vacation week.

started with 5 days in a row at the terminal, as my last hurrah of sorts. wed night to meet a caterer. thurs night board meeting, then the TAPS ghost hunt on Fri and Sat, and finally our own ghost hunt Sunday. the weekend was pretty fun, and we made some money. they started with a meet and greet for the people who bought tickets, and then went into a lecture by John Zaffa, a demonologist, which was…interesting. a bunch of stuff about exorcisms etc. jason and grant followed that with their own presentation/lecture, and some video from some of their shows and other non tv investigations. once it got dark, about 9pm they broke into groups and the rest of the night was the actual hunt. friday night i got a psychic reading done on para-x radio haha. interesting and mostly bull, of course. saturday night was much the same, only i didn’t stay the whole time cuz i was tired and bored. sunday was without celebs, and 200$ cheaper hahaha. we had about 40 people and WNY Ghost Hunters brought in some people to speak, and then at dark again, broke into much much smaller groups to investigate the floors. i don’t really think the terminal is haunted, but they’ve been finding some interesting things. someone on the hunt got a pretty impressive EVP in fedele’s apartment.

anyway. it was a good weekend for us, and technically my last one for a long while. i don’t want to see that place again for months haha

so today i left for a real vacation for the last 4 days i have off. i ended up deciding on braddock pa, trans allegany asylum and west virginia penn in WV. turns out david was going to be in wv with his gf at the same time, and decided to meet me in braddock.

well…braddock was not what i was expecting 1. it is way close to pittsburgh and i pictured it farther out, sorta middle of nowhere mountains. 2. it is bigger than i thought it would be. i was expecting a main street and then houses spread out over several other streets. instead it was crowded with buildings (yes mostly empty, especially main street) 3. since it was crowded with buildings, and most of them were houses, there wasn’t anything to really photograph. 4. they still have a US Steel mill?!!? i don’t quite understand what this city’s problem is. i thought they were ruined and the population had left because industry had left, but they have a big steel plant and a large hospital and it is very close to pittsburgh. i don’t get it. it’s also right next to rankine, which i didn’t realize til i was driving and suddenly realized i had been there before, with dan 2 years ago haha. so i met up with david in braddock and we drove around a bit, but then left to some places he knew of in nearby mckeesport. visited an old hotel, steel fabricator (i think) factory and a church. so it ended up being successful. i then followed him down into WV and am now spending the night in morganstown.

tomorrow is weston and trans allegany lunatic asylum. woo. i’m excited tho i hear the tour goes way too fast for good photo taking, but i suppose i can always take the tour twice 🙂


back from vegas.

headed out to visit adr in vegas on tuesday. arrived in the afternoon, and wow. hot. for those who don’t know, flying into vegas in the summer sucks. lots of turbulence from the desert heat, and i was in 2nd last row of the plane. not fun. good thing i hadn’t eaten since work the night before. and as you come into town and look below, it’s nothing…nothing…desert…more desert….nothing…desert…hoover dam…nothing…bam vegas. and looking at all that desert wasteland you have to think, who in their right mind ages ago was traveling the continent and thought, “hey this is a nice place, let’s settle here.” it’s almost uninhabitable hahah. i still think vegas is the most bizarre place on earth.

anyway. first stop, eating at a SONIC! omg! FINALLY. after being tortured with all those sonic commercials and the closest location being 3+ hours away, score! we NEED a sonic, it is SO good, i’d eat there all the time. just the best. tues night we went downtown and played pai gow at binions for 3 hours or so, only losing $50 haha. walked around and got some dinner at the golden gate diner.

wednesday we were supposed to take the nevada test site tour. as you may have read 2 months ago i joyously posted we were taking the tour…2 months ago i said that…got it? 2 months ago we were confirmed for the tour, but the paperwork we were supposed to get the week before never came. so we called on tuesday to find out, and low and behold we’re not on the attendance list for the tour. adr talked to the lady to try to find out what happened, the lady looked and oh yeah, she has my email with our information and confirmation but somehow we’re not on the list, and she just can’t go and bump someone else off the tour for us. she said we could go at departure time anyway, to see if people don’t show up, but 6 people would not have to show up to allow us to go. we had at first said yes, we’d go and see but later that day we decided not to even try. 6 ppl was alot to not show up, and it would suck to get up that early and not go. we decided to go to hoover dam on wednesday instead. checking my email at 9:30 wed morning, the lady emailed me saying we could go on the tour – and not even on standby. well gee thanks. she KNEW i was on vacation, why would she think i’d be checking my email in time. so we missed it. stupid government incompetency. how hard is it to prepare an accurate list of tour attendees…

so hoover dam. it’s only like 30 miles away, and i didn’t realize it was that close. i don’t think i really knew where it was haha. drove over the dam and parked on the arizona side, so now i can say i’ve been in arizona (barely ha). walked across the dam back to the nevada side and the visitors center and tours. we took the “power plant tour” which takes you down into the dam/rock above one of the intake tunnels (i think that’s what it was), and then into the nevada generator room. it’s not a super detailed tour, as after 9-11 they’ve closed down most of the place to public tours. there was another more in depth tour that takes you to 2 other parts of the dam, required hard hats (which were the most flimsy plastic pieces of crap that would protect you from NOTHING), but we didn’t take that. there was a museum portion and over look to see the front of the dam (or is it the back…? haha). i didn’t realize how stylized and art deco the dam was. now a days you’d just get some cement, no decoration or anything. and building it was crazy. it was 110 out that day and the guide pointed out that the workers worked 24hr/day, 7days/week, in 3 shifts for $4 a day…2 days off a year…in that kind of heat. unions would never allow that now…maybe that’s why the dam was finished 2 years ahead of schedule, and everything the government does now is delayed for ages.

back into town that night…i think we just stayed in and watched harry potters. i’m not a big partier to begin with, but the heat just exhausted me so staying in was no problem.

thursday we went out to red rock canyon, outside of town. it has a 13 mile scenic drive with stopping points and trails (if you’re nuts enough to go hiking in 110 degrees ha). the scenery is just so foreign to me, being from the north east. the government totally could have faked a moon landing out there. it was very cool tho. we unfortunately did not see any burros though 🙁

thurs night was Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian, 2nd row! awesome to be that close, and see the details in the set (especially during masquerade). the show was a bit different from the traditional broadway version…they cut some parts – 2 i can think of, the crew member scaring the ballet girls with stories of Phantom hanging people in the 1st act, and rehearsals of Don Juan Triumphant and more notes in the 2nd act. There was no intermission, so the chandelier did not fall midway, it fell after Point of No Return, and it fell straight down into the audience (and back up) and everyone started screaming hahahah. those were the only differences i noticed, but it was still really good. i don’t know how anyone can not like phantom haha. walked around a bit after then headed home. more harry potter i think lol.

friday we attempted to see the Bodies exhibit at Tropicana, only it had closed the weekend before and didn’t open at Luxor until next week. Ah well, so we walked over to Excalibur and had lunch at Dick’s Last Resort. Trammed it over to Mandalay Bay and through Luxor back, some guy was being put on a stretcher at Luxor. They had all the security and gaming officials standing around, so it looked suspicious haha. stopped at the world’s largest gift shop before going back to the apartment to cool down. more harry potter. hahah.

flight left vegas at 11, and oh…incase you’re looking for something in a vending machine, other than an ipod or psp, you can also buy pro-activ solution kits from a vending machine at the airport. because yes, when i’m walking through an airport i’m in desperate need for acne products. wth! got home at 11am, my phone battery died and my parents were waiting for a call in the cell phone lot…but i don’t know anyones phone numbers without the phone. oops. so called around to neighbors to call my parents for me, and eventually found them. got lunch and then home to sleep the rest of the day. called into work, apparently 1 of 14 hahah oops. starving now and i have no food, gotta go to the store.

