Drive Around The World (Australia)

One family, one car, one year, one planet

Archive for August, 2008

Seattle WA, USA to Calgary AB, Canada, Day 129-137, 8 August-16 August 2008

Seattle WA, USA to Calgary AB, Canada

Day 129-137, 8 August-16 August 2008


‘Star Spangled Banner’ – Jimi Hendrix

‘Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle’ – Nirvana

‘Lights Out’ (“Are we there yet/Are we there yet?”) – The Posies

‘Go’ – Pearl Jam

‘Wheels’ – Hüsker Dü

‘Louie Louie’ – The Kingsmen

‘Bow River’ – Cold Chisel


DB: From Portland, Oregon, we headed to Seattle, Washington, and spent a day exploring. On the way, we stopped at the Tacoma Visitor Information Centre for help with accommodation. We were helped by a great young woman who searched high and low for us, and managed to find us something self contained in a nearby town.   

For us, Seattle is synonymous with rain and mid 1990s rock – the time and place that is often considered the saviour of rock and roll. Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Ben Harper, The Posies, the Screaming Trees, Alice in Chains, the Melvins, the Foo Fighters and of course Nirvana, and previously, Hendrix, Hüsker Dü and the Kingsmen, who made the most covered song of all time, ‘Louie Louie’, famous. Oh, and Queensryche. Ahem. This led us to the most magnificent Experience Music Project museum – a celebration of the electric guitar, Seattle bands and all out RAWK! The exhibition on the life and times, and genius, of Jimi Hendrix was inspiring and affecting. If only he survived. If only he was still creating today. If only…

(Pic: Guitar sculpture at the Experience Music Project, Seattle)

We spent some time at the famous Pike Place Market and caught a glimpse of their famous fish throwing schtick – fishmongers throwing large fish to workers staffing the scales and back again. Nowadays it’s all vaudeville, with fish being unexpectedly thrown to unsuspecting passers-by – only for them to realise that the real fish had been substituted for a toy stuffed variety. Read the rest of this entry »


Vietnam, by Maddy Blay

This is Maddy and I’m sitting in a hotel room in Hanoi, Viet Nam. I’m listening to Clare Bowditch on iTunes and I’ve been sick for about 3 or 4 days in a row. It is a horrible coughy, runny-nose, headachy, sleepy, don’t want to do any thing except watch T.V. or have nana’s roast chicken & Opa’s “lidool” fishies & Nene’s plum cake & Babcia’s kapitkas & spend hours in Kay’s spa & have a dip in the pool with Papa and have everything else anyone is willing to give me. The best I have done to get out of doors is to a restaurant called La and we had one of the best lunches in a long time. Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles, California to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Day 93-120, 2-19 July 2008

Los Angeles, California to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

2-20 July, 2008


‘Before Hollywood’ – Go-Betweens

‘Burn Hollywood Burn’ – Public Enemy

‘LA Woman’ – The Doors

‘Hollywood Tale’ – Royal Crown Review

‘Jewish Pot Pourri’ – Leo Rosner

‘Star Spangled Banner’ – Francis Scott Key

‘Anthem’ – Tiddas

‘California Uber Alles’ – Dead Kennedys

3 July 2008 (or is it the 2nd? That wacky International Date Line knows how to mess things up…)


We flew over and into Taipei and marvelled at its size; for an Australian any city of a certain size with literally hundreds of skyscrapers is a sight to behold. A city such as Taipei, or even a country like Taiwan, is often a metaphorical dot on our geographical landscape, yet it serves as a reminder that our own population in Keating’s “arse end of the world” is rather insignificant on a global scale.

The flight was tolerable and the children were great. I’m not sure if it’s just a reflection on getting older, but travelling cattle-class is getting harder. Surely there was more leg-room last time? We landed at about 2pm local time, which meant about 4am body-clock time, and, upon arrival, our jovial Captain Speaking alerted us to – wait for it – a bomb threat at the airport some hours earlier. This meant that, after the ‘all clear’ was given, there was a huge backlog of planes that had to take off before we could disembark. So we sat on the tarmac for another hour. We thought about the places we had been so far, and even some of the travel warnings provided by the Australian government, and noted that the only hint of trouble so far has happened in the so-called leader of the free world. Who would hold anything against them? Read the rest of this entry »