California Here I Come

Well the die is cast. The trip to the US I mentioned last week is now on. The flight tickets tickets are booked and the credit card has taken a bruising.

We’re are off to California, and one or two other states, like that other well-known communist, Lucille Ball*, pictured right. (I’m not really a communist, but I could probably pass for one in the US.)

All we have to do now is get passport photos taken that are acceptable to HMG. The ones I took at home were perfect, apart from being the wrong colour background (it was cream, as the guidance asks for) and on the wrong paper. (Kodak photo paper on a Kodak printer – oh how the mighty have fallen.)

The woman at the post office also didn’t like me wearing glasses in them. Something to do with not being able to tell how close together my eyes are. I’m not sure I’m altogether happy with some bureaucrat measuring my biometrics without me being present.

You may think that the post heading is disingenuous since our main base will be in Nevada, but we are planning to drive to Los Angeles for a few days to take in the sights and hopefully visit my uncle who has lived there since the 1950s.

The problem is that there is so much to see. Both me and Mrs P are making our own lists and by my reckoning, we can probably just about fit it all in if we stay for six months, assuming that we don’t pause for breath.

One idea seems to be ruled out already. I wanted to take my camera to the airplane graveyard in the Mojave Desert, but my contacts tell me that there has been a crack down on by the authorities. What interest al-Qaeda might have in mothballed jets isn’t clear.

My one big worry is the driving. For a start, I’ve never driven an automatic before and would much prefer a car with a gear stick, but this seems unlikely.

Second is the speed limits which appear both confusing and low. I’m sure it’s for the careful driver’s benefit in view of the idiots who drive at 120 mph, jumping over canyons and sliding under petrol wagons. I’ve seen the movies.

I shall leave you with Al Johnson with a song fitting to the moment.

* I Love Lucy really was a registered communist until Mr Hoover persuaded her otherwise.

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11 comments… add one

  • Thomas Cook-Pudding 15th March 2012, 11:57 am

    Automatic cars are no problem sir. You’ll be fine. And yes do be careful of speeding. I picked up two tickets in the USA. Cruise control is standard on a lot of cars and helps to make sure you’re right at the top of the limit when driving long distance. I think you should already be deciding just how you want to see The Grand Canyon. You could just drive over in your hire car – not too far for a day trip from Las Vegas or try a helicopter or light plane – landing or not landing near the canyon, rafting or hiking through. There’s so many options. Las Vegas is a bizarre place. It shouldn’t really be there. Shopping and gambling are not really my thing but I guess these strange activities will be thrilling for you.

    Reply
  • rhymeswithplague 15th March 2012, 12:14 pm

    Las Vegas is to the United States as the London Eye/Millennial Wheel is to the United Kingdom.

    Enjoy your stay.

    Reply
  • Shooting Parrots 15th March 2012, 12:15 pm

    We’re planning on a helicopter trip with lunch in the Grand Canyon towards the end of the trip as something of an expensive finale. Like saving the big fireworks till last.

    Reply
  • Shooting Parrots 15th March 2012, 12:51 pm

    I perhaps should have said that our friends live in the outskirts of Las Vegas which is where we’ll be staying. We plan on taking in a show or two, but gambling and bling isn’t our thing!

    Reply
  • Roger Green 15th March 2012, 1:52 pm

    Have fun. I’ve never been to Vegas, but I find gambling REALLY boring in other casinos.

    Reply
  • Owl Wood 15th March 2012, 3:29 pm

    Hmm. California has one big fault as a holiday destination that I can see. Step gently…

    Reply
  • john 15th March 2012, 6:07 pm

    I have been to san Francisco but never to los Angeles or Vegas
    I look forward to see your photos!

    Reply
  • Iain Taylor 15th March 2012, 7:02 pm

    Hope you have a top time, we’ll be there to in 4 months.
    Can’t wait to go looks a great place, didn’t know I had relatives over there
    It’s a small world.

    Reply
  • Katherine 18th March 2012, 1:11 am

    The Canyon… The highlight of my 5 month’s tour (back in the late 70′s). No superlatives come close. Have a super time!

    Reply
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