Vegas Photos

woo atom bombs

the atomic testing museum is the greatest museum EVER!!! it was so cool. just lots of archival stuff to see, gadgets and stuff that i want, and video footage. in one theatre they simulate what it was like to see one of the tests, complete with wind to simulate the blast. haha how cool. i got myself a ms atom bomb magnet hehe.

after the museum we went to the fashion show mall to meet tony tim and JC. had a snack at this tapas bar, had a pitcher of sangria and then went down to mandalay for some reason….ended up playing there a bit, and we tried to go to the burlesque show but it was dark on tuesdays booo. drove down town to see the berlin wall in the bathroom of main street station then adr and i headed home. had a very fun time. tony was drunk and ridiculous. lots of funny pictures will be coming out of that haha.

hanging here til it’s time to go to the airport. home soon 🙁

desert rain

so off to rhyolite today. and fyi i’m not sure it could be any LESS commercial considering not a single thing was there! i guess unless you consider a sometimes manned chair with info on the town as commercial hahaha.

anyway. the drive wasn’t too bad, scenery much like the drive to cabazon. desert and mountains and sparse vegetation. we passed an exit for Mercury, which i thought was interesting, since Mercury is also the name of one of the base towns on the Nevada Test Site. driving through these “towns,” if you could call them that, was unbelievable. why does any one live out there?!?! and what on earth do you do?!

we kept seeing signs about yucca mountain…which is the federal government’s target for storing vitirified nuclear waste. of course there’s all kinds of opposition, GOD KNOWS WHY considering there is NOTHING out there. but it was odd cuz i had no idea yucca mountain was in the area…i definitely needed to see a map haha.

yeah. when we got there there was no “guide” or any other people to speak of. it had started raining shortly before we had gotten there. started looking at the bottle house and the other ruins and a few other cars with people showed up. no one else was at all interested in entering any of the structures, wimps haha. i really wanted to go in a mine but i am a bit too scared to die in one. checked out all the structures and the “open air art museum” much like that place down in west valley that i can’t think of the name of right now haha. a few random structures including a lego girl. pics of everything to come. for there not being ALL that much to see, i somehow took 3 rolls of film and some digital.

headed back towards LV and we passed an Historic Nevada Marker, and driving by we notice it said Nevada Test Site. um WHAT? ok now i FOR SURE needed to see a map because i always thought the NTS was north east of vegas and we were going north west. but sure enough, we turned around to see the marker and it was about NTS and there we were. so Mercury really was THE Mercury base camp on NTS. of course now we had to take that exit and see what could be seen. which was not much BUT I WAS ON THE NEVADA TEST SITE!!!!!!!!! i was so excited. took a few pictures of signs, some were about needing a docimeter and all that. drove up to the gate and turned back around. god i’m such a dork hahah. looooved it. back home looking at the map we basically drove the complete west side perimeter of the base. cool! next time i plan to come back to vegas it MUST be when i can take a tour of the complex. no ifs ands or buts.

so back in vegas we got dinner at buca since i can’t anymore, and waited to hear about the show we were supposed to go to tonight. turned out there weren’t enough tickets for all of us so adr and i just drove around. went to wynn…and while i think it’s rather unimpressive on the outside, it is pretty inside. well, the non gaming floor is pretty. the rest is just…a casino. went to circus circus and wow it is so awful. and it’s borderline awful-to-the-point-of-not-even-being-fabulous. reno was much better haha. stopped at sahara and it is totally cheese fabulous. LOVE IT! drove around some more waiting for the others to get out of the show but by that time i really didn’t feel like doing anything. tired from the day in the desert. tony didn’t arrive until after midnight, and they were all checking out other strip places before going back downtown to find him. tomorrow going to atomic testing museum to be a geek after adr gets home from school. i figure i won’t be up til then anyway haha. dunno what’s going on at night but group dinner had been tossed around and i’d like to hang with tony before leaving. not gambling anymore tho, i’ve lost my share already.

Rhyolite Photos

sunday vegas sunday

forgot to mention about last night…we were in aladdin and everyone disappeared so adr and i were standing where i was playing waiting for them to reappear. these 2 guys and a girl walk by and apparently the one guy was staring at me. i’m oblivious to this stuff. he finally said something and i looked. so like 15 min later they come back and he is like “here this is for you” and he gives me a slot ticket. he starts going on about how i’m worth every penny of it, and he wishes he had more to give me but that was all he had and i was worth it. and it was 75 cents LOL. adr2 is like…was that an insult or a compliment. then a few minutes later they come back to clarify that i was worth way more than that. LOL

anyway. sunday was catching up on sleep day. adr2 “left” in the morning and we slept til afternoon before going to dinner with some of adr’s teacher friends for a birthday. came back home and decided to go get tattooed. that’s when adr2 called to say she was still in vegas. we knew she had been delayed but hadn’t heard from her so we figured she was home. nope. flight was cancelled til tomorrow so they put her in a hotel. so we went and got her, went to the tattoo shop but then didn’t get them done. went off to treasure island to see the fabulous pirate show haha. that was fun. then went drove downtown with me standing out the sun roof, and the adr’s singing “reptile” out the windows at top volume. hahahah it was fabulous. met up with bobref and tim at fitzgeralds and hung out there.

tomorrow we’re gonna try rhyolite, and then hook up with the home people to go to an adult hypnotist at stardust (i think). tuesday is gonna leave me the atomic testing museum while adr is at work.

Exploring with Mom

a few things from the past hour of my life before i start the trip rundown
1. i don’t normally listen to the radio, but i had the edge on cuz i didn’t want to listen to whatever mom left in the cd player…they had a commercial for WB49. the premise of the commercial was that a weird guy made some kind of remote control that would make his neighbors want to watch the ryan seacrest show, simpsons, king of the hill, and will and grace. it’s a skit between the inventor and someone else, demonstrating the device. the “someone else” tells the inventor to make his neighbors want to watch treasure island. the inventor says it only works on 4 shows. when asked why, he replies “Because there’s nothing else worth watching” ROFLMAO that struck me as so incredibly funny that they’re dissing their own network like that
2. another commercial…this time for the Quote bar down on delaware and chippewa. it is asking people what they want in a bar…one of the girls, the one who says “hot people” sounds like kristy from high school. then at the end of the commercial they have a contest, if you can identify this movie quote you will win a party for you and 10 friends. the quote was: “happy anniversary wayne…don’t you want to open your present…if it’s a severed head i’m going to be very upset”… maybe it’s just me and the fact that i know every word of that movie, but how does anyone NOT know it’s wayne’s world…especially after hearing Wayne talk…?!?!?! too bad i don’t like to party and don’t have 10 friends
3. niagara falls has smelled like alot of things..chemicals, trash, landfill…but just now was a new one..fruit loops.

