Tuesday, 21 July 2009

9th 10th 11th July, New York City

New York City

The 9th and 10th Essentially, or '22 Hours out and about in NYC'

After the calm and peaceful days at the westwynd farm, and packing a good half a dozen free cereal bars from the living quarters, it was time to head on to New York City, got up very early and was having breakfast at 645am, spoke to the owner for one last time (whos beard looked like it was dipped in cream according to the ledge), it was a good 2 and half hours into the city that never sleeps, and I cannot remember much of the journey as I was kipping, it all got rather exciting about 20 minutes away from New York as we started seeing tiny little statues and buildings and going “look its just like grand theft auto”, and looking at the tiny statue of liberty in the distance like we had never witnessed a monument before.

Dropped off at the Holland motor lodge, which was a little grimy, but not too bad, there was bullet proof glass at reception, but that did not deter us, we dropped our stuff, and it was time to face the big city, and work out what to do.

After staring at the path train machines for an eternity and realising that you couldn’t just put a 20 dollar note into the machine for a ten dollar ticket, you HAD to buy a 20 dollar ticket, if thats the only note you had, it was off to the big city.

Our original plan was to knock about a bit then come back, change, and go back out for the evening, but New York time seemed to move a lot faster, and before we knew it, it was 8pm, so we decided to stay out for the duration and as ledge said might as well just stay out til its light now. Went for a sneaky KFC in times square, then it was time to get drinking!

Beer prices varied wildly, first place was a little swanky, cost us 12 dollars for 2 beers, bit pricey, found a few nice joints, one place we were sat right under a group of girls, and one managed to knock some of her drink over the balcony and onto us, we got the usual ‘hey guys you ok?’ to which we replied yes, and moved on not much after that.

Another traditional bar this was much better coors light at 3 bucks a pop, we observed what everyone else was doing at the bar, and slipped another dollar onto the bar for the waitress, trying to look like we knew what we were doing.

Had a few of these cheap coors, then we ended up in a place called pieces, this seemed a little different, before we knew it a bloke was explaining ‘the rules’ to the bar, and slapped some stickers onto us, saying that if people liked the look of us then we would get a message written about us and called out on the tannoy, I assume its like the old traffic light parties you had at uni, and don’t think too much more about it, until we get to the bar, we have a couple of bottles of bud, and I start looking round, I spot a couple in the corner, a transvestite down the other side of the bar, his/her badge didn’t have a number on it, it simply read CUNT. Thats a bit harsh I thought, I looked around some more, HANG ON, theres not many women in this bar, I start looking a little harder, yep, theres actually only one couple in here, an awful lot of men in here, and 1 transvestite, I mention this fact to the ledge, he looks around too, we realise we must be in some sort of gay tavern traffic light hell hole party of some sort.

We start drinking a little quicker, we are aware that we are getting lots of looks from the other blokes, I come up with a plan, I say to the ledge, its ok our perfect cover is that we are a couple, that way no one will hit on us, that’s the best plan. Ledge looked a little confused but thought that the best option. It’s not ideal I say, but hey we can drink these up and well just keep chatting to each other. Suddenly the bloke at the booth shouts out NUMBER 129 AND 130 you have a message. Oh shit, that’s us, we stroll over and grab the piece of paper and go back to the bar, we nervously unravel it and it reads ‘WHERE DID SO MUCH HOTTNESS COME FROM ?’. we stare blankly at each other. SHIT, what do we do now! We still have beer left, so I say to ledge maybe I should write a note back and get into character until we leave so as not to cause potential trauma, I stroll over to the booth and write ‘thanks for the compliment, but we are happy together xx’ the guy at the booth suddenly says it was him who wrote the note! And he tells me that he’s happy with his boyfriend too but we are still both hot, he asks where we are from and he says well your automatically hot coming from England, ledge comes over, and we quickly finish our bottles, as we are about to leave I ask the guy if he knows of any good clubs or bars, so I would know which ones to AVOID! He mentions a place that he’s going to and a lot of the guys from the bar, I make a mental note of this bar to not go to. We leave, our plan had worked.

Next bar, looks a lot friendlier, and looking through the window had a lot more women in it, so we thought its got to be safe, get ID’d on the door the woman whispers to me ‘you do realise this is lesbian night don’t you ?’ I say oh does that mean you don’t want us to come in, she says ‘no don’t be silly we LOVE YOU GUYS’, it hadn’t really registered what she had said, I was just happy to see lots of women, so we just grab a beer and chill, a lot of the women were on the dancefloor trying to dry hump one another, but this was a much more chilled environment, me and ledge laugh at the absurdity of the situation and think we must be in some kind of gay village, after our beers we walk out and spot another place soon after, I realise its the place the gay guy from the booth said he was going to, I say to the ledge we best hadn’t go there, ledge ignores this fact and says its early we can grab a quick one before that bloke gets there.

