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Pictures from Epic US roadtrip 2011

Epic US roadtrip 2011

A log of a roadtrip of epic proportions

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Jul '11

Last update: Air & Space museum, Penn State University, New York and coming home.

So, this update is way too late, i know, but we came home 2 weeks ago. (Last week i went to the Formula 1 in Germany, so i didn’t really have time). Anyway, here is the last update for you guys.
I think we’ll post some tips for people who want to take a US roadtrip in the future, but we’ll see.

Anyway, after Washington we drove to Penn State with a stop at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum (Big edition). We went to the small one in Washington, but this was the real deal. Blackbirds, Space Shuttles, Joint Strike Fighters and a freakin’ Concorde! Crazy! Awesome experience and aparrently it is also where some scenes of Transformers was filmed. (I don’t know, never seen the movie).

After that we drove to Penn State. Niels knew 2 girls who went there and we stayed in one of the girls room for the night. We partied and had a great time, thanks Ashley and Kaitlin!

The next morning, we drove to New York. Traffic is freakin’ horrible, but eventually we hit Times Square and our hotel (The Crowne Plaza). We dropped off the car at the valet and took the subway to Blondies (a sports bar) where we met up with Anna. We met Anna last year when we went to New York and she offered us to show us around, but now the NON-tourist stuff. In the next couple of days we went all across the city, from SoHo, NoHo (NYU), China Town (where we had a great massage and a good dinner) and a couple of other things. We also went to a stand-up comedy show at the Comic Strip and also to Spiderman the Musical, which were both awesome!

And, at the end, we said goodbye to Anna and took a cab to the airport. We arrived way too early, i (ofcourse) had a way too heavy suitcase, but in the end, we got home okay.

So, that’s it, in short. :)
All in all, it was a great experience, it was definitely the best vacation i’ve ever had and next year, i’m planning on hitting up my favourites again. (Pensacola, Austin and Las Vegas)



Jul '11

Last update from on the road

We’re in NYC and we’ve been here since Wednesday. We had a great party at Penn State and we’ve had a really good time here in NYC. We’re leaving for the airport in about an hour and I’ll post the last pictures and adventures of our trip when i get home.

Jul '11

Washington D.C.

Two days ago we arrived in a hectic Washington D.C., we drove into Rosslyn (a suburb just across the bridge from downtown Washington). We tried to book the Holiday Inn, but it was booked solid because this is the last working week for every government department before summer, same went for basically every hotel in the neighborhood, except one: The Inn of Rosslyn. From the outside it looked more like a run-down motel than a hotel, but the rooms are actually pretty nice and it’s cheap. So, we took it and here we are now.

The first night we went to 18th street, which is a quite nice (although small) bar street and we went to the Madam Organ, a bar which is split up into 4 different parts. A live-music part (with restaurant), a “club”, a lounge and the roof-top bar. We had a good time and took a cab back to the hotel at about 2AM.

The next day it was freakin’ hot, but we took the metro downtown, and just walked around. We saw the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Abe Lincoln monument, a lot more monuments (for example the WW2 monument) and of course the White House (which we couldn’t see close up, because the streets were blocked off for some reason, the cops wouldn’t tell why). We grabbed a bike-cab to Hooters to eat and then took the Metro to the Pentagon (where we couldn’t really photograph anything). We continued on the metro to our hotel and turned in early.

Today we went to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum which is very cool and to the Smithsonian museum of Natural History (where the movie “The night at the museum” is based). It took us all day, because there is so much to see there. After that, we grabbed the car and drove (again) to Hooters for dinner and after that we just drove all around the city to see it at night.

Washington is a very clean city, it also feels very safe (at least in the areas that we’ve been to). It looks like a great place to live, however: the nightlife needs some work. Not much clubs and the bars seem to attract the “hip” and “nerd” group, both of which are not really our type of people…

Tomorrow we’re going to the Udvar-Hazy center, which is basically an addition to the Air and Space museum, but they have the big planes there. After that we’re driving on to Penn State University to have a good party!

Driving through DC at night:

Thunderstorms by night at the Pentagon:


Jul '11

New Orleans (continued), Pensacola (Beach), Atlanta and Myrtle Beach

We left New Orleans and drove through the Ninth Ward (the area hit most by the hurricane a couple of years ago). It’s still a mess… We then drove (fast) out of New Orleans and entered Alabama. We didn’t stay long, because we passed Mobile and entered Florida.

