Longest Day Of My Life! Jet Lag Hell!

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, July 8, 2006

Day 1 - Auckland

Had an early checkout planned today so that we could see as much of the city as possible in the one day we had available. To be honest there wasn't really that much to see. The skyline is dominated by the Sky Tower so we had to head there. Walking around town I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed by day. At night it looked really good all lit up but it seemed quite dull and grey during daylight hours. It was also very cold and grey outside. -2C with windchill and my wardrobe doesn't equip me for those temperatures!

We spent all morning walking around town taking in the sights including the town hall and the uninspiring harbour. Decided that we had no choice but to spend the $20 and take a trip up the tower. Pretty steep but there was nothing better to do.

The tower was identical in every way to the Macau Tower. You can climb the tower, sky jump (they say it is the tallest but Macau is taller) and there are glass floors to scare the hell out of you.

That finished we decided we'd had enough of the cold and hit the hostel again to go to the airport, 5 hours early. Sat around in the airport bar for a couple of drinks before finally boarding the plane at 7pm bound for Los Angeles.

Day 2 - Los Angeles (12 midday)

The flight was actually quite good for a change. A great new jumbo with loads of leg room and reasonable food/entertainment. I can't say that the 11 hours went quickly but it still wasn't a hellish experience. There was a family with 3 small kids sitting next to us and they were the best behaved kids I've ever seen considering they were on a long haul flight and didn't make any noise all night!

Landed in Los Angeles LAX airport at 12 midday, 7 hours before I had taken off from Auckand! Gained a whole day by flying over the International date line. I had heard that immigration in the USA was a bit of a joke and I expected it to take hours but all I had to do was give them some fingerprints and a photo and I was allowed into the country with no problems. Still the immigration form was a bit ridiculous as it asks if you are a drug smuggler or terrorist!

Through customs with no problems and I was out on the street looking for the quickest way to the hostel we had chosen, Hollywood International, in Hollywood. Found a shuttle bus and began circling the airport 3 times until it was full and we finally set off. We were the last people to be dropped off and had to visit a number of places along the way including UCLA and Beverly Hills before getting to Hollywood Bl. The hostel couldn't have been better located. Right on the Walk of Fame and basically opposite the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars are held annually. The hostel though was a bit of a dump. It seemed really tatty and the room had no air con and not even a fan! It was about 90F outside and the room was scorching!

Decided to get out of the ghetto and see the sights around Hollywood. I hadn't heard a single good thing about LA from everyone I had met so wasn't really looking forward to it but it wasn't that bad. There wasn't much to do in the area so we just walked up and down the walk of fame all day taking photos. We of course wanted to see the Hollywood sign but the only place we could see it was from the Kodak Theatre and the sign was miles away! I had to use full zoom just to get it in the picture. There was a shuttle bus running to the sign for $3 but we couldn't find the damn bus anywhere and no one seemed to know where it was.

We decided that we had seen enough of Hollywood and wanted to get on the Greyhound and go somewhere else. Luckily there was a Greyhound station in Hollywood so we walked there and booked tickets to Las Vegas! Vegas baby! In celebration we went to the Pig and Whistle pub near the hostel for a couple of drinks. Pretty expensive, especially when you have to tip every time! Gets annoying very quickly and I swear I spent half my money in USA on tipping people!

Feeling hungry we went to a fast food Mexican place for a really good burrito before feeling thirsty and heading to an American institution, Hooters! Wasn't as tacky as I had expected and we drank away all night and only ended up having to pay for half the drinks as the waitress completely forgot 2 pitchers of beer we had had! Drinking for hours and it only came to $16! Los Angeles wasn't that bad, let's hope Vegas is even better!
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