Tou Magic 15!!

Plans

The biggest part of the plans before going to camp is my contact with New York based animation company Charlex. I have had contact and I have been told to contact them before I go so we can set a date and time for a visit. I have also asked to interview the person I am in contact with, for my dissertation and intend on asking questions for creative futures and my own benefit.

Keeping on the topic of my dissertation I have contacted the camp Director to set up an interview with him and see if it was possible to interview campers both of which I will be able to whilst at camp.

Travel to Camp

It all started again in true camp fashion, Comical and manic with my flight to Boston delayed due to a very strange occurrence taking place. There had been some sort of mix up between the captain and one of the stewardesses as there was a problem with the door handle and the captain asked the stewardess to check it. Unfortunately the stewardess thought this meant open the door and as she did the emergency slide was deployed. They then spent the next three hours removing the slide once it was removed they needed a replacement and unfortunately there was no spare slide at Heathrow and they had to have one delivered from Gatwick after a further two hour delay the captain had received approval from US and UK officials to fly without the slide and we could leave. When we arrived in Boston we were obviously very late and the people on the border weren’t expecting us and that they were under staffed it too a further 4 hours standing in line at the border as I slowly moved towards the United States. I got threw at around 8pm local time 9 hours after the time I was supposed to be in America. I went straight to a hotel and stayed the night and in the morning I stored my bags in reception as I went into Boston as my bus didn’t leave until 4pm, I went to the prudential centre and went past the Boston Marathon finish line that is now on the road permanently. After this I headed to get my bags and walked to south station which is where the bus terminal is, I took a Grey hound bus that made a few stops in New Hampshire and the first stop in Maine was at Portland where once again I fell victim to delay as there were problems with the buses lift system and that set me back about half an hour. I got to camp at 9 pm after a long couple of days traveling.

Boston

Camp

My first couple of days are orientation which I arrived late to and I arrived just as they went from the team building exercises to the talks and advice sessions I also arrived a couple of days before I find out what bunk I would have. The talks are exactly what you would expect from a job working with children there are talks about appropriate behaviour and language when around the campers and how to deal with problems such as bullying and home sickness. When I found out my bunk I had been given the same bunk (group) as my previous year I was very happy. When the campers arrived there was one boy who had been in the bunk last year that was home sick no one else saw it because the previous summer he had been so confident and had been the centre of the bunk in every aspect. I spotted that he was home sick and I spent the first couple of days of camp focused on him, I would say that this was my best achievement of my two years at camp because for the first couple of days he wouldn’t speak to anyone else and just focused on the idea of him going home, He then went on to have a great summer and seeing that was great. My second big challenge of the summer came from a co councillor that was moved out of our bunk because he wasn’t seen as the right fit for reasons. Overall my time at camp in the bunk was a resounding success in my eyes were I built on my work from my first year and solved problems that were a threat to the bunks relationships. At camp I also took the opportunity to interview the camp director on branding because the camp look at Disney for inspiration when branding the camp so I felt this would be beneficial to my dissertation. I also took the opportunity to set up a questionnaire and interview a few of the campers for their opinions and knowledge of TV shows and films. One of my favourite parts of camp apart from the bunk is trip day which is still with the bunk but I love getting out of camp with the campers, The first trip day was an over night trip to Adventure bound which is a ropes course trip, after that was a day trip to a theme park called fun town which was great. Third trip was to Reid state park which is a day at the beach and the last trip was to Bangor state fair. The biggest difference between my first and second year was the size of the bunk in my first year first session there where 12 campers in the bunk and second session there were 8 compared to this year where first session there were twelve and then second session the bunk went up to 16 due to campers staying the full two sessions that only stayed the one session the year before.

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Days Off

Boston

My first day off was spent in Boston we went down to Boston for July 5th but went down on the night off July 4th and as we arrived in Boston the Independence day fireworks display, After the display we went back to the hotel. At 2am we were woken up by an alarm we didn’t know what it was and spent about five minutes looking for the source of the noise we initially thought that it was someone’s phone but then we saw the fire alarm flashing and thought it might be that so someone went to check and came back saying the hotel was being evacuated we were stood outside for about 10 minutes before we were told that we could go back to our room. The next morning we went to the harbour down on the water front before making our way to Fenway for the baseball game between the Red Sox and the Houston Astros. After the game we then went back to into Boston to walk around the Boston Common which is a park in the city centre before eating dinner and heading back up to camp.

