US Trip of a Lifetime – I’m back!

January 12, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Reflections

After a whirlwind trip of a lifetime travelling from East to West Coast in the US, I’ve finally made it back home! It was an exhausting and exciting adventure, seeing all the landmarks in each city that I’ve only dreamed of and seen on TV. We didn’t exactly get the white Christmas we hoped (luckily escaped the polar vortex before it hit), but I had an amazing time with the boyfriend.

Here’s my trip highlights:

New York – I’ve never been in a place so cold and that’s without the polar vortex! It was -3 degrees Celsius on Christmas Day and even after wearing 4 layers and a thick coat I ended up getting frostbite on my face which was unpleasant. It was exciting seeing all the famous sights, like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Bucking Bull, Wall St and Empire State Building, but overall New York wasn’t what I pictured in the movies. It was all hustle and bustle, SUPER SUPER busy, had garbage on the streets and I saw a rat in the subway (eww!) but definitely worth visiting.

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Highlights – Central Park, Seeing Wicked on Broadway, American Museum of Natural History (even though it was so busy it sounded like a shopping centre)

Washington DC – I regret not spending more time in Washington, we spent less than 24 hours there but it was probably my favourite place that I visited. With all the monuments sprinkled around town, how clean it was and amazing architecture, I just loved it! Unfortunately the day that we were there it was raining too, but we squeezed in the must see sights of the White House and the Capitol building. Also playing Fallout 3 made everything more recognisable LOL! We’ll definitely be back to explore all the museums <3

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Highlights – Lincoln Memorial, White House, Capitol Building

Las Vegas – Ahh, Sin City was everything I expected it to be. 2 days was enough to spend in the middle of the desert, it was very ostentatious and glamorous. We stayed at the Venetian Hotel which have canals built around and inside it, and visited the Flamingo hotel with you betcha – flamingos in a habitat there! After enjoying a super glitzy room, watching a Cirque De Soleil show and visiting the Premium outlets where I did most of the shopping, we bailed it on New Years Eve before it got too wild – and caught a few couples on the way to the chapel to get married.

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Highlights – The Strip and Venetian Canals

San Francisco – Friends told me I would love this beautiful city, and that I did. I really enjoyed the California leg of our adventure, it was lovely just getting out of the freezing temperatures of the east coast. San Francisco reminds me a lot of Melbourne in Australia, it’s love of food, fashion and culture was amazing. We met relatives and a friend here which was lots of fun as well, it was a lot more laid back than the previous cities. I was also happy to discover the huge asian population here, felt right at home! I shopped a lot here and was excited to discover Lupicia and Davids Tea, and the cell block tour at Alcatraz Island was fantastic. There’s a surprising amount of homeless people and hills here, though.

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Highlights – Golden Gate Bridge, Clam Chowder, Alcatraz Island

Los Angeles – This is probably the place I was most excited to go, and I’m glad the weather was awesome. We stayed at the most amazing hotel near Hollywood called Magic Castle Hotel, and they seriously do everything they can to make you have an amazing stay! We got free snacks, free dvd lending, free laundry, and even free breakfast here, and the concierge even dropped us off at an amazing restaurant. Hollywood was disappointing, it’s way overhyped and definitely no celebrities there, plus we got scammed into this really dodgy movie star homes tour. You can’t see most houses anyway because it is gated off and definitely no celebrities. The sign was tiny as well from a distance. The Warner Bros VIP Tour was our trip highlight, where we saw the Big Bang Theory, Friends, Hart of Dixie and Pretty Little Liars filming sets! Disneyland was amazing, as expected which took us 2 days to explore.

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For all the Pretty Little Liars fans, here’s the set at the film studio!

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Highlights – Disneyland, Universal Studios, Warner Bros VIP Tour

Books read on my trip – reviews to come

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Happy new year everyone, while I had an amazing trip, I’m glad to be back! Who knows what 2014 will have in store for us all, but I have a feeling it’s going to be awesome. It was an amazing start to the New Year with memories I will remember forever. We’ve already got plans in mind to visit again some time in the future!

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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51 responses to “US Trip of a Lifetime – I’m back!