I think we were so pissed by this point we just wanted another quick beer so I didn’t really argue. Soon after getting into this bar we were talking to 2 girls, one was Japanese and she didn’t seem very impressed with our roller coaster tour of the states, in fact she didn’t really seem impressed with anything, ledge was talking to her friend, not long after they just got up and said they were moving on, we suspected they were a lesbian couple. Ledge went to the restroom, and came down smiling he had met the guy upstairs from the booth, he was asking ledge where his boyfriend was! Ledge said he chatted and ended up giving him a hug, but he was keen to leave soon after.

We exited the bar, completely pissed, but still after more beer! The next few parts of the story become a little vague, but the next thing I can remember is a HUGE black dude speaking to us in a crisp white shirt sayin something like ‘alright boys, you lookin for a club man ?’ we must have seemed up for it, cos the dude was like ‘I know a great place boys, its got everything, beers, women, opens til 7am, its everything you need, 60 dollars each to get in, but you get drinks free’ our eyes must have lit up. The next thing I remember is the dude gets out an immaculately rolled and packaged joint, lights it up and starts passing it round, I figure Im not going to offend the dude so take a few good hits of his joint and me and ledge get more and more mashed, as this guy is telling us all about this magical club.

Halfway through walking with the dude I realise I need some cash so the dude shows me a convenience store where there is an ATM I drunkenly get out 60 bucks, and were ready to rock, the dude stops us in the store and says before we go on I need your 60 bucks each guys, before I can show you the place. Hold up, whats all this about, Im detecting a bit of a scam here, for some reason I say what about giving you ten dollars then you can show us, he doesn’t seem too impressed with that, from this point onwards I cant really recall how we got out of the store, I know we didn’t give him 60 bucks thats for sure, but somehow we got out without him pulling a piece on us, and we were walking up towards the same bar that we had just been in (where ledge had hugged the booth guy) I start telling the dude hang on a minute we have been here, this cant be right, he starts trying to say its not that place but one just up ahead and he needs the 60 dollars now before he can show us the secret door, by this point we know its just a piss about so we just go nahhh were not interested mate, and luckily the dude just sort of shrugs us off and goes walking up to the door and chats to a bloke there, we realise we are probably too pissed to do anything now, however I have the ‘genius’ idea of trying to find the original club that I had researched on the internet, the fat black pussycat club, which had 147 good reviews , and sounded like it opened late, so we get out the map and start looking for this holy mecca of beer and entertainment.

I think we managed a lot of pointing at maps and trailing roads with our fingers and staring up at street signs for what seemed to be a few minutes, but in reality was probably hours. All of a sudden a bloke comes wondering past, passing a slight resembelance to a young doctor house, he says whats up guys what you looking for, we have a bit of a chat which I cannot remember a thing about, and before you know it we have sold this guy on the club and he says hes up for more drinks and he will help us find it, he thinks there will be nowhere open now selling alcohol, but in my pissed state I assure him that THIS club is THE club in new York according to the reviews and it simply MUST be open and we have to find it. The guy has a iphone with gps and he starts tapping things into it and trying to work out where we are.

We keep walking round in circles, or squares, and at one point it was just like in a nightmare on elm street film where we keep arriving at the same junction point, I keep seeing this dam Mcdougal street, which doesn’t seem far away from where we need to get, but we just cannot find the damn club, we eventually give up, then this guy, who was called Andy, started getting all excited about finding SOMEWHERE to go for a drink, and that we would make it our quest to find a beer together.

More sketchy time loss from this point on, next thing I can remember is talking to another black dude, but not like the DUDE, this guy was quite slim but was just like a dude who had stepped out of a movie, we tell him what we are after and ask him if he knows anywhere selling a late drink, he thinks he knows of somewhere and Andy asks him to walk with us for some of the way, suddenly we are a 4 man team on a quest for the ultimate holy grail of a late club selling beer, along the way another guy rolls up behind us and asks us if we want to buy some cocaine, we decline politely and the guy continues to shuffle along behind us for a bit but then disappears.

We stop again and were talkin to the black dude who now reveals to us that his name is BIG G, im not sure if we doubted his name a number of times but at some point he actually got his wallet out and showed us his id, i remember it saying Edward G something, but I was having trouble concentrating, he was a very enthusiastic chap, and we quizzed him again about somewhere, he assures us that there is a club on ‘48th and lexington’ andy is unsure and says come with us, the conversation went something like this, but as I was extremely compromised by alcohol I can only register snippets.

ANDY: So does this place exist ?

