Viva Las Vegas

We hit the road at around 9, we had rented a Chevy for a true American road trip although this had as much go in it as a Lady Shaver. It would take us about 12 hours to get to Vegas with of course some stopping time and shopping breaks for Tenbellies. The night before i had gone over the trip with Thud to ensure i knew exactly where i was going, it was a pretty simple route just head south but i didn't want to make a wrong turn and find myself in some sort of Deliverance situation.

Vegas for me was like a huge Blackpool with a lot more money spent on it, it would still have the Chevy fat woman and the horrible old men as well as the hen parties and stag parties that these kind of places attract. However it all so makes you feel extremely excited and hides all the undesirable people with the bright lights and the huge elaborate hotels and casinos. The main part of the drive was pretty boring and was about getting as far as we could as fast as the little Chevy could take us, but as we got to the Mojave Desert the scenery changed and you get that real feeling just how small you really are. Swamped by mountains and desert that unlike Vegas uses natural sunlight and the earth to give off some the most amazing colours and sights you will ever experience. Driving on these American roads are at time scary but mostly pleasurable as you very rarely see road signs or abusive drivers, the traffic keeps moving and you have no doubt that you will actually get there in a reasonable time.

We had both wanted to drive into Vegas at night but we had made such good time that we had used up all our time wasting ideas therefore we arrive at sunset, it was still a sight that you can only take in your self to truly believe what you see (if you get what i mean). Over the 3 days that Tenbellies and i were there we walked the strip several times visiting all the main casino and if there is one thing i have learned it is sunburn and a desert climate does not mix well. There were times of pure pain but i held it in as any man would only crying when alone.

We visited the Hover Dam a short road trip out of Vegas, the Dam is in the middle of the desert where it is much hotter than Vegas. The shear size of the Hover dam is not justified by any picture or film and in the same way as Vegas seeing this engineering marvel with your own eyes is the way to do it. To understand what these men went through in building the dam is near impossible, the change in climate from cold to hot and the time in which they built the dam is unbelievable. It was a breath taking sight and something ill boast about seeing for a very long time.

All Tenbellies had wanted to do other than shop since getting to Vegas was to see the Bellagio fountains and we had saved this for the very last night in Vegas. call me a romantic but we thought it would be a fitting way to finish the trip. We dressed up and had a fancy meal in restaurant that revolves giving you the perfect view of the Vegas lights at night. We then headed down to the fountains to get our place for the show. Las Vegas does a good job at exactly way it is designed to do, it gives the feeling that you are special, helps you forget about the world around you and creates great memories (it also takes your money). We left Las Vegas with some great memories and with change in our pockets.

Baking at the Beach

The day before our (Tenbellies and I) trip to Las Vegas Thud thought it to be a great idea to go the beach, time for princess OTW to try out her new wet suit and monkey to dip his toes into the Pacific. The Journey to the beach would take us over the Richmond Bridge and through the mountains to Stinson Beach. Coincidentally, Stinson Beach came into its own in the 1906 when refugee's from San Francisco settled after the big earthquake. Now the beach is very popular with people visiting from far and wide to see the views of the pacific (on a good day when the fog is out) and the high hills behind. The beach is popular with Surfers although there are large sightings of Great White Sharks in the Bay with the last attack being in 2002 by a 12 - 15 foot shark the area has become a red Triangle area, with this in mind Monkey dipped his toes and that was about it!! Thud who is a little larger than me jumped in, Good luck there.

Joining us on our day out was Thuds mother and Vinogirl along with the Vinodogs. when we all arrived it seemed a little cold and the fog was very low over the beach, Tenbellies had hugged the car bonnet as in her words it was freezing i thought otherwise stripping down to ones shorts took the vinodogs onto the beach while thud brought Princess OTW along with the bucket and spade, these two English men were about to build a true English sand castle.

