livefastpartyhard

an australian girl living in new york writing about music, fashion and life in general.

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

sxsw in photos

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 04/21/2010

So its been a few weeks but the following are the most memorable photos from SXSW and some explanations behind them…

bff reunion, austin style!

Austin in the moonlight

Jules found the drummer from motorhead

The biggest drink I have EVER seen!

note the position of Jules' straw..it's at this point that Austin probably regrets letting us crash at his place for SXSW!

the streets of Austin after all the bars closed at 2am

the next day at a record showcase at Red 7

evergreen terrace playing. the line to get into the venue was super huge but andrew got us in, yay!

some random band that pays more attention to their hair styles than their music

the streets of Austin in the daytime

yes, there is a death metal pizza place in Texas!

trash talked played a free show at the death metal pizza place

more trash talk, look at lee's pretty hair

just chilling with the rad Kellen

touche amore. i'd never seen or heard them before that night and they were SO amazing

more touche amore. the crowd were actually lifting him up.

i can't wait to see them when they play with Converge in a few weeks at Santos Party House

there's so much happening in this photo

the last touche amore photo, i promise

trash talk twice in one day, who would have thought that could happen?? also, beerland is a super rad name for a bar!

whoever wrote this on the bathroom door is super bitter...

the big drink seemed to become a nightly tradition...

i only posed with this for the photo, i totally shared the rest with mayan!

this is Gizmo, Austin's dog, i think i was trying to imitate him

this building was so pretty, i love the way it looked like a cloud with the reflections of the real clouds

it really is the city of music!

just hanging out at the new england metal handcore festival showcase in the emo's annex

defeater. definitely another new favourite band find. thank you sxsw.

this is mayan. she was the first person i made friends with when i moved to new york.

jules and i really wanted to go to this but we have to work that weekend 😦

the dude in the costume is from gwar, they were actually walking around Austin like that. kinda scary

a real american house being built

the awesome jelly party venue!!! it was a bit of a walk outside of downtown Austin, but totally worth it!

i think this was yacht. whoever it was, they were pretty good.

at the time i thought this undeniably proved i was in Texas

don't remember who this band was, but like the last one, they were good

just chillin' at the jelly party

FREE VODKA REDBULLS!!!

kristina is awesome, she got us wristbands so we didn't have to wait in line to get into the party

still happy and the sun is going down

i can't remember what we were laughing at...

bff's!!!!!

a cool looking tree

it started to get a little bit cold

we had a hotel party and it got crazy, in the morning some dude was asleep in the bathtub!

adam is from california, heaps funny and says 'art' funny

at the AP magazine showcase: cymbals eat guitars, or maybe it was cymbals eat guitarists?

this is ruiner, they seemed super angry that they had to play this showcase

we were at a warehouse show where title fight, defeater, touche amore, ruiner and more played. i was so exhausted and cold though i went and slept in la dispute's van. i missed ruiner but i felt so sick i didn't mind.

back at the jackalope!

Austin might look better in my sunnies than me...

i'm guessing that a jackalope is a cross between an antelope and a jack rabbit??? its my new favourite animal!

random house party with crust gutter punks turned into one of the craziest afternoons/nights ever!

the van was the bone zone, super awesome name

sitting in the gutter on a sunny Texas afternoon

plastic cups are the greatest invention EVER

the party guests...note the huge paper mache skull in the tree - apparently it was filled spray paint cans that they were going to make explode later on

so much fun!!!!

yes, that dude is dressed in a skin-tight leopard suit

the paper mache skull

what, you mean people don't do bmx tricks off vans in your street??

Jules, what are you doing???

meet our new friend, Justin

it's not like the house didn't already have graffiti on it...

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floating somewhere in the stratosphere

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 04/08/2010

Since I left for Texas a few weeks ago I know I’ve neglected my blog. Things have just been super crazy and I’ve been super busy, – running on little sleep, working long hours and going out for even longer hours still. In the next few days I’m posting everything that has happened between March 17th and now, here is just the first bite – written while I was on the plane to Austin, Tx.