And the trip…

Mom and I left around 10 am on tuesday and headed out for our first destination, Sharon Springs. Sharon Springs is an old sulpher spring resort town. It’s boom days were in the mid/late 1800s, but survived into the 1900s too. Even tho my mom read outloud a book she had borrowed from someone about Sharon Springs, I’m not really sure when it went into decay. I know about this place because my parents used to always stop there enroute to visit friends in Albany. Yet another place they dragged me as a child where I never thought I’d appreciate it. This was the place where the hassidic (horribly spelled wrong) jews thought I was jewish and started speaking to me in hebrew. All I remembered about the place was the overpowering smell of sulphur (rotten eggs, if you’re not familiar with it), broken sidewalks, and institutional green paint. Quite possibly my first exposure to instutitional green paint ever. Well it didn’t disappoint, in the paint department at least.

We rolled into Sharon Springs around 2:30 and drove a few streets at first. It looked alot like my little 4 year old mind remembers it looking. White, and green, and broken sidewalks, and decay…and sulphur. The smell wasn’t really all that bad. Overall I mean…There is lots and lots of decaying things here. Houses, one major hotel, and the baths just along the main street. Up on the other streets were more empty homes. First stop was the major abandoned hotel. It was sealed up pretty well, despite the fact I know people have been inside. We cased the joint, and when rounding the 4th side, cops… haha. I say “cops” my mom goes “WHAT?!” i go “cops” haha. Mom made up a story that I was taking photos for an art exhibit. They told us not to go inside. My mom said it looked sealed up pretty good. The cop said they get people inside somehow. Mom said we’re not the kind of people interested in going on roofs and things like young kids HA! So the cops left, but they stayed parked in the driveway though – stayed there even after we left. There were a few windows in front that had no boards on them anymore, and probably could have given us access…damn cops.

So from there we headed down the main street to the bath house and gazebo thing. I definitely remember these 2 things, and that’s where the smell is at its worst. Still wasn’t SO bad because it wasn’t all that warm out, but it was bad enough to make you gag if you got close to the water. This is when I started giving my mother a heart attack…by going in the various entryways of the various buildings in the area. But she survived. Some really beautiful things in the buildings, pretty pretty.

Finished up in town, and headed out for Woodstock. Uneventful ride to the town, found a place to stay the night, took my film to CVS and got dinner. Mom was freaked out by the hippies…and HELLO you WERE a hippy! After dinner, drove around the mountain looking for the trail head for Overlook Mountain House the next day….didn’t find it. It reminded me of driving around Achtung Mountain with Leighanne, looking for a sign to steal haha.

Got up early, mom talked to the hippy in the sitting room of the hotel thing. Headed to the trail. Wow. I hurt so bad. I can hardly walk. Especially if I’ve been stationary for a while. It was an approximately 2 mile hike, I don’t know the incline, but it was pretty rough at times for a weakling like me. We were resting (because of me) every 100 feet it seemed. But it was more than worth it, and once you’re at the hotel, the hike doesn’t seem so bad hahah. Beautiful place. I’m not sure who or when it happened, but all the inside of the hotel was taken out…so it’s basically just the shell of the building, and some walls on the bottom floor. Same with the smaller building near by. Which is sort of odd, but yeah…it’s a very clasical ruin…sorta like the parthenon, but sitting in the catskill woods haha. Very very pretty place.

After finishing at Overlook, we stopped breifly at the Tibettan Buddhist Monastery across from the trail head. Very pretty as well. And since I’m asian and all….haha funny thing. I told mom that some chinese guy at work asked me if i was chinese, cuz i have black hair, she said she’s going to start telling people that i was adopted and that i’m a half breed hahah.

Headed out to Saugerties to hit the thruway up north. Since we were in Saugerties I figured it’d be worth it to try and find the Woodstock site/memorial. So we tried and didn’t find it. Oh well. While on the highway we passed an “oversized load” truck. I didn’t pay much attention til I was passing it and realized it was hauling a TANK! LOL That must be how my relatives got their tank delivered to the woods in Bradford hahaha.

So we had alot more daylight time than I had figured, so I decided I wanted to try to find Frontier Town in North Hudson when we got off the interstate in the Adirondacks. If we didn’t find it, no big deal, but we had time. And boy did we find it. It’s kinda hard to miss as it’s right next to the exit. Mom was like, there’s nothing there. Yeah right, there was a train depot…and following the tracks into the woods, the entire frontier town. Oh my Bowie it was wonderful. It made my entire trip. It was so friggen creepy (but for reasons only brian and james will understand…to be explained when i have the photo). Spent a bunch of time wandering around there. Lucky for us, there was road work being done around the exit, so all the work people parked in the Frontier Town lot, and my car didn’t stick out and attract police attention. But yeah…wonderful place. Mom’s a thief haha. Or well I am, but only cuz she suggested it, she wanted the thing. shhhh

After we walked back to the train depot and got the car, we drove it up the hill to where the Frontier Town restaurant and hotel were. The hotel was still fully furnished, with some rad 70s chairs in the rooms. One of the rooms windows was open, could have crawled in but there was no reason to. We couldn’t have taken the chair, we had my car, not the station wagon hahah. Creepy again, for a Bates Motel reason haha.

Drove from there towards Tahawus, very much in the middle of nowhere. We weren’t sure how to get to the mine once in the general area, but we experimented on the few roads, and did find the place. By this time it was around 7 and mom didn’t want to go in with “failing light” – but in retrospect we should have….more to come. Left the site and drove towards a somewhat populated area to find a place to stay, get gas, and eat. Did the 3 and went back to the bed and breakfast.

Thursday now, we got up and headed for Tahawus. I was excited. Got there, the gate was open…bad sign. Walked in anyway, and halfway to the site, the caretaker/whatever drove out and found us. He nicely told us we couldn’t go in to take pictures, but we could take some from there as we left…As soon as he was out of sight in went back towards the site, but not too far…he had said he was coming back after checking on “the other side”. Disappointed. Should have gone in the night before.

I remembered that there were some of the employee houses in the area still, so we went out in search of those. We came upon the blast furnace which is burried very far offsite in the woods, and we did find the houses – completely falling apart dangerously. There is one shot I took that I desperately want to come out. We’ll see soon…

After that, it was 11:30 and we had nothing to do. So we left…headed back home. Of course, there was one more stop. We happened to drive by some wonderfully decayed building along the highway. Detoured to that and explored that a bit. I can’t figure out what it was. Mom thinks maybe a small power house, since it was along a river, but I really have no clue.

That’s about it. Off to scan. and develop….9 rolls of color, 4 of b&w. and tho i’m totally sick of b&w, i hate color.

