America, home of the brave land of the free

After an intense few weeks of working ever hour my body could muster strength for I jumped on a bus and headed to London. Off on a 7 week holiday around America. I first spent a week in London catching up with a few friends, a couple of hours after arriving in London from my 10 hour bus ride I found myself in a sea of Kiwis celebrating Waitangi day. The air was electric, these costumed, alcohol fueled lovable layabouts were coming from every which part of London to celebrate our national day. I was impressed at the effort some of these guys made, dressing up as Z petrol station workers with their full uniforms, or dressed a sheep and Mongrel mob members.

It was amazing walking through the iconic London streets and feeling like you were home in New Zealand, walking past Big Ben and watching the haka performed in front of Westminster.  I bumped into a couple of guys from high school which I hadn’t seen in 9 years, once again reminding me that it’s a small world.

I caught up with Matt once again and headed off to Heathrow Airport on our way to Lax! After probably the most enjoyable flight I have ever had with Air New Zealand, we arrived in L.A. Newton (a good friend from New Zealand and our reason for coming to America for his forth coming wedding) picked us up from the airport. We had a good catch up that evening, before heading to bed for some well needed sleep. I had just come from a winter in Amsterdam where temperatures have been hovering around -6 to 10 degrees over the last couple of months, and expecting a smiliar temperature here in a Californian winter. How ever I was gobsmacked at the 30 degree super sunny weather that we were greeted with. We wasted no time enjoying every second of sun and warmth as we could. It felt like I needed to thaw my bones out, and within the first week here I think that has happened. We headed to Long beach and Venice beach in the first week, the atmosphere there is my cup of tea, with the vagabonds and market stalls strune across the pathway that leads from there to Santa Monica, the iconic Muscle beach outdoor gym where guys and girls would go to get ripped and soak in the sun. As we walked it was like walking through movie scenes, Pumping iron, American history x, and so on.

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The Grand Canyon has been quite high on my list of things to see before I kick the bucket, so we organised a camping trip to see the colossal natural wonder. This might sound clique,  but it is impossible to verbalise just how magnificent this place is, I was overwhelmed as I walked to the edge of the canyon, looking across at this vast crack in the earth caused by millions of years of erosion and water movement. Standing on the edge of the vast wonder you actually feel like you are looking at a huge painting, as if you could reach out and smudge some of the paint. You can’t truly grasp the magnitude of it simply from standing at the top looking down. I hope at some stage I’ll be able to hike right down into the belly of the canyon to give myself some perspective. The next day we drove to Horse shoe canyon which was not far from the Mathar campground that we were staying at. This incredible canyon was also enough to take your breath away, as we stood on the edge I decided to see how well this place would echo, it turns out it was the most amazing echo I’ve ever heard! It resonated through the canyon multiple times for several seconds!

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We headed back to San Bernadino after a couple of days in the canyon area, on the way home through Arizona state, it was incredible to see the constant changing of landscape, different mountains, rocks and flat desert plains. America is far bigger than I could have imagined and we could see this after only traveling through a fraction of the country.
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