Hey everyone! Our first blog entry, which we're sure has been much anticipated ;). Apologies for the delay, we haven't stopped since we arrived last Monday. Despite not even having recovered from severe jet lag yet, we've ensured that our days have been jam packed full of exciting activities.
After an emotional good bye and just making our flight after a not so gentle jog, we proceeded to our jumbo for our 11hr flight. Flying over Greenland and Canada enabled us to get a birds eye view of their spectacular scenery - proving better entertainment than the numerous inflight movies available. Useful suggestions were given by an extremely friendly - possibly over friendly - cabin crew member who discretely insisted we take his number. Is that allowed?! Needless to say we never called him.
On arriving in LAX we were directed to our hostel by a friendly policeman, who gasped when we told him where we were staying for our first night. First stop was a hostel in Inglewood, apparently not the safest of place! Tip: don't stay anywhere that Dr DRE or EMINEM have rapped about. On arrival we rented a car. Last one left-HELLO 3L convertible! Drove to Santa Monica pier (featuring in lots of films). Beautifully lit by night. After eventually finding our hostel again (we got just a bit lost), we slept with our bags in our bed, since we were sharing a dorm with a dodgy lady who keeps dead looking fish by her bed!
Got up early the next day for a yummy blueberry muffin breakfast and copious amounts of tea and coffee! Drove to Venice beach were we roller bladed passing muscle beach-'strongest man in the world' wannabes gallore. Then drove along sunset boulevard, including detours into Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and Rodeo drive, in awe of the grand houses (mansions!) belonging to celebrities. After finally reaching our intended destination (how many traffic lights can you fit along one road!?) - the HOLLYWOOD sign. Unfortunately we couldn't touch it but we got as close as possible. Stopping for gas and craving vit C (an orange cost $1 ! - the cost of a double cheeseburger) we raced back but an unusually hot day upset the car which decided to stall and not start at a traffic light on Hollywood blvd (one of the busiest roads in LA! !). Luckily it was only teasing :)
After an unintended luxurious stay in a hotel (which was very overpriced), we got the bus to Las Vegas (6hrs one way) and arrived at the residential casino, The Stratosphere - the one with the tall tower and rides on the top (which Angie couldn't resist!). After admiring the view from the top (3 floors per second by lift - ear popping! ....yes we were too lazy to take the stairs) we ventured along the strip, walking the whole 3 miles before getting an early night for the 5:30am start required for the next day....
Time for one of the seven wonders of the world - the GRAND CANYON. Another grueling coach trip took us to one of the most breathtaking views - tv and pictures could never do it justice. A 3 mile walk along the south rim allowed us ample time to absorb the scenery. On return we made it back just in time for the start of our Cirque Du Soleil Las Vegas show -'O' (see www.bellagio.com/o-cirque-du-soleil/o-cirque-du-soleil.aspx for a trailer). A combination of syncronised swimming, diving, acrobatics, gymnastics, fire and dramatic stunts, along to beautiful music, kept us drawing deep breaths in amazement and left us speechless. Casino stops on the walk back were a must.
After a lovely 'double bed each' nights sleep, we have spent the day travelling back to LA. First by bus then subway where we stumbled accross a huge film crew. They were filming the new 90210 series. We were asked to be extras but concerned that it was already gone 9pm and we still needed to get to our hostel, hence we begrudgingly refused, Phew! We arrived late this evening in our hostel on Hollywood boulevard with great relief. What a stark contrast to our first experience of an LA hostel! Free tea, free coffee, free internet, free breakfast and the people dont have dead fish - waheeey! Shame we're only here for 2 days.
Long blog! If you're still reading - well done and thanks!
TTFN (ta ta for now - in the words of tigger...for those non Winnie the Pooh fans)