LA Story

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Jan 04, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hollywood Historic Hotel

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, December 12, 2011

Finally. It's taken 28 years and I am now the last of my immediate family to do it, but I have stepped on US soil (Kates done it before - hmpf) – and I am the first to have done it from the pacific side I would have thought.
Long flight, lots of turbulence, TV screen horribly blurred, a nice strong whisky and we land in the drisley city of angels. I didn’t enjoy the flight, no surprise there. After checking out of the Novotel we had to queue for check in for about 2 hours (The Fijians have no concept of time whatsoever) and then I got 4 S’s stamped on my ticket which meant I had been randomly selected for special extra terrorist screening. I was one of only 7 people on a 747 flight of approximately 400 people to be checked.

I can’t help but see a fault here – the 7 people randomly selected on a flight full of dodgy looking suspects included myself, a 97 year old lady who could barely stand, a 13 year old girl and her mother who didn’t know what day it was, an Australian female traveler who looked about as threatening as me and I look as threatening as a rice pudding (although I do find rice pudding quite threatening ironically - I hate it) and an American Businessman. Can’t help but think these checks should be less random. I was swabbed and fingertips checked for obvious signs of contaminants (I’d assume things used in bomb making) while being watched over by 4 members of the security staff in a room smaller than our airing cupboard. I wasn’t too happy, especially after being a day late for the flight and having to queue for 2 hours.

We took the shuttle to the Hotel, Hollywood Historic Hotel on Melrose, and checked into a nice room looking north to the Hollywood sign. I popped out to get some cash and then nervously walked back to the hotel as quickly as possible avoiding getting mugged via a mini mart to get Kate her much hyped Reeces pieces.  Someone at the ATM was discussing a recent shooting in town which fills me with confidence for the next few weeks in the States. I am warning in advance, there will probably be quite a lot of me whining about how stupid the gun laws in USA are over the next couple of weeks – US patriotism is something which I am jealous of as a Brit as we seem to have lost ours (patriotism, not US patriotism); however, it is one of the reasons so often quoted when the gun laws are called into questions, 5th amendment and all that garbage.

We watched pretty much all the channels available on cable and took advantage of the free wifi. The guy behind the desk asked if I wanted to use the wifi when we checked in, I responded "How much is it?", He replied “It’s free” while looking at me as if I had 4 heads. Considering we have had to pay a fortune at times for Wi-fi it is great to get it for free.
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