Santa Monica

Trip Start Nov 14, 2008
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Trip End Mar 10, 2009


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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Arrived safely in Santa Monica after a rather uninspiring flight with Ameircan Airlines. Thankfully the old Stilnoct managed to block out 7 hours of the 12 hour flight.
Took Jackie on a tour of Santa Monica to try & block out the ever increasing jetlag. Had a fabulous fresh lemonade & mint drinnk at Le Pain Quotidien - there is one of these in London now so hopefully these will start to make there way up to Scotland soon as well!
Free WIFI is everywhere including our Motel so its been easy to quickly pop onto the Internet; have been a bit lazy on writing the travelblog though as this is now Thursday & we have been here sinse saturday!
We are staying at the Pacific Sands Motel which is a perfectly adequate Motel right across from the Santa Monica Pier; at the moment it looks like a bomb site with what appears to be all of our belongings strewn all over the room!
Weather has been roasting with the weekend hitting temperatures of 90F; the locals are saying this is due to the fires that are raging around LA just now but i'm not so sure. You certainly could smell the burning in the air though & over towards the mountains you can see the smoke.
Had my first international Skype experience on Sunday to the parents - couldnt get the webcam to work( I think its now sorted though) but really was quite cool to see maw & paw sitting in my living room!
After the Skype experience we went down to the beach - Jackie stuck one toe in the water & declared it was too cold - pathetic! Me & the Boyle were obvioulsy right in there & actually it was really quite nice. We hired some boogie boards & I must actually be getting quite good at it as I managed to catch every wave. Theresa also caught her first one & thanks to my waterproof camera I have it on film; might see if I can upload it onto the site. It was quite scary waiting with the baords as the huge waves came towards you - I have a classic picture of Theresa which shows that quite nicely!
Managed to blow both travel plugs with my hairdryer; whats the point in having some fancy "one adapter for all countries" plug is the thing is fused & only accepts up to 500watts - nonsense! Ive had to not only buy more fuses for the travel adapters so we can charge cameras/computers etc but have also had to buy a normal travel adapter for my hairdryer - what a pfaff! Thankgod for RadioShack though - they have everything!
Had dinner that night at Bubba Gumps which is a tourist trap of a place right on the pier. Food though I think is really good (if you like shrimps!) & they have a fun atmosphere complete with good cocktails. Thanks to a Santa Monica law all restaurants that are on leased public land have to have both decent vegan & vegetarian food on their menus otherwise Jackie would have been stuffed!
Jetlag has been a bit of a nightmare with waking up at 5am & then being nackered at 8pm, thankfully now we are Thursday this seems to have sorted itself out - just in time for getting on another flight & another time zone!!!
Took Jackie to Universal Studios on Monday - had a great day. There is a new Simpsons ride which I think has replaced the old back to the future ride. This is basically an IMAX ride so you dont go anywhere but your mind obvioulsy thinks you do! Spent the whole day getting wet through one means or another; all the rides now have something that splashes you; ie on the Shrek 4D ride you sit in  a theatre with your 3d glasses on whilst a Shrek 3d film plays in front of you. Your seat also moves a wee bit so in one scene you are in a carriage chasing after the bad prince - as the carriage moves so does your seat mimicing the carriage movements. Donkey then sneezes & at the same time water is sprayed out from the ceiling - nice!!
So the rest of the day continued getting soaked on the Jurassic park ride (where I lost my hat & glasses), Mummy ride, and at the waterworld stunt show. As the park was quiet we were allowed to stay on the Mummy ride - Jackie however was having none of it & couldnt wait to get off after the first go; yet again needless to say Me & Theresa stayed on & screamed pantomime style the whole way round! The backlot tour has changed a wee bit due to updates & also the fire last year. As per the rest of the day we were splashed with water at the Jaws part! There was quite a bit of filming going on & Theresa even managed to see Christian Slater (me & Jackie were talking so missed him!!)
Transport wise we got a free shuttle with starline tours up to Universal & then for the way home we decided to have a beer in the Hard Rock cafe & dinner in a fabulous chinese on the Universal city street, so we had to take the public transport route. This was easy - walk down the hill to the Metro, take the red line towards Union Station. Get off at Vermont & Wiltshire (approx 15 minutes). Walk out of the station & get the 720/20 santa monica bus. We got a 20 which theoreticaly stops at every stop however out bus driver was mental & appreared to have his foot on the accelerator all the way to Santa Monica!

Ok my battery is running out & both Jackie & Theresa are glaring at me to get moving for food so I'll update this later & see if I can add photos in!

That update took a while! Me & Jackie are now in LAX waiting on our flight to NZ & waved goodbye to Theresa an hour ago.

A brief update on what has happened this week; Tuesday we had a relaxing day just looking around the shops & enjoying the sunshine.
Wednesday we took the bus up to Beverly Hills (720/920 $1.25 single) Again a beautiful day not a cloud in the sky. Had a glass of wine at the Regent Beverly Wiltshire made famous by Pretty Woman - as it was a hefty $19 a glass, one was enough & we went to the more suitably priced cheesecake factory for lunch. Ferrari count was only 2 which was highly disappointing for Beverly Hills! No celebrity spotting but we did see a couple of papparazzi standing outside a clothes shop waiting for some model. 
Thursday was another relaxing day. We took a ride on the ferris wheel ($3) which is something I've never done before. We then took the boardwalk along to Venice past Santa Monicas version of Muscle Beach. AS it was quiet we had a wee play on the  various rings & bars; Jackie could tunr herself right round on the rings whereas I just hung there! Had a fabulous lunch in the Sidewalk cafe where we ended up spending the rest of the afternoon & evening. Great people watching place & there are some really good musical acts playing all day alongside some chancers looking for spare change! Friday; thanks to the afternoon spent in the sidewalk cafe the day/night before not much was achieved on Friday!
Which leads to Saturday which is where we are now! Could have done with a few more days in Santa Monica as the jetlag take 4 days to sort itself.
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Pacific Sands Hotel

Comments

ma-and-pa
ma-and-pa on

correction
sorry entry on your itinary page,will get the hang of this as time goes on.Uncle david will soon be joining your reader list.

boyley
boyley on

How am I back already!!!!!
I cant believe I am back already, the fastest holiday I have ever had but worth every minute of it from arriving complete with Champers to my Raspberry Mocha Kiss from borders and every part in between. So many highlights - Jackie surely must have won her quest to be the Guinness book of records 'How many bags can be shuffled in an hour' champion:-), boogie boarding even with the scary waves and finally managing to get the knack of it. Bubba Gumps and their fabulous prawns, Universal with all the rides, much screaming, being soaking wet on the Jurassic park ride and Jacks swift escape from the second round of the Mummy. Shopping in Santa Monica, and all the amazing things you can only get in the states. The need for even more adapter plugs after Tanya spectacularly blew both hers and Jacks. Beverly Hills, reliving Pretty Woman in the Regent Beverley Wiltshire . The quality chat and people watching in Venice. Fab Mexican and margaritas on the last night then a melancholy Saturday as I was heading back home - a fantastic week. Wish I was there with you pair now but enjoy Auckland and definitely don't let the bugs bite!!

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