By: Melanie | June 12, 2015 | (69) Comments

Mel's American Trip

So you’re probably thinking… didn’t Melanie go to America back in March/April? Wasn’t that like ages ago? And you’re quite right. It’s been a whole two months since I came back from America, and I have finally gotten all my shit together in order to give you guys a recap of what shenanigans I was up to while on my trip.

Just some background knowledge: I went to America as a school ‘study tour’ so the aim of the trip was for us students to gain some more knowledge and awareness about all the science-y stuff in the world. This is also why I couldn’t go and meet up with any of you Americans, because my teachers didn’t allow us to meet up wit. h anyone apart from relatives during the trip. (And yes, I insistently told them that book people are my family, but all I got was a weird look in response. What even. *sighs*) We went for a total of 20 days, and it was just pure awesome (okay, some bits bored me to death because the school tried to make the trip toooo educational and not fun enough, but it was freakishly spectacular overall). (Sorry I’ll try to stop with the parentheses.)

(It doesn’t seem to be working.)

OKAY, ON WITH THE RECAP THAT CONSISTS OF LOTS BADLY TAKEN PICTURES (also, I’m not going to be recapping everything because you’d probably just get bored. So yes.)

Stuff that I brought with me to America

I didn’t actually bring any books with me to the US because my baggage limit was only 23kg plus a 7kg carry on and well, I PLANNED TO BUY A LOT OF CLOTHES, OKAY? So yes, along with toiletries, clothes, shoes etc. I brought my kindle along which has more than 200 books on it so you could say that not bringing any physical books wasn’t a problem. Oh course, I also brought my phone and my laptop – LIFE ESSENTIALS, people??? Gotta keep up with them TV shows. I don’t normally keep a diary but I decided to keep one for the trip so that I could read it when I’m older and actually remember all the things that I did. And it’s also what’s helping me recap my trip in case I forget any details. Truth is though, I kept on forgetting to write an entry every day, so I wrote like a bunch of entries at once from the prev. days whoops 😀

Los Angeles

Hollywood 1

We left Melbourne airport at 10am and arrived at LA at 7am local time on the same day which was pretty awesome, because now I can say I’ve officially gone back in time, hah! We had a city tour while travelling on a coach and I’ll admit, I was pretty damn jetlagged and in a ‘meh’ mood so I kept dosing on despite the fact that our tour guide was really resourceful and humorous.

We later toured down Hollywood Boulevard and took 5 million pictures on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I found so many of my favourite actors and actresses but the highlight was definitely finding Robin Williams. WORDS. I HAVE NONE. We also went to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and then I basically died and nearly ripped my friend’s arm off BECAUSE LOOOOOOOK IT’S EMMA, DANIEL AND RUPERT’S FREAKING HAND/FOOTPRINTS. And of course, I took the obligatory picture of the Hollywood sign because who doesn’t?

Beverly Hills 1

I also had to take pics of the two iconic Beverly Hills signs *nods* It’s actually kinda scary how perfect looking Beverly Hills is. It’s clearly where all the rich people hang.

We also went down Rodeo Dr. which is basically entirely dedicated to luxury shopping. Any expensive shop, it’s right there. We also saw some people filming while we passed by on the coach! Tour guide dude said that it was normal to see a lot of famous people on that road but clearly we had no luck seeing any while we were there.

And of course, we stopped at Starbucks and I had my first American beverage. Caramel frappe <33 I think my friend will now forever hate Starbucks because she burnt her coffee haha.

Santa Monica 1

The next day we went to the Getty Centre (Getty Images… anyone?) and they had the most gorgeous garden and you can see a bit of it from that birds eye pic I took while we were looking at art exhibitions.

Also: WE SAW A FREAKING YELLOW SCHOOL BUS. Shuddup, I found it truly exciting, okay? We don’t have yellow school buses here in the AUS and the only time I’ve ever seen them are in cartoons or the occasional TV show.

We had dinner at Bubba Gump (school booked it for us) (if we had it our way we would’ve gone right away to Chipotle, In ‘n’ Out or Panda Express… yeah my friends and I had this American bucket list to visit all the well known fast food places heh).

LA

One one of our last days in LA we had the opportunity to go to Organovo, which is an institute that designs functional human tissues. Basically, their bioprinting technology allows the creation of 3D tissues and it is just pretty damn awesome. I couldn’t take any photos inside the site, but trust me guys, I think I flailed from the epicness of technology and science that was clearly blooming there.

Later in the day we visited Balboa Park which is basically a park where you can visit a bunch of museums and educational sites – honestly, it felt more like it was for younger people than us 15-17 year old kids, so my friends and I spent most of the time just eating haha. So interesting story, I bought a quesadilla (which I pronounced wrong five million times and apparently the ‘ll’ is treated like a ‘y’ but oh well) and IT WAS SO BAD. At first, I tasted pretty good but there was so much cheese! Yellow, commercial cheese (apparently it’s actually called American cheese? Sorry, Americans, but your cheese totally sucks.) <.< I honestly felt like vomiting later haha.