  1. Welcome back and happy new year Jeann! Haha I think I would have checked out the Pretty Little Liars set too! I've never been to Vegas, but I'm now realizing from your photos that the Macau Cotai Strip is copying that hahaha.
    Buona recently posted…We are back, better than ever!My Profile

  2. Wow, looks like you had an amazing time, Jeann! I'm so jealous of all these amazing trips you Aussies seem to take. I'm glad you were able to hit so many places here in the States–if you ever come back to LA, let me know because I will tell you of WAY better places to go! It's easy to get sucked into the tourist traps, and this is such an amazing city if you know what you're looking for. Not as easy to stumble across the good stuff, like you can in cities like NYC, DC, etc.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Secret (Elemental #4): review discussionMy Profile

  3. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! You're making me green with envy, Jeann! You really had a blast during your Yuletide Holiday vacation. And I love all of those pics. You and your bf looked so sweet. I am glad that you were able to spend a lot of time with him. 😀

    As for me, I don't know if I'll ever have the opportunity to get there. I hope I will win the lottery. xD

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip with us, Jeann!
    Charlotte @ Thoughts recently posted…Book Review: AvalonMy Profile

  4. I'm so glad you had such a beautiful and memorable trip. I recognise a lot of the landmarks you went to, America is such an awesome country! And I totally agree, New York is way overhyped! I went in winter as well and was disgusted by the rubbished stacked on the side of the road.

    So jealous you got to visit so many awesome tv show sets! Thank you for sharing the PLL set photos, they look amazing! Are you up to date with the show, we should discuss!! 😛

    Happy New Year, I'm so glad you're back <3
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare BlakeMy Profile

  5. It has never been so cold here, but sometimes I wish there is snow here. Those are amazing views in US, that christmas tree is so huge and Lincoln Memorial looks gorgeous! Visiting Warner Bross studio seem fantastic, I didn't know they have every house on film inside the studio XD

    and OMG you visited Disney Land, really want to go there someday, I'm kinda obsessed with Cinderella XD

    Glad you had great vacation and Happy new year!

  6. Wow — what a fantastic trip!

    As a New Yorker, I am here to tell you that a) winter here isn't usually that cold and b) NY is insanely crowded over the holidays. Hope you can come again at a less crazy time.

    I love DC and Vegas and San Francisco — I just did the Alcatraz tour in September and I agree — it was super exciting. I've never been to LA but your stories made me laugh…

    Jen @ YA Romantics
    Jen @ YA Romantics recently posted…Extra! Extra! Happy New Year!My Profile

    • Ooohh, thanks for your input from a NY local yourself! Yeah, I realised that everyone was there to see Christmas and the New Years ball drop, hopefully we would be able to visit outside of holiday season. Oohh that Alcatraz tour had such a beautiful view and done so well! Glad you enjoyed it hehe.

  7. Yeah! So glad you're back Jeann! It looks like you had an amazing trip! It's awesome how you got to experience so many amazing things! (*cough* the Warner Bros. tour in LA *cough*) I'm so glad that you had a good time!
    Zoe N. recently posted…StolenMy Profile

  8. I'm so happy you had a great time, Jeann, even if some of the cities and places didn't live up to your dreams and expectations. I think that is bound to happen, especially when you have read so many books, seen so many movies and TV shows featuring those places.

    It sounds like you had an amazing trip, though, and you even read some good books in there 🙂

    Welcome home, and happy 2014 🙂
    Lexxie @ (un)Convent recently posted…Sidekick Showcase #33 – CompromiseMy Profile

    • You are definitely right Lexxie, especially since they romanticise a lot of places on TV and stuff. I thought it was amazing, definitely missing it now. Thank you Lexxie, happy 2014 to you too!

  9. Ooh, this sounds like a truly awesome trip! I am SO going to America… sometime.

    Freezing temperatures are never fun, but -3 is still pretty reasonable, haha. Around -10 it gets REALLY cold (I'm so, so glad I don't live in America right now. The Polar Vortex -which totally sounds like a book title- seems like hell. I'm glad you 'escaped' that one, haha)!

