johncoxon: (Default)
Blimey, it really has been longer than I thought between the last blog entry and this one. I am now back at home in Peterborough, having successfully holidayed my socks off and missed the beer festival. In order to try to make up for this I have had as much beer as I felt I could, and I now have a yearning to become better acquainted with two Cornish breweries that have caught my attention – one, Skinner's Brewery, based in Truro – does a brilliant honey beer called Ginger Tosser that we had a pint or two of at the Rashleigh Inn, in Polkerris.

We went to another garden the day after we'd been to Heligan and Polkerris. This time it was a Japanese garden in St. Mawgan, which was very pretty. My brother bought a book on Japanese gardens to read and some wall hangings for his bedroom (he's very much into Japanese culture, and art). It was a beautiful little garden, I got a really good photograph of my little brother (he's about half a foot taller than me, but hey) silhouetted against some of the scenery and it all went very well. We tried to have a look at the Bedruthan Steps that evening, but it was decided that the weather wasn't suited to that sort of behaviour. We visited a pub called the Miners Arms in St. Agnes that evening, which served rather nice chicken stuffed with apricot, and had a couple of rather nice waitresses that kept the eyes occupied, too...

The Wednesday was given over to visiting some old family friends who lived in Peterborough before emigrating down to Cornwall around nine years ago. We'd only seen them once since then, so it was really good to be able to sit and have a coffee with them and see how they were getting on. As it turns out, extremely well! They were conveniently on the way to Goonhilly, which was our next port of call – it's reasonably good, but I really feel that it's aimed a little too young. There's absolutely no reason why a museum can't successfully appeal to the younger members of a family without being very patronising, and the film and exhibits at Goonhilly didn't quite manage to pull it off, which was a shame because otherwise it was awesome. There was also a model of a Sinclair C5!

The FutureWorlds exhibition at Goonhilly has a room at the end where the party make predictions on certain things – when humanity will colonise other planets, when we'll achieve time travel, what will be obsolete by 2050, stuff like that – and the results were quite interesting, but I'm not going to upload the photographs tonight (and my observations on said photograph might be worth keeping over to another entry anyway). Goonhilly is in the same area of the world as the Ship Inn at Porthleven, which is a brilliant little pub that you can't make reservations at and serves very good food. I rather wished I'd had the chicken instead of the ribs, but it was all very tasty.

The Thursday saw us do random shopping and suchlike in the morning, and the evening saw a visit to the Minack Theatre, to see a production of Third Week in August. With the exception of the skies opening and us all getting absolutely soaked, this was rather a good day, and the jacket potatoes were good!

Yesterday was the day that I got to go around St. Austell's Brewery, which is very well-known and well-regarded, and I sampled some excellent beers. They also sell a rum, 125 Navy Rum, that is 125 proof (71.4% ABV), which I would love to have bought a small sample bottle of. Unfortunately, they have discontinued the small, £3 bottles and now only sell it by the big bottle, at a healthy cost of £30.04. This is a bit much for me to spend on rum, since I'm not the biggest fan, so I plumped for a bottle of Walter Hicks Dry Gin at just over £11 instead – of course, I also got six bottles of excellent St. Austell beer and one of their Cornish Rattler Cyder (which, I believe, is done in co-operation with The Cornish Cyder Farm). In the evening, we had Mexican food as a special treat – Peterborough has no Mexican restaurants, so it's not often I get to have it.

Today saw me and my half-brother Dave drive from Newquay to Peterborough, which was fun and left me extremely tired. As some of you might have seen me tweet, we had supper at a bit of a rubbish diner on the A45 just after Wellingborough (going east). The parents had visited before but Dad said it had been much better the last time they went, he suspects it's changed hands. I spent a happy hour catching up with my girlfriend on the telephone, typed this (I washed my face and suddenly felt much less tired) and now I'm about to head to bed. Good night, all!

Newquay!

Aug. 31st, 2009 01:49 pm
johncoxon: (Default)

We are now in Newquay! We went out for food and cocktails on Friday night which was fun and we watched the fireworks before turning in in anticipation of being up at 05:30 to go to Newquay. After an uneventful drive and seriously crap/overpriced breakfast at a service station we arrived and unpacked, indulged in a spot of reading, and picked my other half-brother James up from the railway station before getting in some KFC.

