How not to fix a plane with a rubber mallet!!

Trip Start Jun 26, 2006
Trip End Feb 28, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, June 29, 2006

Day 1 - The plane is broke!
We have arrived. We are now in sunny Los Angeles, Santa Monica to be precise.
We arrived unscathed, if a little late. Unfortunately we had to change planes after boarding, but it was made all worth while by getting free burger king thanks to BA.
Talked to an American from LA on the plane, from one of the well-to-do districts of LA, who had been working in Spain. Told us where to go and not to go in LA.
On arrival we discovered we had lost the flight and hostel tickets somewhere along the way - oh well! Got through customs and immigration - they let us both in! Are they mad!!!
Took a shared shuttle taxi to the hostel. Got talking to some well off guy in the taxi, who im sure was a movie director - who gave us a guided tour as we drove!
Hostel nice and clean if a little clinical. Not much opportunity to mingle.
Explored Santa Monica. Checked out the beach and found loads of yummy places to eat. Will have to see how many places we can get through!
Had a beer in an English bar!! Very pathetic of us, but we were tired and took the easy option. Turned out to be expensive, but very enjoyable. Did you know an american pint is different to an english pint??
Needed sleep, we had been up about 24hours by this point, so headed off to bed at only 8pm!

DAY 2 - My burpday
Got up early, having masses of sleep. Yeah its Amy's birthday.
Had dollar coffee in hostel, got clean then went on net to check mails and let everyone know we were still alive. Headed off for an early morning stroll along the beach. Beach deserted! Dipped our toes in the ocean, too cold!!!!!!
Walked along the pier and found 'Bubba Gump Snrimp Co' from the movie!! Watched the fisherman on the pier. Mum would love it here, smokers get the best views, from their designated smoking zones! Not many people about, but lots of big cars, no pavements!!
Had yummy ham and egg bagels at Charlies burgers. Seems anything goes for breakfast, people eating chines for breakfast!
Walked several miles to Venice beach along beach. Weather warm but hazy. Venice beach is really cool, dead colourful and unusual. Shops selling everything from crazy t-shirts to bongs and tattoos being done in the open. There were all kinds of people lining the pavement, an out of work porn star, someone willing to work for pot and a very hard working artist asleep!
Buildings were all really funky, colourful and individual, very expensive no doubt.
Walked to Venice canals, past colourful painted buildings. Canals are cool. Villas line the edge of them, with steep bridges criss-crossing them.
Went in Liqour store and bought oreo biscuits - yummy. Started to rain - it never rains in LA??
Headed back and watched muscle men on muscle beach. Were very tired by now, and Amy had blisters from her new sandles! Got back and had coffee only to discover Neils rucksack had developed rips on the way! Brand new rucksack that rips after 2 days!! Oh well lets see how good duct tape really is!
It was then time to go out for my birthday celebrations. We found a cool bar to sample some American beer for the first time. Were recommended two to sample. Very yummy. They actually have real ale, not just lager. Neil knocked his all over the bar and his shorts, but fortunately the lovely bar-tender refilled it for free. Felt just like Homer Simpson!! Went to the coolest place to eat - a Mongolian barbecue! You get to pick your own ingredients, and put them all in a bowl, they then add sauce and noodles, and then you get to watch them cook it on a huge hot plate, where it was moved around with great big sticks!!! It was all loads of fun and tasted fantastic.
We then ended a great day by watching the sunset over the hills and sea.

Day 3 - last day in Santa Monica

Decided to head for Downtown today, despite being told there was nothing to see! It was an hour long bus ride on the freeway, LA is that big! but only cost a couple of dollars.
Got off in the financial district and were instantly wowed by the huge shiny skyscrapers!! They are immense, and all have huge plazas and massive fountains!
Had breakfast, America stylee - fried potato and heaps of scrambled egg...mmmm!
Passed some cool artwork including one mad entirely out of bits of planes.
Crossed the freeway across the most humungous bridge! Then happened upon a farmers market. Absolutely fantastic smells and colours. A million times better than anything in England. Fresh fruit to sample, all sorts of things being barbecued - it certainly made the mouth water!
Wandered round the civic centre. Absolutely immaculate and oh so grand. Browsed round a huge memorial of flags, telling the history of the USA - learned loads!
It was lunchtime by this point and the heat was unbelievable. Perfect blue skies and the sun beating down from directly above - we both began to melt!
Found china town, and a Chinese market which provided some well deserved shade for a while! Were refreshed with the coolest of drinks - honeydew flavoured iced tea with tapioca pearls in it! They were all black and chewy and certainly an experience, Neil named it rice pudding tea! Went into a huge Chinese supermarket were they had everything from dried shark to hundreds of different ginsengs, and empress outfits! Felt very out of place being the only white person in the store! We also passed fish shops where the fish were live in tanks and restaurants where you could buy whole roasted pigs! It was the most authentic Chinatown we have ever seen.
The historic bank district and old town were next. They were not at all as we expected and were very run down and in need of some love and attention. The area was very lively and full of Mexican influences. The jewellery district was next, and very much like the Old town, except every shop was a jewellery shop, stuffed full of gold and silver! Mad men seemed to like this area too. Homeless people no doubt, who like to shout weird things at people in the street! Went into a minging Macdonald for a drink, as we were melting again by this point. Decided to call it a day and headed back to bus back to Santa Monica.
Finally found a shop to buy food called Vons. Couldn't work out how to get loose change as they have weird machines! The food on offer was amazing. So much cool stuff that we gotta try at some point. Everything seems to come in big packs though!!
Treated ourselves to doughnuts, which we enjoyed with coffee back at the hostel! (NO beer allowed at the hostel!)Cooked pasta for tea. Couldn't eat it all though, think our stomachs have shrunk already! Must have lost a stone at least by now, what with all the sweating and not eating. Got clean, then packed ready to leave for San Diego tomorrow.

Loved LA, Santa Monica a bit quiet though! Will be back in a few days to explore Hollywood though!

As for fixing planes with rubber mallets...not a good idea, as you tend to lose bits of the plane and use a different plane instead!
(Just to explain for those of you confused, shortly after boarding the plane, the engineer tried to move the steps under the wing and they got lodged, taking out a huge chunk of wing and injuring himself in the process! After an hour of everyone staring at it, it was decided it was dangerous to fly (thank god) and we had to change planes - we watched all this from the window of the plane!)
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triciap on

Sounds like things not going exactly to plan but that's life. Not sure how you could get into hostel without tickets! Still you obviously managed it. Hows budget going? Don't spend it all on food and beer in the first few days!! Hope you don't have to buy another rucksack already. LA sounds fascinating and glad to hear smokers get some perks!

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