January 23rd, 2009


Earthlike planet / US trip details

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So, back to Planet Earth for a bit: thanks for all your tips and advice re the US trip, guys! Based on feedback, we will be booking our tickets through a travel agent, we will NOT be renting a car (no experience driving in snow), we will be travelling via a combination of lifts, greyhound buses and interstate flights for the longer legs, and we won't be stopping off at Mexico. The tentative plan looks like this:

LEG 1:

LA (Disneyland?, shooting range) -> San Bernadino Mtns (awesome environments) --> Vegas (would love to catch Penn & Teller live) --> Arizona (Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest) --> New Mexico (Carlsbad Caverns, Roswell) --> Colorado (Rocky Mountains, cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, Alpine slide) --> Wyoming (Yellowstone, Devils Tower?) --> Montana (Glacier)


LEG 2:

New Orleans (Just wander around the place and soak up the Awesome) --> Florida (Shuttle launch?, Hollywood, Miami)


LEG 3:

Washington (White House, Smithsonian, ???) --> New York (catch a musical - Avenue Q?, Metropolitan Museum of Art, ???)



- Joe wants to rent a convertible in LA (or Miami, or Hollywood). :D
- I threw in Devils Tower because I'm a nut for 'Close Encounters'.
- On that note, I threw in Roswell for the lulz, and because it's not out of our way.
- Getting from Wyoming to Montana is going to be a long haul.
- Getting from Carlsbad Caverns to the Rocky Mountains (via Roswell) is also going to be a long haul.
- We had to make a choice between Utah and New Mexico. Joe nearly died of joy when I mentioned the Carlsbad Caverns, so NM won out.
- If I can see Penn & Teller live, I will die happy. If I can meet them after the show I will probably drop dead RIGHT ON THE SPOT. <3 <3 <3
- Grand Canyon is reliant on snowfall and park opening / closing dates.
- The things we want to see in Arizona are quite some distance apart - a couple hundred km at least between, say, Grand Canyon and Phoenix, or Phoenix and the Petrified Forest. We also want to see the Painted Desert and maybe stop off in Sedona. So how much we can see here relies on how good the bus services are, or how willing Amy is to hit the road with us for long periods of time!

- Shuttle launch dates are outside our trip dates, but as trip dates are not set yet we may shift them backwards or forwards a little to see if we can encompass one of the scheduled shuttle launches, and then hope that it isn't postponed!
- Joe wants to see Miami. He's a big fan of 'Dexter'. ;)
- We'll be doing Disneyland in CA, so no Disney World for us.
- Definitely would like to see Hollywood, just 'cos.
- What do you all suggest we do in New Orleans? So far the emphasis there seems to be the architecture and socializing.

- Plans on what to do in NY and Washington are still fuzzy - not because there's nothing to do, but because there's so much it's going to be hard to choose! Recommendations for those areas would be appreciated. Thankfully I have macbeemer in NY and stardustshine in Washington to show me what's what. :)

Crash space / tour guides

In the list below, listings with LJ usernames after the location signify that we have someone who is either going to play tour-guide, or crashspace provider, or giver-of-lifts-to-the-next-location, or some/all of the above. Who wants to do what is something I need to discuss with each person in question! Where the entry is bolded, we're looking for crashspace. Anyone who can help us get from one location to the next would also be massively appreciated. <3

Details like time-of-stay (in brackets beside location) are still very much up in the air.

Also, can those of you familiar with the various areas run your eyes over my travel time allowances and tell me if I'm close to the mark? I used a lot of guesstimation and outright making-shit-up with the estimates. Eg, Vegas looks to be ~400km from San Bernardino so I'm guesstimating half a day by car, 3/4 of a day by bus? I rounded it up to 1 day on the road to be safe.


(fly in)

- LA city and surrounds (1 night) - ruggels
- Disneyland (1 night) - crzydemona
- San Bernardino and surrounds (1-2 nights) - thornwolf

(bus/ride: 1 day)

- Las Vegas (1 night) - albylion

(bus/ride: 1 day)

- Grand Canyon (1 day, no o/night stay) - I'm hoping to meet tengukun here.
- Phoenix and surrounds (2 nights) - tengukun

(bus/ride: 1 day)

- Carlsbad Caverns and Roswell, New Mexico (2 nights) - ???????

(bus/ride: ~2 days)

- The Rockies, Colorado (3 nights) - ???????? (justascream has offered to play tourguide but we still need a couch)

(bus/ride: 1 day)

- Yellowstone Park & Devils Tower, Wyoming (2 nights) - ????????

(bus/ride: ~2 days)

- Glacier National Park, Montana (1 night) - ????????

(flight: 1/2 day)

- New Orleans (1 night) - ????????

(bus: 1 day)

- Miami and Hollywood, Florida (2 nights) - ????????

(flight: 1/2 day)

- Washington DC - (3 nights) stardustshine

(bus/ride: 1 day)

- New York - (3 nights) macbeemer

(fly home)

I may have missed some ideas here, and as I'm unfamiliar with the geography, if there's any cool cities / landmarks along / between the points of the route I've planned there, poke me and let me know!

Also, the math here adds up to 35 days. I may have overestimated some travel times (when I estimate "1 day" I actually count it as a full day-and-night) but if the trip will really take that long, we'll just account for that and take a little more time off to fit it all in.
Cats - Sawyer: OMGYEY!

This weekend...

This weekend is...

- Going on a long drive with Joe and niad's cuz to discover just what lies beyond Towoomba (we expect it may be a lot of big, flat nothing);
- Going to a nice restaurant with JB, Liz, and various others for cocktails and delicious foods;
- Vacuuming;
- Probably not getting around to tidying up the study;
- Probably not getting around to photographing my animation books to sell;
- Possibly finding a new home for my eeePC;
- Working out a budget for the USA trip!

I'm internally running in joyful circles because when we go to Vegas, we are going to see PENN AND TELLER LIVE! Wheeee!