Yesterday was good. It was lifeboat day, so Dave and I woke up and went down to the harbour to look at the displays the RNLI had put out and watch a lifeboat doing some cool tricks by the beach. We had a pint and an English breakfast in the pub before going back to the beach to watch a parachute display. Unfortunately, that was cancelled due to the cloud and the promised helicopter rescue demonstration was also a no-go, so we went for a walk to the headland, where we had a very lovely cream tea.

So far today we've watched Dave and George learning to surf and we're currently en route to Heligan's Lost Gardens, to have a walk and a look round (the other two are still surfing). We're going to a good pub afterwards for supper!

johncoxon: (Default)

So we went around town to see what was what and get a milkshake from a place called ShakeAway. It was really good milkshake -- I popped into GW to talk about Space Hulk and saw a brilliant Orky Valkyrie which I entirely failed to successfully photograph. That done, we popped along to the crazy golf (Dad won) and had a go around before wandering home for dinner.

Yesterday was good, we went to see my Great Aunt Margaret, who is absolutely lovely and forcefed us cake, before it started raining and we came back. In the evening we lit candles in the summer candle illuminations, which is something we used to do when we were kids! It was smashing!

Today saw us go to Compton Acres to look at the gardens there (and keep an eye on the cricket). They are still extremely pretty, if you are ever in the region, look them up, it's worth it. Afterwards we went to the beach but between wind and cloud it was far too cold to do anything but a quick picnic, a round of crazy golf (Dad won again!) and then back to the flat.

Hope you're all good, more blogging soon, I hope!

johncoxon: (Default)

The night before last night saw an excellent meal at Harry Ramsden's, which was only improved by our South African waiter (we immediately deduced he wasn't Australian, he was smiling) and a family next to us featuring a stepdad who played everyone in the family off each other all night, castigated his girlfriend's children fir being rude before taking a phonecall and was generally a complete c--t.

Yesterday, we went to a place called the Blue Pool which is a very pretty place to walk around, and at which we also successfully ate a cream tea. This was the prelude to a lazy evening, in which we ate omelette and (finally!) got to go to the pub! There were ten ales available for us to sample:

Tasting notes! )

We are now gearing up for breakfast at a local JDW, catch you all later!

johncoxon: (Default)

Today saw me waking up Far Too Early due to my half-brother deciding I needed to be up! After some initial grumbling, he mentioned the magic word -- Krispy Kremes -- and so I got out of bed and had breakfast with the family. Eggs with English muffins are always good.

At eleven o'clock, my brothers and I went down to the beach to grab a spot and spy some planes and suchlike, because it was the final day of the Bournemouth Air Festival. We saw the Yakovlevs; the Blades; a Hawk T1; the Lancaster; a Chinook; the Sally B Flying Fortress; a Spitfire and a Mustang; a Eurofighter Typhoon and a flyover and display from the Red Arrows. I also read quite a lot! A picture of EPIC SUNBURN is going to be on Twitter.

Later on we're planning on paying Harry Ramsden a visit to have some of his famous fish and chips, before heading to the pub (something that, last night, was replaced by a stroll through Bournemouth to have a look at some fireworks and an awesome sculpture I hope to get photos of and blog about later this holiday!).

And last but not least, I'm excited that we regained the Ashes and absolutely thrilled with Trott's contribution! New bloke did well and was instrumental in setting Oz a high total to chase.

That's all for now, take care kids!

johncoxon: (Default)

Well, I've arrived in sunny Bournemouth and I'm posting this with my iPhone since there's no Wi-Fi in the place where we're staying. Those of you who use Twitter may have seen earlier that I'm unsure how often I'm going to get to blog or tweet due to spotty network connectivity in the town, but hopefully I will be able to do regular holiday updates!

Because today is our first day here, we spent a lot of time driving - the roads were clear until about 11am but we managed to get from Peterborough to here in five hours, which isn't so bad. My first time driving in these parts of England!

Right now we're all exhausted from exploring the town and going shopping at ASDA. I'm hoping to get a game of Munchkin or something started later and I'm also hopeful that pub will happen. There are two pubs listed for Bournemouth in the GBG 2007 (anyone with more recent knowledge, feel free to chip in) and one is about five minutes from here so I'd like to give it a go.

