One last entry from me.... for now....

I mentioned a while ago, putting together a list of the various things I liked about certain cities/towns we visited. Just so you know, this is my opinion. I'm sure Tiia has other views of the different places. 

Anyway, here we go:

Best City: Tie between NYC, Vancouver, Chicago, Boston and San Diego

Prettiest places: Breckenridge (Colorado. You have to see it! It's like something from a fairytale! Everything I saw of Colorado was just beautiful. If it's not on your list of travel destinations, make sure you add it. It's a truly beautiful state!), Whistler (British Columbia), Old Montreal

Friendliest locals: San Diego, Chicago, Colorado, Montreal, Boston, NYC, because Suz's upstairs neighbours were just so wonderful to us!

Best beach/waterfront: Santa Monica/Venice/Malibu (LA),  Ocean Beach (San Diego), Seattle, San Francisco

Best city architecture: DC, Montreal, Chicago, Boston, NYC

Best food: There can only be one winner. Montreal. No contest!

Best shopping: Vegas, NYC, Breckenridge (unexpectedly! Best soaps ever!), Boston --really cool marketplace by the waterfront! And Newbury street -- the designer stuff! Not that I could afford it...

Dodgiest place we stayed in: Hollywood and Vine in LA (don't venture onto Sunset Boulevard!!! Don't do it!!!), Fremont in Vegas (nothing like the bus driver telling you to watch out for pick pockets when you get off at the end of the street you're staying in..)

Best places we stayed in: Hostels in fantastic locations in Montreal (Old Montreal), Chicago and Boston. Oh, and Ocean Beach. Those were definitely the best locations. Some of the others were in strip club districts. These were top of the list for safety.

The "liked it unexpectedly" place: Vegas. For two people who don't gamble, we had fun in Vegas

The "undomesticated equines couldn't drag me back there" place: Tijuana

I was going to add a "the places I want to go back to" category, too, but I want to go back to ALL those places. Except Tijuana. That I can live without!!
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    crap Christmas day tv...

Los Angeles pictures

I can't decide whether I liked LA or not...I loved the beaches but otherwise, hmm, I don't know. In most places you feel safe walking around, even on your own - in LA I really didn't. Not even during the day sometimes. The place is such a contrast, you have the homeless and begging people who have nothing versus the boastful houses of the rich who have everything. It's like that everywhere but in LA it's ten times worse. And my God, bloody scientology is everywhere! Especially on Hollywood Boulevard, ugh.  But like we mentioned quite a few times, we really loved Santa Monica and Venice so they pretty much made up for everything else.

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    hungry hungry

Pics from San Diego, Tijuana and Las Vegas

I think the last pictures I posted were from Los Angeles (though there will be more of those at some point as well) so I'm going to put up some piccies from San Diego, the horrible trip to Tijuana and Las Vegas for your enjoyment:)
Still pretty tired, I keep taking naps...But it snowed last night, yay! Not a lot of snow but at least hopefully some for Christmas.

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    weird weird

They're gone ....

I can't believe I dropped them off at the airport to go home. I feel like I was just picking them up and we were all excited about Halloween! And here it is, almost Christmas, and they're gone. Today was a very hectic day for me. I called in sick, and of course the girl who was doing the payroll had tons of questions and problems. So we couldn't really do much, as I had to be available at home. But we did manage to go eat breakfast at Magic Bagels and get to Target so Tiia could pick up a Christmas gift (I think Alicia bought a CD too).

Let's start from last Thursday. I picked them both up at the train station and we went to eat at my favorite Chinese place and then walked a few doors down to get Munchkins & hot chocolate. They insisted that 50 Munchkins were too many. I laughed and said, "You'll see!" Sure enough, come morning, there were about 10 left. LOL So we finished them up for breakfast along with our Magic Bagels! Friday we slept in and took it easy. We went to TGI Friday's for dinner and Alicia ordered the Eggplant sandwich. But when it was delivered, she thought it was meat, but it wasn't. It was eggplant but breaded and fried. She said they grill everything in Australia, so she'd never seen something like that before. But she said it was good none the less. After dinner we went to the Jones Beach Christmas Spectacular Light Show and then to the Long Island Christmas Tree over at EAB Plaza (which is now Reckson's Plaza, but no one calls it that). Here are some pictures from the Jones Beach show (under the cut):

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    sad sad

Last day

So, the day has come for Alicia and I to go home. It's kind of sad. Feels like we only started this trip yesterday - weird. We're currently just hanging out at Suz's place, waiting to leave for the airport in a couple of hours. My flight is at 6, Alicia's at 7. We went to Magic Bagels for breakfast and then to pick up some stuff from Target to try and put into our overstuffed bags. And Sue has given me Jack Daniels BBQ sauce that I need to find room for. Just to explain, I eat BBQ sauce with everything:)
I will be posting pics when I get home, either here or my own journal, or both. Other than that, I suppose this community will slumber until the next trip rolls around, wherever and whenever that might end up being.
So, as the evil Stargate people like to say: To be continued...
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The dreaded P word...

