Friday, February 22, 2008

Los Angeles

Time passed, and I didn't blog for a while. This is also where I stopped writing my diary on holiday so detail may be a bit sketchy. On the up side it has given all readers a chance to catch up on all posts and from now on they shouldn't be too substantial. So here's LA.

Kate and I arrived after a bus journey of about five hours. I seem to remember it raining on the journey. We left the Greyhound station and were met by a guy offering us a taxi. He seemed genuine asking his "employees" if they'd take us to our destination. In fact he asked four of them but they were too busy smoking and none of them knew where this big hotel in downtown LA was. Before he could ask anyone else, we hopped into a car saying taxi on it and he shouted "You pay $30 now and we only charge $20". In actual fact the charge was $8.25 and this was to set a precedent for our time in LA.

We got to the Ritz Milner hotel and were greeted by the very nice, large, and camp receptionist who gave us a lowdown on what to expect for our stay. We didn't fancy going out after a long day so went to the "Backdoor Pub" in the hotel. There were only two other people in and the bar closed at 9:30 so not the best pub ever. We crashed for the night soon after.

Friday 1st February - I had a waffle (from the waffle machine), a juice (from the juice machine) and a yoghurt (from a pot) for breakfast in the breakfast bar in the hotel. We then went to Universal Studios which was like a Theme Park and like Granada Studios but bigger. Before going in, two women approached us saying they had a spare ticket as their friend from the military couldn't come so they gave it us for a discount price. What the bitches failed to tell us was that there was a fingerprint scanner at the ticket gate which somehow showed the ticket had already been used by someone else. It's a good job we didn't bump into them inside the park or they would have met with some Toph and Kate whoop ass!

We went on a tour seeing film sets from The Grinch and Jaws, cars from The Fast And The Furious, houses from Desperate Housewives to name but a few things. We then went on a few rides and exhibits including Backdraft, Shrek 4D, Jurassic Park, and the impressive Waterworld show where we got quite wet. Finally we saw some famous animals from the movies including loads from Evan Almighty (some film about an ark or something like that in the bible). I think we went to Hollywood in the evening and watched a film called The Bucket List (two weeks before release in the UK) at the Chinese Theatre.

Saturday 2nd February - We got to the breakfast bar at 9:32 to be rudely told it was closed as it was after 9:30. We told the nice large camp guy on reception who took pity on us and gave us a restaurant list and advised we went to Hollywood. After he'd told us this he then remembered there was "an iHop across the road who deal in breakfast and a Subway just next door." Bless him! Anyway we went to Hollywood and had a tour of LA stopping in Beverly Hills to see if we could see any stars. We saw a few more beggars in Hollywood and one in Beverly Hills. We wandered down Rodeo Drive and Sunset Boulevard and I got a pretty good picture of the sign (see pic).

I think we went for a wander Downtown after that but there wasn't much there so we went back and spent the evening in Hollywood. On our way back to the hotel we got stopped by a man who had "just come out of jail but don't worry i'm not going to hit you" and needed some money for the underground. No problem this time as I had my day pass Underground ticket so just gave him that. He didn't look impressed but thanked me anyway. Ha. Toph & Kate 2, Scamming bastards 1 :-) It was a fairly early night as we were travelling again in the morning.

Sunday 3rd February - We got to the breakfast bar at 6:34 (it opened at 6:30) and I had a yoghurt (from a pot) as the waffle machine and the juice machine were not yet switched on by the grumpy woman who wouldn't let us in the day before. Even when we left at 6:45 they were still not on. Dock this woman some pay I tells ya. We were going to tell our friend on reception but it was old, large guy who was asleep so he was no help. We then headed off for for San Francisco. We were going to drive up the coast but there had been mud slides blocking the road and rail lines (just like in Brighouse!). So we took an Amtrak bus to Bakersfield then a train to Emeryville and another bus to San Francisco.

To sum up Los Angeles, I thought it was an experience I was happy to have had having seen the sights but I didn't really feel safe on the streets and now i've seen everything, it's not a place i'd particularly want to go back to.


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