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In September Tempany and her partner Matthew headed off, for three weeks in the USA and she going to tell you about her trip.

The countdown was going down fast; 48 hours, 24 hours - less than 12 hours to go before the biggest trip of my life. I packed my bags, checked I had my passport and tried to have an early night. The excitement was too unreal once I had closed my eyes, because two seconds later my alarm was going off to say get up your big adventure is about to begin.

By 5:30am we were on the road to Christchurch to catch our 1st flight out of 3 for the day. We checked in and we were off to Auckland. From Auckland we flew to Nadi Fiji for our 5-hour stopover before getting on our final flight to Los Angeles.

After 10 hours of flying, we finally arrived in America.

Our first mission after exiting the airport was to find the correct meeting point for our shuttle. Hint - it wasn’t at the exit.

Mission two: Once we arrived at the hotel we then had to work out how to use the elevator. Then we found out our room key would be used to unlock everything.

Our third and final mission for the day was how to work the shower which we managed to do after an SOS to the hotel staff.

Our first full day in Los Angeles began with meeting all our fellow travellers and getting a rundown on what was coming up on our trip with Contiki.

Los Angeles is Theme Park City! Well I think so anyway with Universal Studios and Disneyland. On the second day of our trip we went to Universal Studios and if you like 3D and 4D movies/rides then this park is perfect for you. If not - then Disneyland is the place to be. We tested out both theme parks. I would also recommend getting a skip the line pass especially in Disneyland and at California Adventure.

After feeling like a child for 3 days in Los Angeles we were off to San Francisco. The day we arrived we were lucky enough to see the whole Golden Gate Bridge as every other day it was foggy.

While we were in San Francisco we ferried across to Alcatraz Island for the morning. We had an audio tour around the prison it was a really good history lesson and worth every cent.

Next stop on our trip was Las Vegas “Sin City”. We knew we had landed in Las Vegas as there were slot machines right outside the arrival/departure gates. It was a completely different climate in Vegas with 35+ degree heat.Las Vegas is just on another planet with casinos and resorts everywhere.

A MUST see while in Las Vegas if you’re not wanting to take an 8 hr return drive to the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon Helicopter trip. It was the best thing I did on my trip. You get to land in the Canyon for approximately 30 minutes and have a picnic lunch. I would recommend taking Sea legs if you get really bad motion sickness.

After exploring Sin City we headed across to the East Coast to the Big Apple (New York City). This was my favourite city of the trip. It is exactly what you see in pictures and movies -from Times Square with all the big advertising screens, to Central Park filled with squirrels. While in New York be prepared to shop until you drop. I sure did and had to buy another suitcase to bring everything home.

After 14 busy days with Contiki, we said our goodbyes and we jetted off to Waikiki in Hawaii for some relaxation. We went out to Kualoa Reserve to roam the valley where Jurassic World along with many other movies were made.

If you’re after snorkelling while in Waikiki I would recommend booking a snorkelling tour where they take you up the Coast of Oahu Island, it’s a great morning out in the sun. The snorkelling was great according to Matthew.

3 weeks had gone by and our adventure was coming to an end it was time to jump on our 1st of 2 flights to head back to New Zealand. Couldn’t wait to get back to New Zealand and eat some real food.

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