17th March – Somewhere high above Earth, in between Georgia and Texas

Texas is the lone-star state, and right now, flying a few miles above it in the pitch black sky, I feel like the world has been inverted, – the clusters of lights scattered below me look like stars and the endless black of the sky above me could be the ground for all I know. The outside scenery aside, the SXSW adventure has already started and I haven’t even planted a foot on Texan soil yet.

waiting for our plane to leave

waiting, pt. 2

bye bye New York (or this could be New Jersey!)

the compulsory 'sky and aeroplane wing' shot

The flight Mayan and I took from JFK to Atlanta, Georgia was fun, – intermittent sleep combined with episodes of 30 Rock and The Office. When we deplaned in Atlanta we made friends with some other people on our flight who were also Austin-bound. The airport was typical nondescript airport fare, aside from the fact that most of the fast food restaurants served southern food and the airport bar we waited in had a smoking section indoors. Obviously they do things differently in the South.

happy St. Paddy's Day!!

down the hatch!

look how green mine is!

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (we’re all a little bit Irish on March 17th), Mayan and I did one of the Heinkein Bar’s festive shots – mine had a combination of vodka, apple schnapps and triple sec, while Mayan’s had vodka, pineapple and some other equally green ingredients in it.

the yummiest three-coloured tortilla chips EVER

We’re now halfway into our flight to Austin and all there is to do is play the waiting game; the snack cart has already made the rounds, I’ve got my Ipod (actually a borrowed Iriver thanks to the person who stole my bag back in December) playing in my ears and am switching between writing and reading (Up In the Air – it seemed appropriate). There’s some turbulence and as much as I don’t mind the unplanned high altitude roller-coaster ride, I will be happy when I arrive in the home state of such notables as George W. Bush and Hilary Duff.

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TEXAS, HERE I COME!

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 03/16/2010

The clock has just clicked over to 12.02am on Wednesday so that means that later today I will officially be in Texas!! I’m so excited beyond words, I feel like my brain is going to explode.

It’s going to be five days of sun, music, parties and good times. The flight out of New York tomorrow afternoon connects with another one in Georgia (I will be in the actual South!!!!) that flies to Austin. I get in just before midnight but since I plan on catching up on sleep on the flights down, I will be ready for whatever happens as soon as I hop off.

I plan on taking a lot of photos and I promise I will try and keep track of all my adventures to write about on here once I get back on Monday afternoon!

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early one morning….

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 02/03/2010

I was up early one morning last week and found myself around the East Side/Upper East Side of Manhattan up near the Queensborough Bridge. So far I’ve walked across the Williamsburg and the Brooklyn Bridge, I didn’t try the Queensborough Bridge this time because I didn’t have enough time before work BUT i did take some photos of my little journey. It was a really beautiful morning, it didn’t feel cold at all, – probably about 4 or 5C (trust me, that’s totally warm for New York this time of year!) when I was walking in the sun.

After walking along the river for awhile I came across the United Nations Building. Last time I was there was during the Summertime and for some reason they didn’t have all the flags hanging up outside then. Luckily this time, the flags were out and on display, proudly blowing in the wind.

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a photographic memory.

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/29/2010

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the story so far, including just a few highlights.

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/28/2010

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over seven months since the last time my feet were planted firmly on Australian soil. For the last six of those seven months I’ve been a resident of New York City, definitely something I never thought would happen. Spending this time in America was something I always dreamed about but not something I completely expected to happen.

The 22nd June 2009 seems like only yesterday but when I actually take the time to think about it, the 22nd June 2009 may as well be a lifetime ago. So much has occurred in the 218 days that have passed since then. Not only did I experience the longest day of my life, – 22nd June was the never-ending Monday if there ever was one; instead of a summer solstice on December 21st everything was reversed and I got to live the shortest day of the year twice because of being in the Southern Hemisphere for their winter solstice as well.

Apart from living in New York, I’ve been to Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Francisco, San Diego, Mexico, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Denver; as well as driving through Connecticut and New Jersey. Let’s not forget the curious adventures in Doylestown, PA as well! In the small amount of time I’ve been here I’ve been to more places than some Americans go to in their entire lifetimes! In every state and in every city there were adventures experienced and memories made.

