My American Adventure

I’m home!

Well I came home over a week ago, but after a weekend of chilling and finally kicking the jet lag I can now comprehensively put my thoughts on paper.

America was brilliant! So much happened, so I’m going to share my basic highlights from the trip, as well as a few of my favourite pictures from my jollies.

Highlights for me including:-

  • Conversation with a lady on the train into Chicago, who turned out to be flying back from a film premiere in France.
  • Staving off jet lag by drinking through to midnight, whilst desperately trying to impress the bartender with my Welsh.
  • The hospitality of my mate Nigel, who spending 3 days with was brilliant (even if I was laughing half the time at his comedic American accent.
  • Breakfast on the second day, which was huge, and watching this lady work her magic helping people cross the road (including loud shouts of “GET ACROSS THE ROAD YOU STINKING BRATS!”. Brilliant).
  • Seeing Chicago, and the Bean and all it’s wonderous sights.
  • The Chicago White Sox game at the US Cellular Field. I blogged about it more at You’re Supposed To Be At Home, as there was enough incidents in that game to fill a blog post.
  • Getting in possibly the WORST Taxi in Chicago – he didn’t know where he was going!
  • Finding a “British” pub in Richmond, Virginia. Owned by a Liverpool fan and having (amongst other things), an FC United Scarf on it’s ceiling.
  • Seeing Monday Night Raw live. It was an amazing episode, with Stone Cold Steve Austin & Vince McMahon making an appearance, Booker T wrestling and the first appearance on Raw for Zach Ryder.
  • Subsequently appearing on Zack Ryder’s Youtube Show for my sign! (1:05 minutes in).
  • Seeing the Apollo 11 Space module in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington. I’m a massive space geek, so that was pretty cool.
  • Seeing all the other wonderous things in Washington.
  • Meeting Rob (a long time blogger who’s sadly quit) in Washington for the first time, as well as him buying me lunch. He’s an officer and a gentleman.
  • Boozing in an Irish bar in DC with the vice governors (is that the right word) of Arkansas and Utah.
  • Eating in Katz’ Deli. Famous for that scene in “When Harry Met Sally”.
  • Visiting the Brooklyn Brewery, doing the tour (which was crap, apart from the guide who told us some great stories on the history of the place).
  • Accidentally giving money to the Mafia. They were nice people though.
  • Seeing the worlds most comedic midget in Brooklyn. He was short, had a moustache, a red hat, jumper and blue dungarees. He looked like Super Mario if he had been hit by a goomba & returned to original Mario.
  • Seeing Sara again. Always good hanging out with her and Daniel as well!
  • Going to see the New York Red Bulls play and be suitably impressed by the support.
  • Drinking with New York Red Bulls striker’s (and ex Shrewsbury Town forward) Luke Rodger’s dad.
  • Chilling in central park.
  • Hating the Yankees & Yankee Stadium.
  • Overnight bussing to Toronto, wondering if the girl sat opposite me fancied me or not.
  • Drinking Coolatas and having a huge breakfast in Toronto.
  • Flying back in Business class because JFK & American Airlines both messed up!

And generally having an amazing time! Pictures tell the story of a thousand words, so here’s some of my favourite pictures from the trip:-

So, where’s next? Well depending on how the Olympics debacle plays out, I may not do a huge holiday next year, with that said, I am going to Bulgaria on October with Wales, and then we’ll see what’s next next year!

Holiday Booked & Why I’ll Never Book Greyhound Buses In America

So yes! Remember when I talked about my holiday? Well it’s finally booked, here’s my final itinerary:-

A few changes were made from the original itinerary, largely due to problems (more on that later), and advice from readers. The two main changes are the following.

  • Less Time In Richmond – A day and a bit is apparently enough, because there’s nothing much there.
  • Less Time in Toronto – On the 15th, I’m doing a night bus between New York and Toronto. Primarily because it’s the best option. I know that a lot of people suggested I spent a day or two at Niagara falls, but I couldn’t. The reason is solely down to one company.

Greyhound Buses

Oh my days, I’ve never known a difficult to use website. Nothing is made obvious, as I’m pretty sure it’s organised like this to make the company a lot of money (more on that later).

Here’s a real life example. On the 7th of June I wanted to go from Richmond, Virginia to Washington DC. I placed the details on the website, as you can see here:-

Upon clicking on search schedules, notice the date that’s searched for:-

So all of a sudden, I’m now getting a bus on the day before. Not exactly helpful is it? Why is there no seemingly point to say “Sorry, we can’t do Tuesday, here’s Monday instead!”. I don’t want a bus on the Monday, I want a bus on the Tuesday!

I know Dan will probably take the piss out of me for it (because I did when he did something similar a few months ago), but it caught me out. Foolish, or should the website have done more? I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only person to “fall” for this.

Either way, after Greyhound got my money (which they’ll probably keep, as the refund enquiry process takes 14 days), I went to Sure enough, it worked out easier, cheaper and friendlier than Greyhound. Admittedly they don’t go to Niagara, but I’ll live.

In conclusion – Greyhound, I’ll never use your services again. Your website seems like it’s out to trick me (which it did), and problems don’t seem easy to fix.