I went to America, and this is what I saw...
Fair warning, there are holidays snaps ahead - AVERT YOUR EYES if you have a Bernard Black aversion to being bored to death, looking at other people's holiday photos.
San Francisco cable cars! Tram travel is vastly improved when you can swing your body out the door - Yarra Trams needs to look into that, pronto!
The Golden Gate Bridge!
City Lights Bookstore! The most famous bookstore in San Francisco, and it definitely lived up to the hype - it was a treasure-cave filled with books, above and below. I bought a copy of George Saunders' Tenth of December, which I'm currently rationing my reading of to prolong the enjoyment.
I also had a Graffiti Moon moment, when I spotted a Banksy near Little Saigon!
And the bookish-treats kept coming in San Francisco, when I found this great little bar!
I went to Alcatraz and did the most amazing tour - and this is the view of San Francisco from one of the cell-blocks. Prisoners claimed that on New Years Eve they could hear the cheers of revelry if the wind was just right . . .
On my last day in San Fran I paid tribute to one of my favourite shows growing up, Full House.
♪ When you're lost out there and you're all alone, A light is waiting to carry you home,
Everywhere you look
Everywhere you look ♪
After San Francisco I went to Las Vegas and did not gamble . . . but I did fly to the Grand Canyon in a helicopter (and very much appreciated when our pilot played James Bond and Indiana Jones music, to add to the whole experience)
From Las Vegas we went to the Big Apple - NEW YORK CITY! And this was the view from my hotel room.
I loved everything about New York, but one of my favourite buildings was of course the New York Public Library. This place is more like a Cathedral than a library (actually, they're both places of worship so that fits)
Breath was officially taken.
While in New York I set aside a block of time to visit Midtown Comics and was blown away.
I've only recently started reading comics and graphic novels, and I've been quite suckered into a few (form Saga to My Friend Dahmer). So I went to this shop and had a really good chat with some wonderful staff who recommended me a few novels and were just so helpful and enthusiastic. I really wanted to buy Chris Ware's gorgeous Building Stories - but it wouldn't have fit in my suitcase.
I will have reviews of some of these graphic novels going up over the next few months - but I think I can officially say that I am now a comic-convert. I'm in love.
I did lots of BIG things in New York - like going to 'Top of the Rock' (Rockefeller Plaza) which I loved (and not just because I got to feel like Liz Lemon). But New York is also an incredible city for the little things - like when I found myself walking on wise words.
I went to the American Museum of Natural History - and while I was disappointed by the lack of mummy-magic, this place invoked my childhood love of dinosaurs. It was also very cool to go there during a weekday and see all the school excursions wandering around - what a great field trip!
Aforementioned 'Top of the Rock' - which gave us a pass to see NYC during the day, and at night ...
We saw three shows on Broadway - and each one was pure fabulousness! I can't pick a favourite ... though I had "Tomorrow is a Latter Day" from The Book of Mormon stuck in my head for approximately 48 hours.
... So that was my trip.
And now that I'm home again, I just want to get back to New York!