If best laid plans always came to fruition then I would not be living in New York right now. Instead, I would be on the other side of the country in San Francisco. As soon as I arrived there I fell in love with it, it was so familiar yet so different. The majestic Golden Gate Bridge rising out of the mist and glowing orange in the sunlight, the searing heat from the wharf parking lot where Warped Tour was held, the dollhouse-like terraces lining the hilly streets, – there was nothing I could find to dislike about San Francisco, – not even the dirty street punks that lined Haight Street begging for my spare change every time I walked past them.

Fate intervened though and at the end of July I found myself packing my bag in Boston for New York. If I fell in love with San Francisco, I fell in lust with New York City. It captivated me before I even set foot in it. As the train pulled into Penn Station I already recognized names of places I’d only heard of on TV and the movies, – Union Square, 34th Street, Times Square, the list just goes on and on. Summer in the city can be cruel, it was so humid that it was almost impossible to get dry after a shower and you could forget about trying to straighten your hair! The humidity was relieved by afternoon rain and thunder storms that cooled the air for the kind of warm summer nights where you don’t need a jacket and it’s impossible to imagine it ever being colder than 65F.

I could ramble on and on about everything I’ve seen and done here in America but that would could occupy an entire book. Some of my highlights that I can think of off the top of my head are below:

Seeing the Hollywood sign up close and personal; the Hollywood Hills in the early hours of the morning and the surprise appearance of a deer; going to a show at the Viper Room.

I’ve sunbathed in San Diego and swum in the Pacific Ocean; I tried to snorkel but ended up with a nose full of salt water instead. I met more foreigners than Americans in Pacific Beach and realized just how bad the Australian accent sounds thanks to the other backpackers at the Banana Boat Hostel.

I went to Mexico. We drank margaritas for lunch and watched in horror as the Mexican barman went around our group with a whistle, a bottle of tequila and a towel. There was no tequila left by the time he’d gone through everyone. I almost didn’t get back over the border from Mexico, the only reason I’m on the right side of the US-Mexican border today is due to some quick thinking from the group leader from our hostel.

A $90 cab ride from Sacramento to Marysville. Yes, $90. Thank God for backstage passes to Mayhem fest, margaritas the size of my head, 100F temperatures in the shade (and air-con tour buses to match!), new friends, Slayer, boca burgers that got cooked for me and a free ride back to the hotel. Pretty much the best $90 cab ride ever. And this Sacramento experience led to me returning there in December to continue the party times.

Staying in the house that Andy Hurley from Fall Out Boy lives in. Seeing raccoons (that may or may not have been infected with rabies) at 2 in the morning. Learning that there’s more to Milwaukee than just beer, beer, beer and more beer.

Vegas. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Visiting New York City, Paris and a tropical volcanic island all in one night and never leaving The Strip. VIP clubs with neon blue drinks, fake shots, winning 15 cents on a poker machine, flamingoes wherever I turned, walking through the desert to Wholefoods, $2 margaritas at five in the morning.

Hearing Billy Joel & Elton John serenade the crowd at Wrigley Stadium in Chicago as we rushed past to go see Four Year Strong/Set Your Goals; seeing Aleks & Matt in Chicago for total Soundwave reunions on the other side of the world.

The dodgey $12/night hostel in downtown Brooklyn that marked the start of the New York adventure/obsession. No power on the top floor, leaking air-con, broken showers but that didn’t stop Mayan and I from bonding over Mischa Barton having a breakdown. Crazy French people with champagne and expensive private booths at hole-in-the-wall clubs.

Seeing Blink 182 at Jones Beach; dragging Mayan to Angels & Kings the night after just so I could see Pete, Brendan, Mark and Vinnie all in the same room; overly-friendly and overly-generous bartenders; my friends putting up with me making them go see all of Vinnie’s shows in the Manhattan/Brooklyn area.

Seeing the Empire State, the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty for the first time. Picnicking in Central Park and watching squirrels run in and out of the tree roots, – if I could keep one as a pet I would. I’ve window-shopped Fifth Avenue, – Tiffany & Co., Bendels, Saks, Barneys, as well as hundreds of designer stores up and down the avenue. I visited the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center and spent a few minutes watching the ice-skaters glide around the shadow of the main building.

I’ve paid my respects at Ground Zero and cried in the September 11th Memorial Museum.

I’ve seen Kahlo to Warhole at MOMA; gazed upon the French Impressionists at the Met; stared in wondrous awe at Van Gough and Dali; walked through an Egyptian temple older than Jesus; had a face-off with a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull; and touched a meteor that came from a place in outer space where stars are made.

