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U.S.A. Hollywood, NYC, baseball, The Grand Canyon, East coast vs West coast, Starbucks, The Dallas Cowboys Chearleaders, and more...

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Old 11-03-2006, 08:23 AM   #1
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Hello peeps....got back from my east coast to west coast trip across USA a few weeks ago....
Gotta say thanks for all the advice that peeps have posted on here helped me out alot....
And if anyone is thinking of traveling by Amtrak across USA I would reccomend it..
The itinary was fly to New York, spend a while there, then catch an Amtrack to Chicago, spend a while there, then catch an Amtrak ro New Orleans, spend a while there, then catch an Amtrak to El Paso, spend a while there, then catch an Amtrak to Tuscon, spend a while there then onto Los Angeles...
New York rocked was probably one of the highlights of the trip and managed to walk around taking in loads of stuff, Chinatown, Little Italy, world trade center site (that was very sobering) Central Park, Battery Park walked over the Brooklyn Bridge (that was cool), cony island...was class....
then went to chicago...well each to their own but after New York I was a bit deflated with chicago (apologies to chicagoans), don't get me wrong was cool and it does buidlings and parks very well...
then onto New Orleans...dam I should have read my 'Lonley Plane New Orleans' chapter before actualy booking my hostel, It said something like "avoid the 'Treme area' and the 'St Louis Cemetry', even in day light you will probably get mugged"..well unfortunalty my hostel was bang in the middle of this area...and quite honestly the government or who ever helps with the re building of the areas and buildings since Katrina have done nothing with this part of the city at all, I really mean it, it's shocking....it was frighteningly bad and dangerous...it got to the point where I was eying up a large kitchen knife to keep with me in the bedroom...I though 'f**k this I'm gonna get the hell outa here' and so quickly got a train to El Paso...and was soooooo glad I did because El Paso really rocked, due in large part to the very friendly guy who ran the 'Gardener Hostel', he went out of his way to do things and help me and stuff, took me over the Mexican border and to 'White Sands', now that place has to be seen to be believed...really amazing...and if anyone is traveling to El Paso I would really reccommend the 'Gardener Hostel' and the trip they do to 'White Sands'..
Then left for Tuscon...well I didn't think much of that place, like my home town but with heat and cactus...and there was this really, really odd bloke in the 'RoadRunner' hostel, I think he went out of his way to make me feel uncomfortable, think his name was douglas...he followed you every where with his eyes..he just couldn't wait for me to leave..but the bloke who ran the place 'Peter' was cool....took me and this other person to the 'desert museum'...but it was sooooo hot that all of the animals thought "I'd be f***ed if I'm gonna be showing my stuff off to the tourists in this heat"..
then moved onto LA...and the least said about LA the better..well perhaps it was just the places that I visited...I stayed at the 'Venice Beach Cotel' right on the boulvard, Venice was pretty cool, full of intersting people, but the Cotel was probably the most depressing, hostel I've ever had the displeasure of staying in (and that's taking into account New Orleans), no natural light at all...they couldn't gurantee my nights there, and quite honestly didn't know their arse from their elbows, 'Santa Monica' was just concrete, and 'Hollywood' was just Disneyland on a street, in fact I think Disney has brought it up...and don't rely on public transport in LA....took over and hour and a half on a bus just to drive about 15 miles.
So onto San Diego, now San d really grew on me especially 'Ocean Beach' and 'Pacific Beach' areas, the Hostel was probably the nicest hostel in all my stays in USA, 'Hosteling International' in the 'Gas Lamp area'...if any one is going to San D I would highly reccomend that hostel and almost half the price of 'The Venice Beach Cotel"...
Saying all this though travelling across USA has been one of the best experiences I have ever had, it's not really about the hostels or the people who run them, for me it was about the traveling...and the meeting of different people and cultures
Anyway yatta yatta yatta...probably bored you all with this when I figure out how to put pics up ill put a few up...
Indy
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:35 PM   #2
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Nah, your post was certainly not boring. It was very useful - particularly for someone like me who is in the middle of working out an itinerary for my trip to the US in Jan. How long were you away?
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:51 AM   #3
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about 4 weeks.....if there is any thing I can help with just ask like I say travelled on Amtrak from new york to LA..stoping off at Chicago, New Orleans, El Paso, Tucson and San Diego...
I can highly recommend certain hostels and 'avoid like the f***ing plague other hostels'
and many people say don't bother with El Paso but if your passing it really was one of the highlights of my trip...stay in the 'Gardener Hostel' it's basic but who cares at about £18 a night for a private room it's a bargain, ask for 'Antonio' he's the assistant manager there, he takes a bit of getting used to, but when you do he goes out of his way to make your stay in El Paso enjoyable, also take in the trip to 'White Sands' whilst your there, probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
I'll try and post some pics up soon
indy



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Old 11-04-2006, 06:03 AM   #4
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here's a few pics from 'White Sands'...





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Old 11-04-2006, 09:50 AM   #5
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Woah, White Sands is beautiful! You sure that's not really snow?

Bummer to hear about the Venice Beach Cotel - I used to love that place, as I made many a friend there. But it was on its way downhill last time I went. The better choice for those of you headed to Venice Beach is the Cadillac Hostel, a few blocks north - if that's still around...
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Woah, White Sands is beautiful! You sure that's not really snow? [/b]
nah not snow..lol...but it has to be seen to be believed really one of the most amazing things I've ever seen..
Also if any one stays at the 'Gardener Hostel' try and get to see 'the city of lights' El Paso from a high on top a mountain late at night...quite literaly a city of lights...which was cool...
still trying to wade through my pics so when I've found a few more I'll post them up...
Indy


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Old 11-04-2006, 01:32 PM   #7
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here a few more pics...

First one is from 'Tuscon'



Second one is from 'Venice Beach Pier'



Third one is from 'Venice Beach'



Forth one is from San Diego (Pacific Beach..I think)



Fifth one is from 'The City Of Lights' in El Paso



Sixth one is some huge type of factory that I spotted from the train from New Orleans to El Paso







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Old 11-04-2006, 07:48 PM   #8
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White Sands looks amazing! I'll have to put that on my list of places to go now...glad to hear you had a good trip!
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