Oh yes and a random scenery photo in which I’m squinting my eyes BECAUSE OF THE STUPID SUN RIGHT IN MY EYEBALL ._.

San Fransisco

San Fran 1

I’ve gotta say, San Francisco is BEAUTIFUL. Well, for the 4 days I was there, I certainly thought so. We did a lot of shopping at Pier 39 and I got a tourist-y San Francisco jumper which I forever love because of how warm and soft it is. We also got to go do a little more shopping downtown and that photo in the top right hand corner is just American Apparel, one of the many photos of stores that my friends and I snapchatted to our friends back here in Australia to make the feel jelly. I know. We’re great friends. The best.

Also, WE WENT TO PANDA EXPRESS. And maaaaan, it was glorious. I don’t understand why we don’t have fast food chain stores like this in Australia. BEST CHINESE TAKE OUT OF EVER. Also, yay for fortune cookie! I think this is the second one I’ve EVER opened and it was exciting, okay?!

OH AND THERE WAS A STORE AT PIER 39 CALLED LEFTY’S: THE LEFT HAND STORE. Basically, everything in that store was designed for lefties so you had left handed spiral notebooks, scissors, and badass posters of famous people who are left-handed. I didn’t actually buy anything from the store despite being a lefty myself because I spent way too much money on other things haha.

As for that picture in the bottom right corner, they were just some trees I saw when we were having a city bus tour in San Fran. I must say, they are some pretty damn UGLY trees. Apparently they were only just trimmed (a little bit too fiercely… no?) so they actually look gorgeous in the summer.

Google 1

YOU KNOW WHAT’S REALLY AWESOME? WE WENT TO GOOGLE. YEAH. THAT’S RIGHT. THE OFFICIAL LAND OF GOOGLEY GOOGLENESS. We got a special tour of the place because one of my teacher’s nephews actually works there, so yay for my science teacher! And of course, we took 5 million photos there.

Google 2

Aren’t those bikes just the cutest things ever? It’s how most employees get around the work place – I seriously love how pro-fitness Google is! ALSO: we got free food while on the tour. BECAUSE ALL FOOD AND DRINKS ARE FREE AT GOOGLE HEEEELL YEAHS. I want to work there now, seriously. It’s actually a lot like The Internship (the movie) which was actually really filmed at Google, so I basically ran around everywhere screaming: “Dylan O’Brien was here!!!!” I may have gotten some strange looks in return. Y’know.

And yup, that’s a Google Map car! They drive those around with a camera built on the roof to photograph for Google Maps.

Google 3

On the top left is me writing on a post it note to stick up along with all the other post it notes with an inspirational/happy message. I actually can’t remember what I wrote, but it is just the most adorable thing. And ah yes, that’s me laughing my head off in a ball pit whilst in the middle of a ball pit fight. T’was lots of fun. THIS WAS MY CHILDHOOD!!

I also got to go in a Nap Pod and HOLY SHIT THOSE THINGS ARE THE COOLEST INVENTION EVER. You can even play music and make it give you a light massage. Calling it awesome is an understatement. And down in the lower right side is a picture of some umbrella tent things that I just found cute because they’re in Google colours.

In summary: Google is where you wanna work. Not only is there free food (though that is the perfect incentive already), but you get so much freedom (you legit can choose your own work hours, where you want to work and how you want to work.) And you can get free onsite haircuts. Crazy, right?

Alcatraz 1

We had to get up at 5am one morning so we could get ready to go to Alcatraz. We took a 10 minute cruise to the island where we then had an audio tour of the jailhouse. It was a pretty grim audio tour to learn about the circumstances and how Alcatraz worked, but it was equally fascinated. Here’s just a couple of photos I took – the one of the left is a depiction of what a decent looking cell would have looked like.

Golden Gate Bridge 1

Obviously, we had to go and be tourist-y and visit the Golden Gate Bridge. The colour of the bridge is actually ‘International Orange’ but it was called Golden Gate as it was named after a nearby street. We actually took SO MANY selfies here however all of them are blurry of have at least one of me or my friends looking idiotic OR our hair is covering our face because it was so darn windy. But yes, I present to you above: the one decent photo I took.

Huntsville, Alabama

I do believe we stayed in the Alabama the longest and while we were there, we went to Space Camp and Aviation Challenge. The school allowed us to choose to do one of the two, and I ended up choosing Aviation Challenge. It was a 6 day program (think of a camp for fighter pilots) and well, IT WAS SO HARDCORE. They legit treated us like people in the army and we had to wear BDUs and khakis. Oh yes, and on the last night there we had to do a tummy crawl in the mud for 110m, and if you were to stick your butt up, you’d get screamed at. I definitely DID NOT expect this to be happening when we went to America but hey, it was fun! We also got to go in simulators and ‘flew’ fighter planes – it was kinda hard to get used to at the start, but turned out to be seriously enjoyable. Oh yes, and we went zip lining! WHEEEEE!