Roadtrip Photos


urbex trip day 1

where to start. once again i got to preboard on my southwest flight out of buffalo because i had the oldest penny. and it was a different penny than last time LOL

left immediately from BWI for philadelphia and eastern state. eastern state…*droool* as soon as we walked in i said i could spend hours in that one place. we headed in and we were early for the members only hospital tour, so we wandered around the public cell blocks for a bit. gah. unbelievable. the intent of the eastern state people is to maintain a stable ruin. they aren’t trying to restore it to what it was, just to keep it in it’s current ruinous state, which i think is wonderful. it’s beautiful. the 2 story cell blocks (newer additions) weren’t open to the public because they’re still too dangerous. cell block 3, the hospital, that we had the private tour of is not normally open to the public because it’s unsafe. it has the worst roofs in the complex, and they’re working on fixing them now. but we got to see it. and holy crap. possibly my favourite part of any urbex site i’ve been too was eastern state’s “hydrotherapy” room. it just had a sign on the door (along with signs for the laboratory, psychiatry, physiotherapy, and xrays). but it also had 2 other really great rooms, the gem’s of the hospital – the recovery room and the operating room. of course i disobeyed the rules and went full into the 2 rooms (we were only supposed to step in and see and leave). beautiful rooms. unbelievable. they are trying to fix the roofs over these 2 rooms so they can open them to the public as part of a normal self guided tour. after the hospital tour, we asked the tour guide if he’d show us the chapel (we could see in it, but it was locked) so he took us in there. it had religious paintings (all in decay of course) painted by a former inmate. in all, eastern state is wonderful. love it. definitely would go back. brian – you have to get there. you’d love it.

so after eastern state we headed up to easten to the crayola factory. WONDERFUL. so cute. mostly kids stuff, crafts you can do, and some bits of history….demonstration on how they make crayons, got “free” samples of stuff with our tokens….lots of modeling clay haha. fun fun stuff. then it turns out right next door is the pez museum. so of course we had to go do that too. real small place, really cool. they had the ziggy stardust pez dispenser. hahah

left easton for connecticut. we had originally planned to hit 2 other places in conn before the holy land but because it gets dark so quickly, and we didn’t quite know where the places were located in their respective towns we decided to ditch that. so it was dark, but we had plenty of day left to spend. we didn’t think conn would have much to offer so we took a slight detour to….manhattan.

it’s not often i’m near NYC so when the i realized it was my chance to see the my current architectural obsession, the chrystler building, we jumped on it. so we made our way through manhattan towards the chrystler building. holy crap. best.building.ever. absolutely beautiful. art deco and gargoyles. every building should have those 2 things. lol. the building was closed so we couldn’t go inside beyond the main foyer. next door was grand central terminal, so of course, we had to go in there too. beautifully renovated as well. i’m not sure i if like the constellations painted on the ceiling -kinda cheesy – but still. beautiful. from there we backtracked to the empire state building and went to the observation deck. i had never even seen the building in my prior nyc visits. that was neat. good view of the city. there was a minute of contemplating seeing ground zero, but that didn’t happen.

so we headed back on the road for connecticut. got into waterbury around 12, and found the glowing 50 foot cross. so we had to go find the holy land so we know where to go tomorrow (er today). drove around in a shady neighborhood at the foot of the holy land, and did find it. totally unsecured. probably could walk up no problem but i think we’re going to ask the nuns for permission in person (they said no over the phone). if not. then we’ll just do it. but the glowing cross….fabulous.

then we took about another hour to find a damn hotel in this shit hole city. apparently there are only 2. we found this out from stopping at the freaking EMERGENCY ROOM since they were the only people around who didn’t look like they could kill us. marriott was 129 dollars, and we are in the holiday inn express which was only slightly cheaper. suck. but we get internet LOL.

maybe some pictures tomorrow. holy land then asbury. prolly stay the night there or in wildwood, then wildwood and back to baltimore on tuesday most likely.

see you then.


the great urbex road trip day 2

coming to you live from wildwood nj.

i forgot to mention yesterday, between crayola and nyc, we took a little detour. i found on the map that there was an achtung mountain so we HAD to go take a detour and drive around this non-mountain to see if there was some kind of achtung sign we could photograph/steal. so we wasted a bunch of time driving around some neighborhood and almost hitting a dear, and never found a sign. that’s ok.

so we headed to the holy land this morning. got up and didn’t bother asking nuns for permission. leighanne stayed with the car cuz it was on the side of a mountain and with her gimp foot, it wasn’t good terrain. and cuz in case the nuns came out we didn’t want to get towed. so i went wandering around the holy land. my god is it ever fabulous. really. seriously. it’s so great. it’s entirely trashed and falling down, but it’s wonderful. words can’t describe it. so i wandered back to a the car and a nun had come out and told leighanne it was ok as long as she stayed with the car. when i had gotten back down there another nun came out to find out what we were doing, and said if we were planning to stay long just to move the car. so leighanne took the opportunity to move the car and go wandering herself, as much as she could, since we seemed to have permission to be there. we were there for an hour and a half or so before heading out en route to asbury park.

rolled into asbury around 3. total dejavu cuz i had definitely been there and seen the buildings in 1995. drove around a bit, had the pleasure of being raped buying film for 6 dollars a roll in the most scary ghetto corner store. yay that was fun. so headed for the palace first. cased the joint, easily able to get behind the fence, but there was no obvious way in the building. so did the picture thing then went down the street to the casino. big obvious entry way, stuck my head in to take some pics as there was a man just sitting in a car in the parking lot. cased the place a bit and a guy on a bike accosted me asking if i was with the news paper doing a story. i said no, he asked if i was writing an article. he said they should tear it down cuz it’s a piece of shit. then came being almost run over by the big bad blue truck. it sped past me onto the sidewalk and sand drive of the casino. stopped but the kept going and almost ran over leighanne leaving the power house next door. he told her about not going in or he’d have to arrest us. he turned around and came back to me, told me not to go in there or the palace or any other place or he’d have to arrest me. i assured him i had no attention of going in…unfortunately, because we think the guy just parked there was a narc, we didn’t go in. we could have in 2 places. and my god from peeking in the 2nd entrance (the first was in the carousel house, the 2nd in the back part), it was a mecca. roof almost completely collapsed, nature taking over again. wonderful. beautiful building. loitered around a bit doing the photo thing before driving down the street a bit to madam marie’s fortune teller booth, went by the metropolis hotel for some shots then left as it was getting dark by then and it was a gloomy day all day anyway.

asbury is a shit hole. a scary ghetto shithole. just so you know.

we were under the same predicament of last night where it’s dark at 5 and nothing to do all night. so we detoured again, to atlantic city. went to borgato casino, but they had too high of limits for our taste, so we went to harrahs. played 5$ roulette for a bit and taught leighanne paigow for a while. had dinner at a restaurant there, then headed out to wildwood. there is absolutely NO one here hahaha. it’s so deserted it rocks. a bit scary but….cool nonetheless. drove around a bit but nothing much to see in the dark. tomorrow will be doing some driving around, hit the board walk to see what is to be seen, then heading back to baltimore/dc.

no pictures cuz leighanne’s thingy wont read her camera data card. oh well. soon enough right?

til tomorrow.


