We left Fiji at 10.00pm on Tuesday the 30th September and arrived in LA at 2.00pm on Tuesday the 30th September after a 10 hour flight, so our bodies didn't really know what was happening as we had to live the same day twice without much sleep at all. We picked up our car and checked into the closest hotel to get something to eat and have an early night.
The next morning we headed to Universal Studios which was great. The simpson ride was the best but we also enjoyed the water world show which ended up with a burning plane flying over the stage and into the water, the effects were really good. We also went on a tour around Universal Studios and got to see some film sets and the drove around the set from desperate house wives, we didn't get to see any filming though, just a few stunts. We also went to see the special effects studio that was interesting as well as the back draft effects studio, that was also interesting, but also scary as they set the room alight that we were in to show the effect of fire. In all it was a great day, but the hot weather and jet lag got to us so we headed for something to eat where Matthew had the hottest chilli sauce he has ever had in a mexican and then to bed. We decided that we didn't really like LA that much, it was far too hectic so we headed to San Diego passing the 'Hollywood' sign on the way. Once in San Diego we had a look around, it had some cool architecture but not much else that we liked so we decided to head to Joshua Tree National Park as it was on the way to Vegas.
As soon as we left the main highway in California we realised what the USA had to offer and we liked what we saw. We really enjoyed Joshua Tree National Park, it was similar to Australian National Parks, but better as the variation of the landscape within around 40 miles was huge, it went from arid empty land to great amounts of cactus' of all different shapes and sizes. A bit further on we were surrounded by Yuccas of all shapes and sizes that the Mormons named Joshua trees. I liked the look of these trees, they made the landscape look great, these were mixed in with huge smooth rounded boulders the same as New Zealand and Australia and certainly added another dimension to the national park. We then headed a bit further into the park and came across a brilliant desert panorama of arid lands and mountains. We again had a great day but the heat eventually got to us as there was no shade anywhere so after an afternoon of exploring we headed to our hotel. That night we ate at what is now our favourite place to eat called Sizzlers as they have a great salad bar that they offer free or very cheap with a main meal. They do great steaks and the salad bar offers soups, taco's with all the trimmings, pasta and different sauces, all the usual salad including tuna pasta and then desserts too. We can eat there for less than 15 quid, its great. Iv got to say though other than that we have struggled a bit to find places to eat that sell things other than burgers and chips. Its an experience, especially as they speak the same language, but we seem to have more problems here than we have had anywhere else, they just seem to have different ways of doing things, it took Matthew about 15 minutes to fill up the car the first time and that took 2 petrol stations!
Now we are away from the big cities we are having a great time though, and are looking forward to our time in Vegas.