Trip Start Nov 14, 2008
18Trip End Mar 10, 2009
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Took Jackie on a tour of Santa Monica to try & block out the ever increasing jetlag. Had a fabulous fresh lemonade & mint drinnk at Le Pain Quotidien - there is one of these in London now so hopefully these will start to make there way up to Scotland soon as well!
Free WIFI is everywhere including our Motel so its been easy to quickly pop onto the Internet; have been a bit lazy on writing the travelblog though as this is now Thursday & we have been here sinse saturday!
Weather has been roasting with the weekend hitting temperatures of 90F; the locals are saying this is due to the fires that are raging around LA just now but i'm not so sure. You certainly could smell the burning in the air though & over towards the mountains you can see the smoke.
Had my first international Skype experience on Sunday to the parents - couldnt get the webcam to work( I think its now sorted though) but really was quite cool to see maw & paw sitting in my living room!
After the Skype experience we went down to the beach - Jackie stuck one toe in the water & declared it was too cold - pathetic! Me & the Boyle were obvioulsy right in there & actually it was really quite nice. We hired some boogie boards & I must actually be getting quite good at it as I managed to catch every wave.
Managed to blow both travel plugs with my hairdryer; whats the point in having some fancy "one adapter for all countries" plug is the thing is fused & only accepts up to 500watts - nonsense! Ive had to not only buy more fuses for the travel adapters so we can charge cameras/computers etc but have also had to buy a normal travel adapter for my hairdryer - what a pfaff! Thankgod for RadioShack though - they have everything!
Had dinner that night at Bubba Gumps which is a tourist trap of a place right on the pier. Food though I think is really good (if you like shrimps!) & they have a fun atmosphere complete with good cocktails. Thanks to a Santa Monica law all restaurants that are on leased public land have to have both decent vegan & vegetarian food on their menus otherwise Jackie would have been stuffed!
Jetlag has been a bit of a nightmare with waking up at 5am & then being nackered at 8pm, thankfully now we are Thursday this seems to have sorted itself out - just in time for getting on another flight & another time zone!!!
Took Jackie to Universal Studios on Monday - had a great day. There is a new Simpsons ride which I think has replaced the old back to the future ride. This is basically an IMAX ride so you dont go anywhere but your mind obvioulsy thinks you do! Spent the whole day getting wet through one means or another; all the rides now have something that splashes you; ie on the Shrek 4D ride you sit in a theatre with your 3d glasses on whilst a Shrek 3d film plays in front of you. Your seat also moves a wee bit so in one scene you are in a carriage chasing after the bad prince - as the carriage moves so does your seat mimicing the carriage movements. Donkey then sneezes & at the same time water is sprayed out from the ceiling - nice!!
So the rest of the day continued getting soaked on the Jurassic park ride (where I lost my hat & glasses), Mummy ride, and at the waterworld stunt show. As the park was quiet we were allowed to stay on the Mummy ride - Jackie however was having none of it & couldnt wait to get off after the first go; yet again needless to say Me & Theresa stayed on & screamed pantomime style the whole way round! The backlot tour has changed a wee bit due to updates & also the fire last year. As per the rest of the day we were splashed with water at the Jaws part! There was quite a bit of filming going on & Theresa even managed to see Christian Slater (me & Jackie were talking so missed him!!)
Transport wise we got a free shuttle with starline tours up to Universal & then for the way home we decided to have a beer in the Hard Rock cafe & dinner in a fabulous chinese on the Universal city street, so we had to take the public transport route. This was easy - walk down the hill to the Metro, take the red line towards Union Station. Get off at Vermont & Wiltshire (approx 15 minutes). Walk out of the station & get the 720/20 santa monica bus. We got a 20 which theoreticaly stops at every stop however out bus driver was mental & appreared to have his foot on the accelerator all the way to Santa Monica!
Ok my battery is running out & both Jackie & Theresa are glaring at me to get moving for food so I'll update this later & see if I can add photos in!
That update took a while! Me & Jackie are now in LAX waiting on our flight to NZ & waved goodbye to Theresa an hour ago.
A brief update on what has happened this week; Tuesday we had a relaxing day just looking around the shops & enjoying the sunshine.
Wednesday we took the bus up to Beverly Hills (720/920 $1.25 single) Again a beautiful day not a cloud in the sky. Had a glass of wine at the Regent Beverly Wiltshire made famous by Pretty Woman - as it was a hefty $19 a glass, one was enough & we went to the more suitably priced cheesecake factory for lunch. Ferrari count was only 2 which was highly disappointing for Beverly Hills! No celebrity spotting but we did see a couple of papparazzi standing outside a clothes shop waiting for some model.
Thursday was another relaxing day. We took a ride on the ferris wheel ($3) which is something I've never done before. We then took the boardwalk along to Venice past Santa Monicas version of Muscle Beach. AS it was quiet we had a wee play on the various rings & bars; Jackie could tunr herself right round on the rings whereas I just hung there!
Which leads to Saturday which is where we are now! Could have done with a few more days in Santa Monica as the jetlag take 4 days to sort itself.
Where I stayed
Pacific Sands Hotel