I know now that a half empty subway carriage isn’t something to be thankful for, – usually the vacant seats surround a person that smells worse than anything you could imagine. I’ve conquered the subway map and know the uptown F train never comes when you need it to and the Brooklyn bound M train always leaves the Myrtle Wykoff station a minute before the connecting J train arrives; chance meetings on the subway with people you haven’t seen in awhile.

I’ve come to call Brooklyn my home; drinking Turkey’s Nest giant-sized margaritas in McCarren Park in the summertime, posing for photos with oversized Christmas trees in the wintertime. The weekend ritual of Turkey’s Nest, Union Pool and Legion; not leaving Legion until the dj’s have played Jay-Z and Alicia Keys ode to New York at least twice; photobooth photos and the Mexican taco truck in the backyard of Union Pool; my fast food saviour and  an all-round yummy meal of vegan pizza at Vinnies. Haunting Buffalo Exchange and Beacons Closet and filling my wardrobe full of wonderful, crazy, beautiful vintage finds. Wandering up and down Bedford Ave on the weekend seeing what the sidewalk vendors have on offer; $2 roadside pretzels becoming a main source of my nutrition, especially when coupled with a can of $1 Dr. Pepper.

Living through my first White Christmas and temperatures that stay in the minus range for days on end; waking up to watch snow fall outside my window; walking through snow drifts up to my knees just to get home; the simultaneous crunch and silence of the snow as it piles up.

Being a tour guide for the seemingly endless parade of Australians visiting; getting to show everyone my favourite places in my adopted city and starting trends with vodka-sours; Tash and I getting our photo on a fifteen story billboard in Times Square.

Most importantly, meeting people that will be friends for life. Without them I know my experience would not be half as amazing as it is.

New York is known as the city that never sleeps. I’ve certainly had my share of sleepless nights here so far and am looking forward to the many more to come in the next six months. There is an indescribable quality to this city that I don’t think I could ever describe to someone who hasn’t spent time here. Every morning as my train goes over the Williamsburg Bridge, crossing over from Brooklyn to Manhattan, I make a point to always look up from whatever book I’m reading to look out over the city skyline. Everyday the sight of the sprawling city and towering buildings makes me want to pinch myself just to make sure it’s all real. Yes, I’m really in New York.

my favourite new york building, the chrysler, as viewed from the empire state building.

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cold, colder, coldest.

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 12/04/2009

I arrived in Minneapolis and walked into a freezer.

Well, not really, but as our plane slowly pulled into the airport there was snow dancing on the wind going in all directions. Even though I’m not accustomed to snow, I could tell it was only a light storm but it still brought a smile to my lips. The sight of it and the apparent weightlessness it had against the wind was truly beautiful.

When I stepped out onto the air bridge though I was struck by a wall of freezing air. Even though the bridge was covered the cold still managed to seep in somewhere. For the minute that I was exposed to it, it really did remind me of being stuck in one of those huge walk-in freezers where grocery or liquor stores keep their stock.

The thermometer at the gate said it was 23F, translated to Celsius that’s a freezing -5 degrees. Pretty sure that apart from the day I spent snowboarding at Mt. Baker just outside of Seattle almost three years ago, that that is the coldest temperature I’ve ever experienced.

Luckily Minneapolis is only a transit stop for me. It seems like Minneapolis is a midway point for most of the people milling about the airport. I can’t really imagine living in a place like this, a place where (the lady next to me informed me) the snow starts in November and doesn’t let up until April. Here I was thinking I was deprieved of nice weather in New York because the temperature had been hovering in the early 50’s for the last few weeks. Next time I complain about the New York weather I’ll just remember the people that live in Minneapolis!

pretty pretty snow outside my airplane window.

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all we demanded was our right to twinkle.

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 12/04/2009

Tonight I saw New York as I had never seen it before. Unlike the two previous times when I arrived in the New York; once by train and the other by bus; this time I left by air and was able to see the city in all its glory at night.

