Survived China, hello USA.

Trip Start Sep 03, 2011
Trip End Jun 04, 2012

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Where I stayed
Eric and Lavinia's
What I did
Ate and Rested

Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It was a long day. Saturday 1st of October 2011, it ended up being ... 24 + 12 = 36 hours long!!!!!

We took our time getting ready to leave the Blue Mountain Hostel and checked out at 12.00pm. Then went to the bookstore for a last minute book buy for the flight to LA. Then unsuccessfully wondered around looking for another pair of knock-off raybans because Campbell's broke. We then left for Pudong International airport at 3.00pm so that we were there in plenty of time for our 9.45pm flight, we were being nice and early (too many dreams about being late for flights and a close call at Xi'an catching the train). Finally got on the plane 20mins late with American Airlines, lots of food, not as roomy as our Qantas flight and food not as good but we survived, just.

It was good to get back into an English speaking country and we got through immigration and customs despite our dodgey looking bearded fellow we are travelling with heheh! We then found our courtesy bus to our car rental place and got up-graded to a nice SUV but the steering wheel was on the left hand side of the car and oh no, we have to drive on the right hand side of the road.
So with our google map instructions that started from the airport not the car rental place (oh and I was driving Andrew volunteered to navigate) I swerved our way onto the 405 avoiding oncoming traffic on the left hand side, thinking we were heading north only to discover that we were heading south through a suburb called Inglewood toward "Compton" (for those of you who know your "Rap" tunes. So we turned around and miraculously made our way to the 405 to head onto the 101 into Ventura. We got to Lavinia and Eric's at around about 10pm where Eric had dinner ready for us and beds for us to collapse into. Thanks Eric, you are a legend!!!

Sunday we had a look around Ventura. It is a 45 min. to an hour drive north of LA. It was an old mission area established about 1720ish and has a Sunshine Coast feel to it but very established and populated. Nicely spread out with the coast on one side and the mountains to the other. It has a population of about 76.000  with a considerable Latino contingent. The eucalypts give you an Australian feel but the palm trees remind you that you are in California.Ventura seems to have a more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere than you would imagine to find in LA, we are enjoying the pace and weather here at the moment. It is gorgeous!

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Shannon on

Hey I'm hearing you about the driving Tina- The first time I drove on the opposite side of the road (in Italy) I took the wing mirror off and nearly got killed by a truck on the highway- It was late too and it took me half an hour to find reverse. Hope you've settled into the driving by now- Love you lots, and Skipper is looking fine:)

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