great urbex trip day 3

where did we leave off. wildwood, correct? so we spent the night at the days inn in wildwood. in the morning we checked out and i went to settle the bill. i noticed that they had a note with local internet access numbers, and that it’s 50 cents to connect, and 5 cents each minute. which we did not know. and we were online for a long time (we almost left it on all night). so she girl finally shows up and gets my bill and says she has to adjust it. didn’t say why, i didn’t ask why. all i did was see her subtract 32$ off the bill. 32$ which were our internet charges LOL. so we ended up not paying for the internet usage and i didn’t even mention it.

we started by going to the doo wop museum. it’s closed in the off season, but there was a phone number so leighanne called the guy and he came and let us in LOL. we rock. it’s a cool little museum with all sorts of old neon signs from the hotels, and other 1950s furniture and decor. after that we headed for the board walk. it’s so eerie to be in a resort town in the off season. everything closed, no one around. the gates to one of the amusement parks happened to be open because people were doing work inside. so we asked if we could walk around and take pictures. 2 people said sure, so we were walking around. by the time we got to the end of the pier there was a lady there who was like, um, what are you doing here? she said we couldn’t be there, so we left. she was nice about it and stuff so it was ok. and we were basically finished anyway. back to the car to drive around and photograph the hotel signs and stuff.

headed out back to baltimore. drive seemed to take forever even tho it was only 3 hours. once we got to leighanne’s house we went out to dc to meet up with jeramee and go to dinner in georgetown. it was nice to finally meet him. went back to the dc apartment where there was discussion and agonization (is that a word) over their xmas party evite LOL. it was amusing. back to the maryland house for the night.

day 4 brought the enchanted forest. bizarre place. it’s an old childrens park with lots of little houses and things from fairy tales. a strip mall was built right next to it/on top of it, so behind the strip mall are all the artifacts from the amusement park. it was way rad. went to the other side of the park, opposite the strip mall, and found holes in the fence. so i went in briefly to take a few pics. then we headed out to baltimore to find the brewery that leighanne had found online. drove through probably the worst neighborhood i’ve ever been in. excuisite building however. no chance in hell i’d ever go in it, in that neighborhood. unfortunately by the time we found it, it was down pouring so we didn’t even get out of the car to take some pics of it. there was a severe thunderstorm and tornado warning issued. yay hahah.

so we drove out to leighanne’s office and caught the mj news conference before heading to the airport. cuz of the weather my plane was delayed about 40 minutes, so i didn’t get home til 6. went out to dinner with my mom and now i’m home again.

this is all i’m going to say about michael jackson for right now. tom sneddon (DA in Santa Barbara county) is a pompass smug asshole. he was having way too much fun during the press conference for matters so incredibly serious, and that is very offensive to me. joking and laughing. it’s just unneccessary and unprofessional. the fact that there is a warrant out and mj is going to be arrested makes this situation infinately more serious than what happened 10 years ago. it’s all very sad. very very sad. i’d really like to see jordan chandler now, considering he’s my age, and now an adult and can talk about the 1993 case he started all he wants. i’d like to see what he has to say about his case, and what’s going on now. but i don’t expect that to happen.

so the trip was amazingly wonderfully good. took in my 17 or 18 rolls of film to get developed. they’ll be done by 5 tomorrow, but with my schedule tomorrow i’m not sure i’ll make it there to pick them up in time. and after that…i have to scan all 18 rolls. so don’t expect a full set up pics up any time soon. i’ll do my best. maybe by monday. we’ll see.

a few gems of the trip
“flesh eating zombies, bothersome. our home loans, not so.”
“you should have it, you are a baskin robins.”

Roadtrip Photos

New Orleans!

ok back from new orleans. day 1 = bad first impression. but it got better.

Carolyn and I went to the airport at 8 in the morning and sat around for 2 hours before our flight to Detroit. Then had an hour layover in Detroit even tho we were late arriving because of storms. We got to New Orleans (NO) around 2pm, and wandered around to get our luggage and find the shuttle to the Days Inn on Canal Street. We realized we had to pay for the normal airport shuttle, which takes you wherever you have to go (but I was under the impression that the hotel provided a free one, hense the wandering around part). So we got to the Days Inn and my immediate reaction was…this doesn’t seem too great. Oh and it was like, super hot out. So we checked in and got our room….and it was interesting. It looked like a prison/dorm room…dirty, small, uncomfortable. Sara and her friend Brooke didn’t arrive until 4 ish. We had gone to get food at the Radison a block away, and they were in the room when we got back. Their first impression “Great room, huh?”. So they were hungry, and the 4 of us took the bus down to the French Quarter.

Ok so while we had been waiting for Sara and Brooke to show up, we had talked to the tourism lady in the hotel lobby. She gave us a paper map which became known as “The Danger Map”. She immediately X-ed off all the area’s across the street from our hotel and said, DO NOT for any reason go over there. Across the street was the ghetto housing projects. Lovely. And let me tell you how much false advertising the Days Inn did…they said 5 minute from the French Quarter… maybe if you had a Star Trek beaming machine. We were WAAAAAAAY down the street from it. So that’s why we took a bus. We got off and headed down Bourbon Street to find someplace to eat.

Bourbon Street is interesting. It smells bad, a tour guide later told us to avoid the puddles because it’s usually not water. It’s just all bars, some souvenier shops, and more bars. And neon, but not as cool as Vegas neon lol. And it’s not really my thing. But we ended up going to Pat O’Brians, which is pretty famous because they invented the Hurricane or something. I saw it on the travel channel, and everyone says when you go to NO you have to eat there. We all ordered drinks, they came, and Carolyn was like…there’s something alive in your drink. Brooke’s hurricane had a nice big cockroach under all the ice in the glass. So of course that put a bit of a damper on the dinner. I only ordered pie, as did Carolyn, and Sara and Brooke shared a meal, which they didn’t really want to eat after the cockroach thing. Carolyn and I drank our dark purple drinks anyway hehe. But from then on we had cockroach check in all restaurants.

After dinner we walked back down Bourbon, and we were going to get the bus back to the hotel cuz we were all tired. So we were waiting at the bus stop and the hospitality police came by and asked us how we were doing. The hospitality police are people who are paid to walk around helping tourists. They offered to walk us back to Days Inn, since it is dangerous, and they told us about free stuff we could do, and that we could have been at a hotel on St Charles for the same price as Days Inn. So the rest of the night was dedicated to changing hotels. We made reservations for thursday-monday at a Best Western on St Charles, for 5$ more a night. We had called back the hospitality police before we made the reservations to see if it was ok to stay there, and they said “eh”….they were retarded lol. We didn’t leave our room the rest of the night because we were scared of the ghetto party going on in the room on the other side of us, and we wondered if we should sleep on the floor incase shots started flying. But we managed to sleep, and get up to check out the next morning.

Next morning we had to cancel Beth’s Days Inn reservations for the next 4 days, and try to get it so that she wouldn’t get charged the fee Sara got charged when we had to switch credit cards and crap. Then we got a cab to Parc St Charles so we could leave our luggage there if they wouldn’t check us in at 9am. The cab driver was HILARIOUS! It was this big fat black man, and he was so funny. He told us about the Coke Machine – the building with the helicopter pad on top that recieves all the drug shipments from south america, and how he is always taking guys to see their “lawyers” on the top floor, where they go up with a black breifcase and come down with a brown one. And he told us about the “call girls”, and going to Montreal. I can’t really describe how funny he was. But it was a signal that day 2 would be so much better.