The reason why I have no photos is because they confiscated all of our phones and laptops for the whole 6 days while we were at this camp. Also, I couldn’t even sleep at night BECAUSE IT WAS SO BLOODY FREEZING. Minus freaking 4 degrees <.< That was definitely the worst part of Aviation Challenge.

Orlando, Florida

NASA 1

We had the opportunity to go to the Kennedy Space Centre as well as have a tour around the NASA headquarters. (Which is the picture on the right.) Apparently the American flag alone is the size of a basketball court… just imagine how HUGE the whole building is!

UniversalUniversal Studios 2Universal Studios 3Universal Studios 4Universal Studios 6Universal Studios 7Universal Studios 8Universal Studios 5

Okay so I think that those influx of photos, in a nutshell, sums up all the things we did at Universal Studios in Orlando. We only had one day to explore the whole place, so obviously, we didn’t get to go on every single ride but I dragged my friends’ asses to Harry Potter World in which we spent the most time and it was truly glorious. We went on pretty much all the scary rides such as Hulk and Rock It! and nearly all of the Harry Potter rollercoasters. We had to line up for 40 minutes for most rides which totally SUCKED but hey, it was worth it in the end.

AND BUTTERBEER. OMG IT WAS EVERYTHING I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE. There was also a freaking Hogwarts Express ride and it was glorious. It went from Hogsmead to Kings Cross and there were animations playing while you were on the train.

I ended up buying a Hogwarts scarf, Bertie Bot’s Every Flavour Beans (they actually have earwax flavour and it’s disgusting, guys), a Chocolate Frog, Hermione’s wand, a Universal Studios key chain and a Minion drink bottle. MUST HAVE ALL DA MERCH.

Things that I Learned about America

  • Your Southern USA sweet tea is a beautiful thing. WE NEED THIS BEVERAGE IN AUSTRALIA.
  • When we arrived at Alabama I legit was expecting everyone to be speaking with a Southern drawl. Apparently not because most of them just spoke ‘normally’ lol whoops. MISCONCEPTION = DEBUNKED
  • Your coffee totally sucks. Sorry, but Australian coffee ALL DA WAYYYYY.
  • YOUR TRAFFIC LIGHTS DON’T MAKE SOUNDS TO SIGNAL THAT WE CAN CROSS THE ROAD. I missed the lights so many damn times.
  • You guys don’t include your tax in the price. It’s like you’re forcing me to do maths while I’m trying to shop. Also, it’s very deceiving when they’re like: Everything under 10 dollars! And then I go pay and it’s $10.38USD with the tax. WHY YOU DO TIS TO ME. I had my $10 note out ready for you and everything… and now I have to dig out another 38 flipping cents from my wallet?
  • Literally EVERYTHING is in America.
  • You guys have like no public transport.
  • Your cheese is orange. Wut. Very suspicious.

My only regret was…

I DIDN’T GO TO FREAKING BARNES AND NOBLE. I KNOW. Or any bookstores for that matter…

I KNOOOOW.

PLEASE DON’T DISOWN ME GUYS, I HAVE AN EXPLANATION, I SWEAR.

Originally, I was going to go to Barnes and Noble when we were shopping on 4th Street back in Santa Monica, LA but that kinda backfired because we were running behind time and had to rush back to our hotel before we had the chance to go. I was like “oh well, I can just go sometime later on the trip” BUT THAT NEVER FREAKING CAME BECAUSE EVERY OTHER PLACE WE STAYED AT WAS HELLA FAR AWAY FROM ANY BARNES AND NOBLE OR BOOKS A MILLION. *cries* Much regrets. 

So yes, America was pretty damn awesome! I honestly don’t think I could live there long term (??) because y’know… Australia is better (c’mon, we all know it, it’s simply time to face the facts) but, I certainly would love to go there again when I’m older (without my school so I can actually meet fellow bloggy peeps) to do even more sight seeing to places like New York (WHICH I STILL CANNOT BELIEVE WE DIDN’T GET TO GO). I hope you all liked my recap! (It may have taken 3 days to write…)

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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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69 Responses to (A Very Late) Recap of Mel’s American Trip

  1. I honestly pretty surprised when you said that it was a school trip, since it’s very rare for a school trip to go that far (the farthest that my school has went is to Taiwan).
    It’s awesome that you went to Harry Potter World! It’s like, my top destination if I ever go to America (I REALLY want to try Berti Bot’s Every Flavour Bean and Butterbeer!)

