Nationals Post in Draft Stage – USA Blog Starts NOW!

I have partially completed my Nationals post – I briefly thought about rushing it and finishing it with a more concise and somewhat abrupt ending but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. There are few things in the world I am a little anal retentive about – apparently blog posts are one of them. As my Dad loved to tell me when I was young and impressionable “near enough is as good as a mile”. Sadly we don’t work in miles Dad but I now understand that if I just think my blog posts “will do” I may as well be 1.6km away from a decent post that does the event justice.

Anyhoo onto The Epic USA (including Alaska)/Canada/Now Possibly South America Blog Posts. We have been in Los Angeles for approximately 30 odd hours now and have managed to do a surprising amount of things already. I guess I should clarify that South America addition to my post. We arrived at Customs Inspection all smiles when the lovely young man asked us how long we planned to stay. Six months I informed him with a grin. And yes then the questions started, all friendly, of course. And then he asked about our return ticket – yeah glad we booked that one. We informed him that our return ticket was booked for Jan 3rd. Well it turns out given we flew in on the 29th it turns out we are allowed to stay exactly 6 months ie till the 29th of December then we had to be flying out. Oops. We assumed since the Visa hoops we jumped through gave us a VISA for one year that we could stay that length of time should we choose. Las Vegas NYE was booked! Unless (and this was told to us by another friendly customs officer) we flew out of the country (Canada and Mexico don’t count) and came back in prior to Dec 29th. He suggested we pop over to Guatemala or El Salvador. They told us we wouldn’t be kicked out at all this time but if we planned on ever coming back then it would show up on our file as an overstay and we’d be deported. Not something I ever plan on being a part of so we are now plotting a trip to be taken when we get to Florida. At this stage tentative arrangements are being made for Peru and Machu Picchu. A quick four day visit.

Anyway that all sorted we grabbed our luggage and caught a cab to the Comfort Inn near Universal Studios on Vermont Ave. After settling in and me setting my phone alarm I had a one hour nap in a bid to head the jet lag off at the pass. We then started to track down a SIM card shop for our phones. That ended in a 6.4km walk or around 4.5miles and success plus we discovered what was on a long segment of Santa Monica Boulevard and where La Brea Ave is in West Hollywood. We caught a cab back to the hotel after visiting Target and making some very important purchases (including Reese’s mini pieces and Tim’s first Twinkie) eating at The Flame Broiler, a very healthy grill place with no meals more than 500 calories and yet still yummy!

We got to bed around 11.30 and slept right through to 7am. We got up at 7 thinking we would partake of the free breakfast included. Sadly that didn’t work since there was a sign saying we could not take any food away but there was nowhere to sit to eat even if we had felt inclined to have bran cereal, toast or yogurt. We decided to give Denny’s a go. It’s America’s most favourite diner open 24 hours. The choice was splendiferous! I had the ultimate omelette and a mango smoothie. Delish! And inexpensive. It’s just across the road so think we’ll be going back there for sure.

We then purchased a Metro card which lets us on all the buses and subways for the next 7 days for 20 dollars each and ten times easier than trying to buy a transperth smart rider. Caught the subway up to Hollywood Boulevard and visited Madam Tussaud’s. Spent an hour or so there and then made our way to the end of Santa Monica Blvd where we located the bus pick up place for our half day LA Sightseeing and Hollywood tour. That was a cool tour with stop off points and plenty of opportunities for photos. We shared one slice of pizza for a snack to keep going. At $5 it was a very cheap lunch 🙂 And now here we are back in our room. Universal Studios planned for tomorrow.

Lots of wall art all over the place – this mural was stunning in it’s detail.

Entire building facades covered in vibrant colour. It certainly adds to the whole Venice ‘vibe’.

This guy was sprawled out enjoying the warm weather. I knew dogs like lying in the sun but didn’t realise canine sunbathing was actually a thing.

This was a kid’s bike that was covered in bees! And right where everyone was cycling.

Then the police stepped in and made it all safe for the public. No one wanted any anaphylaxis ruining their day on the beach.

More street art ala surfing buddha theme.

Santa Monica pier, a 130 yards shorter than it used to be apparently due to some wicked storm or other.

Lots of artists out there working on their art today.

I call this the imaginative title of “Four Palm Trees on a beach named Venice”. It’s not even remotely esoteric.

So after the police cordoned off the bee problem they called in the big guns or the big firetrucks at the case may be. Seriously big firetrucks they have in LA.

I didn’t even realise I caught this guy in the frame until after I downloaded my pics. Tim is convinced those trapezoid muscles are inserts. I dunno – I think I’d need to feel them to be really sure. Either way this guy is doing a good impression of Dwayne The Rock Johnson.

Santa Monica City Hall. I love the California state flag – that Bear is very striking.

This is the sign that greets travellers at the end of the over 2000 mile Route 66 which runs from Chicago to Santa Monica. Important for bikers I hear.

This hotel is one of the oldest in Santa Monica – over a hundred years old. It’s not really that old in the scheme of things I suppose but it made me think of home and how nothing is old back there either.

These signs (there’s one for Venice, Santa Monica etc) are displayed all over California. I do like how the US flag is on display prominently everywhere, this kind of patriotism is rarely come across in Australia – apart from on special holidays, sporting events. The Americans show their love of their country everywhere you go.

One of the only canals left in California Venice. Apparently Richard Dreyfus lives on the canal.

One of many posh homes we saw – I think this one belonged to James Cameron.

The infamous Hollywood sign – I have been plotting the possible scheme of re-enacting the scene from a Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis movie whereby they sit in the Os and gaze upon the LA vista.

The view from the outlook in Hollywood hills. Some of the real estate here are blessed with these views nearly all way round their homes.

Santa Monica beach – slightly less busy than Venice.

Did I mention I love the Cali state flag? This could be Lance – except he’s Texan so I doubt it.

That right there is known as the celebrity rehab house. That rectangle on the left of the decking? That’s a pool. Couldn’t see Charlie Sheen or Lindsay staying so hopefully they’re on the mend. 😉

Me and Jack. To be honest this place kinda creeped me out. I don’t know if it’s too much Supernatural but I really was glad I was visiting and not working here. I tried to picture working here after closing when it was all dark and promptly freaked myself out. I mean the skill is amazing but still it has these slightly disturbing overtones.

Me and my favourite Avenger 🙂

My favourite X Man as well 🙂

Two blondes walk into a wax museum…finish that joke.

Me and my favourite cyclist. His recent newsworthiness is also total BS by the way.

Jack Sparrow dressed as that guy from The Rum Diary. Ahh Johnny – why so talented?

Warp factor nerd please Mr Sulu…or Mr La Forge. Either one will do.

Run Forrest! RUN!!

Go ahead. Make my day Clint. Wrong movie I know. Still gotta respect the Clint.

Look! Butch and Sundance! Bestest buddy bromance movie ever. I hope. When I get to see the whole thing all the way through that is.

Me and Katherine floating it down on the African Queen.




One comment

  1. Rene · July 6, 2012

    Loving these travel reports. It’s especially interesting to hear the observations of the U.S. from someone who’s not from here. My daughter and I did the whole Hollywood/Malibu touristy thing last fall. We had a blast. Next time, consider doing the Warner Bros. Studio tour. It’s a great experience for any TV/Movie fan. Keep up the good work. I love your writing! I’ll have to check out Tim’s blog as well. You can always email me if there’s anything I can answer or help with while you’re on this American journey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s