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    April 2014After one last stroll around Las Vegas, we picked up the car from Caesar's Palace. Today was going to be a day of ticking off so many things I've always wanted to see in the USA. First stop, the Hoover Dam. I'd seen so many photographs of this famous...

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    April 2014I headed back to Vancouver via the bus and ferry to the mainland, making a quick stop for some drinks and food at the Samesun Hostel in Vancouver for a few cheeky beers. Rob was kind enough to let me store my bags at the Front Desk whilst I stayed...

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    Canada: Victoria

    04/01/2018 7:33:38 pm

    April 2014As early April came, I decided that moving to Nova Scotia and following my heart back there was the best option. I packed up my belongings in Vancouver and headed on a ferry back to the island for one last trip in BC, to visit Victoria - missed on...

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    March 2014After a long drive through the Icefields Parkway, we arrived safely into Banff, after a brief stop to see Lake Louise. I can only imagine what Lake Louise looks like in Summer [see blog post in 2018 - Matt].We headed to Samesun Banff and were able...

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    March 2014Leaving Tofino, I caught a ride back to Nanaimo to catch a ferry back to Vancouver for the night through a very snowy and treacherous Roger's Pass which actually involved the car slipping out into a barrier. We gained control though, before nearly...

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    VancouverJanuary 2014 - February 2014Upon returning to Vancouver, I decided that I should start getting organised and settled. I spent sometime running around getting organised and yet every day I decided to spent one more day putting off what I wanted to...

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    Late January 2014Upon returning to Canada from America, I headed to a different hostel, Samesun Backpackers (a place where I would much later on in August be offered a job opportunity). When I stayed across the street, I had visited the bar for dinner and...

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    Departing Orlando early, after a long drive to Miami Beach, I arrived at the South Beach Hostel and checked in. Hungry and keen to see the beautiful beaches of Miami, I headed down the esplanade and found a hotel that was a offering a cheap lunch meal. Stunned...

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    January 2014

    Upon departing New Orleans on an 11 hour journey across the states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, I arrived into Orlando at around 10am. Based on Brendan's advice who came from Orlando to New Orleans, he recommended the Days Inn which was close to Universal Studios, walking distance in fact. Definitely a great idea, I had a hotel room to myself for two nights with at only about $60 a night! I grabbed a taxi from the Greyhound terminal and made it to the hotel. Resting, I decided I had better go for a wander to Universal as I had planned to do it all the following day. This was a wise a choice as a two day pass wasn't too much more expensive and there are two theme parks right next to each other! I got to work and spent the afternoon and evening doing all sorts of rides around the park. The Harry Potter section was ridiculously amazing, as were most of the rides and attractions. As it had been raining most of the morning, it was rather quiet so I was able to get a lot of the rides in. The Jurassic Park ride involved a lot of water and I am glad I bought a rather expensive poncho so I could stay dry for the rest of the day, other people were soaked!

    After a long day of hopping on and off rides, I grabbed some dinner and a movie around the Universal Studios are the parks closed, and trotted back to the hotel for a long rest. Planning on waking up early, I slept in a little and took off to the studios, and went straight too the other park I didn't visit the day before. 

    After a long day, another dinner and another movie - and thoroughly pleased with the amusement parks, I stopped by TGI Friday's for a late drink and snack, and returned back to the Days Inn for a few hours sleep before a shuttle onwards to Miami Beach.

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    USA - (Louisiana) New Orleans

    27/02/2015 10:38:47 am

    January 2014

    After an 8 hour bus ride across the Gulf of Mexico from Houston, the Greyhound rocketed along towards New Orleans. I jumped off at the terminal and proceeded to walk towards the hostel where I would be staying for the next few days. A little bit of culture shock kicked in and I felt a little comfortable for the first time in a US city. I walked on and found the hostel, an older style building with a 16-bed dorm in a building out the back. As I walked there from the main building, I noticed all of the classic coloured beads that New Orleans is known for. I dropped my bags and began thinking about my plans and things to see, and also felt quite overwhelmed with the city. After about 30 minutes, another Australian checked in from Brisbane, Brendan. We got chatting and turned out we had the same plans for things to see, and were staying around the same amount of time.

    We hopped on a trolley and headed down town to Bourbon Street. New Orleans is an amazing city, an incredible amount of culture including a strong French (Cajun) influence and an surreal old feeling to it. We jumped off at Bourbon St and decided to check out the old cemeteries near by. With Voodoo markings on many of the tombs, it was an eerie walk filled with rich history.

    Walking back towards the Louie Armstrong Park, we wandered around and took photos of the statue and headed onwards back to Bourbon Street for an early dinner. Recommended by my cousins in Texas, we headed to one of the many Oyster Bars. Brendan got talking to the oyster shucker who knew the city inside out, and being very good at his job, he regularly is sent to Washington to work in Whitehouse! It was clear, he was nearly twice as fast as the others, and very efficient.  We ordered a Poboy, some gumbo and some oysters. I wish I could remember the gentleman's name but he provided us some great advice to head on down to Frenchman Street to catch some live music which is at the other end of the Frenchman Quarter and away from the touristy area of Bourbon Street.

    Catching a cab, we jumped off and wandered from bar to bar, looking in and finally settling on a bar with chap and his band playing, Washboard Chad. Quite well known it turns out, his main instrument was a washboard and various rings on his hands. After some great music there, we wandered on down to The Spotted Cat and caught another Jazz band. On the way back we can across street performers playing with people dancing in the streets. In summer, I feel that New Orleans would be one crazy fun city. After a 2am finish, we decided best to head back to the hostel and turn in for the night, and wake up early to visit more of the city the following day.

    After a sleep-in, we hopped back on the trolley and wandered around the French Quarter and had some lunch, and visited one of the museums that had some superb exhibits on the yearly Mardi Gras and the devastation that was caused by Hurricane Katrina - very eye opening. With time slipping by, it was getting close to dinner and then of course another visit to Frenchman Street to see some more Jazz. Originally with two nights booked, I decided to book another and check out early and head off the following night (11pm) to Florida.

    With only a few things to do, we spent Monday at the National World War 2 museum. Very good. It was an insight into the American perspective of World War 2.

    Wanting to grab some more oysters and with Brendan wanting to catch up with some friends, I headed back to Bourbon Street and then back to the hostel. We said good bye and I headed off to the Greyhound for my next leg of journey, Orlando to see Universal Studios.