On Wednesday we flew out to Denver and met up with Michelle (as she had been in Las Vegas). It was the most beautiful plane ride ever because we had a great view of the Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountains. When we were driving to our hotel we saw sooooo many pretty xmas lights and we definitely felt the temperature change. We were quite spoilt for weather in California because it was actually nicer than back home. We stayed at the Hilton Hotels and it was awesome because I finally had a shower cap! The place had nice bath products and a spa just to name a couple cool things. We had a cruisey evening and I watched Elf, yay.
Archive for December, 2008
Before venturing out to Mexico we went to the laundro-mat…just likes the ones on TV (everything is like TV including the yellow school buses). We took a trolley (tram) to the border which took about 30 minutes. The border looks funny, baron on the USA side and then packed with houses on the other. To get into Mexico you simply walk over a bridge and then walk through the turnstyle! The people in Mexico are like the people in Thailand, but they speak Spanglish, "Check out my store senorita! Just take a look!) People try to see you photos with their ‘Mexican donkeys’, souveniers, sombreos and there were sooooooooo many pharmacies selling prescription drugs to foreigners. Oh and there were ‘sleep homes’ (puts on an accent). We only stayed in TJ for a couple hours, it’s only something you need to do once! Coming back into the USA was a lot more intense, you have to walk through airport-like customs. After Mexico we went to the shopping outlets, not quite as big as the ones in LA but still pretty good. I managed to buy 2 pairs of sketchers for US$35! About 90% of people at the outlets were speaking Spanish. People would even start talking to me in Spanish and they found it really hard to understand me…they looked at me like I was from a different planet. On the way back to downtown the trolley stopped for like an hour because there was an accident on the tracks. We had a very irritating woman talked to us the whole time. Her introduction was…*Simon playing on the camera* "WHAT ARE YOUUUUUUUUUUU DOING?!" and she parks next to Si. After our massive day we had Mexican AGAIN in the Gas District.
Today we went back to an Apple store to try get his laptop fixed AGAIN…I love still being able to use the net on my iPhone. After we rushed to Seaworld. Seaworld was soooooooooo cool, a lot more laid back than Universal Studios because they’re not trying to sell you stuff. My favourite shows were the Seal ones and Whale one, the animals are just soo smart! We went on a couple rides and got SOAKED. The first one was sort of like a bumper boat thing that went through rapids. Si had his backpack with his laptop and we had our iPhones in it too. I guess it wasn’t as enjoyable because we were stressing about not getting stuff wet, ESPECIALLY when we went through a mini waterfall. Oh my days! After coming back to the hotel and having some downtime we walked around the shops in downtown and went out for Indian. I bought a wee Guess wristlet, dress and top…stuff converting all the time!!!
On Sunday we caught a train to San Diego. It was way more comfy than a plane and took a few hours. Most of the ride went along the coast so it was pretty scenic. Our hotel in San Diego is pretty flash and San Diego is a pretty cool city. After LA it’s nice to be in a city that we’re staying downtown not next to a freeway. After settling in we went to a nice wee Mexican restaurant, YUMMY!!!
Today was awesome because it wasn’t so go go go! We started off the day with a sunbathe and swim at our pool (yes, that’s right, sunbathing in winter! It was 28 degrees).
After mucking around for a bit Joe and Emz went out to Venice Beach and we said our farewells . Later in the afternoon Si, Mark and I went to the UCLA to watch final year MBA students do a presentation, pretty hardcore stuff! I forgot to say the other day we saw the sorority and fraternity houses, you know the ones like all the American movies have e.g. Old School. We went to the Apple Store in Beverly Centre bacause something happened to Si’s laptop. We ended up staying there for a couple hours. I was pretty sad I only bought one top and then it came to me that it was because of the Beverly Hills prices! Riccarton Mall doesn’t exactly have Gucci, D&G and Dior shops. Si managed to buy a few things though including a couple pairs of shoes. I can’t wait to go to the outlets in San Diego!
I’m not feeling flash at the mo, I hope it’s not something I ate .
On Wednesday we drove to Hollywood! We went to the Chinese Theatre where we saw celebrities’s hand/foot prints in concrete.We also did the Walk of Fame (celebrities names in stars). Hollywood was different to what I expected, I thought it would be a lot more glam, at night I guess it would look really cool with the lights. On the way back from Hollywood we went driving around Beverly Hills, trying to spot celebrities and marveling at the mansions (we didn’t see anyone famous ). When we got back we met up with Emily and Joe and went for a swim. After a big catch up we bused to Santa Monica. We had a few margaritas at a pretty cool Mexican Bar and walked down the famous pier again – the famous ferris wheel looked pretty awesome when lit up. Mark got really cold so in an act of desperation bought a jersey from the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant for $16.99…it was the funniest sight ever and the margaritas just made it even more hilarious. It made us look like such tourists! We went to a few different pubs for some drinks and went back to the original Mexican bar we started out, a pretty good night and not too expensive with all the happy hours happening.
