2011 the year that changed me.

Finishing my Marketing diploma i knew i wanted to get my degree and continue my schooling but in what? Normally this happens at the beginning of ones college experience right after high school but this time i came at a cross road midstream after I finished two college diplomas. So… I moved all my stuff into my folks basement for storage and traveled the globe.

Starting with San Francisco for New Years, because we all know how ever you spend your new year is how you will spend your year. And that is exactly what i did. San Francisco is such a wonderful place. Flying over the golden gate bridge – if you have not done so already, i would put that onto your list of must see. Need a place to stay while in this fabulous city, Hotel Whitcomb not only is it reasonable cheap but also perfectly located to all the hotspots. Especially one hot spot you must visit: Smugglers Cove. Walk the golden gate bridge, visit alcatraz (just do not get left behind or you will be sleeping with the ghosts of the prison) okay i am only joking. Truly experience the hills of San Francisco, go for a bike ride – not only will it give you a work out but you will get the full city experience and afterwards enjoy only the best irish coffee in town. Finishing the night on a Dinner cruise in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, while watching fireworks abroad the boat. I have no idea how I got separated from the group but I may have watched the fireworks with someone special on that tour. Then i woke up with the worst hangover ever.

After took the bus. Amtrak driving down the pacific coast highway, now if you have not driven that highway another thing to add to your must do list. You have not been to California until you have. Got to Santa Barbara and onto the train to Los Angeles, arriving into LA at night is defiantly a different sight of things and something I would not recommend. If you want to travel to Los Angeles, make sure you arrive during the day. It is a different city at night and personally I prefer the Los Angeles at Day but that may be because I was traveling by myself. $50.00 bucks to take me to Santa Monica Hostel – It was $20-25 bucks from the San Francisco Airport to Hotel Whitcomb. But hey at least I got to see Los Angeles rush hour traffic, it was insane.

If you had told me I would be back to Los Angeles in five months, i would not have believed you. But it happened, i booked yet another tour to Los Angeles, this time for my birthday and this time it was better not only due to the fact I arrived during the day but I had more friends with me and a Car. Renting a car in LA is cheap. $200 a week. Now only if you knew Los Angeles you would agree that is cheap because Los Angeles is not a cheap city. And I am shocked that I am saying $200 is cheap.  Best birthday present given to me was partying at the hottest night club in Hollywood – Drai’s Hollywood. Views of the magnificent city with a pool, canopy’s, pole dancing, dance floor. And no cover fee thanks to Contiki Holidays. What to do when your drunk in Hollywood, take pictures with your BFF, with the stars (aka: Hollywood walk of fame) we got our picture taken with ‘Adam Sandler’. Now life can not give you good phrase all the time, bad things must happen accordingly and surprisingly enough my camera decided to stay behind in Santa Monica (now i say it that way because it sounds so much better than saying yeah i lost my camera in Santa Monica). Universal Studios was my favorite, especially the Studio lot tour where ALL the films are produced. Being on set of the desperate housewives was pretty cool. Touching Johnny Depp’s hands were another highlight (Okay it wasn’t really Johnny Depp, it was his hand prints at the Chinese theatre by the Kodak theatre). Do not waste your money on the Star Homes tour, it is nothing fancy – their just peoples homes. Visited another Best Friend from my Contiki travels after my Contiki tour. Went to Newport Beach (now there i can live), Six flags (like disneyland but with only rollercoasters), played beer bong, went to a piano bar.

Now that really has been an amazing year, so how did I end it? With none other than flying into Europe, London and taking the bus over Calasis – stepping into two places at once into Paris, France. Now you know you are in Paris when you see the Eiffel Tower from the bus. That is when you realize life is good, and it can not get any better at that moment in time. Cabaret show, Dinner in real Paris streets and by that i mean cobblestones. Tip for all the ladies out there, do not wear high heels on cobblestone.

But London, England was my Home away from Home. I loved it there. I could walk around the entire central London forever and sit in my favorite spot in the whole of London: Peter Pan Statue in Hyde Park. Westminister abbey was a true beauty, I now see why Kate and Will got married there. Hearing Big Ben strike 4 o’clock. Riding the Tube all over the city. Eating fish and chips (the real deal), Seeing the London Tower. Standing and sitting inside the Contiki Holidays Basement. Going to Hogwarts – Platform 9 3/4. So Surreal! 

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