See you all soon, I hope! TTFN!

johncoxon: (Default)
People should come to Peterborough for the beer festival. It's the largest in the country outside of the really big Great British Beer Festival in London, and it's great. I will be in attendance every day (probably in varying states of sobriety...) and it ought to be fun. Having said that, if you don't like real ale and insist on drinking piss-coloured carbonated water, it might not be for you. But yeah, if you want to come, drop me a line and we'll arrange something - it would be cool to see people this holiday!
johncoxon: (LJ Masturbation)
Since my last blog post, I've decided to write the report of my holiday as a one-shot fanzine which I will release after landing back in the UK. Suffice to say that we are now in Lone Pine, near Death Valley, and tomorrow sees us arrive in Las Vegas. In other news, I received two ego boosts today but unfortunately, I'm now feeling very angry at how a friend of mine is being treated, or has been treated, by some utter twat on the Internet. Bigotry is not OK - apparently, some people haven't realised that yet, which is sad.
johncoxon: (Default)
On the Saturday morning, we went to the Magic Castle Club's family brunch. Usually, the club maintains a strict age policy, and nobody under 21 is allowed to enter in the evenings - however, the brunch is a chance for those younger people (like me!) to go and see what all the fuss is about. The brunch itself is fantastic - everything from omelettes to shrimp to smoked salmon to chicken enchiladas to roast beef to chocolate brownies, and probably one of the best breakfasts I've ever eaten. We saw three magic shows - the headline show, the show aimed at the younger members of the audience and the show conducted by a younger member of the club - in three different areas of the castle. Each of them was fantastic, and I really liked the day, although in my opinion it wasn't as good as last year's offering.

Pink'sAfter we'd been to the Magic Castle Club, we went back to the hotel and had a swim before going out to try to get a hot dog. We tried to go to a place we'd seen on La Brea Blvd called Pink's. The reason that we wanted to go there was that we'd gone past at lunchtime on Friday and seen a fairly large queue, and deductive reasoning had lead us to the conclusion that that meant that the hot dogs they sold must be fairly good. However, after an hour of queuing which resulted in us getting about halfway to the order point, we became aware that we were going to be late to the cinema, so we cut our losses and drove back to Hollywood Blvd.

The organistWe went to see Wall-E at the El Capitan cinema. Beforehand, the old organ that used to accompany the silent films was played by some organist that was well-known in the States. Maybe if you had seen it and you knew anything about organists, you'd know his name, but I didn't, and so I don't. Apologies to anyone who feels short changed by this. He played a variety of Disney tunes on his organ (stuff from Toy Story, Aladdin, and a couple of other films) and when it came to the point for the film to start, it, er, didn't. The previews for the next couple of Disney films were shown, and then six (really quite hot) female dancers danced to several Disney songs from the movies, as the relevant star from each movie came on to dance with them. This took around half an hour, and my father fell asleep. At last, the film actually got around to starting. Let's not mince words. This is one of the best films that Pixar has done. I have seen all of them, and this ranks in my top three. (Cars and The Incredibles also being really good, in my opinion.) It's brilliant, it's laugh-out-loud funny, it's heartwarming, it's tragic, and it's awesome. I seriously recommend going to see it. Macintosh fans will get a special giggle a couple of times through the film, and apparently the designers did their work with some help by Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod.

A disused room in Union StationAfter we'd seen Wall-E, Dad and I headed back up to Pink's but the queue hadn't gone down any (and this was at about midnight!) so we went back to bed. The next day was Sunday, and we woke up fairly early, got breakfast, and then took the Metro to Union Station, which is quite possibly The Best Train Station In The World, EverTM. You heard it here first - the design of the interior is fantastic, and it's all very art deco. None of the floor's marble would look out of place in Peterborough Cathedral. However, we didn't go to Union Station just to check out the decor, we went to to go Olvera Street, which is in the Mexican area of L.A. This single street has lots and lots of shops on it, all of which sell a variety of random Mexican stuff. I want a sombrero, just so you all know. We ate Mexican food at one of the restaurants and had a look around the oldest building in Los Angeles, the Avila Adobe. It was built in 1818. It's been renovated to look like it would have done in the 1840s, and it's very interesting. I took lots of photographs, which have made it onto Facebook, naturally. We also took photographs of each other behind trees - it was great.

