After a lengthy delay the flight out of Nashville finally arrives in LA. It’s around 9pm when I make it out of baggage claim and arrange my own transfer to the hotel in West Hollywood. This has normally taken around half an hour to organise and drop off but at around midnight I finally arrive at my hotel. But I did go down “Melrose Place”, the actual street along the way (not like the tv show at all).
It’s chilly in the lobby of the hotel, in the area which my transfer driver advises me that it’s the gay and lesbian area of LA. The next morning I would realise this, with all the rainbow coloured flags all down the centre of “Santa Monica Blvd” – West Hollywood. Neither of which phases me in the slightest but I thought it odd that it be pointed out. I arrive in my…. Sorry “Our” room as my lil sis is due to arrive in less than 8 hours time and then it will be “our” room. My days of travelling this lonely road will soon be over!!!! Although I have had a fantastic time on my own, I can’t wait for Lise to join me in the last couple of weeks of the adventure.
The alarm goes off, I get myself together and head down to the valet and organise a cab to the airport. “Any bags???” the cabbie says….. To which I reply “No, just me”. The first time in my adventure so far! I feel like I live here an my family is coming to visit me! So exciting!! So I’m heading to the airport with anticipation to meet my little sister. The countdown has taken so long but now it’s finally here. After a few trips back and forth to a number of terminals (from the “Un-helpful desks” of the airport information staff, I finally see a very familiar face sitting on a chair at the TBIT with her bright purple bags. A sense of regret comes over me knowing that I wasn’t in the right place for when she came into the terminal, and had to sit down and wait for me to find her (I know what that feels like). But I’m so excited that my little sister has arrived safely and that I can wrap my arms around her for real and welcome her to LA and to the start of our adventure together.
I’m ready to get out of the terminal and hail us a cab to take us back to the hotel. Then I hear a little “Yeah, we can’t go yet”, from Lise. I’m at first a little worried, she appears to have all her luggage so I’m not sure what she’s talking about. Then she says “Mum and Dad are flying in too!” What tha……!!!
So it turns out that my mum and dad have also followed Lisa to USA to join us for part of our holiday and to have a bit of a holiday themselves. I’m a little tired still from the late check in of last night, but I did not expect this. So instead of going to the cab line, we head to the terminal where the olds arrive at, to meet them. Again after some “un-helpful” airport information staff, we all end up in the same place to meet each other….. In person…… I’m still a little confused but I can see my sister, my mum and my dad all in front of me and it all appears to be real now!!! How even more exciting!!!!
After a short sharing of hugs and kisses between all the four of us, Lisa and I head one way and Mum and Dad check in with their airport transfer. So Lisa and I take the 20 mile trip back to the hotel so she can freshen up ready for our first day in LA. The hotel concierge helps us with maps and the main points of interest that we should take in during our visit in their fine city. We head on foot down to La Cieniga Blvd which takes us to the Beverley Centre. A small shopping centre where we find some lunch but more importantly our stop for the “Hop On Hop Off” bus tour.
The first day is mainly spent on the bus cruising up on the top level of the double decker, through the streets of LA. Hollywood, Beverley Hills and Santa Monica Beach to be exact. The 2 loops that we ride on show us most of the sites (which we will find out later in the week during our Grand LA Tour). Then we end up getting off the bus on Hollywood Blvd in front of the Pallace Theatre. A short walk and a few blocks up from the Chinese Theatre, or so we thought. This is at least our first real look at the Hollywood walk of fame. We stroll rather quickly the few blocks (plus a few more blocks) up to the Chinese Theatre but see along the way the Hollywood stars for “Wanye King” (I sh*t you not!!!), “John Howard” and “Bob Hawke”, plus a few of famous stars that we all know and love (Dean Martin has 2 stars!!). Our night ends up with dinner at the Hard Rock Café. Burger and Fries for Lise and Ribs and Onion Rings for me. I’ve grown a liking to the Onion Rings here! By the end of the night here in LA, it’s been almost 34 hours since Lise had some sleep….. I think the little cherub is now due for some serious shut eye.
The next day arrives and we’re off to Universal Studios. At this point I have no idea that today is going to be one of the best days of my entire trip so far! With a “Front of Line” pass around our necks we enter the big gates and set off to tackle the back lot rides first. To get there we head to the back of the upper lot and down 4 sets of escalators. Yes four individual ones that are at least at a 90 degree angle down/up. When we reach the bottom of the last escalator we are greeted by “Jurassic Park”, “The Mummy” and the “Transformers” ride. All of which we ride without the need to use our Front of Line passes. The Transformers is the best and we end up riding that one again as soon as we’ve done the other two. Not before we meet “Bumble Bee” and “Optimus Prime” first. This is the first time we are both taken back to our childhood memories, and we’re loving it!!!
So it turns out that for two gals who straighten their hair, to do the Jurassic Park ride 2nd in the morning probably was not the brightest ideas. But it doesn’t matter because we had a ball and we ended up getting drenched from almost head to toe on this ride. So doing this one again!!!!
There is so much more to tell about our fun and laughs throughout this day, that this post would be another 8 pages long. But I can’t leave out the experience we had at the “House of Horrors”. Not only was this walking maze scary enough with the freaky characters jumping out from in front, to the side and from behind us throughout the maze, but the most hilarious moment was when the group of Asian girls in front of us were so freaked out and scared out of their wits in front of us, that at one stage they even drove Lise and I back about 10 metres through the maze because a freaky monster jumped out in front of them and they were obviously trying to get away from “it”. Lise and I just laughed hysterically (after initially being freaked out ourselves). By the time we got out of the house, we were both laughing so hard we had tears streaming down our faces. This one sh*ts on the one at the Ekka and local places back home!!!
The next day we have our LA Grand Tour (which included a trip down memory lane with “Pretty Woman” as we stroll leisurely down Rodeo Drive to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel) and Stars Homes which will pretty much take up most of the day. The grand tour was great and the tour guide was fantastic, then our stars home guide kept telling us about the homes but kept forgetting to tell us which side of the street to look at. We got some fantastic photos of big gates (all different coloured and made of different materials). But my favourite would have to be Gwen Stafani’s house. What a view she must have!!!
After we get back to our hotel we get straight onto our next adventure via the “Metro Rapid”. LA’s answer to public transport. When we arrive at Santa Monica Pier it’s a little cold!!! The sun is setting so we have some good photos but the pier isn’t too long so it doesn’t take us long to walk to the end of it. Time for dinner and it’s fish and chips at one of the local restaurants (delicious by the way). With a cocktail each we’re soon warmed up and ready to take the number 4 bus back to our hotel at just after 10 pm. A huge day so it doesn’t take us long to get to sleep. Tomorrow we have a late check-out and head via our transfer to Anaheim, not before some breakfast (eggs benny) from K24 next door to our hotel. Disneyland….. Here we come!!!!!