BIG G: yeh of course would I lie to you, just tell them big g sent you


BIG G: thats what im telling you man, big g, they will know who I am

ANDY: come with us

BIG G: I already told you man I cant come with you, just tell them big g sent you

ANDY: 48th and lex

BIG G: 48th and Lexington theres the place, tell them big g sent you

At this point andy flags a cab and tries to get big g to come in with us to which he refuses, the cab drives off, and big g starts saying how he needs 12 dollars and we need to ‘help a brother out’ cos he has given us information, ledge says he will give him 2 dollars, and i slip him a buck, Andy I think gives him at least 5 dollars, and big g goes on his way still shouting 48th and Lexington. Andy hails a cab and we are off. The cab is 9 dollars, Andy pays it all, before we get out Andy is asking if the cab driver knows of any late clubs or where we can get a beer, the cab driver is very silent, andy asks can you get on the horn and find out, the cab driver doesn’t know and is refusing to help.

So we get out, and surprise, we cant see any club at all or any secret door in which to discuss our secret verbal code of 'big g', so we find a security guard, he mentions somewhere, by this point I wasnt really paying much attention, but soon after we were walking with a big burly security guard who was walking us in the direction of somewhere else that served late beer!

eventually we sort of gave up with that, and just randomly milling around, Andy is still persisting that we need to get a late drink or get to a club, hes phoning up clubs and bars on his iphone and asking when they open, by this point I realise I need the toilet quite badly, and start doing some strange yoga type leg stretches to ease the pain a bit, a bit later Andy starts doign a little jog as he also needs it. We eventually convince Andy that we should probably just get some breakfast now as its getting on for 630am! we roll into Starbucks.

Andy has not finished in his quest.

A couple of cops roll in one after the other, and he starts asking them where we can get a drink! The cops have no idea, he asks some random stranger as he returns from the toilet, we just sup our coffee and wonder how we are going to get home, Andy is saying how this is the 'worst night of his life' and how it sucked that we couldnt find anywhere.

We say it has been an adventure, but he does not seem appreciative of this comment.

We finish up, Andy decides to tell us that he has to go to work at 9am, so he had better be heading off, its probably about 730am by this point! we are not sure what he does, only that he is self employed, we thank him for his help. He says he will facebook us (I typed our names into his iphone in Starbucks for him) later on and we should do it again properly this time!

Next challenge, how to get home.

by this point myself and Ledge had almost rendered ourselves speechless, it actually became a chore to speak, so we started to just point and stare at the map, we knew where we had to go, and we knew where we were, but other than that, it was pretty shoddy.

Eventually after hours of going round in circles, and getting a recovery sausage mc muffin type affair we rode the metro a few hundred times, coming back to the same stop about 5 times 'hoboken' we started feeling a little sick, we just couldnt process the information required to get home.

Eventually an older gentleman with a limp took pity on us and walked us onto the correct train, stayed with us for 2 stops, then pointed us in the right way, ledge gave him 10 bucks for his trouble, we were actually on the right route finally. Got back to the hotel decided on a '3 hour power nap' and completely crashed out, back up almost 3 hours later, and forced ourselves back into the city, completely wrecked, ready to fix ourselves up with recovery junk food.


We were completely screwed. Had to have a recovery burger king, everyone seemed to be going ape shit in there complaining that there fries hadnt been cooked, one guy even said he was going to put in a complaint, lots of 'godd dam, wheres my fries man' type retorts.

Attempted to go to the toilet even though it said vacant, an angry 'brother' shouted from inside the cubicle 'hey man' so it clearly wasnt. Dragged ledge all over New York to find a DKNY store, because I was going to get some jeans, however they turned out to be over £100 so I scrapped that idea.

We went back for ANOTHER kip, and decided we would head back out a bit later and hit a comedy club. There were a lot of 'comedy pimps' in times square all telling us that there show was the best in town, we had refused some earlier in the day and called '2 white boys in the hood' one bloke even promised us 'beers and bitches' at his comedy store.

After yet more hangover food and drink we decide on the HA! comedy club, it looked very seedy once we were in, it was all black and red inside, the guy promised us that we would 'laugh our asses off', we go into this tiny room, and into our chairs which are not too far away from the stage and I panic, we find out that we have to order 2 drinks each at extortionate prices, Im not sure how they would enforce this mind you.

We are starting to have doubts at this point, that stage looks rather too close, we look rather to conspicuous.

Ricky Gervais was right, the american humour just isnt funny, its amazing that Gervais has made a name for himself, cue lots of random black americans talking about how fat they are and 'doesnt it hurt sometimes when you fart?' me and ledge decide we have done a lot of comedy shows without even realising it. Some of the comedians start asking where everyone is from, we cringe and hope they dont pick us.