He dropped us off, and they let us check into the hotel. When we got there the AC was broken, so it was all hot inside, but it was ok. We got our room and just about died because it was 400 times better than the Days Inn, and we couldn’t figure out why the hospitality police had said it was “eh” lol. It was so nice. We grabbed some of the complimentary breakfast (Days Inn restaurant had been shut down completely haha), and then walked 15 blocks down St Charles instead of taking the street car, to the hotel where the Garden District tour started, because the chef at breakfast said it wasn’t that far. Walking to a walking tour in 90 degrees with 95% humidity, not that good of an idea. lol.

The Garden District = sooooooo nice!!!!! The tour was 2 hours long, and the guide talked about the houses, and history of NO etc. We went to the Lafayette Cemetery, where movies that involve NO cemeteries are filmed (like Interview with a Vampire, Double Jeopardy). We stopped and took a break at a little deli thing, and finished the tour. We stopped on a corner, and I was looking at the house and I was like…yeah that looks like Trent’s house sorta, at least from what I remembered. The tour guide proceeds to tell us how when the neighborhood found out who was moving in, they were very upset. I promptly dropped all my stuff in the middle of the street and ran over LOL. Trent’s house. Took a bunch of pictures. There’s alot more trees lining his property than were in the picture I had seen before, which was why I wasn’t sure at first glance if it was his house. But yeah…his house is SO nice. The tour guide was kinda funny…I mean I have no idea what she was really saying, because I had run away from the group, but I did hear her talking about “closer” and how when she first heard it her eyes popped out of her head, and I was like “there are better songs!” and she laughed and said it was one of her favourite songs of all time. hahaha. So we pretty much ended the tour by going by Anne Rice’s house, which is around the block from Trent’s. We were on another corner, and there was this super nice house. We were like, yeah that’s a reaaaaaaally nice house, and then she tells us it was Anne Rice’s hahah.

After the tour we went back to the hotel on the street car. We all had to take showers again, and then we went on another 15 or so block walk to find Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville for lunch. It was a cool place, decorated all fun. Headed back to the hotel again to wait for Beth. Beth went to the Days Inn instead, because apparently Dr Schneider didn’t tell her we switched hotels, even tho she knew we were. They came to the new hotel, and Beth and Sara went for dinner. Then Carolyn and I went on a walking ghost tour of the French Quarter with Beth. That was pretty cool. We got to see things down there we wouldn’t have otherwise, because it was too dangerous to walk around there alone. (The Hospitality police had told us not to go to the really famous St Louis cemeteries, which were in the ghetto, alone…and even with a tour group to be really careful, but that it was ok to walk anywhere in the Garden District alone). The tour guide took us all over, telling us about ghost sightings, and history behind them along the way. After we were going to go back to the hotel to get Sara and Brooke, and then go to Preservation Hall for some jazz, but were dead tired. We probably walked 10 miles that day LOL.

Friday was the conference. Sara and Brooke went to do the zoo and aquarium thing since Sara wasn’t going to the conference anymore. Carolyn waited for Beth and I to get back from the conference to go to the aquarium. The conference was the same as last time, but very cramped and crowded. I had to get breakfast from Starbucks in the Sheraton, cuz free breakfast was over. I got a plain bagel and a bottled water and it was almost 8 dollars!!!! Amanda had to pay for half of it since I only had 3 dollars. Amanda had gotten in Thursday as well, and her and her boyfriend ended up staying at the Days Inn the entire time. Anyway, the conference. It ended, and just as Beth and I were leaving to go back to the hotel it started to pour. Figures. Changed clothes back at the hotel, still pouring. We were starving, and wanted lunch and the rain wasn’t stopping so we just left, and got soaked….completely…as we walked to Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company (10 blocks or more away). As soon as we got there, the sun came out. We were drenched. I stuck paper towels down my pants in the restaurant to stop it from soaking into my underwear LOL. Bubba Gumps was cool. It’s all decorated with memorabilia from the movie, and there are quotes and stuff. The food was good too. After lunch, we took our soaking wet selves to the aquarium. It was super nice. Don’t have much to say about it except it was really nice. It was an aquarium lol.

That night was dinner with the professors. Fourteen of us ended up going to a restaurant that was another 15 blocks away, called Cafe Sbisa (or something). It was me, Carolyn, Sara, Brooke, Amanda, her boyfriend, Beth…Dr Schneider and her husband, Dr Kirsh, Dr Kallio and his wife, and this other girl from Geneseo, Emily, and her mom. It was so fantastic and fun. It was insane really. I was sitting next to Dr Kirsh who I swear is my soulmate, if he wasn’t my professor and married and all that. We talked about how great the Osbournes are, and when I said I found Trent’s house he actually knew who I was talking about LOL. It was just so great. And everyone was drinking, and going nuts. Professors drunk, too funny. Our bill was 760$!!!!!!!!! It was fun. Then we all went in a big group to Bourbon Street, but then split up after that. We went to some club, and oh yeah, I had no money cuz I only had 30$ and that went to dinner. I managed to drink anyway, cuz Amanda and Sara bought me shots haha. Across the street from the club was a male strip club, so someone got the idea to go over there, so we did. It was so lame. I’m a bit…um…jaded I guess, since I’ve had the Canadian strip club experience. There was a 1 drink minimum, and a 2 dollar non-cover (non-cover because there was no cover, but they made you pay 2$ before you went in, which went to the price of your drink, which was then just properly inflated so that they were still 5/6$…i had tap water for 5$ (beth paid for it) so yeah…no cover my ass). It was funny, cuz it was so lame, and we were sorta buzzed. There was this crazy lady in the bathroom who was cleaning herself, but then proceeded to start splashing water onto the floor and washing the floor. We found out later that she splashed bleach on Sara’s jeans so now they’re all covered in blotchy pink spots. We pretty much headed back to the hotel after that.

Saturday Sara and Brooke went to the aquarium since they hadn’t gone the day before, and Carolyn, Beth and I went on a swamp tour to see alligators. It was pretty cool, even tho it was friggen hotter than hell, especially when they’d stop the boat to watch the alligators. The gators are totally trained, and come swimming up to the boat cuz the boat driver throws them big marshmellows hahah. It started to rain right after we got done with the tour and back to the hotel. Managed to get to Wendy’s for lunch before it poured, and it stopped before we left again. After lunch we took Beth to the Garden District, and did the street car thing. We just happened to come upon Trent’s house again. Ok shut up! hehe Beth hadn’t seen it, so we had to go show her!! We got onto his street, and there was a fire truck in front of his house, which did produce a slight moment of panic. So we walked over, and casually looked around, and didn’t act nutso. Still didn’t know why the fire truck was there until we were going to go around the corner and the fireman said we had to cross the street. 2 power lines were down in front of the house. So we loitered there a bit, and as we were leaving the fireman asked us if we took enough pictures of Trent’s house (which was validation as far as how truthful the tour was, cuz they could lie and we’d never know), so I was like “haha we were here the other day, we had to come back to show her” hahaha. and i was grinning like a crazy person. lol.