Yamashiro restaurant from the outsideWe eventually got bored of the Mexican bit of Los Angeles, and decided to go back to the hotel for another swim. We ended up watching Ratatouille in our hotel room before heading up to Yamashiro, a CalAsian restaurant which looks over Los Angeles. The hotel in which we stayed sent our table a plate of calamari "complements of the concierge" and we had a sushi starter as well before tucking into our meals - pan-fried chicken, grilled seafood, baby back ribs and sweet and spicy shrimp were consumed happily. I don't usually go in for seafood, but since the waiter recommended it, I thought I'd have it, and it was nice - it's still something I'd not have all that often, though. Seafood isn't my favourite meal. The restaurant itself is in a very Japanese style, and they filmed some of the scenes from Memoirs of a Geisha there. It's a really cool place - as ever, more photographs on Facebook.

The next day, we drove from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo (which is where I write this) on Highway 1. My advice to anyone who wants to drive up the West Coast of the USA is not to do it this way, because the stretch of Highway 1 between here and Los Angeles is not at all coastal, and takes a very long time to drive down - you're far better taking the 101 from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara and then trying to take the 1 up the coast, as we discovered yesterday. The drive was interesting - we got lost once (not my fault, I hasten to add!) and went to two fast-food joints along the way, but we got here in the end.

A photograph of the Madonna InnWe stayed the night at a place called the Madonna Inn. Photographs can't really capture the true brilliance of the Inn, but we gamely took some anyway, and they're on Facebook - more are available on the Madonna Inn's website, so have a look there if you want to see. It's all very understated and subtle! The swimming pool is lovely, and I had a gorgeous steak last night in the very pink steakhouse, as people danced in the other part of the restaurant. I was exhausted last night though, so went to bed quite early, and we didn't really see anything of San Luis Obispo other than the hotel, which is a shame. What we did today (after the Madonna Inn) will be covered in the next blog post, just as soon as I've uploaded some more photographs to Facebook.
johncoxon: (Default)
My brother on the balcony of our roomHey everyone! Today marks the start of me using LiveJournal as a write-only service, because we are in Los Angeles! It's currently 23:40 PDT and so I'm writing up an account of the day. We stayed in the LAX Hilton last night, after arriving at LAX around two hours behind schedule. The flight was uneventful - we flew with Air New Zealand, who have a superb entertainment system on their planes, and so I watched Cars, St. Trinian's, Run Fatboy Run, The Big Bang Theory, My Family. We got up fairly early and proceeded to eat breakfast at the buffet (God bless America) before climbing into our hire car and driving across Los Angeles to Hollywood, and our hotel, the Magic Castle Hotel.

Dad in Virgin MegastoreUpon arrival at the Magic Castle, we left our luggage with the very pretty girl before heading down to Hollywood Blvd to walk around and visit some shops. Ironically, the largest store on Hollywood Blvd is a Virgin Megastore (yay England!) but they have such a cool range of clothing and other merchandise. I wound up buying a baseball cap, which is brilliant - I will take a photograph of me wearing it tomorrow and you can all marvel at how great it is. I also saw The Coolest Wallet Evar, but I have refrained from buying it after my mother hinted that Father Christmas might well be kind to me this year and I may find it in my stocking - so y'all are going to have to wait six months before finding out about how cool it is!

Dad in Virgin MegastoreAfter we'd visited Virgin, we also visited the Hollywood and Highland Centre, which has 'retail and entertainment'. This meant going to Sketchers and buying a couple of pairs of shoes, before visiting Hot Topic, from which I bought a nifty Zelda T-shirt. We also paid a visit to the Stone Cold Creamery, which was awesome but made me feel slightly sick so soon after breakfast. On a down note, however, the box I got The Onion from last time I was in LA has now gone, so it looks like no paper copy for me. When we got back to the hotel, we went for a swim in the pool and then headed up to the Universal Citywalk to do some shopping and eating. It turns out that Billabong's current range of swimshorts, whilst not at all bad, is not worth $58 per pair, whilst the current range of Universal Studios T-shirts available from their shop is really not at all good. Last time I got my Spider-Man T-shirt (the black one with the white and red line drawing on it), which is awesome - this time around, all the shirts were really obvious or had been designed for eleven-year-olds, so I didn't get one. I bought a limited edition copy of the Phantom Hourglass game guide because it had a bookmark in it, and I collect bookmarks (it's also a hardback book with gold-edged pages). We ended up eating at a very nice steak house, and then coming back to the hotel, where I'm typing this. Hope you're all OK!
johncoxon: (Default)
So, I'm going to the USA on holiday in a couple of weeks and I need some good SF for the plane. I'm thinking a couple of books, taken from this year's Hugo, Arthur C Clarke and BSFA shortlists. Three notable exceptions to this: I haven't included Bryan Talbot, because I have been recommended him by many, many people, and will eventually buy one of his works, but I'll get that at a later date. The other two are Charles Stross and Ken MacLeod, who are the first two SF authors outside Iain M. Banks that I started reading. I already love both authors, so there's no point in seeking my flist's opinion of them!

