Lake Tahoe

Today Jack’s Corner is atop North Star ski resort at Lake Tahoe.


After a road trip through the windy hills of Sierra Nevada we arrived at our lodge. But this was no ordinary lodge, in fact, this lodge would rival Tony Abbott’s. Well, that’s what it felt like, after being in hostels for the last two weeks!

Now that we finally had our own kitchen we headed on a shopping spree to the local grocery store. As we walked the aisles with our trolley packed to the brim we felt like lodge-owning millionaires. Millionaires who drank cheap rum and whiskey.

The next day we hit the slopes. Josh decided to take this literally which ended with him on the back of a ski-bed-tow-thing [see below]


I’ve never been to Narnia, but I imagine that if I were to walk through that wardrobe it would look something like Lake Tahoe.

Pine trees line the slopes, each of them frosted with a little snow on top. Even if this place wasn’t here as a ski resort it would still make a wonderful spectacle.

But wonderful spectacles are not nearly as fun as skiing. Especially when you’re skiing, with some of your best mates, through trees and over logs, with the fear that you may break your arm – or worse: not be catching all this great footage on your GoPro.

Luckily, the latter didn’t occur. Otherwise we wouldn’t have some great footage of Platty flying through the air as he tripped on his own skis.

But when Platty wasn’t crashing down the slopes he was having lunch with me from the mountain top as we looked over Lake Tahoe. A moment I’ll never forget…

…because I took a photo of it.


San Francisco

Today, Jack’s Corner is coming to you from our wine tasting tour out at the Napa Valley.


Last time on Jack’s Corner I told of our struggle to see the famous Golden Gate Bridge amongst the fog of San Francisco. This time I’m happy to report that we have seen it. And it’s not even gold. It’s red.

But the revelations didn’t end there. We realised that – unlike LA – San Fran isn’t as much about its famed landmarks as its vibrant culture and picturesque streets and architecture. We have all said at one point or another that we could live here. But don’t worry Mum, I won’t be moving any time soon.

There are many ways to explore the city, so one day Aidan and I decided we would cycle from the city, out to Mission (hipster-ville), to the top of Twin Peaks, and over the Golden Gate. Having completed some 32kms of steep SF hills I can now understand why Lance Armstrong turned to drugs. It’s exhausting.

But despite this, I still had one of the best days of the trip yet. Plus, such big hills meant there were some pretty sweet views from the top, like this one.


But to say that SF had been a classy mix of wine tasting, exploring and cycling would be a lie. There was still the typical mix of burgers and beers.

This is perfectly summed up by a night that saw us begin at an Ale House, grab three In-n-Out burgers for dinner (each) and ended with me struggling to assist Wardo up to the third floor of the hostel after one too many games of beer pong.

But for now, we’re escaping the hostel life for some lodging in the mountains of California.

Week 1

This edition of Jack’s Corner comes to you from the corner of the Friends set at Warner Bros. Studios.


Firstly, I apologise for the infrequency of these blog posts. I have well and truly set into holiday mode.

Looking back on the trip thus far it has been a roller coaster ride. We’ve experienced the highs of seeing some amazing sights, meeting great people and drinking great beer (and red wine) but we’ve also experienced the lows of hideous hangovers, champagne on our shirts and of course, Vereen (see previous blog).

Hostel life is crazy. I’ve never partied this much in my life. Probably because I never got invited to parties. Each morning we say that we will take it easy and have an early night but without fail there is always a pub crawl, beer pong match or cheap beer deal that gets the better of us. As a result our earliest night so far has been 2am.

But this hasn’t stopped us from getting up in the morning – after a whip from Wardo – and seeing the sites of the Land of the Free/Home of the Brave. Where we’ve hiked up to the Hollywood Sign, cycled along Venice beach on a tandem bike in the rain, driven along Pacific Highway 1 (America’s answer to the Great Ocean Road) and heaps more.

We are now in San Francisco. As far as cities go, it is a mile (1.6 km) better than Los Angeles. The McDonalds and IHOPs (International House of Pancakes) we were used to in LA have been replaced by cool delis and cafes. The city is a lot less spread out too here in SF, which makes getting around a whole lot easier.

In saying this however I must confess that I did get wildly lost at 1am this morning as I tried to make it back to the hostel after a few too many Bud Lights.

But you know who else got lost? The Golden Gate Bridge, amongst the famed fog of San Francisco. Here is my artists impression of what I imagine it to resemble:


Anyway, I’ve got a pub crawl to get to.

I promise the next blog will not be so late. Probably.

Day 1 – Los Angeles

Today, Jack’s Corner is at aisle 48 on flight VA7 to LAX.

Day 1.

Vereen. To you the name will mean nothing, but to us it meant a deflating start to out 2 month adventure.

The self heralded “driver to the celebrities” loved to name drop, but not as much as he loved to rip off unsuspecting tourists. Swindling us into paying $305 from the airport to our hostel.

Blame it on the jet lag, blame it on our naivety, blame it on the mid-flight VB’s. It doesn’t matter, this was not an ideal start, but on the bright side: at least it was all up from here!

After settling into our Hollywood Hostel we decided to explore our neighbourhood. In one word it was overwhelming. The streets around us in Hollywood Boulevard are lined with homeless folk, street performers and salesman. Occasionally you might even see a homeless-street performing-salesman.

Countless fast food options scatter the Walk of Fame and endless souvenir shops stock everything from LA Lakers shirts to patriotic lingerie.

Later in the night we headed out for Thanksgiving to watch the NFL and eat some Turkey. Except we replaced the Turkey with beer and decided to consume that instead.

In true American fashion we finished up back at the hostel with some beer pong that went early into the morning.

Stayed tuned to see what’s around the corner!
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