    Anyway, great recap, Mel! So sad you couldn’t make it to Barnes and Noble 🙁
    Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought recently posted…ARC Review : Last Year’s Mistake by Gina CioccaMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Haha yeah this school trip was open to any one from any year level (Years 9-12) and a total of 100 people went so that’s only a fraction of the people in my school! Interesting… all of the schools I’ve been to offered trips to places such as Europe/Asia/America I never knew that this was so uncommon!

      Oh yes, butterbeer is GLORIOUS. You must have it when you go!

      Thanks, Tiffany 🙂 Yeah, definitely the saddest thing :((

  2. Haha, it sounds awesome. XD I want to go to harry potter land. 🙁
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…{12 Days of Great Summer Reads} Serial Hottie by Kelly OramMy Profile

  3. Henrietta says:

    Wow, you surely did a lot in 20 days!!! Looked like you had loads of fun at the Harry Potter World. Loved your diary by the way. Thanks for the recap. 🙂
    Henrietta recently posted…Love And Miss Communication – Elyssa FriedlandMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Haha yeah, all those early mornings and late nights had to be worth it! Thank you 🙂 I got it from Typo – a stationary store in the AUS and I love it quite much myself!

  4. I think you saw more of California in a few days than I did in the two years I lived there!

    That quesadilla sounds dreadful, though. We used to get awesome Mexican food in California, but I don’t think it ever had American cheese. That’s just nasty. (Quesadillas can be iffy at the best of times, anyway; too much cheese of any kind, and it’s like trying to chew a glob of snot.)
    La Coccinelle @ The Ladybug Reads… recently posted…Review – Tuck EverlastingMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      LOL maybe I did 😉 RIGHT??!?! I definitely went to the wrong place to have that quesadilla. Yes, that’s EXACTLY what it tasted like after a while. It had chicken in it as well, but it was mainly dominated with orange cheese. BLURGH

  5. Heidi says:

    Next time you need to come to the Pacific Northwest. We have the largest independent book store, Powell’s, in the world here in Portland, and we here in the Pacific NW know how to make coffee right. Starbucks smarbucks that’s not coffee. We also don’t have sales tax in Oregon so the price you see the price you pay. See all your problems solved. Glad you had fun, though, your trip looks like it was spectacular.
    Heidi recently posted…Friday Forecast June 14th-20thMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Oh yes, I certainly must!! I’ve heard all about Powells xD Haha, clearly Oregon is the place for me. Good coffee and no stupid tax things? HECK YEAHS.

  6. Benish says:

    I haven’t been to Cali, so I can’t comment on that but omg Barnes & Nobles! You missed out 🙁 You should def. come to New York sometimes especially the city. The B&N on 5th Ave is one of the biggest we have plus there are trains and buses on almost every other block. Your trip looks really fun though! Great post Mel 🙂
    Benish recently posted…Wow..♥ Broken Skies by Theresa Kay ReviewMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, I totally did *cries* I really wanted to go to New York! Very strange how out of all places we did go to, we didn’t even go to the East Coast. Thanks, Benish!

  7. Vane says:

    Harry Potter?!?!? And you didn’t go to B&N?!?! I forgive you for that because you went to Universal Studios, lol. Great post! I’m glad you had fun. 🙂
    Vane recently posted…DNF short review: Days of Blood & StarlightMy Profile

  8. Hilary says:

    I feel bad for bursting into laughter after reading about you spazzing about the yellow school buses. Now, I’m curious: WHAT COLOUR ARE SCHOOL BUSES IN AUSTRALIA?
    Gaaaaaah, I want to go to Google now but I’m not a smart-ass so there are my freebie food dreams crushed.
    Ha, I don’t drink coffee so I can’t comment about how disgusting it is.
    AND WHAT? HARRY POTTER LAND? MUST YOU MAKE ME CRY AND FREAK OUT ABOUT HOW YOU WENT TO HP LAND? You lucky, lucky girl. Stow me in your suitcase next time you go to Florida.
    Ugh, I didn’t go to any book stores when I was in America so I can relate.
    It looks like you had a blast in the US! But now, I want to go to Australia to see what colour cheese you have.
    Hilary recently posted…Why Can’t We All Be Friends?My Profile

  9. Amazing recap Mel! I’ve got to say, that orange cheese did always look a little iffy, so I guess it’s true that ours really is better. It’s great that you got to see a lot of the tourist-y sights and try Butterbeer! (#lifegoals). Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book recently posted…Discussion: 5 Ways to Make Bookish ConversationMy Profile

  10. EXCELLENT RECAP MEL. Omggggg so many cool things! I would LOVE to go to Google and Universal Studios. Oh, and my friend went to America over Christmas and was also outraged about the tax thing haha – how silly 😛
    Emily @ Loony Literate recently posted…Ten Bookish Superpowers Every Reader Needs // Also Harry Potter GifsMy Profile

  11. I’m so glad you enjoyed America. I hope you can come back again and meet with other bloggers – that would be awesome. I’m so jealous of all the places you went too – I have not been to any of those places except Disney World as a child. I NEED to go to Harry Potter world. And yea, our public transit isn’t the best. I wish we had it better (well bigger cities like NYC have trains/buses, etc.) because I don’t currently drive.

