Surfing USA

Trip Start Apr 16, 2010
Trip End Jul 24, 2010

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Where I stayed
The Larkins!

Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

So here we are, in the Golden State. It took a 1 1/2 hour domestic flight from Christchurch to Auckland, before hopping on a 12 hour marathon to Los Angeles. Thankfully Air New Zealand once again provided great service and we certainly enjoyed watching Glee for hours on end...


We arrived in LAX on time, and it seemed that we were through customs and had our bags in no time at all. We then realised that we were a man down - Dan was having a lengthy discussion with a Customs Official. We suspect that it was no coincidence that the member with the biggest beard was held up for so long. 45 mins later, we were out in the open.

We were picked up by Caitlin, excited about our week staying with the Larkins family, and left feeling pretty cool riding towards Newport Beach in a gleaming Cadillac. On arrival we were welcomed with open arms and met the whole gang (Chris, Brad, Caitlin, Jake, Molly, Lily and Jack the dog) - a brilliant dinner of Chicken Enchiladas really hit the spot. Given the time difference, our Wednsday 7th July lasted around 43 hours - one long wednesday.


Today was Jake's birthday, and we spent most of the day recovering from jet lag and preparing for a party in the evening. It was a great evening, and we enjoyed meeting a host of Jake's friends along with many others!


Depsite the overcast sky we headed to the beach, eager to attempt surfing. 'Attempt' being the operative word - Jake gave us a quick lesson and we spent a good while trying to stand up on the board with little success. We hope to get better. We did come away with one thing from the beach though - sunburn. Stef has some corking red lines where he missed with the suncream.

That evening we went to a fashion show involving Jake's girlfriend. We rocked up sporting some smart-casual clothes and entered the building, surprised to see that it was some kind of graduation ceremony for the Paul Mitchell Academy (some hair and make up company..). We sat through the ceremony cheering for a lot of people who we didn't know win awards until the very end where we finally got to see Jake's girlfriend do her catwalk.

Shortly after we made a quick exit and stopped at Yogurtland where we ate some awesome frozen yoghurt before heading to Casey's house, one of Jake's friends. This guy had one incredible house, and we spent the evening relaxing on his rooftop terrace overlooking the beach. We rounded off the night with our first 'In n Out' burger. Probably the best fast food burger you'll ever have.


Today was another chilled day, and we decided to hit the shops here. With Molly's guidance, we ended up buying yet more clothes and then had a quick pizza down by the beach. Late in the afternoon we enjoyed a church service at a lively American church before heading out in the evening to the cinema with the Larkin gang with Tim, Dan, and Ollie seeing Toy Story 3 and Stef watching Eclipse.


The main news of today is that Dan has shaved his beard. Can you believe it?!

Other than that, today has been relaxed as ever and finally the sun has come out in full force! We spent hours in the neighbour's pool (who happens to be a Brit) and ate far too much homemade pizza in the evening. We have been treated so well!

We're having a great time here, feeling really chilled out and glad not to have to be on a coach everyday moving from place to place. Tomorrow it's Stef's birthday and we plan to get up early for some surfing, hopefully with more success this time. We have also confirmed plans to go to San Francisco later this week with Jon Kiani so are really excited for that.

Apologies for the lack of photos, Ollie's camera doesn't seem to want to upload at the moment...

Lots of love from Southern California!


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nick, ewa and christian on

Happy 19th birthday Stef , enjoy the day , see you soon

dad, mum and christian xxxx

si,mon and julia on

Happy birthday Stef. Interesting artwork on your back. Have a great time surfing and we'll expect some good action shots of you all tubing or hanging off the lip or whatever...or just falling off! Hang loose, guys...

Can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks

Love from us in la belle france

Si and julia

Auntie Ruth on

Just caught up - pictures from New Zealand are wonderful - can't wait to hear about all the experiences in person. USA will be great too. Make the most of every minute. Lots of love x

Sue et al on

Happy Birthday Steph! Ouch that back looks sore. You look a bit like a piebald man!
So, my son looks the most like a terrorist eh? Now after a shave he looks like a facebald man!!
I know you guys aren't looking forward to coming home but we can't wait to see you, hear the tales in full and pore over the pics. Will certainly miss these blogs though - never has food been so interesting! From curry to chicken feet to World class burgers!
Enjoy the sun and surf.
Loads of love,
Sue and JV, Matt and Nick xxxx

Ursula on

Great to chat on skype just now Ollie. Happy Birthday Stef - enjoy the surfing and slap on the sunblock! Thanks, Larkins, for all your hospitality!
Have a safe journey to San Fran on Wednesday.
Lots of love to you all

Pat and Eric on

IF you care to come home at some stage WE would love to see you!!
Meanwhile make the most of your FABULOUS journey!!
Tons of love
Poppa and Nony

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