Friday, August 31, 2007

After 24 hours of bus travel through three states, we're spending tonight right back where it all started- at LAX. 

Over the past 3 days we've visited Las Vegas (home to bars that sell margaritas by the foot, streets lined with stocky Latino people handing out strip club flyers, theme park style casinos and indoor malls complete with cloud painted roofs that rain on the hour) and the Grand Canyon (really big hole in the ground that you can't see the bottom of).

And by the way, James Brown is not dead. He runs bus tours to the Grand Canyon out of Las Vegas. We spent the day with him. We can't really say much more than that. He has a strict 'what happens on the bus, stays on the bus' policy.

Oh yeah, and we saw the Hoover Dam. Tom managed to refrain from asking all the dam questions he'd been thinking of eg When can we take some dam photos? Is this a "God dam'? etc.

Thank you for reading. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

After a seven hour drive from San Francisco, we're back in downtown LA again and spent today in Santa Monica looking at the ocean and the sand and the pier and some bookshops and Tom bought a pair of skinny purple pants so that one day he can look back at photos of this trip and say "Oh my God! Check out my pants! What was I thinking!". (Karen is struggling with the length of that sentence and insists that I put a comma in there somewhere but that's my style and I'm sticking with it- Tom)

Tomorrow we catch the bus to Las Vegas.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank the building across the road from the Ritz Milner for the use of their wireless internet connection. 

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lots more walking today and a boat ride out past the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. 

Our favourite meal has become hot soup. It´s very easy to get, it's healthy, it's cheap and you can choose from 4 or 5 different flavours at any decent sized supermarket. 

We also did our laundry today at a place just down the road from our hotel. There was an old chinese guy there (picture a homeless Mr Miyagi with possible mental health issues) who just came in and sat down and then started talking to whoever about all manner of things. These included: where your not allowed to poop, what happens if you kill someone, how much money he had on him (5c) and how much he used to have ($400) until he gave it all to us and questions about where random people were. The most fun we've had doing the laundry in a long time- maybe ever.

As you can see the SLR digital came out with us today. Have a nice day.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Today we spent 7 hours walking the streets of San Francisco. We saw (amongst other things): Mondrian paintings, a Daniel Libeskind building in construction, Hubba Hideout, Alcatraz, the Bay and Golden Gate bridges and some very steep streets. 

We also saw a homeless black guy with dreads wearing a red poncho and matching red slippers carrying a milk crate that contained 5 empty soft drink cups, quite a few stuffed toy animals and two long sticks- San Francisco personified.

...oh yeah and we forgot the camera.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Santa Cruz is a beautiful beach town- super laid back with lots of skaters and surfers and hippie like people who look like they're homeless but they have better shoes. Our motel was directly across the road from an awesome skate park. High five!

On the way up north we stopped in at San Jose. eh...

We're in San Francisco now which is nice. Things seem to be pretty sweet here. The weather's a bit cooler. Our hotel room is gold- similar to 4.5 star stuff in Adelaide but at a similar rate to a hostel here (everything seems a bit more expensive here). We have to walk through a super ghetto area to get home at night though. Preparing us for NYC I spose. 

Oh well time to watch the Discovery Channel. Tonight we're learning about how to make a snow cave.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Day two of our roadtrip proved pretty tiring- a beautiful drive through mountains, clouds and roadworks. Six hours later we arrived Monterey. 

Today we also discovered that once the empty tank light goes on, we still have at least 30 miles of fuel to work with (but probably not much more than that). 

Some annoying things about the US:
-sandwiches with excessive amounts of meat (and fat) in them
-senselessly massive cars/utes
-the way everyone talks
-toilet bowls that are filled with water
-stupid paper money that all looks the same

Things we like:
-Ralphs supermarket
-Free wireless everywhere (especially in hotels)
-Kingsize beds
-The endless number of Mexican restaurants. 
-no having to go to work

Today was the first day of our roadtrip up the coastal highway of California. We drove all day with a few stops along the way. Tom bought a new skateboard and some shoes (really?) and Karen bought a bottle of Sprite.

We're staying at a hotel in Pismo Beach. The online customer reviews spoke of a shooting, extremely bad service, a fridge and 98 cable channels. Perfect. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Today we took the red line to Hollywood Boulevard and walked over all the stars. At one point on our walk there was a fat white guy with crutches sitting on the ground in the middle of the sidewalk. We though he might've fallen over but no, he had a bunch of cleaning products and was polishing his favourite star. 

We also visited a record store that was so big that I had to leave. OMG. It was like Limewire in a room but the music wasn't free. 

We understand that not everyone wants to sign up to put a comment here. Thanks so much to those who have. It's bin great to hear from you. If you still want to email us feel free. At this stage we check it every couple of days at least. 

Today we hire a car and start our roadtrip up the Paific Coastal Highway.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

OK. It's Sunday night and we've just got back from a day at Universal Studios. It was pretty sweet. Highlights were the Mummy and Jurassic Park rides, fat latino children and Tom's purchase of the first of what will probably be quite a few location-specific Harley Davidson T shirts. 

Anyways check the photos. You'll probably notice that the image quality isn't quite L-series as we only took the point and shoot Canon today. 

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Who would have guessed that I would be putting sunscreen on?! We had another good day today. The weather has been nice and hot and sunny. We are discovering why there is an obesity epidemic in the USA. You can't even buy healthy salads here. I don't even know how they get that much fat in the salad! Amazing. 

I've also been trying to remember some Spanish, as almost everything in Downtown LA is written in both English and Spanish and some things just in Spanish. Not sure how I'm going to get us by in Mexico City!

¡Hasta maƱana!

Friday, August 17, 2007

OK, so the hotel we booked with for our second, third and fourth nights had no trace of our booking and were completely booked out but Kaz did some sweet talking and now we're in and we don't have to scam wireless internet anymore. Nice work Kazza.

We can see the Hollywood sign on the top of the hill from our window.
Today we ticked off one of the things on my things-to-do-before-I-die list- we walked to the Walt Disney Concert Hall- a Frank O Gehry building. Better than I imagined. Photos soon.

Here's a few things that we've learnt so far:
-Over here, Lean Cuisine refers to a brand and in no way indicates how healthy a product is. 
-Our hotel marks the unofficial boundary between the financial district and the ghetto. 
-LAX is an airport. That's it. There's not even a vending machine there.
-I like watching the black TV channel- it's almost better than Discovery.

That's it.

We've arrived in LA. The plane ride was ridiculous. 

These are some pictures I took this morning around where we're staying in El Segundo. All the smog makes for quite a nice pink glow when the sunrises.

 If you walk for 3 hours from where we are, you get to the beach which also has a powerstation on it. Who says water and electricity don't mix. 

At the moment we're trying to find a hotel to stay at for our second night. It's not looking good...