On Thursday we had a massive day at Universal Studios with perfect warm weather – I still can’t get over how warm LA’s winter is! Soon after arriving Joe and Si played some the Coke water canons. Si pushed a button and a gush of water squirted him in the crutch. Si and Joe were such fast walkers! Not a bad thing because we got to go to all the attractions. It was so awesome there because it was really quiet, absolutely no queues so we walked straight onto the rides. After a big day of entertainment we walked around the ‘City Life’ part of Universal and had dinner. We decided to bus back because we already had a bus pass from the morning. Thanks to Simon and Joe’s navigation we walked to the wrong bus stop and walked for like 3 kms because they thought we were going the right way! It was frustrating because while we passed like half an hour in a bookshop and we should of walked to the bus stop before it, instead of walking on and trying to find a bus stop. We ended up having to get a taxi back to our hotel. Oh well it was all part of the travelling experience!
Yesterday we went back to Hollywood with Emily and Joe. We managed to find a good view of the big Hollywood sign from the Kodak Theatre. Simon is such a stirrer. Here is a good example. There was a guy trying to sell us a concrete slab which you can customise your hand/foot prints (for US$27.99 I thought that was a real rip off!). Simon points to Emily and Joe and states "they should get one, it’s their anniversary!". The guy was like "OHHHHH MY GOOOD!!!!" and got so excited, it was pretty funny! We bused back to our hotel and took detours AGAIN! we ended up at the UCLA and had to hop on another couple buses to get back…Emz was only 40 mins late meeting up with her cousin..woops! In the evening we went to a pretty flash restaurant in Santa Monica. We met up with Michelle (Mark’s wife) and Lou (Michelle’s friend) as they’ve been away in Las Vegas for the last few days. The meals were pretty yummy (and expensive). Something I have to note is about the bathrooms. I have NOT been to a toilet where there isn’t a crack in the toilet door! There’s always like a cm gap in the hinges, makes me paranoid when people walk past. Anyway after our meal we tried to find a decent club in the area. Our mission failed as they were all packed bars with no dance floor. We went to a bar and Joe and Emz got a couple Malibu and pineapple drink for US$33…they were not impressed! That’s like over 50 bux for 2 average drinks! Another thing about the bars is that all the ones we went to only had 1 mens toilet and 1 womans toilet…pretty ridiculous if there more than a few hundred people in the club!!!
I hope ya’ll are enjoying the blog!!!
What an amazing day we had! I have suuuuuch sore feet. Today I went to Camerillo Outlets with Mark and Simon. We got a rental car and it was about a 45 minute drive. It reaally weird driving on the RIGHT HAND side of the road. They have a weird rule that if your turning right on a red light, you can go. Also they have random stop signs on a straight where there are 4 signs! Luckily Mark and Simon were good drivers and lucky I’m too young to drive a rental car…I don’t think I could trust myself over here! The freeways which have over 10 lanes were also quite scary merging into
Camerillo Outlets were massive…imagine Tower Junction times 10…thus the sore feet! It’s like a dress mart but with wayyyyyy better savings and labels. For example I got a Calvin Klein long T for like US$12, a Guess bag for like US$30, and Banana Republic stuff for less than US$10. I am soooooo glad I did’t go shopping before going away. I also bought some Guess jandals/jewellery, Gap t-shirt, Fossil watch (US$25) and that’s all can think of at the moment. I have to pace myself for the San Diego Outlets too! Si bought quite a lot of stuff, especially at Kenneth Cole, including a very swanky suitcase.
After some R & R we went to a nice little Japanese restaurant in Brentwood. Suburban driving on the right-hand side of the road is scary, yet entertaining. Thank god for the navigation system.
We had a long and exhausting overnight fight. Simon and I took sleeping pills and Si was fortunate enough to have like 6 hours sleep straight…unfortunately I only got 3 hours. After walking through customs and seeing their officers with guns I truely knew we had arrived in America! On our taxi to our hotel I realised how spread out LA is…highways, highways and more highways! (with lots of palm trees like the movies! After arriving at our hotel I had the best nap ever on the most comfortable sheets and pillows. We had dinner with some of Mark’s friends at the restaurant at our hotel. Pretty cool restaurant, it had glass all around and a view like the sky tower – ok maybe not so high. It was quite swanky and the whole tipping thing came into play. Tipping is crazy, you ALWAYS need to make sure you have $1 bills in your wallet. It’s a weird feeling leaving EXTRA money on the table and walking off.
Today we caught a taxi to Venice Beach…won’t be doing that again anytime soon! We hired out ‘chopper bicycles’ and rode down to Santa Monica Beach. Venice Beach had lots of interesting people to see…homeless, hippies, street entertainers and just plain weird people. For those who don’t know much about these beaches it’s the beaches that the Flight of the Concords rollerblade down in their music video. We got conned into buying some rap CD’s from the local African/American rappers. It was much easier to say NO to people in Thailand when they were half your size! When we got to Santa Monica Beach we saw the famous ‘muscle gym’. This is where big muscle heads are lifting heavy weights like ON the beach. We parked up our bicycles and walked down the famous pier. You know the one that has the big ferris wheel. We saw a guy in a wheeelchair, paralysed from the neck down who painted with his nose! We also walked along the beach and rocked on up to those lifeguard huts from Baywatch!!!
After a work out at the GYM (I’m so good) we went to a nice Italian restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. To date I have not seen any celebrities.