    And yeah, our cheese is orange. What color is yours?! LOL I love learning things about other countries!

    -Lauren
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    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, I was pretty surprised to see the lack of public transport! It is literally the only thing I use to get to school each day.

      OUR CHEESE IS YELLOW. ZE NORMAL COLOUR, NO?

  12. Mel, what you need to do is come to Puerto Rico, a little island in the Caribbean that is US territory. The coffee is MUCH better here and the food is definitely better (come in Christmas and you will want to take all of the food with you and you will know what “parrandas” are [which is basically going out with a bunch of friends at 2am and going to people’s house to sing christmas songs, not carols, songs that are made for dancing and just have fun. oh and they give you hot chocolate!] and yeah). Just freaking come to PR and you won’t want to leave… 😀 But seriously though, that trip looks amazing. I have never visited those specific places that went to and it would be cool to go. I’m glad you had fun and had your kindle with you 🙂
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews recently posted…Latte Nights Obsessions #4My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Oh I would love to visit Puerto Rico! I had to do a presentation about PR when I was learning Spanish in Year 7, haha.

      Thanks, Gen! I didn’t actually read much on the trip SHHHHHH

  13. Annie says:

    OH THIS IS SO COOL MEL. I haven’t been to a lot of these places in the States and want to go too! Also yay for your first drink at Starbucks, you made a good choice 🙂 Also even though I don’t live in the States, I could relate with some of these! Like tax not being included. SUCH A PAIN. I have to precalculate everything to make sure I don’t go to pay and look like an idiot when I don’t have enough money. And haha I love American Apparel too. They have these super cute high waisted bikini bottoms that I absolutely ADORE.

    Anyway this was a super fun post to read Mel! And now that you’ve been to the States, COME TO CANADA!! It’s even better 😉

    PS. you should’ve gotten Chipotle. It’s soooo good.
    Annie recently posted…Latest Obsessions: June 2015My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Hahah it wasn’t my first starbucks drink, but my first one in America! RIGHT? I hate the idea of not including tax… so ridic.

      Thanks, Annie! AND OMG I TOTALLY FORGOT TO MENTION IN MY POST: WE DID GO TO CHIPOTLE AND I GOT A BOWL AND OH MY IT WAS BEAUUUUTIFUL.

  14. Wow! A 20 day school trip! That sounds like so much fun. The longest school trip I’ve ever been on was five days long and it was for the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis. Sadly, we didn’t get to do much sight seeing because we were basically running around at the the competitions most of the time, but I still had a ton of fun.

    I am majorly jealous that you got to visit Google headquarters, haha! I really want to work there, and I think it would fit me perfectly because I want to work in computer science when I grow up. I love the campus so much, and it really seems like an environment that cultivates creativity like no other work environment. Gah! I need to work there someday!

    Ooh, I love Universal, but I love Disney World even more. Actually, Florida is really awesome in general.

    You haven’t heard of yellow school buses? Or American cheese (to be fair, I’m not a fan of quesadillas, either)? Or traffic lights that don’t make noise? *is baffled* Then again, I’ve never heard of traffic lights that do make noise. AND WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR SCHOOL BUSES?
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    • Also, was this a summer trip? Because when I went to St. Louis for five days, it was during the school year and I came back with a ton of makeup homework and tests/quizzes over my head. I can’t even imagine trying to make up 20 days’ worth of homework and tests/quizzes.

      • Melanie says:

        Yeah it was more of a school trip that you could choose to go to if you wanted to and it was open up to all the year levels. Ooh yes work at Google! I seriously fell in love at that place. ^.^

        Right? I really liked Florida. The weather is PERFECT.

        I had heard of yellow school buses but I’ve never seen one in person and pretty much all of us were taking photos of it haha. Our school buses look like this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/SmartBus_(Transdev)_number_682_(7972AO)_MAN_on_route_907_in_Lonsdale_St,_2013.JPG Yeah, I never knew there was American cheese – looked like fake cheese tbh hahaha! Yeah… I’m quite sure most places the traffic lights are meant to make a sound to signal you can walk so if you’re looking down, you’ll still know that you can cross.

        And it was a trip that went during the Autumn holidays! I did have bit of homework but a lot of my teachers went on the trip as well so they were understanding.

  15. I LOVED YOUR RECAP!!! My sister married an American and lived in America for ages and she swears the cheese is an abomination. So I believe you guys. I think it’s cheese??? It’s like fake cheese??? WHATEVEr. XD I want to go to America but at the same time they’re all so weird….with the tax and tips thingies. And the food. Australia ftw I say <3

    I WANT A NAP POD.

