A Travellerspoint blog

DisneyLand

3 Cheers for Walt..

sunny 25 °C

After lots of American activity..fast food, surfing, drinking, partying and general "chillin" with da homies we decided to call on our inner child..this was far easier for Will...it was time to go to DisneyLand...wooohoooo!!!!

Today was the day all our childhood fantasies would come true..as we waited in line with 2 million other families (it was school holidays..perfect timing) "it's a small world after all" filled the air...butterflies slowly developed in our stomaches and a flood of images came rushing to mind..Mickey & Mini greeting us at the gate, Daffy & Donald Duck playing games, Cinderella wearing her pretty dress, Snow White being followed by her 7 Dwarfs , Winnie the Pooh being chased by Tiger...oh we ran through the entry gate practically hyperventilating. As i stood in awe taking in the site Will impatiently tugged on my top claiming he saw Goofy and for me to hurry up otherwise we will miss him and "gosh Sam don't you know he is my favourite"...this would come to be a common pattern with Will and I, me walking aimlessly drinking in the atmosphere, Will constantly telling me to hurry up whilst twisting his body like a 5 year old does when he needs to go to the toilet..you know the pose.

DisneyLand contains 7 lands - AdventureLand, New Orleans Square, Critter Country, FrontierLand, MIckey's Toontown, FantasyLand and TomorrowLand. Already on sensory overload we decided to work the map clockwise entering our very first land and ride - The Jungle Safari in AdventureLand.

Our very first ride, we will probably remember this ride forever, how exciting, so exciting we didn't actually realise parents with babies and 90 years were also lining up thus suggesting this ride probably isnt as adventurous as first thought. All in all it was still fun, we had a hypo pubescent teenager as our Safari guide (picture Screech from Saved by the Bell and add acne) who took us around in a boat pointing out all the Jungle Wildlife (which was fake) and cracking joke after joke including my favourite:

Tour guide: "So is anyone from out of town"..(pointing at us).."how about you?"
Sam: "We are from Australia"
Tour guide: "Sorry"
Sam: Slightly raised voice so the group can hear and emphasising our ockar accent.."Austrayyaaa!"
Tour guide: "No i heard you im just sorry.." Hahahahaha

He was sorry when i pushed in out of the boat and confiscated his red cordial from him. That will teach him to make fun of Australians...moving along.

Although it was extremely busy, some rides such as Splash Mountain had a 70 minute wait, we still managed to go on all our favourites, these included:

Splash Mountain: iconic, log in water, gist of ride is you get spashed
Space Mountain: a rollercoaster but you are in the dark like space, really fun and weird sensation
Mad Hatter: Iconic teacup ride, you can actually spin really fast making you want to "barf"
Pirates of the Carribean: So life like i nearly jumped the plastic model of Johnny Depp
Indiana Jones: Got to the front of the line after waiting 50 minutes and the ride broke down..
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: An unassumingly fun rollercoaster
Matterhorn Bobsled: fast line, quite old but fun
ToonTown: Visited Mickey and all his friends. Got lots of pictures..and you know what just because you are 4 yrs old wearing a pretty pink cinderella dress including silver jiffies, wand & cute hair doesnt mean your getting in front of me, there is a line and there a rules, get behind me.

Every nook and cranny is decorated amazingly. There isn't a single shop or sign that hasn't been designed to perfection. It is like you are in another land..called Disney..hrmmm..not to mention the burgers and Mickey Mouse icecream...everything about the place is fantastic, what a day!!!

Posted by willandsam 23:08 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Costa Mesa

The best place ever

sunny 26 °C

After seeing American gluttony first hand in Texas, we were glad to touch down in Los Angeles... After we fought our way through the world thickest layer of smog we were there... Sam saw the Hollywood sign in the distance and almost exploded with excitement, so after several air stewards calmed her down enough we were all allowed off the plane.

This was to be the first time we had anyone to meet us at the airport, so we were quite excited. We were due to stay with some of Sams distant rellies for a week or so, and were definitely looking forward to a clean room and something to eat other than Tacos. The only problem though was we had no idea what they looked like, and all they had was an old photo of us... Turns out there are quite a few people in LAX, so after wandering about for a while we were spotted.. Chuck and Helen met us and off we went in Chucks Cadillac, revelling in how American it all was..

