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Things to see and do in North America...

 
Ranch Hand
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Heh,
Big continent so hopefully I'll get a lot of useful responses.
After saving up for god knows how long, last week I packed in my job and on the 3rd July Im heading off to the USA to go travelling. I might as well do it now because
a) Im under 30
b) I dont have a mortgage or dependents
c) I might as well take advantage of this 90 day visa waiver thingy while it still exists, and see another continent for awhile.
So, as a Brit, Im literally flying into the Lions den on July 4th, where no doubt I will be reminded about how we got our asses kicked (Personally I blame the English soldiers... they let the other Jocks and the Welsh down )
Im kicking off in Chicago where I'll be staying with some old Uni mates for a couple of weeks. Then Im heading over to Seattle for the Celtic / Man Utd game. And then I'll either head back via Canada, or go visit some friends in LA and then go back. Its open ended like that as Ive managed to save up enough money.
Im cancelling my internet connection tomorrow, but no doubt I'll drop by on my travels from some internet cafe and maybe include some pictures of Americana.
So to answer the question... any good places to go visit thats on my aformentioned very rough intinerary?
See ya later y'all
Mark
[ July 01, 2003: Message edited by: Mark Fletcher ]
 
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You cannot take such a trip every day, so I'd suggest doing things that you cannot do at home.
So while you're in Seattle, if you have a few hundred dollars I'd investigate the possibility of training at the Firearms Academy of Seattle. They have a national reputation in the firearms community for quality defensive handgun training. Have someone take pictures and WOW your friends at home!
 
slicker
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Mark Check out the link:
North American Hostels
If you are traveling solo, I would recommend hitting some hostels as you will probably meet a good mix of Americans and Europeans who are also in travel mode. I took 10 days two years ago, after doing the Alcatraz Triathlon and cruised around Northern California. Stayed in San Fran, Yosemite, Santa Cruz. The hostels in Yosemite is very good and the hiking is awesome. I recommend this - but could get lonely on your own.
There are a lot of states that have their own Outdoor Activity Websites which list many places to go bungee jumping and sky diving, etc. etc.
If you flew from Chicago to Las Vegas and rented a car there you could drive to the Grand Canyon in about 4 hrs. This is one of the Wonders of the World.
I've heard that Eugene, Oregon is party place. If you are going to Seattle, then you may want to look into this.
If you can fly around San Diego -> bottom southwest tip of America is AWESOME weather, beaches and 'kini's. Plus you can go to Mexico right across the border for some partying. (Just don't go too crazy.)
North of San Diego is L.A. which is a HUGE city geographically. It does have some good beach towns, just make sure you ask around and find one that is easy to hang out in.
Tempe, Arizona - right outside Phoenix - and not too far from L.A. is a good party town. This is also a good spot to hit if you go south from the Grand Canyon.
I ~believe~ that there are place to go skiing out west all year round, too.
If you have time to drive I would check head east across the country from one of the above spots and you can hit Yellowstone up North or New Mexico in the South. New Mexico has many Pueblo Villages featuring some of the oldest Indian Tribes in America.
New Mexico also has some of the Largest Caverns in the world. If you are down south in New Mexico check out the Sand Dunes in Alamogordo
check out this site:
Sand Dunes in the SouthWest
Ausin, Texas is a great town and known for its bar-music scene.
New Orleans is a fun city and a VERY interesting city as the Spanish, French, Creoles & Indians all left their mark there. (Will be VERY hot though.)

Bring lots of good CDs as the roads are EXTREMELY LONG. The western states are huge.
Of course you should try to make it to the Eastern seaboard where there are great beaches all up the Alantic. Virginia Beach, Fire Island, NYC, Florida. The Florida Keys have some serious partying going on, as does Miami.
I would recommend making a few different itineries as you may want to change it on the fly due to weather or in case you meet up with some folks traveling in different direction.
Hope it helps...
 
Ugly Redneck
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If you're in the Maryland - DC area, you're welcome to camp at my place for a couple of days. PM me if you wanna take up on the offer.
P.S -
I can show you the redneck way of life
 
mister krabs
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The trip from Chicago to Seattle should be interesting as you will go through the Rockies. Before that you can stop in Iowa and straighten out the corn cam for us.
http://www.iowafarmer.com/corncam/corn.html
 
Sheriff
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Hmmm... I see you are skipping the culturally most important part of the US, which would be the east coast of course (DC, New York, Boston... need I say more?). Oh well, can't win 'em all I guess.
 
