World Trip 1999-2000: USA Highlights

Back in late 1999 I set out on my first independent world trip with my best friend Jon who I met in High School. The trip was broken down into three parts

1) New Zealand: 11 November 1999 to 26 November 1999;
2) USA: 26 November 1999 to 27 January 2000 (this post); and
3) The United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland: 27 January 2000 to 4 March 2000 (to be published).

This was a 115 day world trip mostly staying in hostels. At the time I wrote a paper journal which I have now turned into an electronic copy. The entries are the same as the hard copy except I have added a “Highlights” section at the start.

USA Leg Highlights
This is an amazing and complex country with a mix of liberal and conservative people.  I quickly realised how great the differences there are in these United States from attitudes, to taxes, to wealth, and even to religion.  I experienced the peaks of a great empire with magnificent architecture in New York City to the wealth differences in the beggars in Memphis.

The Grand Canyon lived up to it’s name and I expect I’ll remember those amazing textures and colours in the landscape until I die.  Niagara Falls is stunning, especially from the Canadian side.

While New York City is the best place I’ve ever visited the smaller towns of Savannah and Deadwood had a great friendly feel and charm to them.  Visiting the seat of power that is the USA White House and the Capitol Building brings to life the stories about the Civil War and the Cold War.

The USA is also the country of theme parks, I enjoyed them all, Universal Studios (LA), Disney World (Orlando) and Six Flags Magic Mountain (LA).  I got to watch an American Football match in Nashville and a basketball match in Boston.  Throw in the performance art that is professional wrestling (WCW Starcade – Washington) and I got to experience the cheering and passionate fans.

The music experience can’t be underrate either, Jazz in New Orleans was incredible.  The history of Graceland is worth visiting and Memphis blue’s music.  Comedy clubs are very happening places.

In the end I think I’ll remember most was being in New York City for the millennium celebrations.  Watching the taping of the David Letterman Tonight Show New Year’s Eve special added to the experience.  I’m not a fan of big cities but I’ve fallen in love with NYC.  Maybe it was the Christmas feel, the happy people ice-skating at Rockefeller Centre or the classic and classy feel of the New York Public Library or the experience that is going to see a movie in NYC or maybe the Statue of Liberty.  Whatever it is I’m sold.

World Trip 1999-2000 Facebook Photos

Daily Highlights

  1. Day 16 – Auckland to Honolulu: Nine Hour flight with 2 am arrival to the USA
  2. Day 17 – Honolulu: USS Arizona Memorial, State Capitol, Holiday Parade
  3. Day 18 – Honolulu: Polynesian Cultural Centre
  4. Day 19 – Honolulu: Relaxing
  5. Day 20 – Honolulu to Los Angeles to Dallas: Long day traveling
  6. Day 21 – Dallas: Friendly locals
  7. Day 22 – Dallas to San Antonio: JFK Sixth Floor Museum
  8. Day 23 – San Antonio: Garden River
  9. Day 24 – San Antonio to New Orleans: The Alamo, Garden River at night
  10. Day 25 – New Orleans: Street Car / Tram ride, French Quarter, Classic Jazz
  11. Day 26 – New Orleans: Louisiana State Museum, Jazz
  12. Day 27 – New Orleans: Voodoo and New Orleans Crypts
  13. Day 28 – Memphis: Experiencing Economic Depression first hand
  14. Day 29 – Memphis to Nashville: Elvis Presley – Graceland
  15. Day 30 –Nashville: NFL match Tennessee Titans v Oakland Raiders, Country and Western Music
  16. Day 31 –Nashville: Purchasing warmer clothes
  17. Day 32 –Nashville to Savannah: Riverside Walk
  18. Day 33 – Savannah: Savannah History Museum
  19. Day 34 – Savannah to Orlando: Running into friends
  20. Day 35 – Orlando: Disney MGM Theme Park, Beer inspired Uno Matches
  21. Day 36 Orlando: Disney Epcot
  22. Day 37 Orlando: Shuttle launch postponed L
  23. Day 38 Orlando: Buzz Lightyear (Magic Kingdom)
  24. Day 39 – Orlando to Washington: 19 hour plus bus ride commences
  25. Day 40 – Washington: WCW Starcade
  26. Day 41 – Washington: Visiting FBI, USA Capitol Building
  27. Day 42 – Washington to New York: The White House, Arriving in New York City
  28. Day 43 – New York: Downtown Manhattan, incredibly cold winter day
  29. Day 44 – New York: Statue of Liberty, Ice-Skating at Rockefeller Centre
  30. Day 45 – New York: New York City Library
  31. Day 46 – New York: Traditional American Christmas Dinner
  32. Day 47 – New York: A night of Improv Comedy
  33. Day 48 – New York: UN Security Council, ‘Chicago’ (the musical)
  34. Day 49 – New York: Greenwich Village
  35. Day 50 – New York: New York Library, tickets to the ‘David Letterman‘ show
  36. Day 51 – New York: New Year’s Eve ‘Late Show with David Letterman, Native American Indian Museum
  37. Day 52 – New York: New Year’s Eve 1999 in Times Square!!
  38. Day 53 – New York: New York Cinema, ‘Stand Up New York’ comedy
  39. Day 54 – New York to Boston: Leaving New York City (sob)
  40. Day 55 – Boston: Boston Freedom Trail, Boston Common, State House, Granary Burial Ground, USS Constitution, NBA Game (Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers)
  41. Day 56 – Boston to Buffalo: Cambridge University, Harvard Museum of Natural History
  42. Day 57 – Buffalo: Free falling snow!!
  43. Day 58 – Buffalo & Niagara Falls (Canada): Niagara Falls
  44. Day 59 – Chicago: Jazz and Blues music
  45. Day 60 – Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, ‘Second City’ comedy club
  46. Day 61 – Chicago to Deadwood: The cheap 26th birthday present
  47. Day 62 – Deadwood: Wild West Gambling!
  48. Day 63 – Deadwood: Visiting graves of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill
  49. Day 64 – Deadwood and Mt Rushmore: Mt Rushmore, Custer Park
  50. Day 65 – Santa Fe: Barely surviving a 23 hour bus journey
  51. Day 66 – Santa Fe: Palace of the Governors
  52. Day 67 – Flagstaff: Nothing today
  53. Day 68 – Flagstaff: The amazing Grand Canyon
  54. Day 69 – Las Vegas: Losing money quickly Vegas style
  55. Day 70 – Las Vegas: Paris Casino, ‘Viv Las Vegas’ show, The Star Trek Experience
  56. Day 71 – Las Vegas to Los Angeles: Winning a deck of cards
  57. Day 72 – Los Angeles: Mann’s Chinese Theatre
  58. Day 73 – Los Angeles: Universal Studios, live taping of ‘Suddenly Susan’
  59. Day 74 – Los Angeles: Six Flags Magic Mountain
  60. Day 75 – San Francisco: Nothing today
  61. Day 76 – San Francisco: Girhardilli House, Fishermans Wharf, Cable Cars
  62. Day 77 – San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Girhardelli House Ice cream
  63. Day 78 – Los Angeles: Venice Beach
  64. Day 79 – Los Angeles to London: Leaving USA

About Nathan

A World traveller who has so far experienced 71 countries in this amazing world.
This entry was posted in Travel, World Trip 1999-2000 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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