The beach now surrounded by moderate sized beach houses was unusual as the the fog covered the beach and yet it was so warm. We set up camp and little OTW got well stuck into the sand and beach activities. Later we took a walk down the beach and this was later found to not have been such a good idea for monkey. Although the view was amazing and the different beach house designs interesting, monkey had not applied the sun block because in his infinite wisdom thought the sun was out and therefore he will not burn. Big mistake, BIG. Monkey got toasted, legs, back, arms, shoulders and face. It was later revealed that the only place other than the shorts area not be toasted was the eyes. Yes i looked like a panda!!

This was going to make our trip to Vegas that much more interesting as we walked through the desert temperatures at the weekend.

San Francisco

I have become lazy in my post of late only because i have been enjoying my time here in the US of A. I have done so much and only in checking the news in a glance and writing my last post i have all but forgotten about rainy grey Britain.

So what first? well it has to be San Francisco and what a city, we went to the city on Tuesday for the day. Tenbellies, Thud, Mrs OTW and Princess OTW all came along as we took the Bart into the heart of SF. It was quite a contrast between where we were staying and the busy city, so many people and moving so fast it gave a rush to the system. The tall buildings and the decor all new for a city that was founded in 1776, but as common knowledge knows the 1906 earthquake devastated the city practically flooring every building, well except this building in the picture. This was a house overlooking the bay at the top of one of the many hills we walked that day. Now anyone who said Americans build shitty wooden house that would fall at a farts breath were very wrong. The building which is now used as a union building(i think) held its ground through the fires and the earthquake, such a magnificent building is a credit to it Architect and the city.

Our walk took us through a busy China town and up the hills to get the view of the bay. The weather was nice that day and the fog was only very little. As i stood at the top of the hill looking down into the city i thought about films like Bullitt and Dirty Harry, the city is such a cool place. I had wanted to see the hills of San Francisco and all its amazing sights for so long and it really did live up to my expectations. we only got to see a small amount of this great city that day but walked for miles. We will be going back in a week to see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge that will surely end my visit to such a colourful city only to return in the future.

Brits Abroad

I'm on holiday as you may know in California, its so relaxing and peaceful and the people here love to talk when they hear your British. Just this morning while sat out having a coffee and a breakfast muffin the waitress asked where i was from and we got chatting. So Very polite everyone I have met so far. I just wish i didn't have to read about my own shameful nation and how they act on holidays.

I read this today, over 2000 Britons this year have been arrested in Spain while on holiday, that 500 more than here in the US!! the British use to be known for their manners and behaviour and now we seem to be more known for the binge drinking slobbish foul mouth antics of a very displaced generation. When did it became cool to be the known as this? I decided along time ago that I would not participate in lads holidays, not because I'm a bore but mostly because every where looks the same when your pissed and for all its worth the people who go on these type of holidays can be found on our home soil in Blackpool, Classy. You may call me a Snob, I don't care. I think its more to do with self respect.

America needs decent Bacon and Sausage

This is my 100 post and im pleased to be posting from sunny California instead of rainy cold England. We arrived Wednesday in the evening after travelling for around 18 hours, we stopped off in Philadelphia where we had our first experience of the US. Standing in a queue for immigration you get the real sense that America really do give a shit who comes into their country as we were scanned and questioned in their own time, a process that was not rushed in any way and although we stood their for half an hour as we waited we didn't feel annoyed but rather disappointed that this kind of care and attention is not taken in our own country as our own gates are held open to all kinds.

The picture above is the fog that was hitting the Bay area from the coast like a huge wave, to see it is a sight in itself as it looks like it floods over San Francisco covering the skyline and the tops of sky scrappers and The Golden Gate Bridge. The cool chill from the coast soon changed when we got over the hills to Family OTW, where for the first time in 18 hours we sat and nothing around us was moving. Steaks were waiting on the table and root beer in the fridge as our bodies told us it was 4 in the morning it was weird scoffing down a medium rare steak (America has good steak, im impressed well done Thud). I like America already.