My plane took off from La Guardia airport at about 6.30 in the evening. Due to the winter season it was already full darkness outside. I had hoped to get a window seat and I did, I also hoped that we would fly out over the city but because I was unsure of the route the plane would take on its way to Sacramento (via Minneapolis St Paul) I didn’t hold my breath. After take off it took me a few seconds to discern exactly which way we were headed and then to take in all the lights that I was seeing. The plane flew horizontal to the Bronx and my seat offered a prime view of the island of Manhattan, all the way from the top right down to the bottom. What amazed me the most was the way the numbered avenues run in perfectly straight lines all the way up the city. As we flew directly over each one and our plane aligned with them it was as if each one had become a red hued corridor stretching for the 10 or 11 miles of the island (apparently every 20 city blocks equals a mile). It was truly an amazing sight. In the distance I could make out all the usual suspects, – the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, even the steady pulse of the blinding lights at Times Square.

Now after our plane has been in the air for less than 15 minutes, the lights of the city are just a distant glow on the horizon. Below me now only darkness stretches out, punctuated by the lights of a small town every few minutes. Maybe we’re over New Jersey now, maybe its Pennsylvania, my knowledge of the geography of the East Coast states is not as good as it should be. The distance between me and my home of the last six months is steadily growing as the plane moves forward but even though I followed the in-flight rules and did not take out any electronic devices during take off (namely, my digital camera), the sight I saw tonight will stay fresh in my mind for years to come.

flying lights that my camera cannot do justice to.

Passing out over the countryside, the one thing that I desire right now is to see the stars. It’s been more than five months since I have seen a star-lit sky. It is not something I even fathomed missing when I arrived, there were too many other things that spring to my mind first, – friends, family, personal items left on the other side of the world, but it has been something I have found myself longing for. Maybe it’s because unlike seeing family and friends who are separated from me by thousands of miles of land and oceans, I know that seeing the stars is within my grasp. Already, as the plane pulled higher and higher into the sky I spotted a star rising above the horizon. In just a few hours I will be able to look up and see a sky full of them.

I have a memory of standing in a paddock at my Aunt’s property in the Hunter Valley a few weeks before I left Australia and looking up at a clear night sky scattered with too many stars to even count, – a sky so full that sometimes you had to look slightly away from a patch of stars just so it didn’t seem like one big blob of lights. The sky is different here in America, when I look up at it it doesn’t feel like its open and stretches forever, here the sky is capped between the skyscrapers and at night there is the illusion that you live within a dome, the city at the center of it, continually giving off a dull orange glow, like a warning that beyond the glow where darkness finally penetrates is a place you don’t want to go.

For me the darkness beyond the city glow is not unwelcome; it represents freedom and adventure and a chance to cast off and forget, even just for a weekend, the last five months and the love/hate relationship that I have had with the living and breathing entity that is New York city. Looking out of my cabin window now, all I see is blackness.

I welcome the darkness of tonight and the unknown of what this trip will bring.

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milwaukee? famous for what? beer?

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 07/16/2009

Milwaukee. Before these last few days, if you’d asked me what sprang to mind when I heard the word Milwaukee I don’t think I’d have even been able to tell you if it was a state or a city. From what I can vaguely remember, the television show “That 70’s Show” was set in Milwaukee.

my first glimpse of Wisconsin...

So apart from learning that Milwaukee was actually a city in Wisconsin, these last few days have opened my eyes to the beauty of Milwaukee and made sure that I never forget the amazing experiences we’ve had.

Our journey to Milwaukee started all the way back in February when Jules and I went to see Misery Signals play at Manning Bar in Sydney Uni. After the show we went up to talk to the band and just kind of lurk because they were Americans and babes. Our conversation centered around us going to America in June/July and how we planned to go to make our way across from the West Coast all the way over to Florida and up to New York City. When they heard we wanted to go to Florida they completely shot us down and said we should go to Milwaukee instead. After a few more minutes of conversation we were semi-convinced and unfortunately because it was a Wednesday night we had to leave because of work and school in the morning. That didn’t stop us from mulling over the idea of Milwaukee though. Jules had already used her incredible cyber-stalking skills to find Kyle on Myspace so over the next few weeks they messaged back and forth and the rest is really history, – four and a bit months later we found ourselves in Milwaukee.

