19.05.10 LA - WB Studios and The Standard
Now I know you guys are going to be impressed with this because we made it to Hollywood in (drum roll please) 2 hours! Whoop Whoop!! We took 1 bus which was going the right way with no smelly people or mad axe murders to the metro then took 3 trains followed by 1 bus to the fabulous Warner Brother's studios. We went on a 2 and a half hour tour of the studio in a group of only 10 others and it was fantastic. We saw the place where Spiderman kissed Mary Jane, where the cast of Annie sang it's a hard knock life and loads of other great movie moments. The tour guide taught us about the sets and how the shows are made which was fascinating and a real insight into the world of lies and deceit that is Hollywood.
Being a HUGE Friends fan, when the doors opened to the Central Perk set I could hardly breathe, literally I was hyperventilating. Adam tried to take photos of me but I could not stand still long enough. One of the LA museums had approached WB looking to move the set but luckily for me it was still there. Sadly enough I did notice it wasn't placed exactly right and the guide told me that unfortunately the wall I thought they should move was holding up the 49 foot high roof. Big deal, I couldn't see his point ;-) Also see the pics of the Friends episode starring Marcel, where Arne asks out Rachel not Monika and the fake Central Park where Rachel runs into the horse. Finally Adam gets his bit, the car section of the tour including the Batmobile and the Shaguar. Very cool indeed.
We had lunch in Bob's Big Boys diner and it's no wonder everyone is so fat, there are no vegetables or salads served with anything but it's the oldest remaining one so we just had to drop in for a double patty burger.
The next part of our day was completely unplanned. We're merrily on our way back to the rent by the hour motel where we're staying when I decide I am desperate for the loo and I cannot wait any longer. We figure there must be a rest room in the station but no. So we're running through the financial district full of toffs with briefcases that have their initials in-scripted in gold on the top asking anyone who will listen and finally find the offending destination requiring 25 cents per entry. I'm sure that's not how the saying goes. Drama over and panic averted, I'm free. Heading back to the metro I check through the lonely planet in case we're missing a trick. There is, apparently a bar on the top of the Standard Hotel and they let scumbags like us in as long as it's before 7pm. So up we go in a s***ty old elevator with scummy looking red carpet thinking we must be in the wrong place but when the doors opened I knew we'd arrived. There was nothing standard about this bar, the pictures don't quite capture the funky music, lull of the chitter chatter, the beautiful sunset and the size of the diamonds on the women drinking in there but you'll get the gist.
Our trip back though takes another 3 hours, lulled into a false sense of security me thinks. Pizza, an argument then bed and that's all folks!
20.05.10 LA - Redondo Beach and the Airport
Today was our last day and finally it was sunny in the Sunshine State. We packed up the room and started a trek to find the post office to send home a few of our souvenirs. We headed towards the UPS store who, we have since found out, just use the USPS to send their mail but at about 40% on top of the standard prices so that was a big fat NO. We then walked another 3 miles and posted our stuff, hopefully we won't arrive home before it does.
It was then time to hit the beach where we did a bit of sunbathing, paddling, Adam did some swimming, almost, and we played some aerobie. Now any animal lovers need to not read the next bit because we ate some crab. Not just any crab though, spider crab which we picked live and then had it steamed to smash up and eat. It was pretty grim to do and I did gag at one point but it was also pretty tasty. Penny, Adam told me you would even eat the brown stuff, urgh!!!
So, stinking we get changed and catch a bus to the airport. Unbelievably this was the only bus ride that went according to plan and we got the airport in plenty of time. After checking in our baggage we had a wander around and met a lovely couple called Annie and Al. Al is a pilot for Air New Zealand and they both live in Auckland. If you're reading this guys, we're definitely going to look you up when we arrive and Adam's face is looking a bit less like a shining beacon already.
The flight left on time and we both slept pretty much the whole way. We left at 10.30pm on Thursday, flew for 13 hours and arrived at 7am on Saturday so how was Friday? Anyone?
22.05.10 Queenstown - Arrival Day
We caught the transfer from Auckland without problem and landed in Queenstown at midday. As we walked across the tarmac into the terminal the views were incredible. Not being one to appreciate nature, often calling a flower a chrysanthemum when it is something entirely different you can be assured to know I am not over exaggerating when I tell you that I have never seen anything like this in my life. I felt as insignificant in this world as a grain of sand as I walked alongside these mountains. The pics I have posted do nothing to show how incredible it is here. And if you want to know if it was worth giving up my job, leaving behind my babies and all my friends and family, spending over 26 hours on a plane I would tell you without doubt - YES.
We caught the bus into the town and checked in to the hostel. The hostel is clean and pretty much what I was expecting but it is so, so cold here. The shock of coming from the sun and the double jet lag has done nothing for my resistance to the outside world so I'm off to buy a new hat tomorrow. Shopping, YAY. We had a wander round the town and it was very much a cross between England and America but in a good way. I am looking forward to staying here for the next 6 months. There's loads to do but it's not cheap, prices similar to England. I picked up a NZ sim card so if you want to pay lots of money to call me the number is 021-1336110. We sat in the hostel lounge and I could hardly stay awake, well in truth, I didn't. Adam managed to wake me so I wasn't awake too early for tomorrow and we had KFC lol and I managed to catch my Mummy on Skype :o) Off to bed in full clothing just to stay warm. Night Night xxx
23.05.10 Queenstown - Acquainting ourselves
Today we woke up at 8am which I was really pleased about given how messed up my body clock is. We had some porridge watching the sun shine over the mountains. Lush. It was then into town to see about a job and a place to stay. We dropped Adam's CV into a few restaurants and got a couple of good leads and we're off to see the agencies tomorrow. We also went through the local paper and are going to see a few flats/house shares tomorrow because otherwise at the end of the week we're homeless. It looks like it's going to cost about 450 quid a month all in for both of us so we'll see. It's just been a case of having a butchers at what's going on, getting to know what we're doing and getting hints and tips on everything from everyone. I bought a cute hat, very French but made by Ride, go figure. Mark, you're the only one who's going to get that. Hope all is well at home, will keep in touch but I think my blogs will start to get rather mundane with little more than got up, stared at the mountain, went to work (hopefully) went to bed. But I'm sure you'll enjoy reading it all the same. x