After the relaxation of Fiji we were thrown into mental Los Angeles where things kicked off from the word go! Firstly it took us about an hour or two to get through all the immigration and to pick up our bags; then we met the world's most useless information help desk which consisted of two Chinese people, one was very old who refused to help us find a hostel because he couldn't be arsed and the other couldn't even tell us where the LA Dodgers stadium was on a map! We spent some quality time and money in the airport on the internet kiosk before eventually cutting our losses and setting off to The Stay Hostel in a taxi which cost us an arm and a leg! We ended up staying in The Cesil Hotel (next door to Stay) because it was a bit cheaper and we stayed here for our 3 nights in LA! The funny thing was that The Cesil was in downtown LA with all the hood rats and just around the corner from hotel was the largest population of homeless people in the USA! Encouraging! Here are our highlights:
1. LA cafe - On our first night we nervously left our hotel in search of somewhere close by to eat and found a nice place called the LA cafe. Walking around the streets at night was a bit scary because all the people looked soo dodgy. Even our taxi driver had given us some instructions about where had to walk if we wanted to live so we didn't hang around and power walked everywhere!! The cafe was nice and we both had a reasonably healthy meal (more unusual for me than Hannah).
2.The late night plumber - Just as we were getting into bed at 12:30 in the eve we noticed our sink erupting in volcanic fashion sending dirty water back into the sink. As the levels started to rise we worried about the possibility of waking up in the morning swimming in s***, so we rang reception to have a look at it. Instead of shifting us to another room, a Spanish speaking Mexican dude came up and started plumbing (which looked like he was humping the sink), then he pulled out the pneumatic drill and started taking panels off the wall. God help anyone on our floor who was asleep! Han was in bed laughing, especially when I tried to ask the man when he would be leaving and he didn't understand English!
3.Baseball - The next morning we were off to the baseball to see the LA Dodgers vs Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately we ended up having to take a taxi to the ground because our original plan of bussing it was ruined when Han decided to kick a pavement and bust her toe open for the 3rd time in 7 months! We got to the ground just in time for the game and for the match we sat in the homerun stand, which is always exciting because there's a chance you can catch a ball! I loved the game which turned out to be a cracker! LA Dodgers went 6-0 ahead then the Phillies came back and won 9-8. It was a scorcher of a day and we forgot to put our suntan lotion on so were both a little pink after the game (Han had her standard chest tan lines.....she was not happy!). Han did manage to get out the sun for a few innings though when she was queuing up for food. The old guy behind the checkout didn't seem to have a clue what he was doing and spilt all our drinks over the desk then started swearing.......we thought he was about to breakdown!
4.Macy's shopping - After the game were went looking for a LA tee-shirt for Han to take home as a souvenir. We couldn't be bothered to queue in the gift shop (which ended up being a very bad idea) so we looked for a nike store. On the train to Macy's shopping centre, we met a strange, probably alcoholic, man who persuaded us that Macy's was the place that we wanted! He also told us about a market, which we looked for and couldn't find......my money says it never existed! Macy's was a bit crap and no good for souvenir shopping so we had an awesome pizza from Californian Pizza and walked it back to our hotel.
5.Open top bus tour - With our last full day we wanted to see as much of LA as possible or at least the star attractions like Hollywood, Beverley Hills, Santa Monica and Venice Beach. We got ourselves on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour which was supposed to leave from near our hotel but we ended up catching it from about a mile away due to the bus being about 10 mins late! During the tour we saw famous film scenes like the shiny towers out of MI3, the Beverley Hills Cop police station and a scene from Terminator. We also got to see some of the famous filming and recording studios, for example MGM and the studio where the Beatles recorded all their music. We stopped off at 5 different places.
1. Hollywood boulevard - where we saw the walk of fame and found Jacko's star, went to Madame Tussauds and had photos with all the famous people (in waxwork), saw the hand and footprints outside the kodac theatre where we measured our hands against Steven Seagal's and we saw the Hollywood Hill sign from a big viewing tower.
2. Millions of Milkshakes - here we had the nicest milkshakes of our lives and sat outside drinking them like the stars do. Apparently Miley Syrus and the Kardashians are seen here alot!
3. Beverley Hills - where we saw the famous sign, a lot of giant houses, roads with their own personal species of tree running down the sides and Rodeo Drive with its stupidly expensive shops (cheapest item in one shop was $15,000......we didn't go in that one!)
4. Venice Beach - where we saw some tres unusual sights......a psychobabble store, a freak show with two headed animals and a lot of homeless people asleep on the beach. There was also a pretty cool market where we bought some presents for our loved ones back at home, a big skate park which reminded me of Tony Hawks on the playstation and people in swimwear riding bikes along the walkways! Really cool place to visit!
5. Santa Monica - We walked over to Santa Monica as this was THE place to shop! During our time here; Han managed to find me a birthday present, we had a McDonalds (which was lovely) and we watched a movie at the cinema. Unfortunately we missed our last chance to get on the hop-on-hop-off bus so we had to pay for a ticket to get back to downtown!
The following day (My Birthday) we left on the Greyhound for our last leg of the travels....VEGAS! All in all we had a wicked time in LA and saw some pretty unique things! It was nice to be in America aswell. All the guys we spoke to when we were looking for places were very friendly and nice to us (apart from the homeless people who scared us)......good old Americans! We survived LA therefore proving we are true gangsters and can fit in at the Ghetto!!