Europe, North America · 14 Days · 23 Moments · July 2017

Darren n Lins through USA - 2017

2 August 2017

Well the final day has arrived and what a great holiday it has been. Simply amazing! We spent the start of the last day chilling by the pool which was hot hot hot!!! We then hit the Casino where Lins managed to get on to the main wheel of wheel of fortune! We then hit a few bars before settling in our favourite RHUMBAR where we had the compulsory fish bowl. It was great just sat there drinking and watching the world go buy. On the way back I had a 'quick go' on the blackjack table and played until 2am. I can't believe it is all over and we go back tomorrow :-( :-( But what great memories we have!

1 August 2017

Another day in Vegas - we went for a walk along the strip to check out some of the other hotels and partake in a little retail therapy.....when that built up enough of a thirst we had a few beers in the BEER PARK. A great roof top terrace overlooking the Bellargio fountains. I had an amazing burger and lins had about 3kg of hummus! We then grabbed some booze from a liquor store and chilled out in the room with some drinks. That night we hit the casino where lins tried her hand at the slots unsuccessfully. Before we went to Gillian's bar. They had a karaoke night....... but in Vegas NEVER put your name down to sing- the guys here are all wanna be singers and everyone of them was amazing! Only a few days left :-( :-(

31 July 2017

Back in Vegas baby!!! The 3rd time in 2 weeks and this time we are staying at the TI. We landed around 1pm after a delay at Salt Lake City and we were pleased to get a room without a wait. We had blue man group booked for the evening so with a few hours to chilli out in most would head to the pool or the casino..... not me..... the gym!!! After that we headed down to Gilleys ( home of the Bikini bull riders ) for a drink and then walked down the strip to hopefully get some food on the way. After a week at a festival we were just hoping for some healthy food - but in a 1 hour walk we could find nothing that could tempt lins ( except some AntiAcid tablets ). The BMG were amazing as ever - and the atmosphere was amazing - we grabbed a taxi back to the room and got room service and a bottle of wine..... 1hour 30 later it arrived and was the wrong food..... we cracked open the bottle of wine and waited another 40 minutes - but finally we got the healthy food we were craving !!!

30 July 2017

Last day of music festival done! We took the usual 5km walk to the venue and this time the weather took its toll as lins got heat stroke. She couldn't cool down at all. We managed to get to the front line for Jackson who actually spotted us in the crowd and came over and shook hands mid set after remembering us from THE GUYS FROM ENGLAND from a chat we had with him earlier in the week. We then went to see him afterwards and grabbed a picture with him. It was the hottest day of the lot today well over 110F and lins almost fainted and threw up just before Keith Urban came on which was a real shame as this was the act she was most looking forward too. But she pushed through and Keith was amazing. We got home around 11pm and were up again at 3am to get to the hotel for our flight back to what seems our second home......VEGAS BABY!!

29 July 2017

So we have done 3 days of the festival and wow! It is amazing. Basically sat around in the sun drinking beer and listening to music . What is not to like. I have managed to get up every morning and go for a run along the river which has been nice - and then we walk an hour along the river to get to the venue. A lovely walk and certainly builds up a thirst and keeps the steps up on what has been a very active holiday. Day 1 music was good with a couple of artists we had not hear of - but lins has already bought the album and I am looking to buy pink shorts ( long story ), Day 2 the headliner Luke Bryan was amazing. Day 3 we were on the front row and lins was a favourite of the camera man so shown on the screen many times..... it finished with headliner and my favourite Chris Stapleton. Wow wow wow. It was all worth the journey just to see him. I had far to much to drink but lins got me home. I had a bad morning on day 2 when toilet was totally blocked and had to go buy a plunger!!!

28 July 2017

So we took redneck taxis to the festival and wow - there were thousands and thousands of daisy dukes, country boys and people just having fun. We had to queue and get ID bracelets to prove we were over 21 and lins had forgotten to bring ID so I spent the rest of the day smuggling her booze. But we were sat in 105F heat , drinking booze and listening to music. It was great. The artists we had not heard of before - but out of the 4 two of them were particularly good and iTunes albums were bought there and then. No queues for booze as you buy tickets first so the drinks flowed freely and the atmosphere was amazing .... bring on the next three days as the artists become better- and the crowds become bigger. I have never been to a festival quite like this - but I can certainly see the attraction!!!

27 July 2017

So we have arrived in Oregon. And wow what a lovely green place it is. We landed at Medford airport which is a tiny airport and found one of only three taxis in this tiny town. They have a population of only 70,000 and are expecting that to almost double this weekend for the festival. We arrive at our hotel at 9am and are greeted by the first two rude Americans we have met. They told us we couldn't check in till a minute after 3 and there was nowhere to leave our bags. I had to almost plead to leave the suitcases and after that we took a long walk to Walmart to buy our festival chairs. We had tacobell for lunch and popped back to hotel to see if any chance of a room. As we walked in.....NOT TILL THREE was shouted at us..... if we hadn't of paid I would have cancelled right then. We walked to a local bar and were once again in amongst normal Americans - we met a lady who could talk to animals and the barmaid was trying to get us to stay at her hotel. It was a great and bizarre afternoon

26 July 2017

The sad day had come when we would say goodbye to our great friends, travel companions and hiking partners the pannells. We had laughed, drunk, hiked, laughed, drunk, laughed, eaten, laughed and driven for 5 days and had an amazing time. THANKS GUYS!!! It was a 4 hour drive back from Bryce Canyon to Vegas, but before that we just had to have another one of those coffees!!! The drive back was straight forward and the cooks were dropped off at Palms hotel were we headed straight to the pool for a few drinks and a chill-out and an early night ahead of the super early flight to Oregon and part three of our adventure
After our hike we all went and had a coffee and a hot shower - wow!!! What a coffee. We all agreed it was the best coffee we had ever had. Maybe it was because we had just finished a 6 hour hike, maybe cause we had been up since 6:00am with no coffee. What ever the reason it was amazing and has even made the blog!!!

