Trip Start Aug 15, 2005
31Trip End Dec 21, 2005
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The overnight train journey to Los Angeles wasn't too bad. Our last Amtrak journey in the states! Mandy drove us to the Amtrak station in Tucson (thanks Mandy!) which was about 13 miles from the house. The ticket machine wasn't printing at the station so the guy behind the counter told us we would have to get off half way through the journey at the next main station to get our tickets....not good! Our train was due to leave Tucson at 11.59 pm but as suspected didn't arrive until 12.30 am....typical Amtrak! We got on carriage 1 which was actually a lot more comfortable than previous carriages, the seats seemed bigger and as there wasn't many people Dan and I had a double seat each. I got my sleeping bag out and we pretty much slept for the duration, the train did stop at one point and some French lads got on making a racket chopping and changing seats but the 10 hour journey seemed to fly, probably because it was overnight and Mandy had tired us out walking round the desert museum that day
Thursday 22nd September 2005
We woke this morning quite early. I set a wake up call for 7.15 am. We were checking out at 9 am to catch our tour bus for the day. My Aunty Wendy called this morning and it was so lovely to speak to her, and also Liz...cheers guys.
We had hardly unpacked so we checked out about 8.35 am and went for a $7 eat what you can breakfast, we didn't have long so stuffed, toast, cereal and lots of melon washing it down with juice and coffee. We nipped out to the main entrance and got on the tour bus.
We started first of all by making our way down Century Boulevard to downtown L.A, we drove on the freeway over Compton, home of the gangsters Cribs. We were told that if we were to hire a car NOT to go down in this area! Dan was loving all this of course! Our first stop off was Disney Hall and the Music Center, Disney Hall was a strange shaped building all shiny reflecting the sun. IT was only a 10 minute stop but enough to have a brief look around
We got back on the bus and drove past City Hall (where batman was filmed), past the courthouse where the O.J Simpson trial was held. Our next stop was the oldest Hotel in L.A Pico House (the bus driver told us Mr & Mrs Smith had scenes filmed there but I haven't seen it so can't comment!). There was a cool little street filled with Mexican stalls selling gifts so we had a quick walk down there too where we got our postcards.
The bus then continued on down the hightway near the spot where Michael Douglas go out of his car and beat up the gang members in the film 'falling down' (Dan told me this!). Other stops were the Kodak Theatre (we only saw it outside), Mann's Chinese Theatre where the famous handprints and footprints are of the movie legends and we walked down the Boulevard 'walk of fame' where all the stars names are on the pavement. We got a few pictures too! We also got to see the 'Hollywood' sign in the hills from here.
Our next stop was Farmers Market where we stopped for lunch. It was just lovely, we had a fresh beef salad sandwich, just warm off the bone! mmmm and we washed it down with a real lemonade!
Last stop was Marina Del Ray, the worlds largest mad made boat harbour. We stopped here for ice-cream which was lovely!
We then drove back to our hotel, I was still taking it all in, we were so glad we chose to see all these things today. We still had a few hours to kill before leaving for the airport so we called in at the hotel bar where there was complimentary food so we tucked in for tea!!!!
We got our free shuttle to the airport and checked in our bags. We also managed to waiver a 50 pound fee for a ticket change to New Zealand...an hour or so complaining but it worked!!! Yipeee!
We boarded our plane at 10.50 pm ready for an 11.30 pm flight to fiji....will update you from there!