So we wandered around more trying to find the cemetery again, which we did. It was closed, they close them at noon on saturdays, so Beth couldn’t see it. And we found the Anne Rice store which was in the little mall thing we had passed on the tour. So we went in there, looked around at the dolls and stuff, and went by Trent’s house again on the way to show Beth Anne Rice’s house. Got back on the street car, and went around the entire street car route before going back to the hotel. Saturday night Sara, Brooke and Beth went out again. We didn’t go because we had no money.

Sunday we didn’t do much of anything either. Beth left in the morning, Sara and Brooke slept in, and then stayed in most of the day. Carolyn and I went on a mission to find Nothing Records even tho we had no idea where it was. We went to Tower Records after lunch to see if they knew, and the kid misunderstood and sent us down back into the ghetto area near the Days Inn. So after walking all that way and back, we ran into the guy from the Hospitality Police who had walked us back on the first night. We asked him and he and the hospitality police force tried to find out for us, but couldn’t. We tried an internet cafe, but the address is no longer on the nothing website (i’m pretty positive it used to be). So we never found it. We walked around the French Quarter a bit, down Royal Street where all the antique shops and art galleries are, to find the Louis and Lestat house. The Garden District tour guide had mentioned that there was a house, that was now a museum dedicated to the most popular architect in NO, that Anne Rice based Louis and Lestat’s house on. But since it was so hot out, we couldn’t remember much of anything that she had told us so we didn’t know where it was. On the Ghost tour we ended up passing a house that was a museum to the architect guy, but the house didn’t look like anything I remember being described in the books. But we went back to find it anyway and take pictures. And now I’m pretty sure it is the right house (because as I was reading Queen of the Damned in the airport, it mentioned Lestat’s Royal Street house). Sunday night, spent back at the hotel. No one had any money, and Sara was still hungover haha. We did got out for a bit and rode the free ferry across the river and back to view the city at night. But that was about it.

So today, Monday, we had enough time to check out, get lunch, and go back to the antique stores and art galleries on Royal before getting the shuttle to the airport. Got home around 10:30. I plan on getting my pictures tomorrow, possibly scanned and up tomorrow night. It was a good time despite the horrendous oppressive heat. That whole Vegas dry heat, South humidity thing that I always thought was bullshit…totally not bullshit!!! lol. Vegas was so much more tolerable than NO. I’m not too sure how anyone lives in NO, even tho I had a good time. If I was rich I would buy a house in the Garden District, but it’d be a winter home. I’d probably never go to the French Quarter. It was cool to see and experience but….I’d much rather stay uptown.

I think I got pretty much everything. Carolyn will probably remind me of some stuff tomorrow so expect changes and updates. Hope everyone had a nice week.

Las Vegas

well i’m back. I guess it’s time for the big write up. I forgot the order of some events so they might be off but here goes.

I got to Chicago on Sunday afternoon/night and went back to my aunt’s house in lincolnshire. Ran some errands, and then went out to dinner. We went into the city on Monday, didn’t do too much. We rented hedwig that night. Tuesday was off to Vegas. Eric (Carol’s husband) had booked us a limo to the airport so we didn’t have to drive and park LOL. It was like a 3 times stretch limo hahahaha. It was great. He tried to upgrade us to first class but they wouldn’t let him.

So we got to Vegas in the afternoon, checked into our hotel at the airport. The airport is wack, it’s got slot machines all over the place LOL. And it’s carpeted in some areas, which makes my crappy luggage totally un-roll-able. We caught a cab to Paris and found our room, got food etc. Our room looked down on the pool, and at the Eiffel Tower. So that was cool. From there we headed down the strip to check out the shows we were going to see. Next to Paris was Aladdin (which is apparently near bankruptcy). We made our way down to the MGM Grand, which is still the biggest hotel on the strip. We went inside there, because we wanted to see about George Carlin tickets. There is a lion habitat inside MGM Grand (and it’s free…the only free animal exhibit on the strip…Sigfried and Roy’s tigers cost money, so did Mandalay Bay’s sharks, and someone had dolphins). They actually have trainers that go inside the exhibit and throw things around and play with the lions, so they don’t just lay there and do nothing like at the zoo. So we watched them for a while, and walked around. The thing about all the casinos is that they take forever to get anywhere. They want you to walk through the casino and spend money and stuff, so nothing is straightforward. Signs don’t make sense, everything is spread out, and you just got lost. Some are worse than others. We found the box office and got our Carlin tickets for Wednesday night. Cuz of the jet lag stuff, we weren’t going to go to a show Tuesday night, I was super tired.

So from MGM grand we went across the street to the Tropicana where the Follys Bergere was. It’s like a classic Vegas showgirls kinda thing. Apparently it’s the longest running show in the US. So we were going to go to that Thursday, except that it didn’t play Thursdays. So we were going to skip it and do something else instead. Tropicana was fun, because it’s an older place. It smells like incense LOL. They have 1$ margaritas lol. They had this game called Lucky 20, you spend 20$ and get 50 credits in special slot machines. You can either win 50, 100, or 1000$ but if you don’t win cash, you get to pick a gift out of these showcases. And they weren’t totally lame gifts. So I did that, and got this 20 pound parrot glass that they sell at the bars with drinks in them (it’s huge, and soooo heavy) and a Tropicana T-shirt. We left Tropicana and out front was a free pull game to win a Mustang, and you can win other prizes. So I made my aunt do it, and turns out we won buy one get one free tickets to the Folly, so then we HAD to go hahah. Had to find our way back inside to find the promotions center to claim our prize. I don’t remember what we did after that, I think we went back to Paris, or got dinner or something.

So that night we went to the Follys show, which was cool. Singing and dancing and showgirls and stuff. We went to the 7pm one so that I wouldn’t fall asleep, so there was no nudity or anything hahah. The nudity shows were 10pm shows. They have a little intermission where this guy called Speedy Wally (or something, he has a website) came out and did this juggling show. He was hilarious, and really really worthy of the Speedy Wally name. After the show we went back to Paris and went in the Eiffel Tower to look out over the strip at night and take pictures and stuff.

Wednesday we went to Madame Tussauds at the Venetian. That rocked. I went to Rock Circus in London, and this is the same type of thing, but not all rockstars. This one had actors, musicians, and Vegas superstars (like Sinatra etc.). Took pictures with the statues and stuff. I molested Bono…haha. I think after that we stayed down on that end of the strip and went to Treasure Island, Caesar’s Palace, the Mirage and Bellagio. Treasure Island has a volcano that erupts all night, and they do a pirate fight or something. We didn’t see any of that cuz we went during the day. We didn’t really go into Caesar’s much. Wherever we were, there was this fountain with these crazy scary animated sculptures that came to life every half-hour or something. so frightening. hahah. The Mirage is where Sigfried and Roy perform. They had 1 of the white tigers (which wasn’t white…but it was the tiger you breed with to get the white tigers, or something) that you could see for free. But the dolphins (I just remembered, they had the dolphins) and Sigfried and Roy’s Secret Garden (rofl that’s just bad) you had to pay for, so we didn’t go. Bellagio was super nice. Not really a place for ppl my age, but my parents would like it. It was really really elegantly nice. They have this big lake in front of the hotel that has super fountains in it, that come on every hour or something, and do a performance to music. The fountains shoot water up super high, that’s why they’re super fountains LOL.

