Elvis ate America

Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
Trip End Aug 27, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, February 12, 2010

We left Lima on a bright sunny morning to embark on a somewhat grueling travel day. Our final, yet mandatory, crazy Peruvian taxi ride delivered us safely to the airport without undue incident this time. Our first flight was four hours to San Salvador (El Salvador) where we had a six hour (ugh) layover. The airport at San Salvador is very nice & clean, although unusually long and thin with apparently several different microclimates inside. Thankfully the flight to L.A. left and arrived on time, although was filled with an unusual number of weirdos (well, I guess it was a flight to L.A.).

This week was not spent in a hostel, but using Derek's Hilton Honours points we stayed at the Hilton Suites in Anaheim (Orange). Theoretically, that means "free", however we soon discovered that internet would be $10/day, parking $11/day, breakfast $15/day (each)… that is until Derek had a quiet word with the hotel manager (how does he always get away with that?). Sunday and Monday were spent readjusting to North American ways….what bliss to have the little luxuries such as the complimentary toiletries, a hairdryer, coffee maker, etc. We spent time exploring the area, by car of course…. After enjoying the hotel pool and gym for an hour or two on Monday, Derek & Alex went to the local IMAX theatre to watch Avatar in 3D, and were duly impressed. Given the statement the movie makes about the presence the US has in the World, it was probably a good thing we were watching it in laid-back California. Sarah and Lauren meanwhile had a girly night in enjoying the bar and taking advantage of some extra internet time. On Tuesday a storm came in, so we created a self-drive day of Hollywood & Beverly Hills including the Hollywood walk of fame (the sidewalk stars), a trip to Venice beach, the Hollywood sign… however, to Sarah’s dismay, we didn’t come across Simon Cowell and the American Idol crew filming Hollywood week (thank goodness).

As it happens the Edmonton Oilers were in town this week to play Anaheim & L.A. For Hockey fans, I believe there was a good game in Ottawa? What is happening to the Oilers this year … is the spirit of the Leafs getting transmitted through Pat Quinn? We didn’t avail ourselves of a game.

Wednesday was our “work” day when we had hoped to run all sorts of errands to prepare ourselves for the next real travel stint. Unfortunately these things can take far longer than expected and we spent about two hours trying to mail various packages, including our first batch of nik-naks home to Canada (Note to Blake & Karen: The large box of odds and ends should be with you shortly after you return from the Olympics). How can it take that long to mail a box? Firstly, trying to figure out which box is the right size and just how much it might cost? Secondly, the patience test of lining up with said box, only to find out that we had failed to fill in the 18 reams of paperwork required by customs. And, finally lining up a second time, only to find out that half of aforementioned paperwork wasn’t actually required…grrrrr! We did have success with our laundry and shopping requirements and, as a thank you for enduring the trials of the US Postal Service, took the kids to the Rainforest Café for dinner. If you’ve yet to experience a Rainforest Café, it is a restaurant set in an artificial rainforest, where on a regular basis animals come to life (particularly during the mock thunderstorms). On a shopping note, Derek and Sarah both picked up a pair of what is said to be the latest big trend in footwear….Vibram FiveFingers. These are shoes that look like feet and provide a feeling akin to walking barefoot but with just enough protection from the sharp pointy things that inevitably appear when walking anywhere barefoot!

Other than an Oilers win, there was another noteworthy and overdue event this week – Alex lost a front tooth and is now sporting a beautiful hockey smile. Needless to say, the tooth fairy was able to track us down and do her duty. On our penultimate day here we took the kids to Disneyland, which fortunately was relatively quiet (something to do with the “cold” apparently???). As one would expect we went on lots of rides, met a few Disney icons and left before it got too chilly. Kids had a blast and Alex was even chosen for Jedi training in the StarWars area. He’s now an official Patawan, so you may want to tread carefully next time you see him….

This week has been a temporary welcome return to familiar surroundings, although strangely we’re looking forward to leaving tomorrow (seems like the plane weirdos have relations here). America has been everything you’d expect … sensory overload, food everywhere, oversized roads, oversized people, oversized commercialism, and oversized fun too!

For a change of scene, we’re off to Thailand tomorrow. Not looking forward to a trip that is scheduled to be 21 hours and includes a 15 hour flight from L.A. to Taiwan. Maybe chemical aids will come in useful??? Speak to you on the flip side…
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countrybumpkin on

About time you're going places I can pass comment on. Big up to the A-man for taking on the might of Darth. Looked like a decent match up.
Ahh Bangkok, where my fascination (and eventual other source of income)with transvestites began.
Best food in Asia, best amphetamine laced lager in the world, and some decent sight-seeing as well.
Good Luck and Enjoy!

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