cool place-

"bush man". a man who was hiding behind a makeshift bush on the street and jumping out at people passing by. was suprisingly entertaining

pretty self-explanatory

there is no caption that can sum up how perfect this pair are.


next stop was santa cruz. we went there pretty much on a whim, kinda inspired by that thrills song about the place (i've always hated that song). it was an interesting town: surf meets ghetto meets broadwalk meets indie-scene meets hobo. days were spent at the beach, and nights at the bar (this was to become the theme for much of the remainding time in the states). the first night out in Santa Cruz me and James had had a little too much to drink, and discovered the joys of pretending to walk into lamp posts and doors (which if done correctly looks very realistic). had quite a few people running over to see if we were okay after our 'accidents'.

we also met up with two english girls (kate and becky) who joined us on our adventures for the next couple of days

l-r- kate, becky, matt, me, james

we drove down (with our new passengers) to santa barbara, which lots of people had recommended as a good place to go. very pretty place. kinda OC style.

kate and a big drink

first night we paid for a huge motel room which we all stayed in, drinking whiskey and playing cards. the girls left the next day to head for LA, and we moved to the local hostel.

the next pics are actually from two nights out, but kinda mixed up as if it was one. both nights out in santa barbara were awesome.

this was at a funky little bar called sharkey's with some people we'd met from the hostel
l-r me (i apologise for looking so miserable in most of these pics. i don't seem to smile in photos despite being happy as a kitten in a clown outfit), leanne (local girl, met her in phoenix as she is friends with rob), matt, james, avril + eve (Irish), jason (NZ)

a couple of coronas later

we chatted to some of the local college girls who were really nice. the blonde girl spent a year studying at cambridge (as in the UK uni) so suddenly my english pedigree seemed about as impressive as drinking from a fish bowl.

friend of the blonde girl who'd also been at Cambridge, and happens to be Isla Fisher's identical twin.

apparently the bar was hosting an after party for some surfing movie - james nearly creamed himself when he spotted kelly slater (world #1ish surfer).

reggae party!

james' old-man dance


i don't really remember this, but i'm assumng i was about to heroically stop a train


down to Pacific Beach, San Diego to stay at the hostel pictured below

Pacific Beach was brimming with disgustingly beautiful people.

poker - i can't remember the names of anyone on the table except myself, matt and james.. needless to say they were all really nice

$5 for as much keg as you could handle. the girl on the right was Fay from Portland, who lost all of my respect after sleeping with matt. i dunno the guy on the right, but like many people in this area, he was fucking huge.

some of our fellow hostel guests - i can't remember their names, but the guy on the left was from london, really tanned guy was from philidelphia (yeah, we recited the fresh prince theme tune about a million times) and guy on the right.. i dunno, somewhere like cleveland. all really top guys.


the guy on the left was by far the biggest prick i'd met on this trip (a US marine who just seemed to be permanently angry - roidrage?). the guy on the right was okay. far left was a swedish girl, who, along with her friend (pictured below- red top) was really nice, and very funny. A* for sweden.

erm.. so then i decided it would be a good idea to join four US marines, one 6'5" Australian rugby player and another slightly confused english guy to play beach american football. we'd agreed on 'touch' rules, but straight away the guy with roid-rage was demanding "okay.. now when he gets the ball, you fucking charge at him as hard as you fucking can and take that mother fucker down.. I WANNA FUCKING SEE HIM DIE, AND YOU BETTER HAVE FUCKING SAND ON YOUR FACE OR I'M GONNA KICK YOUR FUCKING ASS".

so yeah.. for someone who was pretty crap at rugby, let alone a game whose rules seemed alien and backwards to me, it was to be an interesting experience.

welcome to flavour county

here's me after experiencing a similar move.

anyway, the game kinda declined into a testosterone fueled mess and i snuck away. in fairness one of the marines was actually a really nice guy, but the rest were retarded.

standard marine drill? hehe.

during the day james surfed, matt hung out with fay, and i kinda wandered round like a lost puppy. i get a little bit bored with too much beach. i discovered body surfing on the last day of my trip, which was really fun, so kinda shame i didn't try that sooner.


then it was off to INDIO. which, as we were pre-warned, was a land of golf, palm trees and retirement.

after lots of heavy nights in a row, it was a welcomed break - we had a really nice little apartment - a fridge full of food we'd bought at a local supermarket, and all the american tv/ poker/ lazing at the pool we could shake a golf club at. we even played some tennis.

home cooked stir-fry in our little desert retreat.


okay- once we were suitably rested we made our way to LA. to stay with Kate, a girl James knew who lived in Hollywood. We did the whole universal studios and walk of fame thang (sorry america, i wasn't actually that impressed - alton towers in stoke is better), sunset blvd, mulholland drive etc. before heading to a bar in Beverley Hills.

Kate and her friend Caroline (who happened to be from Hayes, UK - the worst place i have ever had the misfortune to live). PS- i think that was the biggest meal i'd seen on my trip.

fucking thespians. We were impressed to find out Kate had just finished a production of Othello, which also starred UNCLE PHIL FROM FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR! Caroline also had a claim to fame, but i think i've name-dropped enough.

there happened to be a mechanical bull at this bar. kate showed us how it was done. [english readers - it's mandy from hollyoaks]

my slightly less graceful attempt.

anyway.. was a very entertaining night. so, we eventually left the glitzy glam of hollywood, and did some kind of crazy trip back: LA>Indio>San Diego>Houston (in which time, james stood on a poisonous fish, we stayed in the most pornstar motel imaginable and we got drunk again).

and then we crashed back in London [sorry #2]

my follow up post will be england vs. america - who kicks more ass. watch out for that one


From: teeerisha
2005-10-18 04:50 pm (UTC)
do u mean, if i don't go to ireland, i need to come to london? because it's a deal! i'll definitely visit. i luuuuuuurve london.
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[User Picture]From: teamben
2005-10-18 05:33 pm (UTC)
i don't mind if you do ireland as well ;p
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