Place 79 – Day 4: Austin,TX – Axe Throwing & Monster Jam!

Axe Throwing

We slept in and had about 10 hours sleep, which was excellent!We left the house and went to Urban Axes, which is an indoor axe throwing place.We booked in for 15:15 and went for a coffee at a coffee shop nearby.We got back to Urban Axes, filled in our waivers and threw some axes! It was an hour of axe throwing but this was shared with 6 of us in total, as we joined in with a family.

We did a small tournament at the end and we both did alright!

We left the axe place and drove back home to relax briefly before heading back out again.

Monster Jam

We went out for some food before we went into the Monster Jam. We got to the event centre but as we needed food we stopped to see what food there was around.We found a German pub to go to, so we took the short walk down to that. It was very busy in here, but we got a table.Curtis ordered a Bratwurst and Kim got a pulled pork sandwich.

The food here was just OK, but it filled us up a bit.We ate up and then headed back to the event centre and into Monster Jam.We had pretty good seats and the show started shortly after we entered.There was first a monster truck parade, which was loud!

We then saw the first event which was racing. This was alright, but ended a bit too quick.

There was then some ATV racing involved and then monster truck two wheel challenges, donut challenges, more ATV racing and monster truck freestyle.

We left the event having had a pretty good time, but it wasn’t as good as we thought it would have been.


Monster Jam

Rating:- 7/10


Downtown At Night

We walked for 20 minutes to get to the main party area to check it out. There were a lot of bars but they went all that great, so we left. It did look cool at night, though.

We got a Lyft home, watched something when we got back and then headed to bed.Another busy day but good fun!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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Place 79 – Day 3: Austin,TX – Horse Riding, Shooting & Barton Springs Pool

Ranch Experience!

Horse Riding

We got up with plenty of time to get ready, but someone else was in the bathroom, so this meant we really had to rush when it was available.We hopped in the car and drove to a ranch called Lone Star Ranch. We got there, were welcomed really nicely and signed some forms.We got led out by our wrangler to meet our horses and get helmets.Curtis got a white horse called West and Kim got a dark brown horse called Julian.We were shown what to do and how to control the horses and off we went!We walked though creeks, up steep hills, down steep hills, through jungle areas and beautiful fields. We even got to trot a little bit, which was exciting!

Ranch Animals

After our horse ride, we had some time to kill, so we had a snack and said hi to the other animals on the ranch. There are some sheep and goats, as well as some cats, so we said hi to those.

Washers

We played the game washers for a bit, which is similar to cornhole. Both of us got much better at this as time went on.

Shootin’

We were next taken by Robert to do some clay pigeon shooting. We were using military style pump action shotguns and it turned out Curtis was pretty good at shooting but we both had a great time, if not a bruised shoulder.

We shot for a while and it was great fun!After we finished shooting, we olayed some washers with Robert, and Kim beat everyone!We then went leave but bumped into the owner who was very lovely. We got talking and she was interested in our blog, too, which is great! We thanked everyone again and headed to the car.


Lone Star Ranch | Austin,TX

Rating:- 10/10


Barton Springs Pool

We got into some shorts as it had gotten warm and we drove to Barton Springs pool.Before we paid our $9 entry fee and entered, we sat outside and ate our chicken wraps we bought.This pool is a natural pool which has been created in the middle of a large river/creek.The water was incredibly cold, but it was beautiful and the sun was in the perfect spot.

There was a diving board there, too, which Kim took full advantage of!

We spent a couple of hours here and then drove back home, but it took a while due to rush hour traffic.

Accidental Nap & Dinner

We had been out non-stop for over 8 hours, so we were very tired.We showered and then watched one video and before we were having dinner, we had an accidental nap! It felt amazing to get some solid sleep for an hour.We then had dinner, which was the exact same as yesterday.We have another fun day planned tomorrow, but just a bit less hectic.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 79 – Day 1: Austin,TX 🇺🇸 – Stupid Heat & Downtown Austin

The Flight

You may remember, if you read yesterday’s blog, that we were flying from Vegas to Austin.

Well, that flight was odd.

Firstly, it was not assigned seating, but everyone was in boarding sections and were boarded that way.

We were in the last section, so we had to wait until the end, which meant we were left with middle seats.

The takeoff and start of the flight was incredibly bumpy but after that was ok. We got free drinks and snacks, which was good, but the flight way just around 2 hours.

Austin!

We landed, got through and got our bags and got an Uber to our Airbnb.

We are in a very comfy room in a house. So much so we came in and went right to sleep.

Car Pickup

We picked the car up this morning, so had to be up at a relatively good time.

We got down to the airport via an Uber and went to pickup the car.

It turns out, we weren’t meant to get it until tomorrow! Luckily, a car was available and we paid the extra to get it today, so that was a win.

We were able to go to the lot and just pick our car and we chose a Ford Focus because why not.