One blokes idea of a comedy gag is to ask everyone if they go 'downtown' on a lady, we decide the best policy is to just clap to everything and hope for the best. the compere isnt much better either, we did actually see a comedian completely die though, and he did bear a striking resembelance to jimmy neutron, that was his best gag of the night though.

There was a real annoying geezer in front of us who kept shouting out constantly random crap, which just made us cringe even more, I thought the last guy was coming up with a MEGA gag, by starting to ask people who would be in their top 5 of all time music entertainers, but then I realised that he had run out of things to say and was literally just asking people this for his own interest! He seemed particuarly proud that he had been in real films, but only as a security guard.

We were glad to get out, unscathed, but we did not laugh our asses off, in any way.

Went back to the hotel after, completely knackered.


Woke early ish, back into NYC for the last minute shops, ledge headed off for a magical disney shop adventure, and I potter arond soaking up the last few hours of the big apple, get a dave 'billabong' t shirt because I have to get something which says new york on it. then head for the steps of time square and just sit and chill and let the world pass me by.

Head back for 1pm and had a very busy drive back through Manhattan to the car rental place, saw an actual fender bender taking place which was mildly exciting. Drop the car off and potter around the airport, use the urinals and someone has somehow excreted large amounts of blood into it, but I dont see a corpse anywhere, myself and ledge ponder on exactly what could have gone wrong with someone to eject that amount of sticky blood everywhere.

Get onto the plane and an old fella has forgotten which row he is on so we have to politely move him on, i sit next to another old chap, and we are ready to go, although there are FIFTEEN planes waiting in a huge queue. As soon as we finally take off the old guy next to me says 'hes gonna fire her up'.

Lots of turbulence, when it subsides the old fella remarks 'hes smoothing her out now', I tried watching random films but I gave up, airplane screens just arent terribly easy to watch, snoozed a bit, and landed with no major incidents.

Once landed spot Zoe Ball knocking around with her kids but no sign of mr fat boy slim, I try to remember how to drive, stall a few times but then im sorted, got home in double quick time and thats it, the american trip all done and dusted.

8th July 2009 - Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania

Up early for a nice breakfast, spicy plums in campari, and an omlette, all hand served by the owner, like staying in a very posh familys house. Then onto Hershey park which was not that impressive, yet another ABN ride which we had to refuse. Went on an interesting coaster called the sooper dooper looper, but that was exciting as it got.

Moved quickly onto another mall to get a 'New York' shirt, courtesy of Calvin Klein, then drove quickly through Hershey town. Had a Red Robin meal which ledge initially put a few bucks down for a tip, then realised no one would actually notice or care if he just took it back, so he did, with a wry grin. Also ledge had to have his burger taken back to the chef as it was pouring with blood, so a tip wasnt really justified anyway.

Chilled for a bit back at the hotel and worked out a NYC plan, then went for a walk towards Hershey town, quickly gave up on this as there were no pavements in sight and cars kept hurtling towards us not really knowing what to make of us, we were imagining such conversations as 'hey chip, what are those boys doin, they be walkin! what they walkin for, aint they heard of an automobile?'

Went back for a bit of a rocking chair experience with a beer, then poured a MASSIVE glass of wine just as captain birdseye turned up and smiled. Watched Sideways whilst ledge cooked a tiny pot of soup.

7th July 2009 - Chill Time

Woke up, had no breakfast, didnt want to risk some dodgy bread or odd looking little cakes that were actually savoury, so drove the huge 210 mile journey towards Hershey and the Westwynd Farm hotel, stopped at a waffle house, I declined and had some special pre made 'breakfast baps' in the car.

Westwynd farm was incredibly posh, like a huge show home, and everything was immaculate. We soon clock the FREE beer and wine, and we chill in our new surroundings. Later go to the crossroads restuarant, ledge and gaz decided they were going to attempt an Italian eating challenge, so they ordered this huge mix of italian produce. I was starting to get a little fed up of the whole tipping affair, so I threw down every single bit of change that I had in my pocket as a tip afterwards and told ledge 'well it's still money isnt it'.

Went for a bit of a wonder around the farm, and observed the horses in the fields. Later I notice that Ledge has broke his shorts, I contemplate whether this is a direct cause of being in an Italian eating competition from earlier, but it appears that it was very thin Matalan material, still this gives us all a good laugh. We spot the owner on the decking, Ledge had previously referred to this chap as 'captain birdseye with his chin dipped in cream' due to his rather white beard.

Watched a bit of the UFC ultimate fighting champion in the Westwynd lounge, but soon got bored of people punching each other, so me and ledge started a mini game of poker using hersheys chocolate kisses as chips. Poured a MASSIVE glass of wine then went back to room and put on click with Adam Sandler.