We headed south away from the smog to Costa Mesa, where they lived.. We though it would be a separate town, but with California having almost twice the population of Australia, there isnt a spare piece of land anywhere.. and with good reason... the place is Beautiful.

We arrived in Costa Mesa after our first experience of LA fast food - In n' out Burger. $1.69 for the most ridiculous burger ever... I was falling in love with this place.. Even Sam managed to down a burger and chips... havent seen that for a while...

While Sam resisted the urge to compulsively exercise for the next 5 hours to burn off the burger, we set about exploring the place.. Costa Mesa is next door to Newport Beach, and just up the road from Laguna Beach, set of that terrible reality show.. Sam was loving it! We slept off the flight (we were up at 2am in Mexico City) and then it was time to meet the family... Whatever anyone says about Americans, in our experience they are the most friendly and accomodating people around.... The whole extended family proceeded to take us everywhere, look after us and generally go out of their way to make sure we had the best time..

DAY 1

We got up, finally back to normal, and were told we were heading to Huntington beach for a surf... busting out the longboards, Chucks son Steve and his son picked us up and off we went... the water was freezing but the swell was good, and there were dolphins everywhere... Sam spent the time practically running up and down the beach - i swear i could hear her saying over and over 'No more fast food.. no more fast food....'

We followed that up with a beer at Hurricanes, this typical American bar... The beers are 650ml. They look like buckets, and the Yanks drink them like middies.... After three of them we were struggling, and then were told that some of the rest of the family (i think their family is bigger than the Mafia family) were having a party that night, for one of the grandsons who had returned from the Marines... so off we went, already several drinks in... It was at this point we were introduced to a true American college student house party... And it turns out, we are really really bad at Beer Pong.

You'd think after a lifetime of netball, Sam would be able to throw a pingpong ball into a beer cup, but no. We were then subjected to yet more drinking, as the night spiralled into madness.. We woke up in someone elses bed, thankful to have survived and nursing a hangover made purely of cheap american beer. Excellent.... and so ended the first day in America..

Posted by willandsam 12:02 Archived in USA Tagged lodging Comments (1)

California

Back to civilisation...

sunny 26 °C

After a couple more days in Mexico City, it was time to enter the Land Of The Free... We got up at a very civilised 2am to get to Mexico City Airport for our flight to Dallas/Fort Worth, where we had a stopover before heading to LA. We incredibly had no mishaps trying to check in, bar the wierd feeling of buying duty free vodka at 3:30 in the morning.. The flight was boring as usual, American Airlines charge you to even look at the food so we decided to wait until Dallas to eat... We arrived and had to check our bags through to LA, so we picked them up off the carousel and went through to the check in area.. Well, one of us did. To get out of the baggage place in the US you have to be thoroughly interrogated by several angry homeland security idiots.. I went first, and was subjected to a series of probing questions, including 'How much money do you have?'.. Well i thought he meant how much do i have on me (which was about $16), so i said that amount and he nearly fell off his stool... They want to know how much you have to support yourself in America, so you dont live off social security.. mistake number one.
I managed to talk myself in, and very relieved i walked through to the next area to drop off my bags.. Without Sam. Looking back i couldn't see her, and i wasn't allowed to go back to find her, so i stood there for 20 min, at the end of which i was convinced that she was being strip searched by a SWAT team.... After half an hour of stress she came out, clothes still on, having had her bags completely emptied and everything searched... And all this time i thought i was the one that looked dodgy.
So then it was time for breakfast, and as we walked in to a food hall that put Bondi Junction Westfield to shame (and this is just in the airport) we were treated to a display of consumption that is probably best described as feeding time at the zoo.... Hundreds of fat texans lined up at McDonalds, buying loads of dripping fatburgers in bags big enough to live in, and chowing down as though each bite would be their last. With a small degree of embarrasment, and wishing that we hadnt chucked out our raincoats after the inca trail, we attempted to join the queue, and get a mcmuffin for brekkie.
We ordered our meagre rations, not upsizing (to the disbelief of latoya the fat yank mcslave) and found a seat, wiping off peices of flying quarter pounder... and decided that Texas is the fattest state in America for a very good reason. They were days away from installing a McTrough for everyone the eat from...
We thankfully got on the plane to LA and arrived in the smog and celebrity of Hollywood, thankful to be here in the centre of the empire, and keen to see whats its like to actually be able to speak English to people, after 2 months of broken Spanish...

