Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Best and Worst of USA

Top 30 or so: (not in any order)

1. Best Swimming Pool: Jazzy's in New Jersey

2. Best Backpackers: Sacramento

3. Best Coffee: Monterey - Mexican Latte

4. Best Weather: Hawaii

5. Best Roomate: Kim from Seattle

6. Best Breakfast: Steven's Porridge

7. Best Dessert: Key Lime cheesecake from Stacy

8. Best Restaurant: Peregrino's Italian in San Francisco - Lobster Lasagne

9. Best Pub: Kiwi pub in San Diego and an Evening with Linda

10.Best Wildlife: San Diego Zoo

11.Best Tour: Hearst Castle

12.Best Food: Diana & David's in San Luis Obispo

13.Best Shopping: Sports Authority in San Luis Obispo and REI in San Bruno

14.Best Bargain: Guess Sunglasses Sacramento $8.57 (down from $40), & Hawaii Pearls

15.Best Service: San Francisco Police - Seargeant Scott Warnke

16.Best Street: South Street Philadelphia

17.Best People: Say What Club Convention in Philly

18.Best Highlight: Capturing on camera a wild Sea Otter in Monterey

19.Best Laugh: Mike getting drenched in beer in Philly

20.Best View: Empire State Building in NYC

21.Best Squirrels: Madison Square NYC, and San Luis Obispo (Ground Squirrel)

22.Best Laundry Service: Steven's in San Bruno

23.Best Walk: Muir Woods & Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

24.Best Quiet Day: The day at Jazzy's sister's pool

25.Best Beaches: Coronado Hotel, Waikiki, Hamauna Bay, Malibu, Santa Monica

26.Best Boat Trip: Lake Tahoe

27.Best Experience: Driving on the right hand side for the first time

28.Best Shower: Jazzy's in New Jersey

29.Best museums: Mutter in Philly, Musuem of Natural history NYC

30.Best Experience with a Difference: Tijuana Mexico

31.Best Lunch: Clam Chowder at Boudin Bakery at Fisherman's wharf

32.Best Tea: Morrocon Restaurant in Little Falls

Worst 10.

1). Seeing a huge fat bum having a shit in daylight on a San Diego Street

2). Experiencing unhelpfulnes of Bank of America

3). Seeing queues of people lining up for the soup kitchens of the Salvation Army

4). Being harrassed by bums in San Francisco for change - "change" "change"

5). Smelling the stench of human urine on the steets in SD & SFO

6). Experiencing 38 degrees in Stockton the day we arrived (melt)

7). Having our airport shuttle crash on the freeway on the way to the hostel

8). Mike losing his wallet

You know - I can honestly not think of 10 worst things. On the whole my experiences of America were very positive. People are friendly and will usually go out of their way to help when help is needed. Good humour and laughter followed us around wherever we went.

I'm glad we saw some bad things though, because thats what makes us appreciate the good things more, and it makes us realise that there are always people worse off than ourselves. It makes me thankful that I live in NZ which has a Social Welfare buffer. It doesn't mean that we don't have homeless or bums, just that the problem is less, and largely unnoticeable.

My small list of highlights is tiny - I could go on and on and wax lyrical about each day we had in USA. No day was the same, the experience and sights we saw were totally different each day, which stimulated and excited our senses and gave us an appetite for more. It kept us energised and helped us fit in all the things we wanted to do.

I would do it again - but fully intend to put my feet up for a couple of years first. I'd like to see rural America next, I would like to see Seattle, and I would like to see Chicago and surrounds again.



Anita from SWC Friends said...

Please look me up if you ever visit Seattle. I love it here and find it fun to play tour guide!

Linda Binns said...

Now, wait a minute!LOLOL! ALL of San Diego, even all of downtown where you stayed isn't like that! There's a huge, world renowned homeless shelter just a few blocks away from your hostel, St. Vincent DePaul's. (Father Joe) so of course you would see some of our city's finest. I do apologize for the 'huge fat bum' and I will speak to him about not shocking tourists from now on. *LOL*!

Linda Binns (who lives in San Diego and has never seen a huge fat bum doing that on the street....)