Yesterday we had morning coffee in the town we had driven through last night, lit up with loads of restaurants and shops it looked like something out of the movies but then everything i see at the minute looks like the movies something you get when you grow up watching American made Films and TV shows everything seems like your looking at it on screen. We sat in Starbucks and the town seemed quite as you realise that its a working week and that people are at work, why should there be people out and about? something very different compare to back home. The town is so clean and tidy, a sense of pride in where people live and this continues into the suburbs, the heat starts to creep as the cool morning disappears and we hit Denny's Dinner for breakfast/lunch, Brunch. America needs decent bacon and sausage that is the only negative but something i will get use too, eating in a Dinner where people and staff around us a so polite and actually talk to each other without an ulterior motive was very pleasant.

We spent the remainder of the day near the pool as the sun was out, yes the sun!! something that we don't get anymore at this time of year in England. The atmosphere and life seems very relaxed and even though its been a couple of days it feels just very different from a normal day at home. Im not going to sit and write ignorance to the fact that there are areas here that we would not go and are just as worse as places back home its just that as Thud said earlier its brighter, its light and with that it seems to make people happier and peaceful and i like that. So we have loads more to do this week and meeting Vinogirl yesterday we will be visiting Napa at the weekend to sample some of the local produce and to check out a possible new palace for princess OTW and family.
Well iv rambled on enough for now and ill be damned if im sitting in for to long when the weather is so god damn fantastic. Happy 100th Post "I Love Juice", and thank you to all of you guys reading and visiting my rambles keep it up and ill try to do my part.


Iv just finished packing and sat down to write this post as tomorrow I'm on my hols, hurray!! Yep Monkey and Tenbellies are going State side for a few weeks, we have been looking forward to this for some time and we will be staying with Thud and family OTW.

Thud has been telling me for the past year or so how good life is in the US compared to some of the experiences here in cloudy, rainy England. So our first stop will be Philadelphia where we change for San Francisco. We will be visiting SF and the wine district to meet Vinogirl among other places, then Tenbellies and I will take a drive down to Las Vegas for a few days visiting the dam and Grand Canyon. Maybe see an Elvis wedding or two, then back to meet up with Thud and family OTW again.

I shall keep posting while I'm away just to ramble on about what we are doing and where we are, you know the usual. So Thud get them steaks ready and ill see you in 24 hours.

Capital Punishment

The week has seen some of the most horrific murders in some time, the honeymoon couple attacked in Antigua leaving the Bride and Groom dead and just the other a day a British girl found chopped up in a suitcase by her Brazilian boyfriend. Then we have another victim if knife crime when a young woman was stabbed in Battersea on Thursday evening.

We live in a scary world with many deranged people who ether have more than a screw loose or are a result of a very messed up society. These as any crime should be treated in the same way and result in some kind of justice for those victims or their families. But what is justice for such crimes as above?

The UK abolished capital punishment in 1998 although the last execution was in 1963 for murder, many European countries followed suit as such and now there are only The United States, Guatemala, Caribbean and the majority of Asia and Africa still enforce the Death Penalty. Now it seems to me that the rise in violent crimes in the UK most commonly the Knife crime where we see young people carrying and using knives without remorse, surely we need to rethink our justice system as the threat of jail time has no effect on our young society.

The Brazilian man who chopped up his British girlfriend is said to be getting 36 years for what he did, does that seem right to you? The British government have said they will help Antigua in catching the Killer/s of the Honeymoon couple but only as long as they do not execute them when caught, Does this seem right?

Life is the most precious thing a person has and if this is taken away unlawfully then in turn should those responsible have theirs taken away?

Guilty Guilty Guilty

How hard could this be and how much more evidence would need apart from them actually telling you that they were there. These three scumbag muzzers are accused of conspiring with the four bombers and others to cause explosions in 2004 and 2005.

But no its hard for the jury who cannot decide and therefore it will be dragged out for yet another year until the victims of the 7/7 bombing get some kind of justice. God forbid the get it wrong like the so called shooting of Jean Charle de Menezes, which just so you know my view, if men with guns shouts "stop police" then you stop otherwise they may think the backpack your running onto a train with is a bomb. Idiot.