4th 5th 6th July 2009 - Cedar POINT, Sandusky, Ohio

4th July - Independence Day

Drove to Cedar Point, best park in the world so people say. Pretty damn impressive park, milled around there for a bit, came out and had some tea at a local deli, got into a conversation with one of the owners, he said a lot of roller coaster designers rolled into town when they were designing a new ride, said they used to scribble their designs on napkins, reminded him that he should have probably kept hold of them for ebay purposes.

Saw a show which Dave would have probably liked, lots of bikes and skaters whizzing up ramps. To music.

Go back into Cedar, its open til 1am with a fireworks extravaganza. Roll up on the beach, which is a pretty impressive beach. stayed til about 10.30 saw all the fireworks.

Our hotel was the 'mecca lodge' it was a little ropey but it did have a pool which we took advantage of.

5th July

Get ERT (early ride time), a whole hour before the park opens. Ride the insane millenium force which rushes up the lift hill in seconds, almost 90mph throughout the ride. As we were queuing an older gentleman with a FLUORESCENT yellow shirt reading 'SINGLE RIDER BOB' was also very excited to be hopping on the ride, as soon as he had ridden it, he rushed back round to ride it again, we probably thought he lived locally and this was his version of a cup of coffee before his working day.

Went back to the hotel and Ledge and I decided to go back for some beach action and more bronzing up of our torsos. Made a classic balls up and forgot to repack the locker key, ledge also ballsed it and forgot his shades. He had to purchase another pair, due to the sun (and in no way connected to viewing bikini clad americans in an undercover capacity).

Went for a beer after much bronzing up and walking, cost a fortune 7 bucks 30. However we seemed to have timed it just right as a show was just starting, called 'in country' blokes and birds in checked shirts singing and dancing, it was ok though. There was an old gentleman sat right at the front with a MASSIVE bucket of popcorn, he looked just like an old Patrick Needham, complete with slightly menacing grin every time one of the ladies came to sing by him.

We were done by 7pm, tried to wangle a refund on the locker, but all the Derren Brown techniques in the world just didnt work, even tried at customer services, a very strict policy, only lost about 10 bucks though.

Jumped into the hotel pool for a good cooldown, then onto Jacks deli again for another MASSIVE sub. Back to the hotel and ledge spots a frog and a man with a glowing head, I think Ledge is drunk, he later crashes out and snores, and wakes me up with his loud snoring.

6th July

We attempt a breakfast at the hotel, it is completely grim, the loaf of bread is clearly just been defrosted in a microwave, and the cereal is just rank. We enter Cedar point for the last time with our ERT time and head straight for the top thrill dragster and attempt 'front seat boys' for maximum effect. Dragster broke as we were in the queue, but we stayed put and luckily it got fixed, did hands in the air all the way and got another ride photo.

Tried yet again to get my deposit back on yesterdays locker, but again a failure. The attendant said we could use the locker today though, which made no sense, as that was doing the park out of money essentially. Left early, by now we were pretty coastered out, Cedar Point was a particular highlight and we felt like we could just chill now.

Drove onto Pittsburgh, to a carefree inn, The inn was a little ropey but very cheap, we upgraded to 2 single beds. Went to the 'KINGS' restuarant where the burgers were half price but the waitress had a bit of an attitude, begrudgingly tipped a measly dollar, then later chilled watching a magic show and Ledge read my tucker max book.

Day 14 - 3rd July 2009 - Michigans Adventure, Muskegon, Michigan

This park was crap, went on one woody, which wasnt that great, the train before us had an 'incident' which we later found out was a small boy who had chosen for his nose to bleed all over the seat, the very seat we were due to sit in, as we panic about sitting in a contaminated seating area, we breathe a sigh of relief as some trained cleaners come in and wipe it down and send the carriage around on its own, thankfully there is another carriage that will be used.

Left early again and went round a mall, picked up a random book called 'I hope they serve beer in hell' by Tucker Max, and just one of those books I found myself laughing at so decided I had better get it, the guy behind the counter assures me that its 'AWESOME'.

Later meet Gary and Anne in a clothes shop, one of the assistants comes up to us and chats to us about coasters and cedar point which is our next destination, then onto yet another Walmart, Ledge had a huge pickle up with his travellers cheques, then later decided he wanted a white castle burger, he comes back with the smallest burger I have ever seen, Ledge is proud it only cost 88cents though.

Onto the sleep inn, nice hotel with a pool. I needed some chill time so i stayed in the room whilst Ledge went out for a huge meal with Gary and Ann, but luckily I had packed some emergency mini bagels so I was fine for food.