We left the lot and headed to the supermarket to get some things.

Downtown Austin

We headed to downtown Austin and found some free parking just across the river where there was also a really nice park.

We walked around the park and then took the 30 minute walk across to the city. There was a great skyline, though! It reminded us of Brisbane.

Once we got into the centre, we just walked around in the unbearable 35°C heat.

We got to the State Capitol, which is actually taller than the US Capitol and a very cool building.

We left here and noticed our parking was almost up and it was too far to walk, so we got scooters and scooted to the car.

We got caught in traffic on the way back home, but got home at a good time.

We cooled off and then went to a shopping mall for Kim to find some clothes she was looking for.

Shopping & Panda Express

We went shopping and Kim got exactly what she needed which was great.

We then headed to Panda Express to eat. We got orange chicken as always with chow mein and Beijing beef which was terrific.

Chill

We got home and chilled. Tomorrow is more of a fun packed day, we hope, and have a few plans. It’s warm again tomorrow!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 77 – Day 6: Las Vegas,NV – Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon

Chatting With Norwegians

We woke up this morning and had a call from Espen & Marcus, so we had a chat with them for a bit.We got ready and had breakfast after speaking with them and then were ready to go.

Hoover Dam

First on the agenda was the Hoover Dam. We drove for 1 hour from our apartment to get there and it was a pretty simple drive.We got to the dam and had to pay $10 for parking. We parked up and headed down to the dam.The sheer size of the dam is astonishing! We didn’t pay for any tours but we did walk around it a bit and got some cool photos which we think show the depth.

We walked around here for a bit and then stopped for an ice cream in the cafe, which was perfect for such a hot day!Weirdly, the Hoover Dam is in Arizona, but only just, so much so that when we left, we had to drive out of Arizona, into Nevada and then back into Arizona.

The Grand Canyon

We weren’t too sure what to expect, but we drove for 1.5 hours from the hoover dam to get to the Grand Canyon (west).We didn’t know that it was a tour in which we had to pay and then take busses buses everywhere, but it worked out well.The first place we went was where the observation deck was, but it didn’t look great, so we didn’t pay for that. We did get some cool photos of the Grand Canyon though.

Behind us from this area was a native American village, which we got to walk around which showed all the different types of buildings used.

We got back on the bus after this and went to the next section, which gave us a 360° view within the Grand Canyon, which was awesome!

We even saw the old cable car system they used to move materials whilst mining.

We left this area and got on the bus to get to the final place, which was a ranch.Unfortunately, by the time we got there, everything was closed, but it looked like an old wild west town.

Kim tried to lasso a fake bull and managed to do it when she wasn’t being filmed!

We went and saw the horses and then tried to do some horseshoe throwing, which Kim perfected on the first throw!

We left here and went back to the main area where we collected our car and drove back towards Vegas, with a stop in IKEA!

We got some Swedish meatballs, of course, and looked around the shop.

We got back home, much earlier than we have been, and ate some ice cream whilst watching TV.

We have to give the car back tomorrow!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 78 – Day 2: Hurricane,UT – Zion National Park Emerald Pool Trail

Alarm Fail

We had set an alarm, but incorrectly, so we didn’t wake up at the time we wanted.

We had breakfast and had a conversation with our host and then had showers getting ready to go out.

Finding Parking

We made our way to Zion National Park to go for a hike, but on the way the was a sign stating that the main carpark was full so we had to park in the town just before.

We were unsure where to park, so we stopped at the visitor centre and they said we can park there for $15.

We parked up and took the free shuttle to the park.

Emerald Pool Trail

We didn’t want to do a crazy hike today, and the weather wasn’t great either, so we found a short one called three Emerald Pool Trail.

We had to take the bus from the National Park entrance (where we had to pay $35 for entry in total, lasting us 7 days) up to stop 5 which was where our required trail was.

We began walking the trail and we noticed that the path wasn’t really wode enough for the amount of people, but we made it work.

We got up to the emerald pool section, which was a small waterfall and that was it. The higher section was closed, unfortunately.

We turned around and walked back to the area we got dropped off.

Horses

We saw a paddock full of horses, so we went to see them and say hello.

Walking Part Way Back

We didn’t want to take the bus back from this point as we wanted to explore more, so we asked the lodge nearby how we can walk to the next bus stop down the road and they told us.

We walked on a sand track which is used for the horse riding and this took us quite a bit of time but it was nice as there weren’t many people there, other than the horses we came across.

That being said, we did see some deer too!

We walked on and on and saw some tremendous mountains and rocks.

Arriving at the bridge we needed to cross, we has to get some photos as the were no people around.

We wanted to take the bus from this stop, but it was full on 2 attempts but on there 3rd the driver said she could fit 2 people on, so we squeezed in and rode the bus to the end of the park.

We decided against taking the bus from here to the car as it was set to be absolutely full again, so we walked for 30 minutes to get there instead.