    This was freakishly amazing to read! SO GLAD YOU POSTED IT ADN ALL THE AWESOME PICS. I shall forgive you for not going to a bookshop to see your true people. *nods*
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…#FindMeTag // wherein I take copious photos of booksMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks, Cait! Ooh I thought Mime was your only sister! Yes, LISTEN TO YOUR SISTER, CAIT. CAN YOU FEEL HER PAIN? The cheese is ghastly. AUSTRALIA > EVERYWHERE ELSE 😉

  16. AHHH! To think you were so close to me and we didn’t get to meet up. 🙁 Stupid school policies! *scowls* (I live close to San Francisco). Maybe next time? *crosses fingers*

    And I am so jealous that your school was able to take an OVERSEAS trip. Like WHAT?!? My school can barely travel to a national park four hours away. *scowls more*

    And what?! You guys include tax in the price when you’re shopping? That’s so much easier than including it after the tax – come on America – get with it!

    And your cheese isn’t orange? *raises eyebrow suspiciously* Wonderful recap Mel – it sounds like you had an absolutely amazing trip! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…The Secrets We KeepMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Oh that’s such a shame :((( Definitely next time! THIS WILL NOT BE THE LAST TIME I VISIT THE US, I’LL MAKE SURE OF IT.

      Hahah, we have annual camps to nearby places in the state but we also have these kinds of voluntary trips that change each year. Like for instance, next year, the trip is to New Zealand and last year it was all over Europe.

      Yeah, our cheese is yellow! THE NORMAL COLOUR. *is biased* Thank you, Zoe <33

  17. Oh my god it is so adorable to see you experience all these American things! I totally would do the same in Australia. Our coffee isn’t that bad, you just have to know where to go. There’s this place in San Fran, called Blue Bottle, that has the best coffee on the entire earth. It looks like you had a lot of fun! Aside from the boot camp thing lol.
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    • Melanie says:

      Hehe 😉 Yeah, so I’ve heard! Alas, I went to all the wrong places 🙁 Haha yeah that boot camp was some seriously scary stuff but it’s fun to look back on.

  18. WHAT WHAT WHAT YOU DIDN’T GO TO BARNES AND NOBLE!?!?!!? SERIOUSLY THAT WOULD BE THE FIRST THING I’D DO. Haha sounds like you had a wonderful time! Loved the recap and pictures <3
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  19. What an epic school trip by the way! I’m a little jealous you went to HARRY POTTER WORLD. That’s like a dream come true 😀 I would probably spend all my money there too, haha.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 230. Danielle L. Jensen – Hidden Huntress.My Profile

  20. Well, consider me officially jealous! Although this was a WONDERFUL holiday recap and I’m so glad you had such a great time. I’m especially jealous of you going to the Harry Potter theme park (as well as finding their hand prints in Hollywood! And Robin Williams! <3).

    And Google! The first thing I thought when I saw the photo of the colourful bikes was "THE INTERNSHIP" and it looks just like it! I love those Nap Pods and I want one of those. Like you said, Google is the place to be. It looks amazing.

    Love the photo of you in the ball pit 😀
    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted…The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter by Kate WinterMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks, Igne <33 Right? I was dancing around there handprints for quite a while xD

      YEP THE INTERNSHIP WAS FILMED AT GOOGLE AND I THINK THEY PORTRAYED IT PRETTY WELL HAHA. FREE FOOOOOOD!!!!

      Haha thanks 🙂

  21. Emily says:

    OMG MEL. You look like you had such an epic time O_O YOU FINALLY GOT TO GO TO AMERICA WOW GIRL. This is so epic 😀 AND Y U NO GO TO BARNES & NOBLE??!!! Hahaha just kidding 😛 You look so adorable and pretty in all of the photos 😀 And those handprints by Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe? KILL. The food looks so gooddd… And can we talk about going to Google? GOALS. It looks amazing. I’m so glad you loved America girlie! Hopefully we can meet there one day 😛 (*whispers* BEA)
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    • Melanie says:

      Aw girl you make me blush! <33 YEP GOOGLE IS SERIOUSLY LIFE GOALS. HAPPIEST PLACE TO WORK.

      Oh yaaaaas we must meet up and BEA would be such a great way!

  22. Oh my God. I cannot BELIEVE YOU DIDN’T VISIT A BOOKSTORE. LIKE THAT’s MY NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IF I EVER SET FOOT IN USA OMG MEL WHAT EVEN. But I’m so jelous! School, trip, what fun, Orlando, and Hollywood? WHY DIDNT YOU TAKE ME WITH YOU 🙁
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  23. Laura W says:

    Harry Potter World!!!!! Mehhhhh!! I live only like 23 hours away from it and I still haven’t gone yet!