We stopped in Pensacola, got a room, dropped our bags and went to the beach. And what a nice beach it is! Beautiful, well maintained, good people, the good life. :)
We grabbed a bite to eat at Hooters and got back to the room to change. There was some kind of big music festival on the beach, so we went back and didn’t find anything really. We stopped at a small beach bar to ask 2 girls if they knew anything about the festival, but no. We stayed at the bar and ended up having a crazy night (i’m not going into details as parents might be reading this too…). After a good “Welcome to America” we dropped one of the girls off at the hotel and the other at her house.

The next day we drove to Atlanta. We got a hotel downtown and we arrived just before traffic hit. (Like 4PM)
Downtown really looked nice until all of the workers got out, after that there were only bums out on the street. We grabbed a bite to eat very close to the hotel and after that got some drinks at an Irish Pub down the street.
Atlanta looks nice, but it’s infested with bums and “gangsters” after dark, keep away, it’s not worth it.

The day after that we drove on to Myrtle Beach and checked in to an ocean side hotel. We walked down the boardwalk and saw mostly families, so we asked where we should go to check out some clubs. Turns out there was a large complex with lots of bars and clubs (and shopping ‘n stuff) just 2 miles down the road. We grabbed a cab and went there. Again, a very good night in the club!
The next day we did nothing, yup, absolutely nothing. The weather was bad, we just stayed in, relaxed a little and at night we hit the clubs again. We got in, got to bed and the day after that we drove on to Washington D.C. (see next post)

Overall Myrtle Beach is quite nice, mostly families, but you can have a lot of fun there if you’re in the neighborhood. If i were to pick a beach which i liked the most, it’s definitely Pensacola!

Driving into Pensacola Beach over the Pensacola bridge.

Driving through Pensacola Beach


Jul '11

Phoenix, The oil fields of Texas, Austin, some guns and New Orleans

First, we’ve been to Phoenix AZ for a night. Nice city, we went to Mill Street in Tempe for some drinks.
The next day we passed New Mexico and arrived in El Paso, Texas. Apparantly one of the safest cities in the US and it’s just across the border from the most dangerous city in the world: Juarez, Mexico. We took a scenic drive and then drove to the Texas oilfields. We had dinner in Midland and then stopped in San Angelo for a motel.

The next day we drove to Austin, which, in my opinion is one of the freakin’ best cities in the world! I love Austin, the nightlife, the people, the atmosphere, it’s just great!
We had a couple of great days there and then went on to New Orleans with a stop in Houston where we went shooting! We shot a shotgun, a FN P90, an AR-15 and a Ruger .45 revolver. It made us both smile the entire way to New Orleans!

We arrived last night and we couldn’t have picked a worse weekend! This weekend there was a RnB and rapfestival… So, only, uhm, coloured people were out and the only music playing was the kind we don’t like…
It’s also a very dirty city, it smells like a mix of trash, puke and piss everywhere in this city, it’s disgusting! I wish we stayed in Austin for the 4th of July…

(Updated July 6th from Atlanta)

Niels firing the 12 gauge shotgun:

Me firing the Ruger .45:

Me firing the FN P90:

Niels firing the AR-15:


Jun '11

Death Valley, Las Vegas, Kaibai National Forest and Marble Canyon

After we left Ridgecrest, we drove to Death Valley. The temperature was incredible and you could actually feel the wind was burning you. (It was about 50 degrees Celsius) We stopped at the sand dunes where Niels had the brilliant idea of standing on the sand without shoes on… (don’t try this!) After that we drove on to Bad Water, the lowest point of the US (about 86m below sea level) and also the hottest. We stopped for a moment to take pictures of the salt planes, but it got hot REALLY quickly, so we just turned around, got in the car and drove off (while cranking the AC all the way up of course) to Vegas at top speed (seeing as there are almost no cars in Death Valley and absolutely no cops).

We crossed the border into Nevada and almost immediately we got pulled over by a state trooper. He walked up to the car and said we were doing 84mph (135km/h) and the speed limit was 55mph (88km/h). We told them we were from Holland and we didn’t know. He said: “Well, if you guys weren’t from Holland, I’d give you a ticket in a heartbeat!”. We got a warning and we could drive off.