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Tubing

My second day off was spent in upstate Maine tubing on the Kennebec River and tubing is basically you sit in a rubber ring and float down the river, There were some minor rapids in the river but mostly it was just a matter of sitting back and enjoying the amazing wilderness views that Maine has to offer. After this new experience for me we then went back to the town near camp called Waterville for tea from Applebee’s and then went to the cinema to watch Ted 2 which was hilarious and when my campers found out I had been to the cinema were desperate to know if I had seen Ted 2 and what happened in it despite them only being 11 and 12 years old, I naturally didn’t say anything about it to them.

Montreal

The third day off was a unique one as we went to Canada we left around 5pm and on the way to Montreal we stopped off in a town near the border called Magog which was on the edge of Lac Memphremagog for food. Once we left we were a couple of hours away from Montreal and ended up getting to our hotel at around 00:00am. The next day the first thing we did was go to the Biosphere which was built for the 1967 world fair. After this we drove to the Montreal formula one track and drove around that a couple of times before pulling of and going onto the Olympics park which was the home of the 1976 summer Olympics which was good and we went up the tower were we had a good view of the city and the stadium that is home for the soccer team Montreal Impact. Once we came down we had a look around the park including the aquatic centre and the towers of the world display. We then went into the centre for food and after food had a walk around the centre looking at the sites and a artistic display on at the centre after, I then walked to the baseball stadium which is about 15 minute walk from the city centre. After that it was time to head back to camp and we didn’t get back until about 4am.

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Color War

Color war is a activity towards the end of camp where the camp is split into two teams and compete in sports and pretty much anything teams get points for Dinner and clean-up of the bunks. My role in this was to film for the first couple of days to create a motivational film ready for the third day of color war which is five days long. The first two days were spent filming events in the war and then I was planning on editing that night but when I went out for tea someone crashed into9 the back of the van which meant I was out all night, This meant that I had to do all the editing the next morning ready for the afternoon, It was a very tight schedule and this did lead to some small errors in the cut but I was happy with the cinematic effect that I created with the music, theme and shots a very pleasing out come with the tight deadline and the problems that occurred I also learnt a valuable lesson about deleting useless shot because I found myself with hours and hour of useless footage which was a problem to separate because I only had about three hours to upload and edit everything.

After camp Travel

Chaperone

Once camp ended I was lucky enough to be able to chaperone the campers from Miami back home which means I got go on the bus to Logan and fly to Miami for free. We left camp at 8:30am because there were campers on our bus that were catching international flights leaving before ours so we got to Boston around 12pm 5 hours before the boarding of our flight started. On the bus journey we were told no one on the bus had allergies but they gave us some cheese its and as I was handing them out I found this to be untrue one camper had an allergy to dairy products but luckily he told me and we could sort something out for him. When we got to the airport we went to security and we handed out the boarding passes only to realise that about six campers didn’t have so I took them to check in hoping that they would be able to help and they did print these campers boarding passes back. I later found out that my co chaperone was given a note saying these campers didn’t have and needed to pick it up from the check in desk. When we got through security we went to the food hall and the campers picked food before we went to the gate were we secured a corner to hang out in, Unfortunately one of the campers decided it was a good idea to lean on the fire exit needless to say what followed was one of the most embarrassing moments of camp. Whilst waiting there was one camper who kept on losing his boarding pass, I found it one time before he realised he lost it and I picked it up held it behind my back and said to him ‘How are you getting on the plane’ he looks around panics then looks at me smiles and says ‘my boarding pass’ not realising he had worked it out asked ‘Where is it’ he gives me the smuggest look in history and says ‘behind your back you are holding it’. A couple of minutes later he comes up to me and says the food he bought has cheese in it and then I had to take him to the shop to get something for him to eat. As we boarded the plane he comes up to me panicked I was expecting him to say he had lost his boarding pass and as this crossed my mind he turns to his younger cousin and say ‘he’s lost his boarding pass’ I found it on the floor moments later. So we got everyone on the plane and we took off on time when we approached Miami there was a storm so we had to circle for about half an hour and when we landed there was a back log of delayed flights and we had to wait an hour for our gate to be ready for us. As we arrived we dropped the campers of at with parents and went to pick up a hire car to drive to Orlando we got to Orlando at 4:30am.