I decided to procure some information from the receptionist about any local bars she assures me that I need to go to ann arbor as thats where all the kids are hanging out from the colleges and this is where 'all the action is', I say Im not driving, so she points me in the direction of the town.

Later Ledge and I walk into the town find a local sports bar which is good, but there is only 2 women dancing crazily. Then onto another bar, as I side up to order the barmaid asks what I am doing in 'her bar' after I explain about the coaster tour she is much less confused and states that I would be better off ordering a pitcher of beer instead of 2 glasses.

We sit down and a few minutes later a middle aged woman comes up to us and she turns to me and says 'I've got a message for you from the barlady, she told me to tell you that she thinks your really cute'.

I am a bit taken aback by this response so just utter a 'oh right, err thanks', we then get into a conversation about coasters again and how we are going to Cedar Point the next day, and how she loves it.

The barmaid comes over a bit later and plonks another large pitcher of beer down and says that a guy left a load of money at the bar and he was buying drinks for everyone, free beer! cannot complain.

I get into a discussion with the barmaid about what I do in England, I leave her my Mr Glass Productions card and say if she wants to check the website then to do so. we forget to leave a tip. She reminds me again that she thinks I am a 'cute man' and to call in again if we are ever passing this way, and Ledge and I go on our way.

Day 13 - 2nd July 2009 - Chill Time

No parks today, decided we wanted some chill time, went to a retail outlet instead, walked into a Calvin Klein shop where the staff were overly friendly, it was all 'hey guys' and when we tried some clothes on we got 'how'd that shirt work out for you then?'

Almost followed the cashier to behind the till when he said 'walk this way sir'. After the outlet it was onto the hotel, part of the hilton group so looked quite a swanky joint. Went to an ALDI (yes aldi!) later with ledge to stock up on some travelling grub, had a lot of fun crossing the road. Had a few beers back at the room then wondered to a very scummy superstore estate, where I enquired as to whether they accepted traveller's cheques, the girl on the counter looked puzzled, she shouted to another assistant who was standing by the front door and the assistant just shouted back 'NO!'.

We saw a pretty grim squashed dead cat on the way back, and a scary looking billiards bar called 'chalky's', decided we wouldnt go to the hotel bar as it looked deadly quiet and feared beer would be about ten bucks a bottle. Decided instead to go and play some table tennis, although soon after a load of people came in and a few people just sat right in front of our table and watched us playing, this felt a little un nerving so we quickly stopped after that. Went back and watched a documentary all about the making of a porn film, apparantly its a series called 'pornocopia' which was probably not a good idea for either of us in all honesty, but it gave Ledge someone to look up when he got back home to Shrewsbury, 'Jenna Haze'.

Day 12 - 1st July - Kings Island, Kings Mills, Ohio

Kings Island, home of the newest beast the 'diamondback' this was a monster of a ride, we had early entry into the park, so we took advantage and rode it twice, second time right at the front, which had an incredible amount of airtime to it. Not a bad park really, finished up pretty quick though.

Went to another Hooters bar, but this time didnt have the same impact as before, think we were just too knackered to really think about things. Then a long drive to the next hotel, the econolodge in Indiana, went to a pancake house for tea.

Later Ledge and I went out to get a box of beers at the local Shell garage, and chilled in the room to yet more Jackson documentaries, not a Jimmy's bar in sight.

Day 11 - 30th June 2009 - Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

Got up a little later than expected, so we were late again in setting off. Went to Holiday World, got lost a bit beforehand due to the sat nav taking us to unfinished parts of the interstate. By now the chimichangers and other mexican food had started to vacate our bowells which caused a very unpleasant chain of smells as we carried on in our quest for fun. Got even more confused at Holiday World because we had travelled back in time an hour, we had crossed a time zone, which meant we had to wait a lot longer until Holiday World opened, so we discussed what it might be like to live in a place where you could cross a time zone so easily and figured that could be quite handy.

Holiday world housed 3 wooden rollercoasters, that in my professional opinion were 'real good'. After doing the rounds of coasters we decided to chill in the waterpark area, and as I said to ledge it would be a good idea to 'bronze up', so it was tops off and into splash kingdom. As 2 30 something males we of course did not notice that there were a lot of women in small bikinis, we were much more interested however in the HUGE water rides that were on offer, We went on some interesting rubber ring rides, one of which Ledge and I had to sit opposite each other and I had to have my back towards the huge dip in the flume, we got pushed down it, and then got flung about in a massive gramaphone looking device which actually gave you a bit of air time, and then wooshed into the water for a final exit.