So um…Wednesday night was George Carlin back at MGM. There was an opening comedian too who was good, and then Carlin. Typical Carlin LOL. He was good. Filthy. My aunt seemed shocked, but um yeah… what the hell did you expect from him? She kept saying he’s normally more political…but he’s still always filthy so whatever. After Carlin I think we went to look up close at New York New York…In front there is a version of the Statue of Liberty, and 2 fire boats that shoot water out, and around the little pond thing is a railing. Well tons of people brought T-shirts from fire departments, and police stuff and other USA memorabilia and signs, and they are covering the entire railing around it, as a tribute to Sept 11th. It was actually really touching. Then we went to Excalibur, which is the whole King Arthur kind of deal. It’s a giant castle, really cool. And inside, is decorated like knights and stuff. They have a train to Luxor and Mandalay Bay (which we found out later after we walked all the way down to Luxor 😛 actually alot of the hotels that are grouped together by owner have trams and stuff…I think Paris had a monorail to someplace haha) Luxor was rad, of course. All Egyptian and stuff. It’s really nice inside. Carol got food at a Mexican restaurant inside, who’s bartender was from Rochester lol (but a Mexican restaurant in an Egyptian styled hotel?!?!). We caught the train thing back to Excalibur, and headed back to Paris for the night.

Thursday we went to New York New York, inside this time. Got these gigundous margaritas in statue of liberty glasses LOL. and I mean HUGE. I couldn’t finish it, it was like never ending. NYNY is really cool inside. It’s all modeled like Greenwich Village streets, and there’s a mini Times Square inside. You get to stay in the skyscrapers (some of them I guess). It’d be cool to stay there. Then we went to the Hard Rock Hotel, which is quite a ways off the strip, so we had to take a cab. It was cool. The casino isn’t that big, so you can walk around it and not get lost, while looking at the memorabilia. I guess the memorabilia are throughout the hotel part too, which we didn’t see, but it’s cool. I had a super bad headache, so we went back to Paris so I could take a nap, and my aunt went to read at the pool.

That night we went downtown to the old section of Vegas, which is what my vision of Vegas always was….tons of lights (not like the strip was lacking in lights tho hahah), the glowing cowboy thing, lots of neon etc. We went to the Golden Nugget for dinner, but didn’t end up eating there. I had an awful piece of pizza to tide me over til we found somewhere to eat, that wasn’t cooked…yeah, the dough was still raw. I think that’s what made me get food poisoning (more later). Ended up eating at Tony Roma’s in a different casino across the street. The main street, Fremont Street, has been sorta domed, and they do a light show every hour, to music and stuff. All the lights of the hotels turn off, so you can see the light show better. It was fun in a super cheesy kind of way LOL. So we went into the casinos down there, walked around. There was this fun place called the Bayou, which was modeled after the original in New Orleans. They gave out mardigras beads, and the inside was really cute. We went in the Golden Gate casino and Carol played single deck blackjack for like an hour, and only lost 30$…it was cool. If you want to make money, go to the old section, not the strip. After walking around more, we got a cab back to Paris. Our cab driver was this funny Korean man who proceeded to tell us why Koreans hate the Japanese, and how to make kimchi LOL.

Friday we didn’t do anything except eat breakfast, before we had to go to the airport. Got back to Chicago at 9pm, so didn’t do anything except get dinner LOL. Saturday went out with Carol and her friend to Lake Geneva, which is in Wisconsin. On the way there they stopped at a nursery to look at something, but ended up both buying this iron table set, table and 4 chairs (so 2 tables and 8 chairs)…which they had to get into her jeep Cherokee….they kept saying they’d fit, and the jeep isn’t THAT big. I sat in the car as they struggled with them. It was funny hahaha. Ended up having to tie one of the tables to the top of the jeep. Well by then I didn’t really feel good. We ate dinner up at the Lake, and I just had soup since I didn’t feel good – I figured it was my aunt’s driving lol. We walked around a bit, and I felt more sick. Left to go back home, felt more sick. Had to stop and puke on the side of the road LOL. I felt better, but by the time we got back to her house, felt sick again. But I had to laugh because…as if this wasn’t predictable if you know my aunt…we get to her house, open the garage door and continue to pull in the garage… until the CRUNCH of the table on the top of the car hitting the garage ROFLMAO. I laughed. It was so classic. Anyway…I was sick all night, puked like 4 times LOL. as if you needed to know that. Sunday brought Carol and her friend painting the chairs and trying to bend the table back into shape LOL. Then we went into Chicago drove around, got ice cream, and went to the airport for me to leave.

One of the days we went to Mandalay Bay…which was disappointing. I dunno, but to me, for a place in Vegas to be fun it needs some sort of gimmick, and they didn’t really have one. I’d rather stay in any of the other hotels than Manadalay Bay. But it’s supposed to be super popular among people my age…

random notes:
– it’s kinda funny how you can tell my tastes have changed since I went to Rock Circus in London… at Rock Circus tons of pics of MJ statue, posing with MJ…in Vegas…posing with Bono, didn’t even want to pose with their horrid MJ but I did LOL.
– you can’t cross the major streets in Vegas. You have to take escalators (outdoor escalators?!?!) to an overpass pedestrian bridge, and then back down escalators. it’s a good idea, but makes everything take forever.
– it was like 103-106 every day, but it wasn’t THAT bad. the heat radiates off of the pavement something fierce though.
– carolyn was right about the stepping over porn stuff. there are people up and down one stretch of sidewalk who hand out porn pamphlets to every male who walks by. and so then they are littered on the sidewalk. the first day i didn’t see any, but after that tons..guess they only clean the streets once a week or something lol. it’s only along one stretch of sidewalk on both sides of the street, because it’s against the law to do it in front of any of the resorts.
– and it’s against the law to sell spraypaint in the city of Chicago….lol
– i need to go pick up my last roll of film. not sure if the scanner works or not, so it might be a while before i have pictures up. if it works, i’ll try to scan them all tonight…all 4 rolls i took and 3 carol took….ok maybe it won’t get done tonight 🙂 – back from getting film. CVS screwed my pics up. not sure how much of what is wrong is due to the speed of film i used, while taking night pics, and how much is them. alot is them, because they completely cut pics off in the wrong places and shit…arg. so taking them back later after my dad looks at them, and try to get my money back. some definitely didn’t come out on the negative correctly, like my statue of liberty one so that’s ok that it looks like crap, but theres no reason most of my pics should look like crap just cuz i was on 400 speed, when my aunt used 400 speed and hers looked fine (and my camera is way better than hers)…arg.
– and i washed the hedwig shirt carolyn made for me, and all the glitter washed off in like…big clumps… it’s weird.