Orlando

Day one

We started the first day in Orlando buying tickets for that day in wet n wild and Universal studios the next day. After that we went to wet n wild which is a water park on International Drive which is literally across the road from my hotel and next to Universal studios. This was my first time in a water park and they had all sorts of rides the first one was a racing slide where I sat on a mat and flew down the slide. We then went on to a near vertical slide which was extremely fast. My favourite slides where ones were you would sit on a dingy and go down and spin around. There was one slide that seemed very scary as it was high and the tube was very thin  and you would go down and come out on a dome and spin around uncontrollably. and at the bottom you just drop very suddenly into a very deep pool and as you drop through this hole you’re blinded by all the water dropping down from the slide. After we finished at the water park we went to Pizza hut where it started raining at an extreme level the car park was nearly flooded with in ten minutes. But in traditional Florida style the storm started at 5pm but was finished with in the half hour the weather is like a well oiled machine. After we finished eating we headed over to the Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks they started just as we got onto the steam boat and the fireworks were going off as we crossed on the boat.

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Day two

We started by going to Universal and going into the island of adventure part of the park and going on the Hulk ride. I then followed this up by the von doom ride. Then my first experience of a 3D ride was incredible with the Spiderman ride I found myself dodging villains and feeling the explosions and spray from the broken fire hydrants it was an incredible experience. But that was the start of a storm a storm of incredible sights and experiences, I moved onto the cartoon land where the themeing was exceptional and I went on the Pop Eye ride which is just out of this world one of the best them park rides I have ever been on. The Jurassic Park world was truly spot on with the gates and even the information centre from the film being a restaurant and small dinosaur exhibit the look is bang on what it is in the film and to top it off the restaurant over looks the lake that sits in the centre of the park. But even though all the others are great the two Harry Potter worlds really do beat them, in one side it is Hogsmede and Hogwarts and on the other park it is London and Diagon Alley and the two parks/ worlds are connected by the Hogwarts express. You can tell that no expense was spared between Harry Potter and Jurassic Park I must say that it takes a sledge hammer to the ‘Disney park’ which coming from me is big. Then I moved onto the other park (On the Hogwarts express) which I spent time in Diagon Alley and then moved on to The Simpsons part ‘KrustyLand’ Which was epic it had a kwick e mart and Moe’s tavern along with lard Lad and a 3D Simpsons ride which was good fun. I then went down the lane of Back to the future which in its self was truly amazing I loved that film but to put the cherry on top of the cake the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo was parked on the street and I got a great picture with the Mystery Machine. Of course I went on rides but going from movie to movie was just as much fun and I got such enjoyment going into the worlds of some of my favourite films. I finished off by walking to the other park and going on a couple more rides including one of the best log flumes I have ever been on. Universal was an experience that I didn’t think possible it gave me the chance to go into the worlds of my favourite films and TV shows with ultra realistic 3D rides and extremely real little worlds. A great experience and I left Orlando the next day saying to myself “I better get on to Dave (camp director) about chaperoning the Miami flight again because I need to come back for more”

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Vancouver

Day one

After Orlando we flew to San Francisco to catch a connecting flight to Vancouver, Canada. When we arrived in Vancouver we got the train into the city centre where we walked the mile to the hotel we were staying at where I can honestly say I had the greatest shock of my life as we went down a road which was full of homeless people, I can’t express the extremity of this, It was a shock in two ways because firstly I’d never seen so many homeless people in my life. Secondly this is not exactly what I expected to see in Vancouver I mean whenever I thought of Vancouver I think Canada, Beautiful, polite and modern. Not a great start for Canada so we went into the centre and got on a sea bus I believe they called it across the river to North Vancouver where we had a walk around when we got back into the main city we were able to witness a truly awe inspiring sunset that was just so wonderful it took me back to the gorgeous sunset that is at camp.

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Day two

We started by going to get a car and when we did we headed for the mountains aiming for a famous resort called Whistler. On the way we stopped of for lunch in a truly delightful town and went to this pub where we asked to put the champions league football on and they did, Here we were at mid day eating burger and chips in a beautiful Canadian town with the mountains surrounding us watching champions league football, This is the time I started to fall in love with Canada. After the game and we finished are food we then drove up to whistler and when we got there we went on the cable cars up Whistler mountain and the views were amazing on top of this it was my first time on the bench cable cars but then we went on the peak 2 peak cable car which is goes over the valley which means it is extremely high it stretches from Whistler mountain to Blackcomb mountain and we went on this three times in total and went back down to Whistler on the cable cars on Blackcomb mountain. When we got down we drove to North Vancouver to go on the Capilano suspension bridge and the park of tree top and cliff edge attraction at the park. After this we went to east Vancouver to the house of my great grandmother who died a couple years after I was born I last went here nearly twenty years ago when I was a couple months old so naturally I couldn’t remember it but my parents and brothers could so this was great to see it. After this we went back to the hotel and parked the car outside.

