We had booked a hostel on Venice Beach and we went for a little stroll along the beach after having checked in.
This afternoon we just wandered around the neighborhood watching all the strange people on this beach - everything from street performers to people in costumes on roller blades, to tourists and homeless people. The weather was not
quite as warm as we had expected and hoped for. A cold front from Alaska had swept over California, leaving us with temperatures of between 10 and 15 degrees. Not exactly what we'd imagined. Eventually the jet lag caught up with us and we went early to bed.
On our first full day in LA we went to the Universal City area in Hollywood, to visit the Universal Studios theme park.
Here we spent the whole day getting a glimpse behind the scenes of Hollywood film making, visiting movie sets and trying out thrill rides such as "The Mummy" and "Jurassic Park". After six hours of fun we left the park and headed for the Walk of Fame. We found the stars of many well known and equally unknown people on the streets of Hollywood Boulevard.
Anne was happy when she found the foot and hand prints of her favourite pirate Johnny Depp outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
The following day we went to Downtown Los Angeles and embarked on a city walk. The walk took us from Mexico to Japan, and from China to the truly American. The cultural diversities of this city are remarkable.
After a long day of walking downtown we went to the outskirts of Beverly Hills and visited the glamorous Beverly Centre.
We started our last full day in LA walking from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Beach enjoying the sun and a mango smoothie.
After a stop on Santa Monica Pier we headed for Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. This is where the rich and famous do their shopping, with names like Dior, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Tiffany's, Cartier, Gucci etc are all lined up. We on the other hand only went window shopping, and no celebrity was to be seen. After looking at property further up along Rodeo Drive we walked past Beverly Hills Hotel, also know as The Eagle's "Hotel California".
Tomorrow we're off to Las Vegas for some serious gambling. Or maybe not...
On the afternoon of Sunday November 26 we left New Zealand for the very last time...at least for now. The 12 hour flight from Auckland to Los Angeles was overnight, and went by rather painlessly. We crossed the date line and arrived Sunday morning, and had to relive this day once more. Strange feeling indeed.