[Poll #1210305]

In addition to whatever is recommended here, I'm planning to take JPod by Douglas Coupland (I loved Microserfs, so I'm hoping it'll be more of the same, which is how the Wikipedia article describes it...) and Iron Hands by Jonathan Green, which is a Warhammer 40,000 novel from The Black Library (I'm fascinated by that particular chapter of the Space Marines, so I want to read the novel). I might also take an unread Discworld novel and one of Ian Watson's Warhammer 40,000 books that I bought at Picocon.
johncoxon: (Default)
My mum rang me today and we talked about California, and as such, I'm going to do a blog entry about it because I am excited about going! We're staying at the Magic Castle Hotel in Los Angeles, first. The hotel is associated with The Magic Castle - the most famous club for magicians in the world, and we get to go to brunch and see three magicians doing their stuff. It's one hell of a brunch, and the magicians are some of the best in their fields, so I'm looking forward to that. The hotel is also associated with a restaurant called Yamashiro which serves some very nice Japanese food. There's a panoramic tour on the site that requires QuickTime 5+ but which I heavily recommend. :)

After LA, we're heading up the coast to San Francisco, and staying at a hotel called The Madonna Inn on the way up. Check out the Caveman room in particular, but the Safari room is also pretty cool. We're in one of the tamer (cheaper) rooms, but it'll still be awesome...if nothing else purely for the steak house (check it out, it's awesome). We're also staying in Monterey before reaching San Francisco, and then we're heading to Las Vegas via Yosemite and Death Valley (no hotels for any of those places yet, so no links).

When we get to Las Vegas we're staying in the Monte Carlo hotel, and we're doing some cool stuff like, for instance, seeing KA, the Cirque du Soleil show resident at the MGM Grand nearby. I think there may also be some Grand Canyon involved. After Las Vegas, we're heading out to San Diego, and Humphrey's Half-Moon Inn - we're hoping that someone cool will be playing there. There will undoubtedly be lots of San Diego goodness whilst we're there.

Are there any people living in the Golden State or Las Vegas that could give me any recommendations for fannish stuff to do over there? Recommendations for cool shops would be especially good, but any fannish events might be cool to visit too! :)
johncoxon: (Beer Drinking)
So, as some of you may have noticed, I've returned from Egypt, I got back on Friday. Since my last Egypt post, we did a bunch of stuff - more swimming and reading and watching TV during the really very swelteringly hot hours in the middle of the day but we also did a 'Stars and Dinner' excursion which was good - we went into the desert and saw some Bedouin tribespeople and ate some native food, as well as watching the sunset from a large hill and looking at the stars with a resident astronomer (and also three telescopes pointed at Jupiter and the moon and a star which I've forgotten). The day after that we did a glass-bottomed boat which was loads of fun and subsequently went snorkelling the day afterwards. It was good fun, and interspersed with this was things like buying perfume from some Greek bloke's mother's shop and also seeing the new Travis music video, Selfish Jean, in McDonald's (if you've not see it, go on YouTube and watch it now!).

Yesterday afternoon/evening/night was Hayley [livejournal.com profile] quasi_hayley's birthday party, at which were Hayley, Liz [livejournal.com profile] despotliz, Doug [livejournal.com profile] dougs, Fran [livejournal.com profile] frandowdsofa and John [livejournal.com profile] johannes_d. Oh, and some LARPers and other such people who were also very cool - it was good to see fans, because, y'know, the gap between Teledu and Recombination is huge...

In other news, I now have an external hard drive on which resides my music collection, I updated my website with something closely approximating content, and other exciting things have happened. There are photos from my holiday in Egypt on Facebook, and there are also photos from my eighteenth birthday online there as well, theoretically (give it a few seconds).

Intarnetz

Jul. 25th, 2007 07:58 pm
johncoxon: (Default)
I am in a hotel in which all their webz are broked. I will desperately attempt more blogging soon. Egypt tomorrow! :D

Greece

Apr. 1st, 2007 10:01 am
johncoxon: (Sports Day)
So, Greece, then. Damn good fun! Er, I can't be arsed to blog about it. Maybe some other time if you're very lucky - I have stories of exploding bin lorries, violations of personal space and eXtreme veganism to share with you all! If I can be bothered... So, now it's off to watch Doctor Who, methinks (sorry [livejournal.com profile] hddod). I've read the entire flist (users only, no communities) so I don't think I've missed much but commenting on 240 entries' worth of LJ seemed a bit much.