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Day three

The first task to do was to take the car back to the rental which was in the city centre for around 10:00am. After we dropped the car off we went and had a walk around the Rogers Arena which is the main sports stadium in Vancouver and after that we got on the bus and went across to Granville island which has real fisherman’s town feel to it. We went there to try book a whale watching trip but unfortunately they had not been running them that day due to bad weather conditions so we walked around the market and enjoyed the view of the city the peninsula had to offer. once we had finished we got onto a bus to Stanley Park and there we went to the Aquarium and we enjoyed the shows that they had to offer we met a very friendly dolphin that came to the glass of the tank to say hello. The aquarium is very small in size but the fish they do have are defiantly worth going to see. Once we had seen everything on offer and watching a few shows we went out and spent the next two or so hours walking around Stanley park and the views were spectacular. We started on the North side and we had good views of North Vancouver and as we walked under Lions gate bridge we had a great view of the bay that was jam packed with cargo ships and the sea planes taking off and as we walked around the views changed to distant mountains out on the horizon of the bay, Stanley Park is a beautiful and peaceful part of the city. Once we finished we went to the harbour centre and went up to the Vancouver look out where it was still day light but we watched the sunset over the very distant mountains in the bay.

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Day Four

We went into the city for breakfast and came back to our hotel to pick up our backs and head over to Pacific Central train station where we were getting an Amtrak train down across back into the USA where we were going to Seattle for a couple of days. We went through US border patrols at both the train station and at the border. It took about 50 minutes for us to cross the border on the train I enjoyed a rather tasty cheese pizza. The train was very comfortable and we enjoyed the gorgeous views that Washington state has to offer. The track obviously goes along the Bay coastline. As we entered into the night the sunset was nicely poised on top of the distant mountains. We arrived in Seattle at around 9pm where we caught the bus which was next to Century Link stadium where both the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders play to our hotel just on the other side of Lake Washington in Bellevue. My first impression of both Seattle and Bellevue was a modern and clean city.

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Seattle

Day One

Well we got the bus into the city and we decided to get off were we got on the night before so next to the Century Link stadium it was around 10am so we went to book a tour of the stadium for 2 pm so what we did was head down to the water front and then walked to the Seattle Space needle and got a pass to go up once in the day and one at night so we went up the space needle and then we headed back to the Century Link stadium for our tour. When we got to the stadium we had a look around the club shop for the Sounders and Seahawks. They then started the tour in the lobby where they had a American football display were they had a helmet from every high school in the State as they then moved us on we got to get a pitch side view were we were able to go stand next to the soccer goal posts that were up for a Sounders game. Then we got into the press room where I was able to stand at the podium and had a photo op to look like a professional sports coach. We then moved up to the top tier of the stadium where got some great photos and after this we moved on and as we headed to the press boxes we could get a great view of the Mariners (Baseball) stadium where they were getting ready for a series game against the Chicago White Sox which as it turns out we would watch later watch a game in this series when we went to Chicago. We then got to the press box and had a look around the commentators boxes and had a stop in at the members club once the tour finished we then went back to the Space needle sight where we had a look around the museum and shopping centre there, After this we headed into the Columbia centre which is the second tallest building on the East coast to watch the sunset over the city and then it was time to head over to the Space needle to go up it at night which was a great experience and then it was back to the hotel.

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San Francisco

Day one

So it was time to head over SEA TAC (Seattle -Tacoma international airport) to head down the west coast to San Francisco but we did not fly straight to San Francisco we flew from Seattle to Salt Lake City where we waited for 5 hours to catch our connecting flight to San Francisco. Whilst waiting we enjoyed the views of the mountains and had our Dinner from Shake shack in the airport terminal. We didn’t fly into San Francisco International we flew into Oakland so when we arrived we took the Airport train to the Bart Coliseum station next to the stadium which is home to American Football team Oakland Raiders it took about half an hour to 45 minutes on the Bart to get to the station we needed to get off at. When we got off the Bart we needed to catch a bus and as we were waiting the first impression of this city was not a good one as a drunk guy comes to the bus station and pulls his trousers down to urinate on the phone box. When we got the but we were about 5 minutes until we arrived at our hotel which was call the Monarch hotel.