You know the one -- packing. Tiia and I are doing it again. For the final time. Suz is shocked by the amount of junk we've accumulated over the past seven weeks.

Anyway -- I should update today. We were up at a reasonable hour (about 9am, I think...) and got ready to go into the city. After getting the train from Long Island into the city, we had the most insane cab ride of our entire trip. The driver was fine, but one driving nearby was NOT! He nearly cut us off, which led to our driver rolling down his window and yelling "Brother! Don't be crazy! Don't drive like that!" It was quite funny -- even funnier when we realised the other driver wasn't actually on the way anywhere... because about two seconds later he pulled over to pick up some passengers who hailed him as he was driving along.

We finally got where we where going -- which was to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Amazing stuff! Very, very impressive, and when you watch it, you know that they have to have had months and months of rehearsals. Live animals, dancing, singing, the whole lot! 

Once the show finished, we took photos of the Christmas tree they had set up there, and just at the craziness inside the venue. After that, it was off to check out the Christmas tree and skating rink at Rockerfeller Plaza. OMG! The crowds. Unbelievable. I've never seen so many people in my life. We had to be very, very careful not to lose each other.

After that, lunch/dinner at Planet Hollywood. It was a 20 minute wait to get in, which was fine, but the waiter said that our burgers took forever to come out because Tiia and Suz wanted theirs well done. What the? How long does that take? And the other people who came in after us got their food much earlier. Anyway, we eventually ate, drank enough water and diet coke for 20 people, had a brownie between the three of us, and went out to brave the crowds again.

Big change. There were about twice as many people as before, when we headed back to the Christmas tree and skating rink, and we actually had to use the "hang onto the person in front" technique to not lose each other. It was fine in parts, but whenever we got near something interesting, there was a crowd about 10 people deep, all people heading in different directions. It was like being pulled along by a current!

It took a while to get back to Penn Station after we decided to go, because once again -- a sea of people! The good thing is that there were some parts of the road where you could actually walk ON the road, instead of on the footpath, though we did walk on the footpath long enough to find some prints that Tiia and I wanted to take home. Five dollars each. So they're not works of art, but put them in a frame, and I think they'll look pretty good. Things like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Chrysler building and Central Park. I got three, Tiia got two.

Got home, the kids upstairs bailed us up, and we went upstairs to take some photos of them in front of their Christmas tree. Suz rents from the world's coolest family. The girls are total entertainers (they're four and nine) and their parents are great. We went up there for dessert last night, and ended up staying until after midnight.

Anyway, once the photos were taken, we came back down to Suz's place, she got on the computer to catch up with her life and Tiia and I watched the final ep of Jag. Now Suz is watching Lord of the Rings, Tiia's packing, and I SHOULD be packing....

I think that's my cue to go.....

Yeah... packing. Fun.
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    Tiia packing
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Taking it easy

Today was a lazy day. Lazy days rock. Suz called in "sick" in the morning and then we hit the Green Acres mall for some Christmas ornament shopping. Had a late lunch at TGI Friday's and then drove to Jones Beach for the Holiday Lights Spectacular. LOTS of very pretty Christmas lights and I would put up pictures but I can't remember where the cable thingy is...We also went to see the massive Long Island Christmas tree and ice-skating rink and had hot chocolate which was almost as good as the Dunkin' Donuts one.
Now Suz is desperately trying to make sense of the horrible NYC Subway system and there is Lord of the Rings on the telly. We are going to be brave and go to the city tomorrow - apparently there won't be any space to move as everyone else will be there too. That should be an interesting experience.
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    Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Back at Suz's house....

We just ate Chinese.

Then Suz bought donuts.

And there's a Rodney-centric ep to watch.

That is all.

Oh, and Boston is still seriously pretty, but Suz's particular part of NY has lots of nice Christmas lights!
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    The TV

Soaked in Boston

Eh...I wonder why exactly I chose to leave the hostel this morning without an umbrella when the forecast said it would rain? After four years in England I should know better...Anyway, I went to Harvard this morning on my own as Alicia wasn't that much into it. It was pretty cool, lots of buildings made of red brick with ivy growing along the walls. Ivy League indeed. I got myself a Harvard sweatshirt which I'm wearing as we speak. It's very big and comfy and really warm which is good after all that rain. I think I'm going to wear it for the plane when I go home. I kind of have to as it wouldn't fit anywhere in my bags...
After Harvard I walked around in the said rain for a few hours looking for a place which would sell me my keyring and fridge magnet and postcards. I couldn't find any! Seriously, I don't know why, but Boston does not have any tourist shops. Finally I located a t-shirt shop where I got a keyring from and a tiny newsagents which had some fridge magnets. The funny thing was I got the magnet for 2 dollars and later saw the very same one in a tourist information place for 9! Good thing I went to the newsagents first! Then to Walgreens for some postcards.
I just had McDonalds for dinner...And I saw in the news something about a serial killer in Suffolk, England. What's going on over there? Have to check Amtrak for trains to New York tomorrow. Can't believe I'm already making arrangements for how to get home in Finland! The seven weeks have gone by so fast.
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    okay okay