Trip Start Nov 11, 2008
Trip End Jan 06, 2009

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Where I stayed
Santos house

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, January 2, 2009

Day 52

Thursday 1st January

Happy New Year everyone. In the week since I last wrote I've been pretty busy. Last Saturday, Paul and I drove to Balboa Island for the evening to walk around. Balboa is a small island which is part of Newport Beach and has lots of pretty house, boats and restaurants. It was dark by the time we got there and the locals still had their Christmas lights up so we walked the whole perimeter of the island (which only took about half an hour) to look at the decorations on the house, boats and piers. Some were a bit tacky and over the top, but there were lots of very pretty, award-winning decorations. My favourite featured a house with tall palm tresses which were dotted with rainbow-coloured lights. My friends back home informed me that Ashford and the surrounding area were pretty poor with their festive lights this year, due to the credit crunch I'd imagine, but as Balboa is the 4th most expensive area to live in the whole of the US I'm sure they can afford the electricity bills.

Last Sunday, Paul and I went to Laguna Beach in the afternoon. It was a warm sunny day and I took some nice photos. I'd been to the beach back in November and it was nice to go back again and just walk around and enjoy the weather and surroundings. Being a warm sunday at Christmas it was pretty busy (...and hard to park) but we had a nice afternoon there.

This week I have been eating out a lot, going to coffee and doing shopping. Chris and Amanda took me to a local Indian restaurant, it felt like I was back in England! The food was very nice but it wasn't quite Tamanna's. One evening we went to Starbucks in Newport Beach and played board games, and we also visted Chris's house for dinner.

Yesterday was New Years Eve, the final day of the year. To see it out in style, I went into Hollywood for the day, but I'll write about that in my next entry as I have lots of photos to post with that so I'll keep it seperate. Later that evening, a group of us went to Chris's house in Newport Beach to see in the new year. His house is really nice and as it's up in the hills there is an amazing view of the coastline. We had some wine and played some board games while listening to music, then watched the ball drop over Times Square at midnight (even though New York celebrated it 3 hours before us being on the opposite coast) It was strange to celebrate the new year late, behind the UK who were waking up at 8am with their hangovers right when we were counting down to midnight. We stayed over until around 1.30am and I spent most of today lazing around doing very little, although me, Paul and Amanda went out to dinner this evening. Tomorrow me and Amanda might go out somewhere as it's her day off, then on Sunday we are going into LA again for the LA Lakers basketball game.... then I suppose Monday will be my day to pack everything, hoping it all fits in my suitcase...
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