It turns out that the guys live in a massive house (a mansion really) right on Lake Michigan in the nicest neighbourhood I’ve ever seen and it’s been featured on MTV Cribs. The fact that Andy Hurley, the drummer from Fall Out Boy, is their housemate as well was something not lost on us either, but luckily (or unluckily, it can be seen either way really, but if he’d been there we probably would have made fools of ourselves in front of him) he was away on tour so we didn’t have the opportunity to completely fan out on him.

So after dumping our huge suitcases we got a full tour of the house by Kyle. I swear Andy has a shower bigger than my entire bedroom back home, completely crazy, you’d be able to fit 20 people in that thing. Then Kyle took us to a yummy restaurant called ‘Beans & Barley’. After the shocking food we had to endure in Las Vegas ‘Beans & Barley’ seemed like heaven on Earth. They had vegan options! And it was fresh and healthy! I ordered a dairy-free black bean burrito with home cut fries and I have to say it was one of the best meals I’ve eaten in a long time.

We made a quick pit-stop at Whole Foods afterwards and picked up some of Milwaukee’s finest beer, – Spotted Cow, for Kyle. Next stop was the liquor store for some drinks for Jules and I (turns out Whole Foods doesn’t cater for the vodka-drinking population) and on our way out we made complete fools of ourselves by trying to get into the wrong car. To be fair, it was a black jeep but about ten years older and more beat-up than Kyle’s car. We hadn’t even started drinking yet so we knew we were in for some crazy times ahead.

While we showered and made ourselves presentable for a night at a local pub, we drank and chilled out. One of housemates was dj-ing at the pub we were going to and one of Kyle’s friends was the bartender there so madness ensued. Free drinks, free shots, happy snaps of shakey faces and the appearance of rap hands made sure that by the end of the night I fell asleep in the bathroom. If we didn’t have the photos to prove it, I swear I wouldn’t believe everything that happened. One of the best quotes of the night was when Renee said to Jules “Oh did you lose your voice? You should have borrowed some of Kyle’s while you guys were making out”. Completely unforgettable!

did someone say shakeyface? oh yes they did!

someone decided letting kyle behind the bar was a good idea.

I think we proved to the Milwaukee-ans (what do they call people from Milwaukee?!) that Australians can’t drink as much as they think, well at least these two Australians can’t! The drive back to the house is a bit hazy but I do remember getting to sleep on the comfiest couch I’ve ever felt in my entire life.

The next day I slept like the dead until almost 1pm, even though there were workmen there from the early hours bashing away at renovations. Our time in Milwaukee has been more like a food tour of the Mid-West because Kyle and Ryan took us to a vegan restaurant called ‘Comet’. We snacked on faux Buffalo ribs and hommus (a new experience for me, but I’ve been completely won over) with pita bread before our main meals all arrived. It didn’t seem as healthy as the ‘Bean and Barley’ meal from the day before, but it was still an awesome feed.

After lunch we went back to the house to chill for a bit before heading out to take in some of Milwaukee’s finest vintage clothing stores. Downtown Milwaukee isn’t like a normal downtown. All the stores are in quaint little buildings that look like they could have once been houses; the sidewalks are wider and the traffic lights are encased in yellow metal; every house has a front porch and most have porch swings and an American flag hanging out the front. I felt like I was finally experiencing ‘real’ America; that we’d finally found somewhere off the usual tourist path. I think that’s one of the main things I will take away with me from the whole Milwaukee trip, and judging from the places we are heading to after this unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be experiencing the small-town, real-America feeling again anytime soon.

Even though he was the only boy on the shopping trip, it turned out that Kyle was the only person to buy anything while we were at the vintage stores. There were lots of amazing pieces but everything I tried on was either too small or too big. Better luck next time I guess.

Another new experience was just around the corner for us, – kickball. Although we didn’t play, we sat on the sidelines and took it all in. Every week a bunch of Milwaukee kids all get together at a local baseball diamond and drink and play kickball. For those who are unfamiliar with kickball it’s basically the same layout and rules as baseball except instead of a bat and small hard ball, the pitcher rolls a large foam ball along the ground and you have to kick it. One thing that I really noticed was that everyone I’d seen in Milwaukee really gets into outdoor sports. Even on the drive from the airport to the house we passed the beach on Lake Michigan and it was jam-packed with people riding bikes and playing volleyball. I guess when it’s crappy weather for 8 months out of the year you have to make the most of the 4 sunny months you get. Coming from a place like Australia where even in the winter months you still get sunshine and bearable temperatures, I really can’t comprehend going days on end without seeing the sun and sub-zero temperatures.