Drive Back

We got the car and drove back home. On the way, the mountains looked crazy, with the contrast of the clouds, snow topped mountains and desert.

We got some more beautiful scenery and then arrived home.

We got home and relaxed for a while. Curtis watched hockey and Kim had a nap.

We went to the supermarket to get something for dinner and decided upon hot dogs with a side of caesar salad.

We are up early tomorrow to get parking at the park itself and to hike some more!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 77 – Day 1: Las Vegas,NV 🇺🇸 – Vegas Early Night?!

Bus To Vegas

We were up nice and early to shower and get fully packed. We didn’t have breakfast as the plan was to have it at McDonald’s by the bus station.

We got to the McDonald’s and there was a really good breakfast deal, so we got that and then got to the bus terminal and ate.

Shortly after we finished eating, it was time to board the bus.

The bus wasn’t too full and we got seats together, which was good.

All in all, it was about a 5 hour (or so) journey. It was an uneventful journey, with a brief 30 minute stop in Barstow, California.

The rest of the journey was basically just desert.

Arriving in Vegas

We got to Vegas, incredibly tired, and it took us just 10 minutes to walk to the hotel.

We checked in and got to our room and relaxed, briefly. We have a pretty good view.

Walking Around Downtown

We are staying downtown, rather than on the strip. We walked around the downtown area in the day light to see what’s what and what’s where.

We saw a couple of ladies fighting, which seems like standard Vegas!

Pool

After we walked around, we started to get a bit tired, so we walked back to the hotel where we checked out the pool and decided to sit for a couple of hours, basking in the sun.

After the sun started to go in, we went back to the hotel room and relaxed, watching a bit of TV and then we accidentally fell asleep a little!

Dinner

We woke up and then went down to a place called Flock & Fowl.

We got to the place and sat down. It was quite dark but smelled good!

We got a few small snacks, rather than mains. We got a bao each, shared smashed cucumber, sweet and sour boneless chicken wings and delicious sweetcorn.

The food was just ok, nothing was incredible.


Flock & Fowl | Las Vegas,NV

Rating:- 5/10


Early Night

We were just so tired, so we walked around briefly to see what this place is like at night and then we got a hot chocolate and headed to bed.

We watched the film a simple favor which we really enjoyed actually!


A Simple Favor

Rating:- 9/10


We have some plans to actually do things tomorrow, it was just a shame we were so sleepy today!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 76 – Day 1: Los Angeles, CA 🇺🇸 – Hollywood Blvd, Tatsu Ramen & Lime Scooters

San Francisco > LA

We were up around 05:00 to get ready to get to the airport.

Our flight was at 09:05, so we had to be there for 07:00. Once we were ready, we left in an Uber to the airport.

We arrived at the airport at a good time to get our bag checked and head through security, which was our biggest line we’ve been through yet.

We got on the flight right at the end, with just 3 minutes left, as we didn’t hear them call our section to board!

We got onto the plane but the plane had to wait a while before it tok off, but then we were on our way.

We only got our free drinks with about 5 minutes to drink them, so Curtis only had 3 mouthfuls of insanely hot coffee before it had to be thrown away for landing.

Arriving In LA

Once landing, we had to wait for 30 minutes for a plane to move, but eventually we got off the plane.

Our bag was first off, so we grabbed that and waited for our Uber.

Our Uber ride was interesting… the driver stopped to use the toilet and then got a little lost, but we got there eventually.

We met our host, who doesn’t live at the apartment, so we have it all to ourselves. She was lovely and showed us where things are.

We headed to the supermarket to grab some things as well as get some breakfast as we hadn’t eaten all day! We grabbed a subway for breakfast as it was easier and then we came back, got a bit refreshed and then went out again.

Hollywood Blvd

We didn’t want to do anything too taxing as we were very tired, so we got an Uber down to Hollywood Blvd. Our driver was amazingly friendly and chatty and gave us some tips.

We just walked along the Hollywood hall of fame and saw all the stars. There were a lot of people, but it was a good, easy thing to do for a couple of hours and obviously it was something that has to be done in LA.

Tatsu Ramen

We walked for 30 minutes to a ramen place, which is a chain, call Tatsu Ramen.

We got a ramen each, Kim with chicken and Curtis with pork. We have heard this place is amazing, so we had to try it!

The food was pretty good, but there was a lot of it.


Tatsu Ramen | Los Angeles,CA

Rating:- 9/10


Lime Scooters

We didn’t want to Uber back, but a walk was too far, so we got a lime scooter each.

This costed us about $6 each, so was a little more than an Uber would have been, but we’d have been in traffic for a while, too.

We had amazing fun on the scooters…they go crazy fast! It took us about 30 minutes to get back.

TV

We watched the last of the Madeleine McCann documentary and some other TV and then went to bed. We have a fun plan for tomorrow, too.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale