Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Beverly Hills and Hollywood
6 Feb - Our bus left midnight heading for Los Angeles. By this time Dan and I were both excausted from the big day to the Grand Canyon and back so as soon as we got onto the bus we fell asleep. We were supposed to be in LA at 6am but the bus driver got a bit lost and only managed to find the bus depot at 7:20am. But we were really happy about that as it gave us more time to sleep and we did not have any where to go once we arrived in LA anyway.
At the bus depot I called some shuttles asking them to take us back to Munro's place (the kiwi friend of Dan's we stayed with in the beginning of our trip) but they quoted us between $70-$90. What a rip off. So Dan got a bright idea and suggested a car rental. We then managed to hire a car for the whole weekend for $65. We booked into a hotel downtown as it is very convenient to all the surrounding attractions and the major bus and train systems run from downtown as well. The hotel was called STAY and we had an awesome room with a funky hand couch. We stayed there for 4 nights and after returning the vehicle we were able walk almost every where as the hotel's location was perfect.
7 Feb - As we still had the rental car for the day we decided to drive to the major attractions which would otherwise require a bus or a tour. We headed for Malibu beach and discovered that if you are a surfer, it is the place to be. We wondered along one beach and saw the coolest electric car display at one of the beach side restaurants.
After Malibu we headed for Santa Monica where we walked around on the famous Santa Monica pier. There I bought funky butterfly sunglasses and a cool Jamaican style cd.
Santa Monica also has great long white sand beaches where volleyball nets are set up for the locals to have games.
We also saw the famous gym on the beach called muscle beach where the big armed very golden brown guys pump their muscles outside in the open air with passers buy adimiring them.
When we left we drove through Beverly Hills and along the famous Rodeo drive.
In Beverly Hills we saw the Wilshire hotel where Richard Gere climbed the fire escape stairs to go and kiss Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman also Rodeo drive is the street used in the shopping scene.
This street has some shops where you need an invitation from the shop to get permission to go in and purchase something and all the famous brand names can be found at very expensive prices.
On our way home Dan wanted to buy some peanut butter flavoured power bars as you struggle to get them in New Zealand. Well in order to get them at a good price in bulk we went to about 5 supermarkets. So that basically concluded our Sunday evening.
They also had the red carpet layed out for the Valetines day movie premier.
In Hollywood we saw some really strange people and when we bought a single drink we received a receipt made from about 2 trees. Just for one drink, we were totally amazed and realised that global warming is obviously not taken into account in this part of the world. We also went to the Amoeba music store which sold second hand, old and new cds and dvds, so we managed to find a few bargains there. Back in downtown we walked along Broadway which sells heaps and heaps of cheap but very cool clothes.
9 Feb - It was a misserable day outside so we slept until noon. Once we went outside it was pouring down. We had to go and sort something out in a place about 10km away so we had to take a train and 2 buses to get there. Once we arrived there we were wet and cold. On our way back we waited on the side of the road for a bus. One bus drove past us and drove through a massive puddle which totally shot a wave of water across to our side. We got soaked. But Dan was worst off as he was in the perfect spot for the majority of the water to hit him. He got so wet the water dripped from his nose. We both just burst out laughing as we thought it only happened in movies ;-)
10 Feb - Today was our last day in Los Angeles and in the USA. We went to the Disney music hall
and walked a 6km route to go and look for a skateboard for Dan and we had to use the GPS to get there.
Once we arrived at the shop we were very dissapointed to find a tiny garage filled with old skateboards. That is where I drew the line and got on a bus back to downtown. We did our last 2 hours of shopping before meeting back at the hotel waiting for our shuttle to collect us. Our last meal in the USA was amazing hamburgers from Carl's Jr.
Our flight was at midnight and it was to the very romantic Tahiti.
Watch this space for awesome Tahiti photos :-)