Round the world and back again

Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
Trip End Nov 13, 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Home again.
While the memory is still fresh I'll add some comments about L.A.

Some mention should be paid to the flight from New York first as it was a clear day and gave spectacular views. On take off I had a cyrstal clear view over New York and was stuck by how small Manhatten is, compared to how much quedos it has, and how much world reputation and gland slam effect it gives out. The island is only about 12 miles from top to bottom. This compact nature and density of people squeezed into it gives the energy. The space at such a premium, and almost every square inch seems to be bet aside for something.

If only I'd been wise and bought real estate there 5 years ago, as it would have probably made me close to a million bucks by now. The city has cleaned it's act up and got much safer, which is good in some ways, but has opened the floodgates to everybody and their dog to happily move in. Another inique NY trait is to give their little pouch a knitted jumper. I've not seen that before. They look rather ridiculos. They spend thousands on the little pavement pounders. Only pure breeds will do for the fashiionable urban New Yorker of today.
SO, anyway it's an expensive city to live in now, but it still has some of it's edge of rudeness as they average New Yorker has little time to mess around. I take a while to decide what food to order sometimes, and this didn't go down to well. They want an answer fast, and if it looks like you've wavering, then they'll walk off and serve someone else.

So, about that flight. It starts off green and lush and turns slowly brown until you are flying over northern New Mexico and some of the most arid unlivable country on earth. The the grand canyon comes into view, and even at 36000 feet, it's size is staggering. The earth cracks open and vast craters twist along for miles. One day I hope to see it from ground level. I wouldn't have known to look at that moment, but luckily a well travelled American was seated beside me and have me the heads up.

Los Angeles or La, La Land as it's not that affectionatley known as in New York was in gridlock when we arrived. It was the start of thanksgiving holidays so everybody had the same idea of getting out of work at the same time it seems. We were making little of no progress, and it was tiresome after yet another 6 hours seated on an aircraft.

We were staying on the corner of Melrose place and Fairfax ave. High price boutique stores were the only things to see when me and Clare headed out for a walk to find dinner at 10pm. We settled on a 24 hour diner which I can't remember the name of right now, but I believe it's a famous one. They place was out of the 50's, complete with the hairdo's of some of the waiting staff. Again the service was super duper friendly a fast, the meals massive, and the highlight was the chocolate maltshake with cream for desert.

Our one & only day in L.A. was a pretty good one. We headed out to the Sunset Strip, which was about 20 mins walk, but didn't get there as it was too hot. We stoped and got on a bus at Santa Monica ave headed for the coastline. It seem the smart move, although after we'd been on the same avenue over half an hour it started to worry us as we had to be back at the hostel by 5pm for our shuttle to the airport. Oh yea, the hostel was the best we stayed at on the whole trip. Our last night was finally spent in luxury. It was a huge double with ensuite bathroom and a balcony looking over the palm tree ladden skyline. Plus the decor was a funky blue/green mix with strange matching artwork.

The bus passed the Beverly Hills area and the long lines of top price housing, with joggers using top price jogging shoes, water sippers, and ipod as you'd expect to see.
Santa Monica pier proved to offer a fun few hours to entertainment. I tried a wack the mole comptetition to win Clare a stuffed monkey, but sadly I lost to some big haired family man who needed to win yet another one for his second kid as they first already had one. I guess the litte blighter needed it more than us. We ordered a double priced fishburger as the last meal, and I noticed a display of classic American cars all along the peir so rushed out a savoured looking the great beasts. I'll add some pictures on the next a final blog. They should turn out well I hope. I looked out from the other side of the Pacific Ocean looking out to NZ where I be the next morning. It seemed a fitting final spot.

So here I am, backin godzone, and happy to breathe the fresh air again. If travel broadens the mind I hope mine is sufficiently broadened and I'm wiser and more worldly.
Roll on the next one. I don't know how long I can abide this work business. I've beem back at my desk two days now and I'm ready!
Arr well, I guess I better unpack the pack and do some washing first.
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