Greece

Mar. 25th, 2007 04:54 pm
johncoxon: (Go You Big Red Fire Engine)
Today I'm going to Greece, so you won't be seeing me about much for the next week or so. Anything urgent can be communicated to me via my mobile phone, anything non-urgent which you still think I should read can be e-mailed to me (I won't be catching up with my flist, I don't think, it'll be very, very long).
johncoxon: (Default)
So, I haven't yet written about the last week of my holiday in the sunny United States of America, and I think I'll remedy that now. I left you all, as I'm sure you're all remembering, with tales of rollercoasters and shopping, and I'd talked about my time in LA up until the Friday, so now I will go ahead and talk about the last day of Los Angeles (the Saturday - I don't count the Sunday as really being Los Angeles, as we just piled into the car and set off in the morning!). This was concerned with doing two things: first, the Magic Castle Club, which is the most famous private magic club in the world, according to its publicity. Now, there are shows every evening at the club, but they're for adults only, so we went to the family brunch that is offered on Saturdays and Sundays. We went to the club just before eleven, and we went in and paid to go through. The way upstairs was behind a secret passageway (yes, a real one!) behind a bookcase. You opened this by shouting "open sesame" in an American accent very loudly, and the bookshelf swung forwards to reveal the room behind. It was extremely cool. We then went up to the restaurant for brunch, which was absolutely brilliant. I had two omelettes. Both were yummy.

Now, onto the magic! The first act was a good one, but it was mainly orientated towards the children in the crowd, and some of the tricks were fairly basic ones (what I mean by that is that I knew exactly how he had done them, as they're fairly commonly found in books of magic tricks). Having said that, the first trick he did was amazing and also completely mindboggling, so it wasn't a bad act at all, and I can quite easily see why he was considered good enough to do that act. The second act was comprised of two people - the first introduced the second and then closed the show after he'd done his stuff. The first one showed the audience how to do a couple of magic tricks for themselves, and he also ate a sword. This was slightly ruined when he drew the sword out whilst it was still furled up immediately afterwards and told us off for believing that he could do it. The second one was an Asian chap who'd lived in Hollywood all his life and had attended the Magic Castle Club's young magicians' lessons since he was twelve - and he must have been twenty or twenty-one, so that's eight or nine years of learning magic. Fortunately, he was absolutely amazing - I won't try and describe his routine, since it would be an exercise in futility, but it was brilliant. After that act, we went into a very small theatre which seated about twenty people (some at each side of the magician, not more than twenty centimetres away, so they could see his hands very closely) for a demonstration by a sixteen-year-old chap who was extremely good. He was a very funny bloke and made the audience laugh.

After the Magic Castle Club, we went to the oldest house in LA, built in the eighteenth century. There was a Mexican streetmarket nearby and we walked through Union Station which was absolutely amazing, but there isn't really a lot to actually write about. It's a bit like Camden - "We looked around a bit" doesn't give you any idea of what it's like to look around, but is the best you can really write.

The next day, the Sunday (halfway through, or thereabouts) we piled into a car and drove down the old Route 66 (well, parts of it!) to Las Vegas. The Nevada desert is, quite simply, quite amazing. And a lot more hilly than East Anglia! :) When we eventually got to Las Vegas, after the drive, we ate at the Pharoh's Pheast Buffet (it's Las Vegas. Style and subtlety are not exactly what you find there) before going to see the Cirque du Soleil production, "O". If you've seen the Cirque du Soliel before, you'll know what I mean when I say it's indescribable, but if you haven't, then I'll just say two things: firstly, go watch one, and secondly, you may find that this link is useful for giving you some idea.

