A Travellerspoint blog

Day 2

LA

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After a good long sleep in we had breakfast in our apartment then walked just over a kilometer to the pick up point for the hop on hop off bus. We walked along the google maps route but it took us along some dodgy streets. We decided we would find another way back. We purchased a 2 day pass each which gave us free entry into Madam Tussauds. There is a movie premiere this evening and the street where we were due to pick up the bus was blocked off. We walked around the corner and boarded the bus for the purple route to downtown LA.

We took seats upstairs and despite the sunshine it was really cold. We had a commentary via earbuds they provided for us to plug in at our seats. We took a few photos along the way and around the first few stops of the downtown area. It got too cold so we went downstairs. We got off at a stop in Chinatown with a view to taking an hour (the gap between the buses) to look around and get some lunch. We found a place and ordered. The meals were big enough for two. Neither of us came close to finishing. We went to the bus stop and waited, and waited. The bus eventually came about 30 minutes later than what we expected. We went back upstairs while they finished the downtown loop. We drove over a bridge lined with tents and makeshift homes. Clearly these people have nowhere else to go. It was sad. They pointed out buildings used in movies. We saw the hotel they used for the scene in True Lies where Arnold goes up the elevator on the horse chasing the bad guy. We went back downstairs for the drive back to Hollywood to get out of the cold.

After getting off the bus we went to Madame Tussauds and took a bunch of photos with the folks on display. The facial detail is amazing. After leaving we walked past the final preparations for the movie premiere. Some people were already lined up at the barriers. We had a hot drink at Starbucks to warm up then walked back via some better streets on the way home.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 18:31 Comments (0)

Day 1

Melbourne to LA

IMG_1968.jpgIMG_1969.jpgIMG_1979.jpgIMG_1980.jpgOur 7 am taxi was on time. We checked in and were allocated the seats we booked. We had some breakfast, cleared security and went to the gate lounge to wait. All good up until now. The plane was sitting there outside the window but boarding time came and went. Engineers were still on board and needed another 30 minutes is all we were told. We eventually boarded and learned that something had been wrong with the gauge that measured the oxygen remaining in their tanks. They emptied and refilled them and then had to wait for the excess oxygen inside the plane to vent. Once underway, 90 minutes late we settled in for the long flight.

The flight attendant sitting opposite us confirmed our thoughts that these were the best seats in economy. We had an exit row at the very front of economy with only galleys near by. It was a quiet area we had to ourselves. Neither of us slept as much as we would have liked despite the Melatonin. We circled around LA with nice views of the city from the air as we turned and landed towards the sea.

The wait for our cases was long but other than that the customs processing was fine. We used one of the new machines. We used a payphone to dial 1800 number to call the shuttle for our day hotel. We arrived too early for our arranged accommodation. The Travelodge was 3 star (just) but was a secure place to leave our luggage, shower, change & freshen up after the flight. Despite the lack of sleep we were determined to get out and not waste the day sleeping. At the hotel room we learned of a terrorist threat that had closed all LA schools for the day today. We chose to continue on as opposed to hiding under the bed.

We bought shuttle tickets to Manhattan Beach for $5 each. Once there we walked to the pier, took in a large pile of melting snow we assume was left after some product promotion and wandered the streets taking it all in. It was nice in the sun but the air temperature was cold. After a brief stop at Starbucks and a few more holiday snaps we returned to the hotel. We checked out and used a private taxi they called for us to take us to our apartment.

We immediately fell foul of the downstairs tenant that claimed we were walking too firmly on her ceiling. We set out to buy some supplies and stopped a guy walking his greyhounds to ask where we could find a supermarket. He obliged and we found the place. We hadn't had lunch so we stopped at the Starbucks next door for a drink and a shared piece of banana bread. Darlene waited there whilst I walked to a nearby mall to purchase a prepaid SIM for my phone.

We found our way back ok, ate our dinner, lasted till around 8 pm and then crashed for the night.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 09:36 Comments (0)

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