California here I come...

Trip Start Feb 24, 2003
Trip End Aug 23, 2003

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, August 23, 2003

The cab to JFK was one of the least relished parts of my trip... I sooo wanted to stay! When I got out of the cab I thought I heard someone calling my name, but i figured "nah". Then I heard it again. This time I turned around and there was sexy bronzed Trent who I last saw at Christmas just before he jetted off to break the hearts of all those European girls (just teasing Trent...). We had a couple of drinks over a quick catch up then it was time to go - me to LA, he to Miami. The flight over was uneventful (except for flying over the Grand Canyon which was spectcular) as was the shuttle to my hotel in Hollywood, but when it came to paying I couldn't find my wallet. The guy eventually settled for a 20 pound note when I convinced him it was worth more than 20 bucks. A call to Saint Wesley and some transferred money saved the day. It was only later that Kristina told me she'd hidden some money in my bag in payment for sharing my room in New York - I guess she's got a sixth sense for knowing when I get in trouble... all too often!

I spent the first day walking along Hollywood Boulevard (a 2 second walk from the hotel) and taking a tour of the movie stars homes trying to catch a glimpse of someone famous, but it was not to be. I stood outside Brad Pitt's and Angelina Jolie's places alot longer than the rest, on the off chance they'd appear and realise their lives weren't complete without me, but eventually got scared away by the security patrols. Also saw Arnie "the Governator" Schwarznegger's place but I think he was out back bench pressing ballot boxes.

I ended up at Johnny Depp's Viper Room that night and finally, finally not only saw someone famous but managed to shake his hand AND meet his mum. It was my very favourite Keanu Reeves, but unfortunately "Trinity" was nowhere to be found... When I first walked into the bar I overheard a couple of Australian guys talking and being on my own asked if I could join them. They were great to hang out with and when I had a few too many tequilas (yes, it's true, even I have my limits!) they were the perfect gentlemen and put me into a cab - who said chivalry was dead?

My self guided walking tour of downtown LA the next day was a bit of an eye opener. Having seen how the rich live in Bel Air the day before it was sad to see so many down and out just a half hour drive away. I somehow managed to get lost in a "bad" part of town but sweet talked my way out of trouble my offering cigarettes to the three guys who had surrounded me. Safely back in Hollywood I made my way to Dodgers Stadium to watch my first ever baseball game. I enjoyed the atmosphere but I can't say I thought too much of the game - it's even slower than cricket! About the most exciting part of the evening was catching sight of two Hooters girls who had the BIGGEST breasts I have ever seen. I kept hoping they'd get top heavy and topple over.

My last day was spent walking the Santa Monica pier and cruising along the Venice Beach boardwalk. I was disappointed to find only a couple of scrawny wimps at Muscle Beach though. Later I went to the Getty Museum which rates up there with my favourite galleries - the Uffizi in Florence and the Prado in Madrid.

Some last minute shopping saw me through the last couple of hours, and helped to keep me from getting too emotional... I was so excited yet nervous too about going home. This trip was to help me gain some perspective on areas of my life that I'd lost sight of, and I think it's been found. I guess only time will tell.

So here I am, back in Sydney - my beautiful children Cooper and Montana in my arms again and of course my best friends by my side.

As Dorothy would say... there's no place like home.
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