Tuesday, December 26, 2006



We've been home a good week now, needed a bit of time to re-adjust and get back on to English terms. It's frickin cold, it's frickin gloomy and everything is expensive! But it is good to be home, great to see family and great to have Christmas. Things may start to get tricky after the festivus has finished...

And there is good news. In a an act of pure insanity, on Sarah's part, I asked her to marry me after we went ice skating in New York on our final day of the trip, something she has always wanted to do and... she said 'yes'. An amazing end to an unforgettable trip. No more needs to be said...

Monday, December 18, 2006

19th December - Nearing the end

So we have come to our last full day of traveling, well we kind of stopped
traveling when we hit Adelaide, we're more on a vacation now. Anyway, back into the
city again for some Statue of Liberty action, we took the Staten Island ferry that
goes right past Ellis Island. All a touch foggy though.

After we did some more shopping, had some lunch and then hung around the Rockafella
plaza watching the ice skating. We couldn't get on the rink as it was way too busy
unfortunately. All very christmasy around there.

That evening we went back to Scarsdale to have a near perfect roast dinner expertly
cooked by Anne. We were very fortunate to be able to stay with them and we thank them
so much.

On Friday morning we went back into New York one more time, just to pick up a few
things. We also went ice skating in Bryant park, Sarah's dream to skate in New York,
and there is another good story to follow about that, but not now. Stay tuned though.
We had to get back for lunch as we had to get to JFK airport to fly home. Yep home,
the trip is soon to be over.



Thursday, December 14, 2006

13th December - More sightseeing

What is with us not being able to get up, the alarm goes off but nothing happens, I bet Friday will come around and then the flight home will mess us up for a week again.

Mid morning/day we hit the Guggenheim museum, noted for its art and for its amazing architecture. We missed the latter as it was totally covered up by scaffolding, but we got the former, Picasso, Dali, Van Gogh, Monet and whole host of other artsy people to boot. Was really good actually.

Then we tried another museum but the queue was just too big, so we went for a beer instead. This was the first time we have actually enjoyed New York city, the rest we have just been seeing it. Chelsea v Newcastle was on the TV live as well which was great to see along with Saturday's goals. How good was Matthew Taylor's goal against Everton? Heh?

Back to the seeing, went to the Rockafella plaza for a quick picture, we are going back again tomorrow. But did go to the NBC studio tour, got asked some questions about the TV channel and had no idea who the people were as we were English, then got heckled. Did volunteer to be a stand in Weathergirl though which was fun, did my bit for the rain!

Grabbed some food in a pub then headed off to Madison Square garden, which oddly isn't square at all, more oval. Sarah saw her first basketball match, the Knicks v Atlanta, and New York won by a mile. There were tones of stereotypical New Yorkers there.

On the way home we saw our first 6ft 6" black transvestite on the train, all the others have struggled around the 5ft 10" mark but this one stood out.

More of the same tomorrow.



12th December - Sightseeing day 1

Monday, this jet lag is wearing thin on the patience, it could just be laziness but we can't pin it down. Luckily got a call from Ma in the UK to wake us up at a measly 9am, then pelted it down to the train and into the city again.

This was another shopping day, a time to use up the American traveler's cheques that we had sensibly kept up until now. Sarah won today easily though we still couldn't find a suit for her and her up and coming interviews... We generally hung around Manhattan mall near Macy's and a load of sport shops too.

We got back to Scarsdale to clean up after ourselves and to wait for Anne and Frank to get back from Mexico. Unfortunately their flight was delayed, but we waited up and had a drink with them when they got in and caught up.

Tuesday saw more morning sleep worries, but made it in for 11:30 ish. This was a sight seeing day, all day. First stop was the Empire State building and the Skyride (which made Sarah feel sick the wuss). The views were great, it wasn't a cold day and you could see for a bout 15 to 20 miles.


Afterwards we headed to China town to have some lunch with Frank as he was working in the city that day. We had some fantastic Peking duck and were completely stuffed by the afternoon. Thanks to Frank for taking us there.

On a mission to walk off the lunch as we knew there was steak for dinner as well, we walked/got the subway up to Central park for a quick look around and then went to the Central Park zoo. A pretty damn good zoo for $8, and they had a massive snake as well as a polar bear.