The only problem was we queued for over an hour for this ride, so it was not worth going on again. By this point the floor was so hot it was actually burning our feet to stand on it, so after doing lots of comedy walks and going AOOOw (like michael Jackson) we mooched around a bit and went on a lazy river where you literally just sit in a rubber ring and float around, bumping into random people.

After this, onto Ohio, nice hotel, go for a quick bite to eat over the road, I attempt what appears to be the worlds largest salad bar with a sign advertising '54 items!' and find it a little disturbing that they seem to have creamed marshmallows as part of the buffet. Later that evening we spot a load of Racoons digging in the bins so we all take a thousand pictures of them, as we sup our tins of beer on the nearby bench.

Day 10 - 29th June 2009 - Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, Louisville, Kentucky

Turned up at six flags kentucky, no bugger was about, it didnt even have its own proper car park, I was absolutely busting for the 'restroom', eventually found some after scouting around a desolate retail park, Gary and Ledge had got the only 2 urinals so I step confidentally towards the huge cubicle, I open the door and there was this HUGE bloke sitting on the toilet reading the paper, he quickly uttered 'yello', and I slammed the door shut and exited the toilet watching gary and Ledge chuckle to themselves, I burst out laughing as soon as I got out of there.

We hang around the park for an eternity, tried a very nasty ride called T2 which was a ABN ride, but rough as fuck and not enjoyable in the slightest, I kept my shades on and the ride operators kept asking me 'sir, are your glasses gonna be ok, you sure ?'.

Left the park at 1pm, so we were only there for a couple of hours. Moved onto Indiana to the Quality Inn, and chilled in the outdoor pool for ages, a woman said we could use her rubber rings, so Ledge and I tried to recreate the legendary game of 'toobin' but failed as we kept slipping out of the rings at various points. Had a chat to the woman about our tour and she seemed impressed she notifies us that the 'perilous plunge' at holiday world will be shut tomorrow, we are gutted as we are due to go there tomorrow.

Go to the mexican restuarant within the hotel, and there is a very rude and large man serving us our food, Ledge orders something that I think is in Ledge's own language, but it turns out that 'chimichangas' do actually exist, so when ledge orders 'chimichangers number 31' to the guy I almost burst into tears of laughter. The man later dumps our food in front of us with not even a wry smile.

We chill later in our room with beers.

Day 9 - 28th June 2009 - Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

The drive down to Dollywood was very strange, it was very spread out, and the roads kind of reminded me of a small town Las Vegas, as suddenley there were billboards either side of the road advertising magical new shows and attractions.

Our car was making a strange grating noise since the hotel, it seemed to be making it on any turn of the wheel, I thought it was the suspension, maybe we had all had too many American meals and we had caused some additional strain to the vehicle, it turned out it was just a big shaft of metal stuck by the mud guard though so panic over.

Coming into Dollywood, Dolly Partons own theme park (although as to how much running of the park she actually does is questionable) I had my doubts, what was very noticeable was the sudden shift in accent to a much more southern drawl, everyone really did speak a lot slower and say y'all a lot, as though there were a record being played at not quite the right speed.

I was most dissapointed in that there were no HUGE billboards of Dolly Partons face everywhere, I thought that could of at least provided some laffs, and what about the sound system playing joleen constantly on a loop ? Nowhere to be heard, it was literally just a small park with a lot of Dolly Parton tack in the shops and a few wooden coasters.

The sun was absolutely roasting hot so it was a good job I had slipped on my newly purchased skull and crossbone shorts from K-Mart, a very satisfying purchase indeed.

After whizzing round the park and going on another SAW ride (like at thorpe park, only better because there was a nice tv screen to look at when you were going up the vertical lift hill, and it was inside) we went to another Cracker Barrell restuarant, and had a rather tasty veggie skillet, again this was dangerously close to being a healthy meal in America, but no wait, they had dumped a load of cheese all over it. But it was damn tasty.

We decided we were going to go on a helicopter tour as we had seen one going cheap earlier on, however there was a massive thunderstorm heading our way, and sure enough the clouds erupted soon after, so we decided against it, enough thrill rides for one day.

Moved onto Kentucky for our next hotel which also had a nice pool outdoors which we took advantage of, then onto hardees for burgers. I had a strange iced tea for a dollar. More chilling in room after that, no sign of any 'Jimmy's bars'.