We arrived in Vegas at about 5PM and checked into Caesars Palace. We dropped the car off at the valet, walked to the front desk, tipped the check-in lady $20 and got an incredibly HUGE room (The palace tower premium suite) with two bathrooms and a jacuzzi. We decided to grab some dinner downstairs and see what’s to do in this town. After we found out there was some famous rapper performing at club Pure (the club in our hotel), we decided to avoid it (we don’t like rappers…) and walked out on to the strip and found a fun club at the Paris hotel (Club Chateau). We got in, drank some beer, enjoyed some good music and girls and talked to a host who thought we’d like an afterparty and gave us 2 tickets to go see Armand van Helden at the Gallery in Planet Hollywood that night! We gladly accepted and had one of the best club nights we’ve had in the past couple of years. We came back at our room at about 6AM…

The next day we got to the pool which was WAY too busy and WAY too pricey, so we kinda split up, I gambled some at Caesars and Niels gambled at Harrah’s. Not to go into details, but we both lost some (read A LOT!) money. At night we got to club Pure and enjoyed the best freakin’ club on the strip, with the best view and lots of great people.

The next day I booked a massage at the spa (at $220…) and relaxed way too much, at night we went to the Penn & Teller show at the Rio. Great seats (right in the middle on the front row) and great show! We even met them after the show, took a couple of pictures and they signed our booklets. The theater was way too busy, so we couldn’t really ask Penn anything, but I’d love to discuss everyday life with this dude, i love his work on their show Bullshit and his own show Penn Point. Oh, and I actually talked to Teller and he talked back! That was really cool! After that we drank a couple of beers as the taxi line outside was about 3 football fields long. After we got back to Caesars Laurens thought: “Fuck it, last night, let’s gamble some money” and lost about $300 in 10 minutes…

Today we checked out of Caesars, ate at Denny’s at a suburb in Las Vegas, saw a crazy black dude yelling at a McDonald’s and punching cars and drove off to the Hoover Dam. It was way too busy, so we snapped a couple of pictures and drove back through Vegas and up to Utah to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (at least, that was the plan). We got stuck at the border of Arizona and Utah because there was a big wildfire and the road was filled with firetrucks, ambulances and police. There were planes and choppers all over dropping water on the fires. It was really cool to see it from this close up! We finally got moving and we set off for Jacob Lake, which is basically the entry point for the North Rim. We got there at about 7 and there was no way we were going down to the North Rim, back up to and then to Flagstaff before midnight. So we got some dinner to go and drove off to Flagstaff. We passed Marble Canyon and WOW, it was FREAKING BEAUTIFUL! We ate our dinner at sundown at the rim of the canyon, overlooking the cliff and the two bridges who pass there and it was just the perfect place for a dinner.

After that we went looking for a motel and had to drive all the way to Flagstaff to find one.

Tomorrow we’re going back up to the south rim, so we can snap a couple of pictures of the Grand Canyon and then we’re going back down to Phoenix (yup, change of plans!), after that El Paso and then in two days to Austin. If we’ve got WiFi we’ll send updates, but most probably, we won’t.




Jun '11

Quick update

We just arrived in Flagstaff Arizona. We got out of Vegas after a really great weekend and much poorer. We passed the Grand Canyon on the North Rim today (we skipped the actual north rim, because we kinda miscalculated our time ;)), so we’ll hit up the South Rim tomorrow.

Anyway, I’ll write a longer story later this night, but just to let you guys know, all of our pictures (up until Vegas) are synced to my home server. You can access the raw footage at: http://thuis.oversoft.nl/pics/2011/USA

There are a lot of BS pictures and they aren’t rotated or anything (as I said: raw footage) and the page is quite big, but you can see every little detail of our trip up until this weekend! There’s also a RAR archive there so parents can download the entire picture album in one go (no video though).

Jun '11

Yosemite, Sequoia, a bear and the best and worst motel in the world

We left San Francisco yesterday morning after a night at the first gentlemans club in the world: The Condor in San Francisco.
We went up to Yosemite which had some more very good drivers roads and very beautiful views (we have WAY more pictures than you see below). We went to El Capitan and ofcourse the giant waterfalls. At the end of the day we decided to head back to the freeway and grabbed a motel in Fresno…

It was the WORST motel i’ve ever been in. Not that the motel itself was bad, but the neighbourhood was filled with gangs and prostitutes. We cleared out the car and i’ve slept with one eye open, never going back to Fresno again, what a f*cking dump.

We headed out this morning and got right to the freeway. We went up to Sequoia National Park which, again, had very nice roads, but unfortunately we had to wait for 40 minutes both way because they were working on the road in the park. When we finally got thru the views were stunning and the trees were HUGE. We drove up to the General Sherman tree (the biggest tree in the world) where we saw a black baby bear in the wild (very cool) and after that we went to Tunnel Log, the famous tree that lies across the road. After that we decided to head to Bakersfield and see if we could get any farther.

We got farther, much farther. We’re now in Ridgecrest, California, a small town in the middle of the desert. It’s a really nice town, nice people, good bars and just really laid back.