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Mi casa, tu casa. Drop by the Piney Woods and I'll treat you to a Ribeye and a longneck.
 
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Hmmm... I see you are skipping the culturally most important part of the US, which would be the east coast of course (DC, New York, Boston... need I say more?). Oh well, can't win 'em all I guess.


He starts in the most important area.
Mark,
It might be easier if you give some interests. What types of places are you wanting to visit.
 
John Dunn
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Original London Bridge in Lake Havasu, Arizona
Not far from the Hoover Dam, is Lake Havasu which has the original London Bridge. I took my wife there and surprised her. She loved it. Could be a good goof if your passing that way with your buddies.
 
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They say the coal mine at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is intersting.
I've never seen the mine but I did go through the German U-boat. There's an American Pacific fleet sub of the same vintage in Texas. The Germans built a better boat. The sub is worth seeing too.
Here's a link to the MSI coal mine page web page
 
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i noticed someone else mentioned eugene oregon. i was going to say something similar. if you go to LA by car, take the coast route, well once you hit portland anyway. eugene is nice, but I-5 is boring and the coast is great.
 
Wanderer
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Tempe, Arizona - right outside Phoenix - and not too far from L.A. is a good party town. This is also a good spot to hit if you go south from the Grand Canyon.
Well Tempe is a nice stop along the way to somewhere else, like say the Grand Canyon (though going more directly to Flagstaff might make more sense, and passing through Sedona is probably more interesting than Tempe in that event. But I fear that this time of year, a Brit may just melt if he goes through AZ. Personally I'd be more interested in heading up the California coast. But I suppose it depends what sort of scenery you want to see...
 
Mark Fletcher
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Hello,
Well just found the time to get though my emails. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions on things to see and do. Its pretty great being here.
Thanks Sriraj for the offer of floor space to sleep on... If plans change and Im heading eastwards I'll give you a shout!
After arriving in Chicago, the first thing I did was to attend the Chicago Taste. The Taste is a festival where you can try all kinds of different cuisines as well as drink copious amount of Beer, which is important if you want to stay cool in the midwest weather.
I spend the 4th July weekend up in Green Bay with some friends. As a Brit I was expecting to be reminded at every opportunity that "the limeys got their ass kicked" but was pleasantly surprised to find that this wasnt the case. Arrived in Green Bay rather late, but not too late to watch the 4th July fireworks by the Titletown Brewery. They were pretty awesome I have to admit.
The rest of the weekend was spent in the countryside north of Green Bay which was a great experience. One of my friends brothers has a house in Pulcifer overlooking the Ocano river. He had a barbeque there all day and you could take an inflatable ring out onto the river and just float about if you wanted to. Very relaxing!
Sunday I had the chance to observe a Native American Pow Wow. The Oneida tribe were having a Pow Wow just outside of Green Bay so I headed on down to check it out. Was very interesting to find out about various aspects of the culture and one gentleman was kind enough to pose with me for a photo (see www34.brinkster.com/markfletcher/markfletcherorg/pictures/Indian_And_Mark.jpg).
[Edited to remove broken image. Apparently brinkster disallows linking to photos on its site. --JM]
Im now back in Chicago and just getting my bearings in this town. Im living in Lakeview, just north of downtown, so if any over 'ranchers out there who are local and would like to meet up for a brewski, drop me a message! Im going to be in Chicago until the 18th, when I fly out to Seattle.
In the meantime I hope to catch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. As my friends here are all Cubs fans it appears that I will be inducted to baseball as a Cubs fan
Theres also the possibility that I may be able to get into the audience on the Jerry Springer show. One of my friends tells me the show is filmed in the NBC tower downtown, although Im not sure how difficult it is to get tickets. Still if the Javaranch folks were to send me a t-shirt, I could always pimp the site on the show ...
Cheers,
Mark
[ July 08, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
Paul Stevens
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I would stop up there this weekend but my daughter has a basketball tournament.
 
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