After tears at home and in the airport, we checked in and went through security with our family waving goodbye. Then in not-so-typical traveller style we went into the first class lounge for breakfast, and boarded the plane to sit in business class, which was AMAZING!! A champagne toast, three-course meal and a couple of films later (Hairspray and High School Musical 2, of course) and we had landed at our first stop - LA.
The first person we spoke to as we left the airport told us to act as if we knew what we were doing and where we were going to the cab driver - slightly difficult when you've got brand new backpacks and have just got off an 11-hour flight! Despite our obvious 'newness' we managed to get to the hostel quite easily and cheaply, and even got a photo of the cabbie, which he didn't look very impressed about!
We're spending our first couple of nights in a hostel on Venice Beach, which is quite nice, apart from the absolutely freezing room (we went to bed in hoodies and leggings!) and the fact that we had to carry our backpacks up a flight of stairs (a random bloke offered to carry mine but I made a point of doing it myself!). The area around the hostel is a bit ghetto-like as well, and we felt a bit vulnerable when we first went out. Think we're going to have to get used to looking after ourselves though - and get over our fear of hostel sheets and bathrooms!