24th June started like any other, woke up in Newcastle, NSW, Australia at 05:30, got a train down to Sydney, looked round Sydney for a bit, went to the airport, had a filthy huge burger at Oporto in the airport, went through security and then saw what I would be flying on for 13 hours…
I was getting on it at 13:05 on 24th June 2009… I would land 09:45 on 24th June 2009. This would prove to be more of a mindjob than I thought. I suppose I’m obliged to link to the Quantas A380 Site.
But, it seems that my asking for an emergency seat didn’t do the trick. I was stuck in the middle of the plane, middle seat of the middle row on the left wing side. Furthermore, there were a concaphony of kids to make plenty of noise. But, the Inflight Entertainment System was the best I have ever seen. I didn’t get my laptop out for the whole trip even though I had in-flight power (they even had an at seat USB port for charging your iPod/BlackBerry which I did use).
Didn’t get much sleep though, I kept getting up to go to the walk up bars you could use. That was great to have a reason to get up and walk around. The crying kids didn’t help though.
Anyway, landed and started reliving the 24th June! Strange.
I followed Wikitravel‘s advice on getting to Santa Monica, only cost $1.25 from LAX! Laughing!
First thing I noticed getting off the bus was the number of British shops there were there, i.e. places selling British food etc. I figured James and Katie thought I was missing home… I was ok!?
I left my bag at HI Los Angeles/Santa Monica and walked the 2 blocks to the beach!
Fatburger was noted as a dinner spot. James would later recomend it to me as well. I also found La Salsa was pretty cheap for Mexican!
I explored Santa Monica for the rest of the day, caught up on emails etc in the Hostel after checking in, spent quite a while on Google Talk with James, then headed to La Salsa where I got talking to a couple of holiday makers from the East Coast.
After that I went on a hell of a pub crawl with the hostel! 5 bars, lots of free shots and deals. Wound up getting into bed at 01:30! Thats a 44 hour day!
The day after I slept in quite a bit, then I decided it was time to go and explore Hollywood. On bus 704 there was a loud beeping sound from the front. The driver announces “It says Code 1: Attention all Michael Jackson Fans, it’s true. Michael Jackson is dead.”
Most of the bus was talking about that when I got off. I connected to another bus and made my way up to Hollywood.
When I arrived I noticed one of the streets was closed to traffic, near the Chinese Theatre. I headed back to see what was up…
It was Sasha Baron Cohen’s new flick, Bruno. I decided to hang around for a bit. Tried to get in but the guy who was picking people decided a few folks down to me we’re better random choices… well I didn’t want to get in anyway! We all had to move from this pretty good vantage point to another point on the other side of the street because apparently we were blocking it… rubbish!. Anyway, after 2 long hours (some of which we were kept entertained by the keep the crowd warm guy)…
However, the view was mostly blocked and it felt like a lot of waiting for nothing really… bollocks! Oh well, I got to see Borat’s Sidekick!
Went back to the hostel for a slightly more quiet one this evening, but I did go to Fatburger for a rather tasty burger! Very American if I say so myself!
The day after it was one I had been looking forward to, that evening I would see James and Katie and in the day it was time for the Getty!
After all of that I decided to stop in Westwood on the way back for a look around. Then I headed to the hostel, made some Skype calls and met James and Katie for another tour of local bars! Vastly enjoyed too! We did about 5! Highlights included showing James the British rules for Pool, getting proper chips at the British pub and going into the “quiet wine bar” that was heaving!
The next day we met up early and headed to James and Katie’s for lunch (with a tour of Downtown on the way). Remember the only bottle of wine I bought on Waiheke Island? Well I took it a few thousand miles round the world since it made a great gift! They also introduced me to the game Ticket to Ride, in this case, the Europe Edition. We then explored Burbank and Pasedena all day! I realised that this was the first home cooked meal I had eaten in the USA!? Wow!
Thing was, I realised at the end of the day I had forgotten to take any photos! So that’s why I’m using the written word for this day rather than just a load of photos as I normally do! Great day though and great to catch up!
Anyway, that evening I found out that:
- A hostel is still $35 even if you only sleep for 3 hours (so I didn’t stay in it)
- I would be unable to get to LAX early enough for my flight on Public Transport
- The last bus was at 23:15, and I would be taking it
I had to spend the night in LAX (for free though) because of the transport rubbish. Oh well, made flying easier, you could just pass out that easily!
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