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Travel Not Tour - by Liv Hambrett

Hola, Hot Tamales!

March 24th 2008 10:35
It has been so long since last I penned a blog. This shall surely produce a divided response. Fury from the true dedicated blog readers and relief at a fresh update, and horror/resignation from the faux-blog reader who secretly hates trawling through the inane stories of this adventure. I shall write on, in the face of both responses.

I last left you when we were departing for San Diego. Because I have limited time, and because once I get started on the topic of Greyhound, I shall not stop, I will provide you with key words regarding our bus ride to San Diego from downtown LA.

*Late (by an hour)

*Oderous
*Long
*Nausea inducing
*Offered fries by two different people on two different occasions because we were eating raw noodles and must have looked homeless/orphaned
*Dirty
*Accidential consumption of green 'Yummy Tarts' - green because off, not because lime flavoured


That being said, the above key terms could just as smoothly be applied to LA in general.

When we arrived in downtown San Diego, Jenny picked us up in her 'truck' (everyone in California drives a monster mobile ... apparently you're nobody until you get a lifted 350 truck that could roll over a house) and took us back to her house which is located in 'College Area' - as the name would suggest, frat and sorority houses line the streets, and everywhere you look is a hot-panted American college student saying 'like' and 'totally' and 'cute'. We 'got cleaned up' and Jenny took us to the local college hotspot for mexican(which is what I existed on for the next 3 days straight ... nothing but burritos and tequila passed my lips) and then down to Pacific Beach for some drinks with the local PBers. For a nightcap we stopped into her boyfriend, Chad's, bar - The Stadium Bar - which was festooned with Fosters paraphernalia, for some unknown reason. Being in San Diego was like being permanently on the set of an all American teen movie. The sun always shone, the frat boys drank Budweiser, and the sorority girls sported perma-tans. Jenny was the hostess with the mostess, and excelled herself the next day when she took us to ...


MEXICO!!!!

Total trip highlight thus far. Chad and one of jen's housemates, Melissa came with us, again in jenny's truck. It was incredible. We only went to Tijuana, where all the college kids truck on down to to get pissed legally, as the Mexican drinking age is 18. We had barely taken 2 steps into the country before we sat down for margeritas, which turned into a couple of rounds, with a tequila shot for good measure, which meant by the time we left the bar to actually start sightseeing, no one was walking a particularly straight line. The colours of the city were so bright, but faded by the sun, so the buildings and signs were in rows of dusty pastels.
Again, time restraints dictate the necessity for key terms:

*Shop vendors - 'bonita chicas, you liiiiike?'
*Dirty
*Manipulative little children who are trained to look sad if you don't buy their parents' wares
*Strawberry margeritas
*a mechanical bull - Michele, I declined to ride it
*the best fajitas in the world
*bloody hot

The next day we explored downtown San Diego, which is like the love child of Sydney and Brisbane, but not as built up - clean, sunny, palm tree filled and spacious. That night Jenny saved the best for last and took us to a popular college spot that's big on a Wednesday (like El Rrrrrancho) called Typhoon Saloon, where a ridiculous cover band called Metal Skool play everyone's fave metal tracks whilst wearing an obscene amount of lycra and being as vulgar as humanly possible short of undressing and performing sex acts onstage. I realise that sounds absolutely foul. We found an Aussie there, amongst the frat boys, who begged us to stay because he was 'sick of being the only arsehole' and had no American friends. It was so good to see the big, ruddy head of an Aussie, after so many square jaws and chinos.

We left San Diego in the same stylish way we arrived - on a rancid Greyhound vessel - and spent the entire day on public transport, trying to find our accommodation which ended up being located in hell (aka down the road from LAX). We ended up being forced to flag down a sherrif's car and get directions, and when we finally arrived at 'Tradewinds', it was to be greeted by the most outrageous hotel/motel I have ever laid eyes on. And that is a huge call. I am talking Porpoise Spit meets 1985 retirement village decor. Microwave food served in a dining room Kath & Kim would have been proud to be seen in - think faux carnation and baby breath flower arrangements, and red serviettes arranged in fans poking out of glasses. A margerita that almost poisoned me. And the crowning moment, the discovery of a dubious stain on my bed. I think I caught bed lice.

The next day we caught a plane to San Fran and unfortunately, this is where I have to leave you. Time has run out, so I will have to wait until next time to regale you with tales of San Fran and its tenderloin district, our trip to Seattle and ferry to Canada. As I type, I am in a hotel in downtown Vancouver - it just so happens Court's dad is some name in hotels, and so accommodation this week has been something of a breeze.

Stay tuned for San Fran and Canada, which I will hopefully have up by the end of the week, with accompanying photos. I warn you, most of them feature us eating.
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