    Haha you probably had the gross Kraft Cheese that some stores use. Or it’s the cheddar where it’s dyed orange so you can tell it apart from other cheeses.

    I can’t believe Google had those actual chairs from The Internship! I totally want to work there now!

    It does suck to have virtually no public transportation. In big cities in New England they have subways like NY and Washington DC but otherwise even buses are spotty. And trains. And basically everything else. Because everyone has to be so INDEPENDENT and drive their own car or ride their bike or just walk. 😛

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks
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    • Melanie says:

      Only 23 hours? Haha whaaaat?

      Nah I’m quite sure it’s called ‘American cheese’ 😉 Right? NAP PODS ARE SERIOUSLY THE BEST. I want one.

  24. WOW. WHAT A RECAP, WHAT A TRIP>

    haha, I love your take on America! Yes, our “American Cheese” IS suspicious and gross. It is very artificial and chemicalized which is yucky. But, I love cheese. hehe.

    That’s so good you got to go to so many places while you were here! I am bummed I didn’t get to see you but NEXT TIME! 🙂 You had a super busy trip and although going to Alabama for that camp thing sounded weird at first (gotta be honest)..it sounds like it was a very educational and unique thing to do! I haven’t even been to Alabama. BUT I HAVE BEEN EVERYWHERE ELSE. ahahaha. Except not yet to Hogwarts 🙁 I need to go to Harry Potter world. Did u feel like one day there was enough?

    Oh and isn’t San Fran beautiful?? I love it there. I wanted to move there for the longest time but it is SO expensive. So, I just go when I can and stay with friends haha hey, whatever works right. I don’t think our coffee is the greatest (you don’t have starbucks in Australia??!) Or is it different like in France they have different stuff?) WHY DIDN”T YOU GO TO IN N OUT. omg, why why why haha. That is a travesty.

    I am so glad you got to come see our beautiful country. Not sure if I can agree that AUS is better, not until I go to visit anyway. Which I plan to do someday! <3
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    • Melanie says:

      Heh thanks, Dee <33

      Yes, I love my cheese too! But clearly not American cheese. Just thinking about it makes me cringe haha. Yes I would've LOVED to meet you! We must meet some other time!! Yeah I was pretty confused about the boot camp as well! I was just expecting us to do some science-y stuff and it'd be all boring and everything but NOPE. They had us wearing khakis and made us crawl in the mud and do freaking SEAL OPS. It was defs fun in the end and I definitely learned a lot!

      Honestly, I wanted another day at Universal! We still had a fair bit to explore 🙁

      Oh we do have starbucks in the AUS! Just simply the first time I had Starbucks in America ahahaha 😛 OMG WHOOPS I just realised I forgot to include a whole slab of food photos which did include me eating In n Out and Chipotle. IN N OUT IS SO CHEAP WTF? AND THEY HAVE LIKE 4 THINGS ON THEIR MENU WHAT EVEN.

      Pffft, once you come to Australia you'll definitely change your mind 😉

  25. Your school is crazy amazing for taking you to all these places. I’ve heard that our coffee is terrible before. Don’t like coffee anyways… I couldn’t believe everybody else already added their tax to their products. I wish America did the same. I find it ridiculously annoying that we don’t. So sad about Barnes and Noble! I really would have liked to know how bookstores compare here. I know it depends on the store, but it would have been pretty cool. Next time (:
    I would have had the same reaction with Dylan O’Brien being at google. I did not know it was filmed there! Google is so chill. Genius’ how to live their lives. You should have gone on single rider with some of the rides on HP. It’s so worth it.
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    • Melanie says:

      Right? I am so glad my school offered this to us! I would have loved to go to B and N – the bookstores here are rather small and their YA section isn’t big enough!

      RIGHT? The girl who was giving us the tour said that when they were filming The Internship, they were trying to get some real employees to be in the movie and she was asked but refused because she didn’t want to haha. SO COOL.

      And yeah we did go on single rider for many rides! There was this one HP ride that we wanted to go on but we running out of time and the single rider line was apparently going to take just as long as the normal line ugh.

  26. Kelly says:

    Wow, I still can’t believe they take you to the US for school nowadays. In my time, we were stoked to get out of the classroom and go to Scienceworks for the day. And I think that was the ONLY place we went in two years, they didn’t even offer a school camp the bastards. My husband is sitting here reading about your time at the space center. I knew he’s pick up on that. He’s a space nut and even the thought of being able to go there has him drooling on my shoulder. As much as I love Harry Potter (who doesn’t), I’m actually really excited that you visited Google. Besides Disneyland, they say it’s the happiest place on earth. But what’s with orange cheese? That’s not REAL cheese is it? Is it like a cheddar, the kind they have at Subway? I think we’ve been spoilt living in Melbourne with coffee (I don’t drink it myself) but if US sitcoms have taught me anything, their coffee comes from instant coffee pots where it looks like sludge.