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Day two

We started the day by heading down to Fishermans wharf where we stared by walking around before heading to the sightseeing bus tour station to buy a two day ticket where we got onto the bus and headed over the Golden Gate Bridge we got off the bus on the other side of the bay and when we got to the park on the other side we got off the bus and walked up a path to the top of a hill overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and the city of San Francisco and in the distance Oakland. When we got back on the bus we headed over and the bridge and went past the Golden Gate park and headed back down to the water front where we then decided to walk into the city and look at the sky scraper before we got onto the night tour bus at 5pm which took around an hour and a half. once we got off the bus we walked back to the hotel and got a Domino’s pizza so we could catch a early night as we had a big day planned ahead.

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Day three

So our second and last full day in San Francisco and the first thing we did was head down to Fisherman’s Wharf to book a place on one of the bay water boats which was for 2pm so we went and got breakfast before getting onto the tour bus and we got off just before the Golden Gate Bridge because the Presido is there and we that is where the Walt Disney Family museum is.

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So we walked to the museum and went around, It starts with his awards which include the special seven dwarfs award that he received but after this it is done in chronological order starting with his child hood and ending with his death and a room full of magazine and newspaper front covers just after his death. The museum has character designs, storyboards and the technology he used like the multi planes and the camera’s. They have a room dedicated to the building of Disney Land which has a model of the theme park made for Walt Disney and the Train that Walt had built in his own time that was the used for the design of the park train, They also had a bust of Abram Lincolns head for the hall of presidents and the original inside of the animatronics’ body. A great museum that I would suggest anyone who has the smallest interest in animation. Once we finished with the tour I went to the museum shop and brought myself a book about the exhibits and a Walt Disney Family museum shirt.

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We walked back to fisherman’s wharf for the boat tour which took about an hour but it was well worth it as we experience the up and down hills that make the San Francisco landscape so famous and we also got to walk down the world famous Lombard Street. When we got to the boats we were a little early so I went to get a burger for a snack as we waited for the boat. We got on the boat and we toured around Alcatraz (we didn’t go to Alcatraz because we had to book two weeks in advance and we didn’t know this). Once around the rock we went under the Golden gate before turning around and heading back to the dock going along the city shore. Once back to the shore we walked up the massive and extremely steep hill to Coit tower which overlooks the bay, It was a tower built by a lady that wanted to pay tribute to the fire service and is designed to look like a fire hose. We walked down and then went past the Transamerica Pyramid along with having one last look around the city centre before time ran out and we headed back to the hotel.

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Las Vegas

Day one

So it was time to fly to Vegas from San Francisco this time it was a direct flight and we got there around 3pm and when we got our bags we went to our hotel which was the Luxor hotel. That is the Egyptian hotel shaped like the pyramids it was a great size with a shopping centre, theatre and a museum that was exhibiting a titanic exhibit. Once we got settled we went out to buy tickets to the Penn and Teller show at the Rio hotel for the next night and Carrot top which was in our hotel (Luxor).

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Day two

We woke up at midday as our plan was to visit the strip and then spend the night at the Penn and Teller show at the Rio. So we went up the strip experiencing New York New York hotel and then we got onto the monorail up to the Bellagio and we went through the Bellagio and looked over the fountain pool over at the Paris hotel and the huge Eiffel tower that stands in front of the hotel. In the Bellagio we saw a magnificent flower display the best part being a small carousel that was made out of flowers. After this we went further down the strip enjoying the sights the strip has to offer before we went to the Paris hotel to catch the Rio hotel shuttle as we headed back we stopped off at the Venetian hotel to look at the Gondola’s and the main plaza. When we got to the Rio hotel we went to the theatre where we were sat on the second tier of the theatre. The highlight of the show was a trick were they invited a member of the audience on stage to film a trick and as he looked through the camera they were messing around with him but at the end the audience member ended up being Teller (during the messing around we could see Teller). After the show they both stayed in the lobby for a meet and greet were I got a selfie with Penn and Teller.

