Since leaving Philadelphia I have been in Buffalo to visit Doug, where I met his friends and family and was taken to this cool place called Jack Astors to eat food and really got a feel for American highways and dependence upon cars to get ANYWHERE! Saw the Niagara Falls (awesome!) and crossed over the Canada for the day where I got a Canadian dollar (also known as a Loonie) and met some fantastic friends, a very pleasant day! Also in Buffalo we tried to go to the world's only Kazoo museum, and we drove all the way there... to find that it's closed on Mondays. Bah!
Took an Amtrak train to Chicago where I had lunch/breakfast in Sears tower, which was the tallest building in the world, and is now merely the tallest skyscraper in the US. I had lunch in the basement, so I can't really judge... back on the Amtrak train at 2pm (after changing time zones, very confusing) and was in Mount Pleasant, Iowa by evening! Met Lena there who drove me to her parents house, picking up one of her friends on the way, and then finally back to hers where I could do some much-needed laundry and shower. It was so lovely meeting her! 24 hours later we were back at the train station again and I was back on the train, this time for three days. Luckily each night-time I had an empty seat next to me so I could lay down as much as possibly (it was squished) and get a decent night's rest. I took out my sleeping bag and they provided pillows, so it wasn't terrible. The landscape of America was so beautiful though! On Thursday I woke up in Denver, Colorado and then we went through the Rockies in a snowstorm. We passed through some gorgeous canyons and then got into the Utah desert and then I woke up in Nevada, which is more of a grey scrubland kind of desert, before getting into California where it started out at snowy mountains and pine trees and ended up being lush green fields full of flowers with palm trees waving in the background. Beautiful! Pictures will come later... had some company on the train in the form of two young brothers who were captivated by my DS, so for most of Friday I was sat on one seat, and the both of them on the other playing DS while I knit or took pictures out of the window. It worked quite well. And I kept them out of their parent's hair for a bit. The whole family is going to New Zealand for two months, very exciting! Amtrak trains have diners (well, they should if a train journey lasts about four days!) and I ate there once, but the food was far too overpriced. Apparently it is included in sleeping car price if you pay for one... hmmm. Mostly I ate my own food and when that ran out, I bought cheeseburgers from Johnny in the snack car. Very nom!
Finally arrived in California an hour early (Amtrak is seriously odd) and met Jessica and her mother and her drove me to their house. It's so very warm here! Feels like an odd mix of Aruba and England. Had Thai dinner with Jessica's friends and then they took me to a bar here which was very fun.
Going to see the giant sequoia's tomorrow! :-D