Then just to cap off the day we stopped at Madame Tussauds as we could get in on our day pass. Saw a bunch of celebrities made of wax and Tom Green who wasn't as was filming outside. There was a cool haunted house section with live actors of Jason and Freddie Kruger, Sarah screamed like the girl she is and ran!

Making our way back to Scarsdale, we fell asleep and missed our stop, so had to get on the next train back the other way. Eventually getting back, Anne cooked us the best steak we've had on this trip and we have had a LOT of steak, this even beat the Chateau briande we had in Vegas.

Looking like footballs we went to bed.



Monday, December 11, 2006

11th December - New Yawk

The final stop in our huge journey is New York. We are lucky enough to be staying with Anne and Frank Manning, Anne is THE Godmother! Though we haven't seen them yet as they are on holiday until monday, Eva, their friend has let us in and is staying with us too.

We have been pretty busy already these past two days, both times we ventured into Manhattan. Saturday we thought we had recovered from our jetlag but the sudden wake up at 11:30 am proved us wrong, but we headed in for the rest of the day anyways, Macys had a one day sale and we needed to get information and stuff too. Strangely I found some stuff to wear but all Sarah came away with were presents despite finding the largest 'petite' section she has ever seen, oh well.

Sunday saw us get up reasonably and we launched into a day of sightseeing and shopping. Firstly we headed down the bottom of the island to see the Statue of Liberty from the shore line at Battery park, we will probably get closer another time. Then we walked up Broadway, passing Wall Street where I cupped a bulls balls.

Then we went to ground zero. After we stopped at Century 21 for some cheap shopping, again we picked up some stuff and I did better than Sarah, she's got a problem there. After we subwayed to Times square and got some food.

To finish off the night we caught an early show at the Ha! Comedy club. Finally some good comedy from the 'mercans! Oh how we chuckled and had beer. On the street, which was full of tourists and people, we saw another spiderman but we weren't sure it was the real one as this one was tubby and had a polaroid camera with him, sell out. Sarah didn't even bother telling this one she hated him...

More of the same to come, laters.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

8th December - Deja LA vu

We left Australia and after 14 hours of being trapped on a plane we landed in LA for our second visit. We both managed 4 and a 1/2 films each.

We went to the Travelodge at LAX, slept and left early at 4am.

It was nice.



7th December - Laters Australia!

Tuesday we got up early and headed down to the beach, Glenelg. The beach was really cool, the water was as still as anything like a lake. That made it quite eerie, we didn't go in the water as a 5m white pointer shark ate some surfers leg the day before. As luck would have it it actually turned up at the next beach along, Brighton beach, that morning too, we found out on the news that night.

Then about lunch time we went back to Carolyn's place to watch the end of the cricket, it was a freaking hot day and we needed the fan and cold beers, 36 degrees. We then watched the most dismal display of batting and a poor attempt of a comeback from England, the Aussies won and they rubbed our noses in it.

That evening we took Carolyn out for a meal to say thank you for having us. She was wonderful and very good to us. We stayed far longer than anywhere else on the trip and she was fantastic, thank you so much!

Wednesday was just spent packing and posting some stuff back home, an early night for the early flight tomorrow. We stopped around Reuben and Linda's place again to say goodbye and to have some pizza and some wine. Thank you to those two and we hope their vegas style christmas tree lights on the house win them the neighbourhood prize.

We say goodbye to Oz tomorrow, it's been awesome, hot and sunny, there has been surf and cold beer. A quality experience we will never forget.



P.S. All the best to Geordie Andy and Geordie Kate for their wedding day on the 9th, we hope all goes well and we are sorry we can't be there, good luck.

4th December - The Ashes 2

Saturday saw us go into Adelaide itself to have a look around and to get some culture. So after finding a truly English pub, we sat down for a pint of Stella each and some pub food whilst watching the cricket. Not a bad days worth of doing nothing much at all, oh and we picked up some more Ashes tickets for monday.

In the evening Carolyn and the two of us went around to Reuben and Linda's new house. Reuben is Carolyn's son and their new house is huge, massive in fact. They have two sons who are pretty cool, Kaleb 5 and little Asher who is just 1. We had a great time, with a shed load of whiskey, wine and beer along with some card games as well. Suffice to say the English cleaned house with those!

Sunday saw some sore heads, and none sorer than mine. I also ran a bit of a fever and didn't get up till 4pm, so I can't report much on the day but apparently there was a fantastic roast dinner and nice wine, cooked by our lovely host.