25 July 2017

We awoke to the sound of failing rain - which seemed quite strange as we had barely seen a cloud in the sky for the last 5 days. But our hike plan had been set and off we set at stupid o'clock in a bid to miss the crowds! ( as it was for some strange reason - or maybe the weather - we didn't see another soul on the trails for almost 3 hours!!). It was raining - but we had the right gear, we were on holiday and the usual laughter and banter continued. The views were breath taking and the hoodoos are simply weird! It was like being on a film set or an alien planet..... bonkers. The rain got heavier and the mud got deeper but we soon were half way and time for a cup of tea at the general stores. We pushed on and took in the amazing Wall Street and wall of windows - we had sausage sandwiches and pushed and finished with a huge climb to Bryce point. We were done...... until I realised that if we pushed on another 30 minutes we would do all the summits in the park.... what to do? On we went!

24 July 2017

So we left Zion Park and headed 2 hours further into Utah into Bryce Canyon and the home of the Hoo-doos. On arriving at our lovely cabin we headed off to the Visitor centre and plan the next days hike. There are about 5 separate trails and I planned a route that did them all!!! We showed the guy at the visitor centre and he said with raised eyebrows... 'that is quite a hike!!' - the challenge had been set. We grabbed some drinks ( not easy in Mormon country ) and headed back to the cabin for a BBQ steak and hot tub!

23 July 2017

So for the second day of hiking in Zion Park we decided to hit the hardest trail that took us to the highest peak that looked over the whole Zion Valley. We again got up super early and had the trail and mountain pretty much to ourselves. It was 3 hours of almost straight up trail in breathtaking scenery! The sun was out and it was hot hot hot. Reaching the top we took some great photos and sat down for brunch of what afterwards we realised was part baked bread. The walk down was obviously easier but the heat was up to 109F ( thank god we did this early ) and we saw many people on there way up who we voted on who was going to make it to the top. I then decided to take the team on an additional trail to the emerald pools and we nearly all melted out there. But we survived!! Just. After a quick chill out we went for a Mexican meal and had a great laugh making out it was Robbo's birthday. Talk of human centipedes, bowl-gate , Paul's toilet attempts and some old Oz photos. Classic Night!

22 July 2017

Wow!! So today we went hiking in the narrows at Zion park. The alarm went off at 5:00am ( I thought this was a holiday!!) and after a forgotten pole issue we headed off. We hired neroprene socks, canyoning boots a long wooden poles and basically climbed into a river and waded through it for six hours in a deep crevasse. It was epic. We were pretty much on our own as we tripped, stumbled and climbed over fallen debris from the flash floods that they have through these. On the way back we were so thankful we had started early as the last hour the river was filled with thousands of ill prepared tourists. We were shattered when we finished - but after a quick chill out we bought some booze and pizza and sat out in the beautiful evening taking in the amazing scenery and chatting away about old times. We have decided that we are all going to invest in CRISPR and make tall people!
Disaster - we over slept and woke up 5 minutes after the time we were supposed to meet - but after some comedy bouncing around we managed to get ready in 4 minutes...... but we made it. We had a fantastic meal in a speak easy restaurant - we had to go through a secret door at the back of a shop. The food was amazing and the great banter continued - after the meal we headed off to downtown Vegas and we went on SlotZilla - a zip line down the length of Fremont Street. It was epic and the four of us raced down head first side by side in a great race ( obviously I won!!! ). It was great to see the old town of Vegas and we had some nice post zip line beers in the Golden Nugget watching the world go by. WOW WHAT A FIRST DAY - so much done.....
Wow - what a first day..... due to the time difference it seems about a week since we left London. It was a great flight with a bit of drama mid way through when someone had a heart attack but other than that was trouble free. We landed within 10 minutes of Robbo and paul and headed straight to the hotel. We are staying at the Aria hotel which is an amazing new hotel and lins had already booked a junior suite..... but we were lucky and got upgraded to one of the sky suites..... awesome. But it was dump bags and straight out to the English pub for a catch up - had some classic stories ( xing the road, ITS VEGAS BABY) - the beers and wines flew down and we popped back to our rooms to fresh up for our evening meal..... we decided to just have a quick 30 minute nap just to recharge......

21 July 2017

Just arrived at Zion National!!!
Limo transfer to the car hire depot........ #highrollers

20 July 2017

Well finally the day has arrived and we are off to Vegas baby!!!! Sat in Stansted airport drinking a beer and excited about the next two week adventure!!