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Day Three

We went straight to the Stratosphere hotel on the monorail which was on the other end of the strip the monorail goes to SLS hotel and we then got it back to the Flamingo stop where we walked past what they said was the biggest wheel in the world (It didn’t look bigger than the London Eye but it was elevated so maybe it was higher. At the Flamingo we went into the bird garden where we there were Flamingo birds and parrots on display in the open garden. After that we walked into the Paris hotel and went out as we crossed the road to go through the Bellagio hotel to get to the monorail to get back to the Luxor so we could get ready for the show. Carrot top was absolutely brilliant hilarious with his jokes about the Luxor and Vegas in general and then hot topics like Delta airways and there bagging it was a good laugh and a good way to spend my last night in Vegas.

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Chicago

Day one

It was time to head to Illinois to enjoy the windy city, when we arrived at O’hare airport in Chicago we got the blue line into the city and walked the small distance to our hotel which was along South Michigan Avenue opposite the Buckingham fountain. We then went for a walk to the Buckingham fountain and down to the front after that we went to the Chicago river to see the Trump tower and the Wrigley building. After that we went to the Willis tower and went up to the observation deck which is the highest in the western world. We went onto the world famous ledge were we go out onto a little glass floor that sticks out of the building which is a scary experience.

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Day two

We started by walking to the Cloud Gate (Mirrored, Bean shaped sculpture) and once there took plenty of photos of the famous sculpture, Then we walked over the Chicago river past the Trump tower so we could go to Water Tower were they have the tilt in the observation deck unfortunately the tilt was shut so we didn’t bother going up the tower once we came back we booked a boat tour that would take us up the Chicago river turn around and head out to lake Michigan. It was booked so when we started it would be light and then when we were out in the lake it would get dark so when we went back to the dock we could enjoy the river at night and in the lights. When we went onto the boat tour it was great, When we go onto the lake there was a low lying mist and it was great (Chicago is a very foggy city).

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Day three

I started the day by going for an early morning walk down to the river stopping off in shops browsing and I brought myself a couple of shirts. Once I got back to the hotel I walked to the CTA station to catch the trains to U.S Cellular Field which is where the Chicago White Sox. When we got there we went to the ticket office and got our tickets for five dollars in the upper tier and to top of the great price when entering the stadium we were given a free White Sox hat. The game was against the Seattle Mariners and the White Sox won the game 5-4. After the game we got the train so we could walk to Adler Planetarium which offers great views of the city as you can see from the picture below and the best part is it also offered a view of Solider Field the home of the American Football team Chicago Bears. Then we got a water taxi across to Navy pier the boat took us along the skyline of Chicago and when we got to Navy pier we had a good look around and enjoyed some Chicago pizza. We then walked slowly to the hotel walking past Trump tower and looking at the gorgeous metal work of the streets and the train passes that rode above the roads.

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Boston

Day one

My time was up in Chicago and it was time to head over to O’Hare airport on the CTA and we flew back to the east coast. Landing in Logan our arrival was a lot swifter than the last time as we didn’t need to go through border control as it was a domestic flight. We got the shuttle to the hotel which was out of the city and then we got the shuttle back to the airport and we got the free grey line route into the city. Once there we walked down to the harbour and had a look at the boats and the city sky line. Was we had done this we walked up to Fenway where the Red Sox where playing the Yankee’s. Unfortunately we could not get tickets and ended up not getting in so by the time we walked back to the line and got to the airport for our hotel shuttle it was late.

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New York

Day one

We went to Boston because it was a lot cheaper to fly into Logan than JFK or Newark so the next morning we got into Boston and we went to south station to catch our Mega bus for New York. Our hotel was at Times square so when we got there we could just pop out to look around and enjoy the atmosphere that New York has to offer. We ended up at Ripley’s believe it or not and one thing that really impressed me was the massive model of One World Trade Centre (Freedom tower). I liked the New York themed exhibits there like the seat from the original Yankee stadium. After we finished at Ripley’s we went to Sbarro a pizza place near times square which is where we went last year when I had a night in New York before camp and by this then it was time to head back to the hotel.