Monday, we went to the Ashes again. We didn't get as good seats this time but we weren't complaining. We were right down the front by the fence behind mid-on or thirdman. There wasn't any shade which made it a bit difficult seeing as it was 33 degrees. Sarah melted next to me.

The day was awesome again, and we left England in a great position.



Saturday, December 02, 2006

1st December - From out of the Ashes

We did it! The tickets weren't fake, we weren't conned and we made it in! We got up early and went to the Adelaide Oval earlish after a bit of hassle with the buses but we made it in.

The seats were fantastic, in the shade for the first half of the day and just past the midday sun. We were on the East side on either the midwicket or point area for right handers. We got a few freebies here and there for the match but they had 'Aussie' written all over them so we shall just give them away I feel.

We watched a slow start to the day with Strauss and Cook getting a slow but steady start to the day, both not getting too many but a solid start. Then was a touch boring as Bell and Collingwood both got slow 50s each, a great turn around and a solid partnership for England, not much to watch for us though. But as with Sarah's jinxing wishes she got to see Pietersen bat. He caught up to Collingwood pretty well and we got to see him smash Warney over his head for 6.

A totally unexpected day, but one of the greatest! Many thanks to those guys who sold us the tickets at face value too!

We finished the day with Pietersen on 60 and Collingwood on 98 not out. Fun for tomorrow as well.

Straight to sleep for us, with another amazing thing ticked off of the to-do list.



P.S. One for the cricket boys at work

30th November - WineO's

We haven't had a truly amazing day for a while now, understandably our standards on such days have risen since the start of our trip, but some days are just better than others, fact, true story, believe.

The day was set up to be good from the moment we booked the tour really, a Supreme Wine tour to the Barossa Valley, South Australia. No less than 5 wineries to visit in one day. When we got on the bus we were a touch under the average age and the last on as well, but on we got. A mixture of 4 Tasmanian ladies and the rest all English and going to the cricket. The tour guide was Kevin who had a slow but increasingly steady charisma about him plus a mixture of Gregg Chappel and Richie Benaud over the microphone.

The first place we visited was the best known by far, Wolf Blass. We had a good steady start to the day and picked up a bottle of their 12 year old tawny port as it was pretty special, especially at that price too. In England it wouldn't get close to that figure.
We also visited Maggie Beers winery, famous for her cooking more than her wine, but we got some more tasting in. The wines were disappointing but the food bits she offered were spectacular. We picked up some duck and sherry pate after disecting quite a few of them.

Then was the Barossa valley estate winery, a mixture of many different smaller growers in the valley coming together to sell under one name. We had a fantastic lunch with some smoked meats, nice cheeses (a rarity in Oz), olives and salads, pretty fancy indeed. The wine was pretty good too, though I put my foot in it a bit when one of the other tasters who turned out to annoy the rest of the bus commandeered the girl behind the desk pouring the wines for 15 out of our 25 minutes tasting, when he asked if he could go see the barrels of wine, she said no, and I asked if she was 'bloody sure he couldn't go', as I was getting pretty thirsty at that stage. A few laughs went around.

There was quite a few blokes come over from the UK to see the Ashes and we got talking with some with a rival blog, the Careful Demolition squad or krew as they like to call themselves, all ex boyband members now retiring from their pop/rap careers - here is their site - http://www.carefuldemolition.blogspot.com/ . A good bunch of lads who liked their wine, I hope the tour goes well for them!

Then we went to an old winery where the vines were 160 years old, Langmeil winery. Again a lot of nice reds and we picked one up for Sunday lunch coming up.

The last place was Chateau Tanunda, a super fancy place with a shed load of Rolls Royces out the front and helicopters coming and going. The reason being was that they had an old Australian V an old England team out the back on their own cricket pitch. Names like Gatting, Smith R, Smith C, Small G, DeFreitas and Randall for England and Border, Healey, Alderman and others for Australia.

We have also learned that having a decanter for your wine makes a huge difference in the taste of red wines, so we've put one on our christmas list. We didn't taste much of the wine here unfortunately, more drunk it and kept asking for more and more, luckily they obliged us. And with slurred words all went home happy and warm.

The best part of the day however, as we got talking to two English guys from Staines back home, apparently they had two spare tickets to the first day of the Ashes, and not wanting to be rude or for that matter blatantly stupid, we bought them off of them.

We went to sleep a little drunk and totally excited, tomorrow could be a great day.