Los Angeles

I have officially gone back in time. We left Auckland on June 4th at 7:15pm and arrived at 12noon on the same day. Another bucket list thing to say I’ve done, and lets be honest, just an awesome thing to be able to say you have done.

We were determined to say we had done something pretty cool at the same time on both days but border controls and our flight didn’t allow too much time. We finished our coast-to-coast walk at around the same time that I had my first ever trip to Denny’s. I am counting that as fairly cool. We sorted the bus tour out with Jade’s Dad for the following day, before getting a needed early-ish night.

The next morning started early again as we got a taxi to the RV park where Andy and Karen were parked. Obviously seeing them meant an awful lot more to Jade than it did to me, but it was still really nice to meet up with them, even if it was only for a day before they flew back home. There RV was really nice, much nicer than our camper van (obv) and the site they were on let us get free internet to book our greyhounds, Alcatraz, and a place to stay in San Diego.

The bus company picked us up before the tour started. It was due to go round all the big places in LA and i was hopeful that I would get a better impression of LA this time round. Our first stop, after driving into the city itself and having a brief photo opp at the Staples centre was little Mexico City: Calle de Olvera. It was really nice, and what I would imagine nicer areas of Mexico to be like. I wish we could have had more time there.

Our next stop was at Hollywood Boulevard. I think this was the section of the trip I was least looking forward to considering how I remembered the place to be. We didn’t have too long there, just enough to get decent photos of the hollywood hills and sign, have a look at some of the stars along the walk of fame, and check out the hand and foot prints of those outside Grauman’s Chinese Man Theatre. I definitely got a better impression than I did the last time I went there.

The next stage of our tour didn’t see us get off the bus, but took us on a detailed rive by along Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard. The guide knew his stuff and pointed out lots of places of interest before we did a slow drive down Rodeo Drive. I don’t think I will ever be able to afford anything on that street.

Our final stop was at a Farmer’s Market I had never heard of by the CBS studios. The are was really nice, and Jade’s Dad treated us to Mexican food for lunch. I am quickly re-realising how obscenely large American portions are. Cutting back to one meal a day here might not be too hard.

We spent a nice evening in their RV playing cards and drinking win to celebrate both Andy and Karen’s birthdays. It was nice to be able to play cards with more than just Jade and I, and spend a night not watching something on our computer screens.

When we arrived at the Greyhound station to get the bus down to San Diego, we got a tiny flavour of the crazies of LA, but all in all, the impression I got of Los Angeles this time round was much better. It was a really nice couple of days and a good start to our American leg, and the final bit of our trip.

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