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Day two

So we started the next day by getting the subway to lower Manhattan and to Ground zero where they have the pools in the foot prints of the old buildings and they are building a state of the art transport hub and of course the new World trade centre. The sight is so well done in the way it honours the event and yet the way it has been built for the future. So nex5 was to go up the new world trade centre to one observatory as it is called and has the nick name ‘On top of the world’ we went up in a lift that is covered in screens and the screens act as windows and as you go up in the lift you go up in the video and as you go up it progresses through the building of modern day New York. When you get to the top you go into a tight corridor where they play a video on the wall and at the end of the video the screen lifts up to reveal windows and the view that the world trade centre has to offer. When up there the views are great over the bay towards the statue of Liberty, over to the Brooklyn bridge and of course down Manhattan with the Bronx in the distance. But there is a timely reminder when you look down and see the massive pools as a marker of what did stand instead of this building. The speakers at the top said that the World trade centre was not only the tallest building in the western world but the most expensive and strongest building in the world. Once we had gone down we went to the subway and went out into Queens to go to CITI Field and the US open which are on opposite sides of the subway track, We started by walking around CITI Field the home of the baseball team NY Mets and then we walked over to the tennis stadium which was packed as it was in the middle of the U.S open. So we got the subway back into the city and we got off at grand central station where we took the opportunity to enjoy the architecture of the famous station and once out we walked toward central park to look at 432 Park Avenue which is a high rise residential building that has topped out as the 3rd tallest building in the U.S and the tallest residential building in the western world. A day full of adventure then required a night of rest as the next day would be our last full day in the US so it meant tomorrow would be very hectic in sightseeing.

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Day three

So it was the last full day I had in the US so woke up nice and early and started by going to times square to buy myself a couple of New era hats so I could take them back to the hotel and then I went to the subway to head into the Bronx so I could go to the Yankee Stadium. Once I got there I went to try and book a tour but unfortunately they were not having tours on that day due to a little league game that was taking place. So I settled with having a good look around the stadium before getting back on the subway to go to lower Manhattan again. This time I went onto the bay front so I could go to the statue of liberty, I got on the boat and headed over to Liberty Island where I had a real good look around and then got back on the boat to head over to Ellis Island where I had a look in the immigration museum and enjoyed burger and crisps in the restaurant before heading around the island to enjoy the great view of the New York skyline that the island has to offer and in addition to the skyline view there is a great view of the Statue of Liberty. Back on the boat and back to Manhattan where I got onto the subway to head over to the Natural history museum but I decided to get off at Columbus circle because as a fan of Futurama they spoof the restaurant Tavern on the green so I stopped by there to have a look at it and see what it actually looks like and it gave me the opportunity to walk along in central park. The Natural history museum in New York found fame in the movie Night at the Museum with Ben Stiller and when looking around all I could think about was this movie. One of my favourite exhibits was the North American animals as the massive moose caboose gave me a flash back to camp due to a joke on of the campers parents made on visiting day. Some of the models were very impressive and skilfully made it was an impressive display. They also have a model of former US president Theodore Roosevelt sat on a bench by the front entrance. After I had looked around I stopped by the museum restaurant to get my dinner. I then headed out and went into Central Park which was good fun enjoying the quiet and the views, I walked diagonally across the park because I wanted to end up at the Central Park zoo made famous in the film Madagascar. In the park I enjoyed the views of the sky line against the giant lake they have and then near the end was a quaint little carnival but I went straight to the zoo. At the zoo I admired the clock tower there that have the moving animal statues around it. I also saw the seals in there tank and lying around on the rocks but after that I walked along W 59th St back to Columbus circle so I could walk down Broadway onto Times square and by this time it was starting to get dark so by this time I went to Ground zero to enjoy the pools in the dark and then after that near Ground zero the TV show The Impractical Jokers where doing a live TV special where they were doing a tight rope walk along two towers. It was a good laugh and one of the four jokers made it even if it wasn’t exactly a pretty finish. A good way to spend the last day and by this time it was 1am so a full day of excitement and sights.

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1Day four

The last day we had a little lie in to 11am and we got the blue line to JFK but when we were on the train it stopped and the announcement was ‘Due to a police investigation we ask you exit the train on the front two cars’ bad lucky for me who was on the last train which meant I had to walk the entire length of the train with my bag but bad luck would strike again as the door to our train carriage jammed shut and we had to wait for assistance to get it open. Coming to America I had the emergency slide and now leaving I have this I did see the irony and it was very funny, Luckily I left in plenty of time and when we got to the airport I had time to go and get my lunch in the terminal. As I was eating I looked at our plane and saw the name on it Tinker Bell, This was the same plane that brought me to America and I thought to myself ‘I hope they got that slide managed to get through rush hour traffic’. So another summer was done, another summer of fun, laughs, tears and adventure and as I boarded the plane one thought and one thought only rushed around my brain BRING ON TOU MAGIC 16!

 

 

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