Day 8 - 27th June 2009 - Six Flags over Georgia, Austell, Georgia

Woke at 640am, in a total haze, I had not felt so rough in a long time, our cases werent fully packed so we quickly threw our bits together, didnt even have time to brush my teeth, and stumbled out to meet Gary and Ann, still wearing our age verification badges and stinking of stale lager. Felt like absolute shit all day long, as soon as I got in the car I fell asleep again, for most of the 2 hour drive to Six flags over Georgia, went on Goliath first thing, a nice smooth B&M coaster, as I was queuing up I was unsure as to how advisable it is to go on a coaster feeling hungover, Ledge didnt look much better, anyway I go on it, and it didnt really do much for me because I kept thinking what if I suddenley threw up, after Goliath I sat out on pretty much everything and even had to reach for some emergency bucket of sprite (or mountain dew as its called over here). Later I did manage to get on the rapids which provided a nice cool down.

Left about 1:30pm, and onto the comfort inn located in Tennesse, very nice hotel and had a fridge and pool, went in the pool and chilled out. Later went to another K-mart on the quest for some 'cargo pants', which I managed to locate and I was in the mood for purchasing, also got some trainers and food and later watched more Jackson documentaries and again hung out pants to dry outside the room.

Day 7 - 26th June 2009 - Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina

What a poor and painful park! every ride hurt the hell out of my head and jibbered you about, by this point I was feeling a bit coastered out, we didnt spend long here at all.

Left the park and went to a 'cracker barrel' for lunch, the black waitress commented on my tan and put her arm against mine and said that I had a better tan than her and said that I would make a good black man as I was good looking.

Got to the hotel and after a bit of chill time me and ledge thought we had best check the area out, there looked a few bars near our hotel and clubs so we thought we might look at those later. We went for a club sandwhich in a diner not too far away from the hotel and asked the waitress where there were some bars. She reccommended 'chiefs' which was hidden behind a retail park, we were about to give up looking for it, but eventually we found it, and had to pay 5 bucks to get in and have an age verified band around our arm, when we walked in it was similar to the bar in terminator 2, and there was a live band playing, it felt 'proper american', I went up to the bar and tried to negotiate for the 'cheapest things on draft', the waitress uttered something to me and I just agreed blindly, she kindly plonked 2 glasses of beer down and charged me 2 bucks. HANG ON! thats BUCK A BEER! we were away, but we couldnt get too carried away we had to be leaving the next morning at 630am.

Ledge goes up to order the beers, I state clearly that these 2 beers I bought are definatly a buck a beer, ledge somehow comes back with a different brand of beer and cost him more, he looked confused but we carry on drinking. At some point a waitress comes round with a tray of vodka shots, and we foolishly end up buying a couple.

But as ledge says 'were on holiday'.

We then leave the bar, the band were good and in between the music I seem to remember them rocking out a lot of Jackson tunes.

We head back towards our hotel and just behind it is 'Andrews' it looks safe enough so we pile in, we find cheap flagons of beer for 3 bucks each, chatted briefly to an american girl who said she was getting engaged next week, and she was trying to give me the lowdown on what bars and clubs were good round here but I couldnt really hear anything she was saying as the music was just too damn loud.

At some point me and ledge just sat and monitored the dance floor, people were really throwing some moves and people were looking from the side and nodding in agreement. At some point we moved round to the bar again, and there was a couple dancing right in front of ledge, and the girl was making very suggestive and erotic movements whilst staring at the ledge, he found this a bit discomforting.

We soon left, very pissed, but pleased we had gotten a taste of american night life, we head back to the hotel room, by this point it must have been at least 4am, and we had to be packed and ready for 630am. I was a little hazy, and completely forgot to set my alarm, or change clothes, or do anything, ledge was the same, so we just crashed on top of the bed. Completely stone cold out.........

Day 6 - 25th June 2009 - Busch Gardens, Europe, Williamsburg, Virginia

Attempted going for breakfast but it was just FULL of kids, and they were carefully guarding the waffle machine which was directly next to the cereals, ledge made a valiant attempt to get his crunchy grains and was successful. The breakfast was a lot better than previous places but we did have to deal with extra hassles like this.

There was some wierd sausage like gravy though which you were supposed to eat with muffins and cakes, which just seemed very wrong.

After that it was on to Busch Gardens, there was another bloody nemesis ride, later to be coined 'ABN'S' due to the sheer amount of similar designed rides. Only took us about 4 hours to get around, not very busy, actually managed to find some healthy food and had a mediterranean salad.

Then it was a huge 210 mile drive to the red roof inn, which seemed a little dodgy, whilst driving down we hear that Michael Jackson has been rushed to hospital with chest pains and hes not very well, later there is an unconfirmed report that he has died! I laugh this off and think no chance, media scare..

Turn up at the hotel, and its all over the news in the lobby TV, news was breaking live, yes Wilde was right, he really wasnt going to make the tour after all!

Unpack our things and chill then onto pizza hut to get a salad for 5 bucks, then back for a few beers and tons more Jackson documentaries that Ledge was really getting into, a real early start in the morning, 6:30am for the off.