KICKBALL!!!

milwaukee, famous for beer.

The end of kickball saw us get excited over something else we’d been looking forward to all day, – vegan pizza. When we ordered the pizza I was a bit aprehensive, – between six people we were meant to share only two pizzas. To me, a large pizza is about 20-25 centimeters across. So imagine my surprise when we arrived at ‘Classic Slice’ and were greeted with two boxes almost half a meter across each! I’m usually pretty good at demolishing whole pizza’s but even with this one I could only manage to eat 4 slices. They were definitely some of the best four slices I’ve ever eaten though.

the best vegan pizza. ever. hands down. and the biggest.

Our plans for the night were to have some pre-drinks, a few games of ping pong and then head to a bar past downtown called ‘The Cactus’. Pre-drinks probably killed our ping-pong playing skills because Kyle beat us both by a huge margin, much to his delight. While we were waiting for Ryan to finish tracking a band he was working with, a friend of theirs called Bridget arrived and it turned out she was to be our designated driver for the night as well. Bridget was rad, and she’s planning on heading out to Australia for a work abroad programme in January next year so I think we managed to sell her on the idea of living in Sydney.

Renee’s screams from upstairs alerted us to raccoons on the porch, – she was terrified but being the tourists we are Jules and I were really excited to see them. Apparently a lot of raccoons carry rabies but even that idea didn’t stop the sight of a mother raccoon and her four small babies running down the porch and dashing in and out under the cars in the driveway being just too cute for words for us. So far we’ve seen squirrels, raccoons and seals, so our American wildlife experience is going almost as well as our American food experience.

Upon our arrival at ‘The Cactus’ we were greeted with cigarette smoke and metal music, a classic dive bar. But instead of being filled with a bunch of drunk old men it was filled with scene kids. So it was pretty much a rad night. There were people there that we’d met the night before at the Irish pub Kyle had taken us to, so even though our memories were a tiny bit hazy they completely refreshed them for us. 2am rolled around eventually so we all got kicked out and despite our best-laid plans to break into a local water park we headed home instead. The last night in Milwaukee was just as fun as the first and we managed to capture Kyle’s laugh on camera, so we can forever remember (and torment him) how hilarious it is.

We slept in until noon again on our last morning in Milwaukee and headed to Whole Foods one last time to stock up on food for our train trip to Chicago. I have to say that so far, Milwaukee has been the hardest place to say goodbye to, and even though I don’t know if my travels will ever take me back there again, I will never forget the two days I spent there. So now it is goodbye to Milwaukee and hello Chicago, from one mid-west city to the next our adventures continue.

us and our fave milwaukee buddies

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Goodbye City of Angels, Hello Pacific Coast Highway.

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 07/04/2009

As I write this we are hurtling down the Pacific Coast Freeway in a Greyhound bus away from Los Angeles and headed for San Diego. We crossed the San Diego County line a few miles back.

The view is amazing, on one side of the road are the rolling hills and then to our other side is the sparkling Pacific Ocean. In between there is nothing but the open blue sky. It seems appropriate that the selection on my ipod is tuned to Blink 182.

Once we get to San Diego we’re staying at a beachside hostel in the suburb of Pacific Beach called the Banana Bungalow. It will be interesting because even though Jules and I have been travelling for over a week now this will be the first night we’ve stayed in a hostel and not someone’s house. While our experiences have been nothing short of amazing and everyone we have stayed with has been so open and hospitable, it will be nice to know we can go and do our own thing and come home to the room whenever we want. Plus I’m pretty sure the hostel offers free breakfast, and free food is always a bonus!

The better part of our day has been spent travelling or packing up our suitcases so we haven’t witnessed the full glory of the Fourth of July celebrations yet. From what people have told us everyone has barbeques at whoever has the nicest house and gets super drunk, or if no one they know has the perfect barbeque house then they go to a park and just get drunk there. Basically people get drunk, but because they’re not used to drinking all day most people go to sleep (or pass out) by late afternoon. Hopefully there are still some people left standing by the time we get to PB!!!!

i'm going to swim in the pacific ocean.

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