    Awesome recap Mel, loved seeing all the images and it really sounds like the trip of a lifetime! <3 <3
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    • Melanie says:

      Haha yes I remember Scienceworks! I swear, I had like 3 excursions going there in primary school xD

      Yeah, I’m quite sure American cheese isn’t real. IT LOOKS AND TASTES SO ARTIFICIAL. Yes, us Melbournians are certainly spoilt.

      Thank you, Kels <333

  27. This looked like such an amazing trip. Your photo’s are so good, thanks for sharing them with us. I’m so glad you got to go to America, I wish my high school had planned a trip like this. I would love to go to America sometime. I’m glad you had such a great time, shame you couldn’t go to a book store, hopefully you’ll get another chance in the future.
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  28. Looks like you had an awesome trip!
    You know, I didn’t realize that “yellow school buses” aren’t universal. Which is stupid – just because we have them doesn’t mean everyone else does. I just never really thought of it haha.
    I loooove California. It’s such an awesome state. I visited Alcatraz years ago and CHILLS, MAN.
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    • Melanie says:

      Haha yeah so true! It’s like how a lot of Americans think that everyone uses Fahrenheit and stuff when it’s just you guys LOL. Can’t blame you though, I don’t much about other countries too lel. Yes, Alcatraz made me have goosebumps, but so awesome to visit!

  29. Lyn Kaye says:

    Yes, do not live in America. We let people die of illnesses because capitalism sucks. I hate living in America. I think it sucks.

    Some of us here in Texas still have accents, and if you went more into the deeper parts of Alabama, you would have certainly heard a LOT more of an accent.

    I love orange cheese! Except, don’t eat American cheese. That crap is rubbish. Get Sharp Longhorn cheddar. THAT is what I am talking about!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…The Astrologer’s DaughterMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Awh haha you should come to Australia then 😉 Ooh I really wanted to go to Texas! Yeah, we didn’t exactly visit much in Alabama, such a shame 🙁 I shall definitely look for better cheese next time I go to America!

  30. OH MY GOD YOU WENT TO ALL THE PLACES AND I’M ACTUALLY CLOSER THAN YOU. I’M SO JEALOUS. DAMMIT. NEXT TIME, COME TO CANADA AND WE WILL SHOWER YOU WITH POUTINE. OH POUTINE HOW I LOVE YOU.

    MEL I AM SO JEALOUS I CAN’T EVEN

  31. Ksenia says:

    Wonderful recap, Melanie! I haven’t been in the US, so it was interesting to visit vicariously. Looks like you had a great time.
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  32. Romi says:

    This was brilliant, Mel, and even if I can’t believe you didn’t get to a bookstore (next time that’s all you’ll be allowed to do!), it looks like you had a splendid time. The camp you went to sounds a little terrifying- the strictness would have gotten to me, no matter how fun, I imagine. Though who knows- maybe I’d have loved it, too!
    Google looks amazing! And sounds amazing! Aah. They sound like they sure treat their staff well. Go google!

    So glad you got to do so many brilliant things- the HP tour (and butterbeer!) seems like it would have been so much fun. xx
    Romi recently posted…Mini Reviews (10)My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah I should probably just make a trip up to the US all dedicated to shopping at bookstores, lol! Google has gotta be the happiest place on earth, man.

  33. Cynthia says:

    Wow, sounds like you had an AMAZING trip!! America is a pretty cool place if I do say so myself. I have been to San Francisco and L.A. and I loved it. I grew up in the South (Georgia) and yes, sweet tea is amazing, And maybe you didn’t talk to enough Southerners because so many of them have Southern drawls. Then again, my husband is from Alabama and his accent only comes out when he talks to someone from his home town on the phone or something. Weird, right? Also, with the cheese, if you are talking about American cheese I am pretty sure it’s not real cheese. It’s super heavily processed. And cheers for the Kindle! I love mine!! I can take hundreds of books on a long trip and don’t have to worry about needing all that room in my suitcase. 🙂
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  34. Wow Mel it sounds like you had a really incredible trip! Definitely visited a lot of the highlights in each of the places you went to, plus that NASA building and Harry Potter world and Universal Studios would have been awesome! Mannn I didn’t get to go to a Barnes & Noble (or any bookstore) in America either! It’s like you’re like “I’ll go next time” but then you realise that you won’t be near one ever again! Sounds like you had a lovely time, thanks for sharing!
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  36. Whoa, it sounds like you had SUCH a great time!! haha no worries, I didn’t recap my trip to China yet, lol xD Wow, you visited Google?! HOW COOL. Haha I’m glad you got to experience Panda Express. It is pretty good. YAY you went to Potter World!! Isn’t it awesome?! So glad you had fun <3

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