Well we did it, we landed in LA after possibly the worst flight of the trip so far. Already annoyed, and Jem nursing a migraine, we then had to endure the worst immigration & security clearance or the trip so far. Welcome to America.
After almost three hours of waiting to have out passport stamped and our bags returned to us at LAX airport, which apparently it the norm, we jumped on a shuttle to our hostel for the next few days, the Hostel International Los Angeles in Santa Monica.
We were quite impressed when we arrived, big clean dorms, very friendly staff, great facilities and a brilliant location, a 2 minute walk from the world famous Santa Monica Pier & beach and less than a minute to 3rd street, the shopping centre of Santa Monica.
The first day we didn’t do too much, just went for a walk around to get our bearings and an early night to catch up on the sleep neither of us really got on the 10 hour flight over here. Strange to think that we flew for so long but still arrived earlier than when we set off on the same day.
Touring Hollywood & Around LA
The second day was laundry, banking & tour booking day. We had lunch at Hooters. An interesting concept for a bar, one which I won’t complain about and I am of course talking about the great lunch time offers and the sports on big screens all around. The barmaids offering a very friendly service in just hot pants and tiny tops, well that’s just the uniform I guess. That night in the hostel there was also free wine and a movie projected onto the wall outside, brilliant.
The third day, and something wasn’t quite right. None the less, we continued on with our plans. A guided tour of Hollywood & around. We saw loads of celebrity homes (or gates at least), popped to Rodeo Drive for some designer shopping & to see the stars in the pavement on Hollywood Boulevard. Before finishing off with a photo opportunity near the famous Hollywood sign.
It was a good little tour, and we had quite an entertaining and knowledgeable tour guide who reminded us a lot of Morgan Freeman, or what Morgan Freeman might be like if he too was a tour guide. Rodeo Drive was OK. Take away the designer brands, the Ferraris & Aston Martins (and a rather nice black & yellow $3 million Bugatti Veyron) the celebrities and the crowds and it’s just like any other high street.
Hollywood Boulevard was pretty cool. Very busy, hot but still a good stop on the trip. It was also the 2nd anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death so his star on the pavement was very popular with lots of flowers & gifts. The Hollywood sign was a long way off from the observation point and it was a little hazy to get a clear photo of it but we tried our best.
I know it’s not the most enthusiastic review of our trip but it’s a reflection of my mood at the time, something was rumbling away inside which didn’t sit right with me.
The following day we took it easy, a bit of shopping down 3rd street, a walk down to the beach and to the end of Santa Monica Pier. A very busy pier which even has it’s own theme park on it. It was pretty cool with plenty to do but unfortunately we couldn’t stay out to play long and it was back to the hostel to rest.
Blame It On The Fiji
The fourth day, and the day we were supposed to be leaving for Vegas and our plans were changed a little. After 3 sleepless nights, stomach cramps and some interesting movements below, I decided it was time to nip down to the hospital to get checked out.
A few hours spent with an intravenous drip in my arm and lots of tests, it was revealed I must have brought another souvenir home from Fiji in the form of an infection in my intestine. Something I had eaten or drank I guess. What’s worse was the fortnights worth of antibiotics I was given and the ‘no travel for the next couple of days’ instruction from the doctor.
Great, Vegas is gonna have to wait a little bit longer. We checked our selves into another hotel for a couple of nights and slowly developed cabin fever waiting for the all clear to travel and the antibiotics to start kicking in.