City of Angels and Crazy People

Trip Start Nov 01, 2010
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Trip End Nov 01, 2011


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Where I stayed
Stayon Beverley

Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, October 8, 2011

We boarded the double decker Air Pacific flight from Fiji to LA - the 747 was massive and we were lucky enough to get upgraded (after chatting to an Irish Rugby lover at the desk, who once played for Fiji in Landsdowne road)- not so much to business class but to the upper deck, which had extra space and no screaming kids. It was an overnight flight pretty much but we did feel like Marty McFly. We flew out 10pm 4th October arriving 1pm 4th October after a 10 hour flight. We would now be in a time-zone well behind home which was now strange. An older lady from Seattle sat beside us on the flight. She seemed quiet at first and then we offered her a piece of chocolate which broke her silence for the duration of the flight. Christ could she talk- nice all the same.


Jet Lag

We arrived into LAX at lunchtime punctured and clueless about LA in general. We done heavy research into where to stay in LA, which wasn't easy as it's very hard to come across hostels which have private doubles - very different to OZ - managed to find a brilliant spot - self contained double room in Koreatown - stay on beverley - we boarded the shuttle bus from the Airport - we couldn't keep our heads up, completely cream crackered. Every time I lifted my head it looked like we were in 'The Hood'. Got chatting to an LA local on the bus who lives in Beverley Hills - he reckoned we were staying in a safe, nice area - phew. Sure enough it seemed a good spot - Bo the owner happened to be there and we used his pin code he emailed us to get in and out. Bo, a Danish guy was sound and welcomed us - room and bed was spot on - the shared bathroom was really nice - if only we could stay in places like this everywhere in the US.

We were super jet lagged as bad as when we arrived in Bangkok at the start of our trip - first we had a few things sorted out - we had 2 bags filled with dirty washing and I seriously needed a haircut - 6 weeks! - I was starting to resemble Krusty the clown FFS - luckily there was a massive laundrette next door - it was spot the White guy - we were the only non Mexicans in there - 2 doors down, a Korean barber lady sorted my head out for 9bucks - 20 bucks in Sydney !! The $AUD and $USD were pretty much 1 for 1, making it easy for us. Hit pipers American diner for a feed - I remembered the giant portions served whilst living in Boston 9 years ago - well they just got even bigger ! Stuffed - headed back and collected our unstolen clean clothes :) Bed for a coma sleep. 

Awoke the next morning still feeling groggy to rain! Pretty much unheard of in LA - blame the Irish. Spent the morning skyping home and trying to look into filling the massive holes in our 1 month trip in the states. By afternoon we decided to jump on a bus right outside and head downtown - bad idea. The bus lasted about 1 hour, we had passed downtown without realising it - the 1 White guy we seen for the entire hour told us not to bother and gave us directions to Hollywood after jumping on another bus - no joke - the entire bus journey downtown was like 1 big scene from Jerry Springer - the passengers were all crazy and covered in gang tattoos and gold chains haha some black guy in a wheel chair with a half filled urinal container had a go at Caoimhe lol - we couldn't wait to get off that feckin bus - after half an hour journey on the Hollywood bus we had arrived on Hollywood Boulevard - when we stepped off the bus we actually were in the Hollywood stars on the pavement - pretty cool - this area could t be more the opposite of our downtown experience. The entire street was filled with tourists, tour guides, nice hotels and cafes and movie premieres. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe for food , nice spot - Caoimhe got a doggy bag, these feeds are enormous. We were flagged down by a tour guide, he offered us a cheap deal on an open top bus around Hollywood and Beverley Hills famous homes. I wheeled and dealer a bit - $25 each, does - we had planned to do it anyway and by now the sun was shining. 

