Thursday, June 28, 2007


Last week a few of us decided that while we wait for our social security numbers we should do a spot of travelling. So we did.

On Tuesday we hopped on a bus from San Diego heading for LA. The journey was about 3 hours long with a few stops in those typical Californian seasdie towns. I had planned on sleeping for most of the journey but it was a great oppurtunity to see the countryside.

As we got closer to LA, to the point where we could see the skyscrapers, it dawned on me that we had no idea where we were being dropped off and how we were getting to our final destination. I had imagined a big central bus station but as we drove through what looked like a really rough area, the bus slowed down and pulled into the LA Greyhound Station. Inside the station there was no map telling us where about we were and the information guy just shrugged when I asked him how to get to the city center. We were staying with some friends, who were also on a J1, who lived in Santa Clarita. He told us to get a train from Union Station but failed to mention that they stop running at 8 p.m. So we were stuck in a bus station, no notion of where the bus station was and no idea of how to get out of the bus station.

Luckily we found a taxi driver who agreed to take us there for a discounted rate because he liked the Irish. So the five of us jumped in a taxi and headed for Santa Clarita. Ten minutes into the journey he tries to find the address on his GPS and nothing comes up. He starts ranting in Arabic or something and calls his friend for directions. I get handed a pen and paper and told to write down whatever he says. So there I am, hurtling down the freeway, trying to understand what the hell this guy is saying and wondering if we'll ever make it.

After about half an hour we find the place. We pay him his money and wonder if he'll ever find his way home. If we knew how far out Santa Clarita was, we would never have gone there in the first place. We got some food, had a few drinks and called it a night. The next morning we got up and they had all gone to work but left instructions on how to gt into the city. We had planned on staying with them the whole time but realised when we got there that they live in the middle of nowhere, with nothing around them but desert.

We left their apartment around 2 o'clock and headed for the train station. They forgot to mention that the train station was at least a half an hour walk. Have you ever seen those movies with people in the desert, desperate for water and miles from where they want to be? That was us! Luckily about half way there we found, the greatest thing we'd ever seen in the whole entire world at the time, a Taco Bell. Panting and gasping we crawled to the counter and asked for the largest bucket they had and filled it with water. We left that little haven and eventually made it to the train station where the station master kindly let us sit in his tiny AIR CONDITIONED portacabin/office while we waited for thr train.

The train ride in offered us great views of LA and the Hollywood hills as we got closer. We got into Union Station and jumped on the Metro Underground thingy that took us straight to Hollywood Boulevard. We found the nearest motel and set up camp. Since there's five of us, it works out pretty cheap so we decided to stay an extra night and go home on Friday. Its nice having a real bed to sleep in, instead of a constantly deflating air matress. We plan on doing all the touristy things today and tomorrow so I better wrap this up and get going.

I get my social security number today so I can finally get a job when I get back to San Diego. I cant wait to start working and get some money. It'll give me something to do as well I suppose. Anyway, till next time!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm still alive!!!!

Sorry, sorry sorry!!! i know when i started this i said i'd post regulary and its clear that i've failed at that. but anyway, to the good stuff!!!

after my great 10 days in Alabama, i made it to San Diego last Tuesday evening. Its crazy to think that i'm here nearly a week already. This place is incredible!!!! Unfortunetly, the only web access i have is a weird terminal thing (with a really annoying keyboard) in a cafe across the street so i cant upload any pictures just yet. i might try and locate one where i can, because i already have tonnes!! but back to san diego. our house is great, a block from the beach on one side, and a block from the bay on the other. the bus stop is right outside our door linking us to the city and the big supermarkets nearby so we're in no way stranded. its quite a busy area being right beside the beach so there's always a good atmosphere, even in the evenings.

i'll be getting my social security number tomorrow so i'll have a job in no time. there's actually loads available, you just need you number to apply. blockbuster videos is looking for seasonal workers just up the street so i might try in there. i'll keep you posted on that one.

one of the first things i did when i got here was buy a body board. there are load of little surf shops around that sell really good second hand boards for the same price you pay to rent one for a day!!! its a really great way to wake up the morning, especially after a night out!!!

the timer on the internet kiosk is running out pretty quickly so i'll wrap this up. i promise to do better with keeping you up to date. later!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Lots and lots of water!!!

Yesterday, we went to a water park in Atlanta called White Water. Last year we went to a smaller one somewhere in Alabama but I was assured that this one was much, much bigger. And it was. We got there just after it opened so it was quiet enough at first but filled up pretty quickly. We did all the usual tube thingys but the highlight of the day had to be, THE TORNADO!!!! The Tornado is basically a six storey high funnel, lying on its side, like so:

So basically you're in an inflatible tube thing that hold either 2 or 4 people and you enter the funnel thing at quite a high speed from the left and slide up the other side.

Then you go back and forth, back and forth until you get to the thinest part of the funel where you're spat out into a pool. You dont actually realise how steep the drop into the funnel is until you are right up on it. Its all rather fun!! That description doesn't really do it justice. Lets just say I couldn't talk sense for quite some time!!. There was lots of "Did ya see...." and "That was....." and "I nearly wet.....". You get the idea!

So anyway, i'm leaving for San Diego tomorrow!!! Can't believe its that time already!! I think 6 of us are there already so hopefully they'll have found furniture of some description. i found a shopping mall nearby to where we live and i've emailed my cv etc to them so it'll be interesting to see if anything comes of that. I'm not really fussy what I do just as long as I find something.

gotta run.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Food of the Gods!!!

I've found it!! That one food item to end all other food items. And who knew there'd be so many of them!!! Yesterday afternoon, around 4ish, we arrived at the golden gates of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

For anyone who hasn't been ther before, let me explain the genius of this place. When you walk in, one side of the store is a window that lets you see the doughnuts being cooked and galzed and they pass by on conveyor belts. When you order your doughnuts you can get them straight from the belt. For me, doughnuts were always tough, doughy and really hard to get down. Krispy Kreme plain doughnuts on the other hand, when you get them fresh, are so, SO much better. They just melt in your mouth. Incredible!!!

At this rate i'm gonna be huge by the time I get home!!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

And so it begins!!

So i'm finally here. Spent Friday in Dublin meeting some friends and sorting some things out. Amanda and I went out to dinner tht night and met some of her work friends for drinks. I had planned on only having 1 or 2 drinks but that turned into 4 or 5. I eventually called and end to it because I didn't like the prospect of flying for 8 hours with a hangover.

I arrived into Birmingham airport yesterday around 5ish. We left Dublin 40 mintes late but arrived 10 minutes early. Supposedly we had 'favourble tail winds' or somethin like that. Just under 8 hours so it was pretty good come to think of it. The stopover in Atlanta was grand. I was only waiting for about an our after I went through security and all the craic again. I managed to stay up till 10 last night so i got a good nights sleep and i think i've adjusted. We're heading over to Jeris' parents house today for lunch/dinner.

It still hasn't sunk in yet that i've actually left. Probably wont until I get to San Diego and see the guys.

Anyway, gotta go so i'll post again soon. Anyone who didn't get me mobile number for over here and wants its can email me or just leave a comment. Later