Tomorrow we’ll continue on to Death Valley and after that Las Vegas, so don’t expect much updates in the next couple of days. 😉

Oh, by the way, i’ve uploaded a couple of video’s to the last post (about SF), so be sure to check them out. WiFi here is horrible, so any chance i get i try to upload a video or two!

Also, don’t forget the click on the numbers below the pictures. There’s way more than one page!


Driving into Sequoia National Park:

A bear in Sequoia National Park!

Driving under Tunnel Log in Sequoia:

Driving from Sequoia to Ridgecrest:


Jun '11

Being cocky, driving heaven and San Francisco

Sunday, we woke up and did a little tour of Hollywood: we did Hollywood boulevard (Star road), had breakfast at Hooters, shot a couple of pictures and drove up to the Hollywood sign. After that we went to Dodgers Stadium to the Dodgers vs the Houston Astros. We met a couple of people who gave us a lot of tips on what to do on our roadtrip and we’ll be sure to check ’em out! The game itself was kinda dead and not one point was scored while we were there.

After that we picked up a starmap and drove into Beverly Hills to visit the Playboy Mansion (which was closed for us :( ) and then went uphill to Bel Air to look at Selma Hayak’s house. We didn’t see that, but we DID see a sign saying: “open house” on 901 Bel Air road. We decided to take a look, act a little cocky and just walk in there. We talked to the realtor, looked around and got the brochure. It was priced at $10.900.000, so really a bargain if you consider that your 9 left neigbours are billionairs and your righthand neigbour is former president Ronald Reagan! After that, we ate some dinner, and had a drink at Dillon’s pub on Hollywood Boulevard. (You can find the listing here)

Yesterday, we left early to go up to San Francisco via Highway 1. Wow. Just wow. It’s one of the best roads I’ve ever driven on, beautiful and great cliffside twists and turns. On the way we stopped at a little all-american diner called Ellen’s, just across the road from Bob’s auto repair. Great food, great service, beautiful weather. If every diner we come across on our roadtrip is this good, it’ll be the best roadtrip ever!

We finally arrived in San Francisco at about 20:00 last night, checked into a hotel (The Holiday Inn on Civic Centre) and went to the bar. That turned out to be a late night… The bar closed at 2, but we went with some cool guys to have a little after party. We got back to the hotel at about 5:30…

Today, we checked out the usual San Francisco touristy places. Fishermans wharf, Lombard street and the Golden Gate Bridge. We also went across the bridge to Saulsalito and had a drink, then we got back to the hotel.

Now we’re getting ready for some dinner in China Town and maybe a little drink. Tomorrow we leave for Yosemite.


Elephant seals next to highway 1.

Driving down Lombard Street:

Driving across the Golden Gate bridge:


Jun '11

The first two days

W After an 11 hour flight we arrived in LA on friday at 11:50. Well, for us it was 20:50, so the we felt a major jetlag coming on.

We got out of the airport and got a bus to the rentalcar company (Alamo). We checked in and got to pick a car. Unfortunately our suitcases didn’t fit in the Mustang, so we talked to one of the guys on the lot and shoved him a 20 dollar bill. He ran inside a came out with a big smile on his face. We could pick any car in the adrenaline class! So we got the Camaro GT. Our suitcases fit perfectly and we drove off to our hotel.

After we got to the hotel and dropped off our lugage, we drove around LA for a while. We went to Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd and drove off into the the Hollywood Hills. After that we drove to Santa Barbara Beach, walked the famous pier, saw the start of Route 66, ate some diner at the Promenade. On the way back we picked up a Tomtom, so we actually knew where we were going. After that we drove on Hollywood Blvd by night and went to the hotel after a 29 hour day…

Yesterday we had breakfast at Denny’s (and after that we understood why many Americans are fat…) and drove off to Universal Studios. We did the tour, rode some rides (Hollywood Horrors is the scariest ghosthouse i’ve EVER been on…) and saw some cool movie/TV sets like “desperate house wives”, King Kong, Bruce Almighty, Back to the Future and many, many more.

We decided to leave Universal at about 4 and drove to Laguna Beach (about 100km down south) which many of you will know from the TV show “The Hills”. We walked the beach for a while and had a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant which had Swiss and Turkish employees for some reason… We then took off into the hills and found some very expensive houses. :)
After that we drove to Newport Beach (known for the TV show “The OC”), walked the pier and then had a couple of drinks in The District Lounge where we met some nice people. At about 23:30 we drove back and stood in a traffic jam for an hour…

Today we’re doing the star tour and going to the Dodgers, we’ll see where we’ll end up!