    Love all the pictures! They look like you had fun 😀
    Celine recently posted…To All the People Who Wonder Why I Buy So Many BooksMy Profile

    • I hope you get to go sometime, it was so much fun! Lol I have never experienced temperatures that cold, guess I'm spoilt in Queensland. Definitely had lots of fun, thanks Celine 🙂

  10. Yay! I'm glad you're back! (I missed reading your blog.) Sounds like America is…freezing. *shivers* But awesome! I'd love to go one day…my brother-in-law is American (although he lives in Oz now, with my sister and their kids) but I'd have contacts and places to stay if I ever went. 😉

  11. Cyn

    Looks like you had a really awesome trip! I would love to go to New York during Christmas time. Disney! I love The Tower of Terror haha. Glad you had so much fun! The cold weather for Xmas of been a little strange, though I've always wanted to go to Australia during December to experience a hot "winter" haha.
    Cyn recently posted…Sunday Post (47) / Stacking the Shelves (27)My Profile

    • The Rockefella Center tree was amazing, plus the open ice skating rinks, but I think next time I would go outside of holiday season because it was so busy. Lol back into the humid heat for me!

  12. Absolutely amazing, and it sounds like it lived up to the title of a trip of a lifetime. Whirlwind tour of the U.S, you sound like such a rockstar Jeann. Love the photos, especially the one of you taking a leap in Washington, very cute. The Disneyland photo of you and Mr Jeann is adorable, definitely one for the wallet. You weren't tempted to join the couples in Vegas and tie the knot as well 😀

    Great to see you home safely Jeann, we've missed you.
    Kelly recently posted…The Lost Boys By Lilian CarmineMy Profile

    • Lol thanks Kelly, glad you enjoyed the photos! I can't go anywhere without my trusty camera lol. Need to remember all these memories. Ah yes, the Vegas wedding is a joke between us but it's not our time yet XD Thank you Kelly, I missed you too!

  13. Wow, you're trip sounds awesome! I haven't been to any of those cities because, so I'm a bit jealous! I love your reaction to the weather. Last weekend our highest temperature was -24C. I don't really recommend visiting Canada in the winter unless you're planning to go skiing.
    Megan recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (3)My Profile

    • I think I was overwhelmed by what a huge place America was, in Australia it's seriously not that big lol. Wow that is absolutely crazy…I couldn't even imagine that coldness! I think next time I visit cold places, I'll have to time it during the warmer seasons lol.

  14. Karen

    So happy for you!! I saw Wicked last year in Phoenix! Amazing show! Next time you'll have to stop in Arizona!!

  15. I live in New Jersey so the NY photos were awesome. It is a great time of year there. All the other pics were great. I hope you had a great time – you looked like you were! Thanks for sharing 🙂
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  16. Wicked was amazing, but yes I loved Cali! Also the non-humid heat, in Brisbane it's the same temperature but super humid! I hope I'll get to come back some day, I planned it myself with lots of research 🙂

  17. Catherine

    Whoa – so glad you had a great trip! I'm also a bit jealous you got to see Wicked but particularly happy you enjoyed California 😉 lol. Anyhow hopefully you'll get to take more trips in the future! On a side note – who planned your trip? You'll have to plan one for me too!

  18. Glad you had so much fun! Next time you'll have to visit Yosemite National Park. Beeeautiful! Yeah, Hollywood is kind of meh. You have to go hang out in Beverly Hills, Malibu, and other places like that if you want to see celebrities. lol. Hope you come back!
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  19. YAY for an awesome trip!!

    I'm quite envious of you watching Wicked! I've wanted to watch it forever!! I hope it was an awesome experience!

    I adore San Francisco! I visited it quite a few years back, and I can't wait to visit it with the bf and take loads of photos!

    Btw, I cannot wait to see what you thought of Throne of Glass and No One Else Can Have You!
    Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: Mini Review: Howling For You by Chloe Neill!My Profile

    • Thanks Pili, Wicked actually visited Australia a few years back but I missed out, so glad I caught it on broadway, it was awesome 🙂 We wanted to watch Phantom of the Opera which is my all time favourite musical but tickets were sold out. I can't believe how amazing San Francisco was, it was so beautiful!