Posted by willandsam 12:07 Archived in USA Tagged air_travel Comments (1)

Playa Del Heaven

There is a god....

sunny 28 °C

After battling the heat and tacos in Merida we caught a 6 hour bus trip to Playa Del Carmen. Playa (what us locals call it) had been recommended to us by quite a few people so we were very excited... it only took us 5 minutes to fall in love with the place for reasons i will explain below...

For the last 7 weeks (our whole trip) we have been eating the local cuisine and although fun at first at times your stomache just craves for something normal, something fresh, something without melted cheese and avocado..the main street in Playa (5th Avenue) lies parallel to the beach, it is a bit similar to the gold coast but way way nicer and not chincey. Literally every restaurant we passed was amazing, each one doning their own funky style with the cool furniture and great atmosphere. Most places are bars and all serve litre cocktails...anytime of day..yes now your following me...and we havent even reached the beach yet.. It was postacrd perfect, crystal clear aqua blue water, white fine sand and sunbeds which made you feel like royalty. The great thing about it was although hugely westernised (to meet the needs of tourists which are mainly american) the prices are not ridiculous so you can splash out on a few mojitos and still have money left for some extra corn chips.

So in love with this place instead of travelling down to Tullum, which is meant to be just as nice, we stayed in Playa eating, drinking and sunbaking.

Saturday saw us catch a ferry to Cozumel, a small island off the coast which is renowned for its snorkelling. After the wildest ferry ride, Will and i both threw up...twice...the last thing we felt like doing was hoppping on another boat but we sucked it up and joined 8 other excited tourists (we met a lovely couple who lived in Drummoyne)..we stopped in three different places all just as spectacular as the other and spent the morning being as one with nature. It was great.

Back in gods country...

Unfortunately Will hasnt been on his A game for the last 4 days and finally i managed to drag him to a doctor where they explained he has either

A) infected intestines
B) appendicitis
C) softitis

We are both praying for A as visiting a Mexican hospital isnt ideal. Fingers crossed as we now have a 12 hour bus trip to Palenque which we both really do not want to do...

Like all good things Playa must come to an end..

Posted by willandsam 09:51 Archived in Mexico Tagged round_the_world Comments (4)

Mexico City / Merida

sunny 50 °C

After the longest 72 hours of our lives, we touched down in Mexico City... We were still pining for the normality of Miami, because after 6 weeks of hearing only Spanish any Eglish sounds good, even when its spoken with a ridiculously loud American accent... It wasnt to be though as we settled in for another two weeks battling the language barrier.. We had a trek around and found that Mexico was going to be a great place to be. The Corona was flowing, the tacos were hot, the locals were friendly and the asking price for pretty much anything you want was south of a dollar... We didnt have long there though, as we were off again that night for Merida, the capital of the Yucatan, in the far south west of Mexico. Only 21 hours.. no problem...
I wont bore you with how punishing the bus trip was, lets just say that it is best left in the past where it belongs...
Anyway, we arrived in Merida and checked in to what has to be the worlds cheapest hotel.. at $52 Aussie dollars. For 3 nights. It actually wasnt to bad, but i think that it just seemed that way after spending time in the youth hostels of South America.. Still, we were pretty pleased, until night fell. Now, keeping in mind that it is in fact the middle of winter, it didnt at first glance seem to be a problem that our room had no windows and no air con, but believe me, winter in Mexico is stupidly hot. After 8 hours of sleep we had lost several kilos in sweat, were stuck to the bed, and had tans that Bert Reynolds would have been proud of.
Still, as we were in a new place i pryed Sams body from the mattress and we went exploring. Merida isnt your classic tourist destination, in fact i think we were the only westerners around.. but thats what made it good... its mexicanness ... Everyone looked at us like we where aliens, but we watched them go about life in Mexico.. it was good to be somewhere that was a true representation of life in another country... They had mexican festivals with mexican music, mariachi bands, salsa dancing and all that other mexican stuff, not watered down for the tourist crowd.. Yes Merida is hot, dirty and poor, but its a good place to go if you want to see what life is really like...
3 days there though and it was time to move on, to ossibly the second most touristy place in Mexico, after Cancun... Playa del Carmen..

Posted by willandsam 10:33 Archived in Mexico Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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