Vegas, California, Thailand, Dubai, Surrey

One of my favourite parts of holidays is planning.  I didn't do enough on Tokyo (due to the unplanned nature of the holiday overall), and while I had an amazing time, it took me a little while to find my feet.  This mistake will not be repeated - while Vegas tends to take care of itself, I already have some ideas for California, need to make some for Thailand, but Dubai seems like an adrenaline playground.

Dubai

Skydiving over the palm is an absolute must, and I've just discovered this awesome zip-line.  The metro looks easy enough, and the Nol card looks like a sensible idea - a lesson learned from previous experience is that rail travel is definitely one of the better options outside the UK.  This list looks like some handy tips, but some of them seem a bit "cheap" or "bitter".

I hope to take some pretty decent photos with the new panoramic Ricoh Theta.  Things like this have intrigued me since the mid 90's, and while Google's Street View app is good, being able to take an entire snapshot in one go is a god-send (and stops me looking like an idiot, spinning around in the middle of the street).

7039390-san-francisco

First however, I need to finalise the Vegas and California plans.  Can't wait for my mum to see Vegas, and I want to introduce her to Blue Man Group.  Obviously San Francisco is on the list, and I hope to visit this little Tiki bar that gets great reviews (I adore Tiki bars), see Fisherman's Wharf and so on.  Disneyland will be done (because Alisha says so - LOL), keen to see the new Paint The Night parade - I'm all Disney'd out for now.  Then into Yosemite for a whole bunch of photography, climbing, kayaking and trekking.

I hope to use airbnb as much as possible.  I like the premise and moreover the execution of their app and service - but also I had such a positive experience with the apartment in Tokyo, that I'm keen to use it further.  I need to work on my travel equipment and lighten the load slightly - work out which lenses are a necessity, rationalise the cabling I carry, half my suitcase could be full of gear if I'm not careful.  Thankfully, replacing my cheap, old tripod with a nice carbon-fibre one is a step in the right direction.  Blog posts to follow...

And before ANY of that, I'm finally off to Thorpe Park with Maria.  I last went when I was a kid, and it wasn't the place it is now - underfunded and with about 3 rides, it wasn't an "A-list" theme park at all.  Now, I believe it trumps Alton Towers!

Before all that - there's so much stuff I need to upload from Tokyo, I need to sort the photos first though...  Man, I need a break!