After I finished my 2nd contract with Disney in June 2014, I decided to delay my inclusive flight for a month and make the most of my vacation time by visiting more states in America.
I disembarked in Vancouver and took a fight to LAX, where I was picked up by my good friend Crystal who is an amazing DJ from LA. I stayed with her in her Hollywood apartment for 5 nights and did all my touristy things… Walk of Fame, Madame Tussauds (OK I had already been to the one in Blackpool, but I was in Hollywood so I had to go again!!) Beverley Hills on the celebrity house tour, the Hollywood sign, met some other great DJ’s and partied in some amazing clubs.
Before I left, I also visited the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades where some of the ashes of Mohandas K. Gandhi are kept… yes OK I did just have to google that but I have been there… honest!! We also made use of my Disney passes and visited Disneyland, California.
OK, next I flew to Chicago, I stayed there for 1 night and met a good friend of mine from the ship who was heading in the same direction as me. I visited Willis Tower went up to the top level and had some pictures taken on the glass bottom floor where I genuinely thought I was going to die.. well I knew I wasn’t but you know!
We then drove from Chicago through Indiana, Ohio and to Pennsylvania.
I stayed in Pennsylvania in an old country hotel. The following morning, I visited the Amish Village where I met an old Amish lady who showed me round on her horse and cart, introduced me to her grandchildren who were selling homemade lemonade and took me to where her son and husband kept all the cattle.
I visited an old Amish home (used only for tourist reasons now) too. It really is a very fascinating and extraordinary way of life – they use no electricity and it was a little spooky with rocking chairs and old dolls. The lady said she had never had her picture taken in her life and kept all memories in her mind, so I couldn’t even get a selfie…
I also went round to their local shops where they handmade a lot of souvenirs (which I bought a lot of!) and also shops where they made furniture (and if I didn’t have a 23kg weight restriction with British Airways, I would have bought a lot of!). I sat inside their school which is just one classroom with old fashioned desks and a chalkboard and visited their farm too.
After Pennsylvania, it was on to Philadelphia where I stayed in a scary motel in the middle of nowhere, OK well it was in Philadelphia but it sounds scarier if I say middle of nowhere right? That stay was really just a break from travelling and the most exciting thing I did was buy a Philadelphia magnet from a service station but I suppose not many people can claim they did that. Anyway, then off to New Jersey to visit my friend from school, drop off my suitcase so I could go on to New York baggage free where I stayed on my own for 5 nights.
New York was amazing and being my on my own was no problem as I always end up talking to people and my friend did come and meet me one day to visit Ground Zero. Over the 5 days, I visited the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Ground Zero, Central Park, Ripley’s believe it or not museum and just ate a lot of food.
After my 5 days, I travelled to New Jersey to visit my friend, Sarah and was invited to stay with the family she was living with working as an Au-Pair. Their house was amazing with a huge garden and one night we went out with the kids catching fire-flies…I didn’t even know they were actually a thing! I was also there for 4th July so we did a trip back in to New York and watched the firework display at Brooklyn Bridge, front seats , VIP if you don’t mind.
That took me to the end of my travels and I took my Disney flight back to Birmingham, England to finally see my other friends and my family after not seeing them since New Year and look who surprised me at the airport..