Stalkers in Hollywood

Our Whoopi Goldberg lookalike driver and tour guide drove us around Hollywood and Beverly Hills for the next 2 hours - It was really good especially stalking celebrities at their homes haha - stopped at Michael Jacksons for the Craic, the house where he was found dead and now his trial is on TV - passed Jennifer Annistan's, Beckhams, Tom cruise, Timberlake, Spielberg's, Britney Spears, Hefner mansion(tried climbing the wall but got caught in barb wire) .... The list goes on, even though I doubt half them even live there. Pretty dark but could see their huge estates - she took us up to the Hollywood sign and around the hills, overlooking sunset boulevard, Hollywood boulevard and Beverly Hills. We then went down into Rodeo Drive where they were streets of top end shops - Prada shop didn't even have a sign outside - some of the shops had a half million dollar minimum spend - myself and Caoimhe decided we would need to save for a few days ;) 

It was a brilliant tour, 1 of 2 things done that we wanted to do - sunshine was the forecast for the next day, perfect for our Universal Studios trip and we couldn't wait

Universal Studios

We got up early and decided we would bus it to Hollywood now that we had an idea of the way now - we got off at the Kodak Centre and went down to the subway to head to Universal City. Whilst trying to work the subway machine a worker came over to help - well we thought he was a worker and then demanded we give him a dollar - wee Mexicano probably just jumped the border last week. We were met by the universal studios shuttle bus and all the other tourists looking to get into the park early at 10am. We got in early and queued straight for the main attraction, the studios tour and main ride - which this year was King Kong 3d - the tour was brilliant - passing by new movie sets and old. We passed the actual cars used in movies such as the doloreon from back to the future and cars off fast and the furious - the cabin from the movie 'The Great Outdoors' with John Candy - the lake used in Jaws. Desperate housewives was being filmed inside 1 of the studios as we drove down wysteria lane - the guide was hilarious and queues moved very quick - the king kong virtual ride was unbelievable - felt like you were in the middle of the fight between king kong and the T Rex. We got soaked on numerous occasions throughout the day, was a good laugh and great views over San Fernando valley. After the tour it was back to the theme park for the rides and shows - there were all sorts of characters running about, Shrek, Scooby, Dora, donkey .... The rides were Jurassic park, The mummy and The Simpsons. All of which were brilliant - we went on the mummy 3 times and Jurassic park twice - queue was big for Simpsons but we could see why - we got into a 6 seated car , raised off the ground and surrounded by a spherical screen and entered Krusty Land - felt like you were on the rollercoaster in Springfield. After the mummy or Jurassic park we would view our photos taken at the desk - all of which we look like we want to die haha - on the mummy air blower at your legs making you think they were locusts - an indoor roller-coaster in the dark - lethal

After lunch it was show time and headed to Shrek 4d cinema - the 4th d being getting soaked ! After that it was the Waterworld show, acted out from cast members of CSI Miami and New York, NCIS & House - It was spectacular filled with explosions and plenty of more soakings, was welcomed as it was roasting. Then it was House of Horrors time where we would run about like crazy people, Caoimhe pulling the arm of me and deafen me with screaming every time someone jumped out - I think Caoimhe was on my back at 1 stage - we just wanted the exit - freaked us out. It was a great end to the day which was now 6 o'clock and we were punctured - walked for 8 hours and done everything in the park - both the rides and studio tour were amazing, seeing the sets of some of the best movies ever made - 1 of the highlights of our trip so far definitely.

We arrived back intent on chilling out and heading out to Venice beach, Malibu or Hollywood for a drink - between the park excitement and on going jet lag we woke up at 1am - whoops - maybe for the best as we had to get up at 7am and get on an 8 hour greyhound for San Francisco. We then sat up to 3am booking some accommodation for New York which we were finding difficult - very pricey and not much available. So that was a relief.

Greyhound

We pre-booked our trip online - $45 each - not bad. The station was a $30 taxi ride. Even though we were only in LA 4 days that was enough - we had seen and done what we wanted to do - so many areas were major dodge. As we queued for the bus we knew the trip was going to be fun - jerry springer crew were boarding. The bus was dorty and straight away we decided no more greyhounds- completely different to Australia , both people and bus. Driver was barricaded in like a cell, no tv, people on their phone complaining of stolen passport and wallet - guy behind me looked like 'blue' from Old Skool movie - and as much as I loved blue, this guy was defiantly an alcoholic homeless person absolutely stinkin of wine - 8 hours- please tell me he is getting off before San Fran. We stopped at San Fernando and then Catalina for lunch and then 1 more stop at San Jose. Blue was still behind me sitting beside fitty cents gang. In fairness we both slept (with 1 eye open) most of the way and were looking forward to checking into our hostel, exploring San Fran, starting with Alcatraz tomorrow !

By the time we reached San Francisco, Blue and his fitty cent gang had a case designed to sue Greyhound with their 'corporate’ lawyers haha all because the driver misinformed them of the correct stops.

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