Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Los Angeles

After the fiasco of getting here from Austin, our car collection and hotel check in were both very smooth. We arrived exhausted so after a quick bite hit the sack ready for a day of exploring the following day. We drove up the coast to Santa Monica beach passing Venice beach on the way. We took a stroll along the beach when we got there. It looked just like Baywatch; people skating and cycling along the prom, surfer dudes waiting for the next big wave, lifeguards poncing about with their orange buoys, all that was missing was 'The Hoff' and a soft rock theme playing in the background.

After that bit of nostalgia we jumped back in the car and headed the long way up to Hollywood and Highlands via Sunset Boulevard, passing Beverly Hills and other posh superstar neighbourhoods. We could tell this by the guys offering to sell us a map of their houses at every set of lights! We didn't feel like doing any stalking though so we were in Hollywood before lunch. After a quick burger and shake in Jonny Rocket's we set off back to the hotel to catch up on some planning for New Zealand and Samoa.

Tuesday morning we checked out of the Royal Century hotel at 11, and headed to do some last minute shopping for Samoa and NZ. First, we went to a 'Recreational Equiment Inc' (REI) store in Manhattan Beach. My kind of shop full of gadgets and gizmos for travelling and adventures. I managed to pick up a new t-shirt as one of mine has been wreaked by the washing machines we've used recently. Also picked up an MSR water micro-filter treatment pump to save us from buying bottled water everywhere. After some other retail therapy we headed to another Mall, this time we ended up watching a film to pass the last couple of hours in the US of A. The Dark Knight was the only film that fit our schedule so we enjoyed that before heading to LAX for our flight to Apia, Samoa.

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