The next day, we spent shopping, at which point my brother and I got very bored. There was one record store in the entire shopping mall, and there weren't any bookshops, electronics stores or anything like that. It was girls' accessories, clothes and shoes and that was it. Queensgate in Peterborough is actually a better shopping centre than the two to be found in Las Vegas. But the day after that was the Grand Canyon, so I forgave Las Vegas very quickly. It. Was. Stunning. We got a bus from the Luxor hotel to the airport (not Las Vegas international, but a smaller one operated by the tour company), we got a plane from the airport to a different airport, and we got a helicopter from that airport to the Grand Canyon floor, and then we got a boat to go up the Colorado River and back, before flying back up to the airport. We then got a bus along the canyon to take us to the two viewing points available. Both were astounding, but perhaps not as good as a helicopter ride into the canyon itself. After having our fill of astounding scenery, we flew back to the airport near Las Vegas and then got the bus back to the Luxor. It was a brilliant day, and one of the highlights of the holiday. I really enjoyed myself.

After that day, we drove to San Diego! And once we had arrived, we didn't really do a hell of a lot, to be honest. We did a bus tour of the city the day after arrival (during which I fell in love with the place - it's a really nice city, it really, really is) and saw Oldtown, a shopping centre which is also the lower Gaslamp Quarter, and something which I think was called something like Seaside Town or Quayside Town or something Seaport Village (thanks [livejournal.com profile] tasterainbows!). The next day, Mum and I went for a walk through San Diego (only made it as far as the aforementioned shopping centre, as we slightly misunderestimated the distance) whilst Dad and my brother went around the USS Midway, the largest aircraft carrier in the world. And the day after that was our last day in America, so we drove from San Diego to Los Angeles to catch the plane back to London Heathrow.

All in all, it was a good holiday, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Next place to visit in the US has to be New York City though... I'd really, really like to go there. Preferably whilst They Might Be Giants were playing. With seats near to the front. :)
johncoxon: (Beer Drinking)
So, in the last couple of days, we've done more stuff! No, really, we have. So, let me proceed to tell you what that more stuff was: rollercoasters. And lots of them. We went to Knott's Berry Farm on Thursday and to Six Flags Magic Mountain yesterday, which involves going on lots of rollercoasters. Another thing we did was eat, and another thing I did was buy a shirt, a pair of trousers and two pairs of shorts.

There's not much else to say about clothes shopping or lots of rollercoasters, so it looks like this is a short update, really. Sorry about that.
johncoxon: (Beach)
Hi, everybody! I'm currently posting from sunny Los Angeles, in which part of the world it is currently hot and sunny. I believe the temperature is somewhere around twenty-five degrees celsius, although I must confess I haven't checked, and I'm having a fairly good time over here (I've bought some new T-shirts which are way cool and my new trainers are just sexy).

I'm currently attempting to find a Fluxx dealer near to me so that I can go and get some of their fine cards - however, the shop I visited yesterday as part of this quest was shut on Tuesdays and it looked very minature-based anyway, so I'm trying again today whilst the women of the group are going stalking on a 'Movie Stars' Homes' tour.

So, what have I been up to so far? Well, on the first day, we went shopping and looked around on Hollywood Boulevard. This was very interesting - amongst the biggest shops on that street is a Virgin Megastore which was good for providing much patriotism and national pride (Richard Branson, of course, is British, and it was nice to see that one of the biggest shops had been established by a Briton). It was also good for buying The Alphabet of Manliness by a little known author called Maddox. Now, although I don't agree with Maddox on most things, the book is damn funny and testament to what word-of-mouth on the Internet can achieve. I'd recommend picking it up purely because it'll make you laugh (beware, however, since his attitudes to pretty much everything are usually fairly offensive and you may not want to read it if you are of a delicate temperament).

On the second day, we hit Universal Studios, Hollywood. This was good fun - Van Helsing was unlike any ride I'd previously been on, we met Beetlejuice (he was great - he spent around five minutes talking to our group and just generally entertaining us before we took a picture of him trying to stick his tongue into one of our number's ear) and Jurassic Park was done to death (three times by me, no times by anyone else).

The third day (yesterday) was Santa Monica beach and pier and shops, which was quite fun but also quite mundane, since you can find a beach and pier in most places on the coast, the only thing different with this one was that the price signs were in dollars, not pounds. It looked scarily similar to Skegness. In the afternoon we went shopping and I got a new pair of trainers, which are brown and have stripes. They rock and I love them.

Then, at three o'clock in the morning, tomorrow morning, I ring school to find out my AS-level results. That'll be one fun phonecall. I'm dreading looking forward to it!
johncoxon: (Destruction of Earth)
Off to California for two weeks. I'll miss all of you (and spend days reading the backlog when I'm back) but I'm missing one person more than the rest already. She knows who she is. :) See you all on Sunday 27th August!

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