Thursday, 21 August 2008

The A-Z of the great adventure

Jess came up with a really good idea and as a teacher I am used to borrowing/ stealing good ideas and adapting them for my own use so thank you Jess and next time I see you I will get the beers

A is for Airshow. The Chicago Airshow provided a big tourist event when I was beginning to flag even if the Blue Angels were anti-climactic.

B is for Beer. In 1908 a canal was dug to change the course of the Chicago River so it took all the pollution away from Lake Michigan into the Mississippi River, when it got to St Louis it was then bottled and called Budweiser

C is for Commercialism. Everything in America is sponsored but my favourite was providing money to sponsor the fact the next TV program had less adverts then normal.

D is for Dogs on planes. In one airport the travel box had to go through the x-ray machine and will the dog was out it got loose and caused chaos.

E is for Environmentalism. The high price of petrol means that all the car adverts are not about how good the vehicle is but how efficient they are.

F is for Filipino Day - a rather lack lustre parade in San Francisco with a number of odd floats.

G is for Greyhound. I am glad that I noticed that the long distance coach was first come, first served as the people at the back of the queue did not get on as the bus was full and had to wait four hours for the next one.

H is for Honesty. The number of people asking me directions (with a broken sense of direction) or to take photos (usually wonky) was high. Must be the honest face.

I is for Information. After the loss of Internet through the damaged laptop I found that I was addicted to information especially when GB went from 2 to 11 gold medals and I could not find out who had won them.

J is for jogging. Jogging is good for you but a lot of people do it right next to main roads where pollution decreases its benefits somewhat.

K is for killing. In Chicago someone fired some shots into the air close to the hotel (within earshot) the police arrived swiftly and shot him dead. It did not make the news but the concierge told me about it.

L is for Latter Day Saints (Mormons) who approached me on three separate occasions asking questions like if god answers prayers and is life pre-determined?

M is for Mazda. The second hire car had a semi-automatic gear box which was much better and allowed me to choose when to change gear.

N is for Nathanael Starbuck - when away for a long period good books are needed and this series by the writer who created Sharpe were very good.

O is for Olympics. Glad to be back to BBC coverage.

P is for Phelps. Even after he had won eight gold medals Phelpsmania was in full swing. Three days after his final win what he had for breakfast was the first news story (seriously). They also tried to link his name to every situation so for instance Barack Obama was described as having to do a Phelps ( i have no idea what they meant either).

Q is for Quality. One of the best hotels provided free gin and tonics, another gives lifts to the airport or metro stops, a third had free afternoon tea. Also if you just arrive they will usually check you in anyway. The earliest I arrived was noon and they had a room ready.

R is for Richard the tour guide. A very amusing Brit who did the tour round LA and was an aspiring actor.

S is for Star. When in Hollywood Brooks and Dunn where getting their star on the sidewalk (no I had not heard of them either). Apparently to get a star you have to have been famous for five years and pay $15,000. Not as glamorous as it seems.

T is for Taxi Drivers. Why are you asking me where it is? You live here or are you taking me round the houses to inflate the fare?

U is for Undignified. Trying to take a large suitcase through a narrow turnstyle in a metro station and I pretty much got stuck and had to try and climb over the whole thing. Made me look like I was fare-dodging.

V is for Variety. I went by jet, turboprop, train, coach, car, bike, trolley (tram), trolleybus, metro, cable car, weird vertical tram thing, foot, and boat.

W is for Water. Tap dancing in water seems tricky and adds to the probability of slippage but they were very good.

X is for Xylophone. At a performance in Chicago they were using the Stradivarius of xylophones.

Y is for You are now arriving in Houston. No we were not, the attendant appeared to be on the wrong flight.

Z is for ZZZZZZ. If you are travelling from US to Europe then get the very last plane (9pm or later), board as the very last person and head for a bank of empty seats so you can lie down and sleep. Both times the plane has never been more than 25% full.

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