IT all came about when Stephanie Wilton of Shepparton completed year 12. With all the hard work over she was looking for something fun to do.
Her dad, Wayne and mum, Jane decided on a special treat, a trip to America. Their first stop was to be San Francisco. It was a fun place to be and there was a lot to do and a ride on the cable car was a must. Up and down those steep streets with the brakeman swinging on a huge lever to control the break.
They met lots of people from around the world looking for that unique San Francisco experience. Fisherman Wharf was great and the food, clam chowder with sour dough bread, was wonderful.
Next, a bicycle ride over the Golden Gate Bridge. This is an organised tour and there were 20 fellow riders taking part. Wayne says the views from the bridge are spectacular. When they arrived on the other side they arrived at Sausalito, where the Americas Cup was fought. It was a beautiful bay with yachts everywhere, and to top it off, they caught the ferry back.
It was Thanksgiving, which is celebrated in America with Black Friday and the shopping was fantastic, at least that’s what Stephanie and Jane say.
That night they sat down to a Thanksgiving dinner with stuffed turkey and pumpkin pie. Wayne says the pumpkin pie is an acquired taste.
Now to the Napa Valley and some great wineries. There were some interesting cellars but the wine is pricey. Wayne paid 50 US dollars for a bottle.
Their next stop was Los Angeles, where they stayed at Hollywood and took a tour of Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive with the stars names on the sidewalk.
Then a trip to Universal Studios and the latest offering the Harry Potter exhibit. Wayne says the atmosphere was great, with people joining in the fun. They even bought a wand to bring back for a friend in Shepparton.
They took the studio tour ride and it was fantastic. With huge 3D screens on either side it feels like wild animals are running through the vehicle you are in. It certainly was impressive.
Next they went on to Disneyland and the whole family was very impressed, particularly with the night parade with its water and light show.
They then headed back to Australia, but not before a stopover in Hawaii. They stayed at Waikiki beach and went snorkelling on a big catamaran. The views around the island were great, and below the abundance of colourful fish were spectacular.
Now a tour of Pearl Harbour and the Arizona Memorial. Wayne says it was a very moving experience and a must see.
Finally, that night they went to a luau at Paradise Cove. It was fantastic, with great food and an unbelievable sunset. The perfect way to say goodbye to America.
Wayne, Stephanie and Jane would all like to thank Ashleigh Rowe from Helloworld Travel Shepparton for arranging everything. It was a great tour.
Until next time,