LA Day Four

This ended up being my favourite day.

I woke up feeling like utter shit. I hadn’t drank in a few weeks and I hadn’t drunk much the night before but I paid for it.

We cleaned up and checked out then Sarah, Jay’s friend from oz and her partner, Drew picked us up and took us over to West LA to watch the NFL semi finals.

It was crazy! Loved it. Was still not loving my hangover though. Jay was fine having some drinks.

After my salad I started to perk up though and my friend, Jon came to pick us up to show us his hood. At the same time, Jay started to crash. We swapped roles.

We drove through Santa Monica and Venice Beach in Jon’s HUGE truck (which I love! Ford F150) listening to great tunes and soaking up the sunshine.

Jay was in a state by then and even asked if the road sign ‘Ocean’ meant we were on Ocean Road or if it meant that we were next to the ocean…

I love the beaches in the way to Hermosa. There’s this great beach with drum barrels the whole way along the stretch and Jon explained that they’re legal Bon fire areas! Everyone goes down there and chills out in the evening. I thought it was such a great idea!

Finally we arrived in Hermosa Beach. It feels like you’re in a holiday town. I wish we’d been there the whole time and were staying a week! It’s just gorgeous with this great vibe.

I was starving (nothing new) so we popped into Hot Kitchen on Jon’s recommendation and ordered tacos. Holy bajeezus they were good!!!! Must try if you’re in the area. I even had a cider.

We went to Jon’s apartment (which was gorgeous, right on the beach walk) then walked along the beach and the pier as the sunset. It was stunning and I didn’t want to leave. But time was pressing and I needed to head to the airport. Luckily LAX is only about 15min away.

I said goodbye to Jon and Jay and waited for my flight. Funnily enough the area I was in only had flights to NZ, Brisbane and Vancouver. I was almost wishing I was on one of the other planes, I’m looking forward to going home!

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LA Day Three

One of the bigger days on the trip, I had breakfast and met Jay in the foyer of her hotel, the Grand Californian Disney hotel on the park. It was a short walk. Pleasant in the sun, man I miss the sun.

We headed into California Adventure park and did heaps of rides. Tractor ride in cars, Ariel’s clam ride, mickeys Ferris wheel, log mountain thingy ride, you get the drift.

We skipped back over to Disney to meet Jay’s family. Lunch was just a chicken and avo sandwich (burger, they call then sandwiches) with fruit. Healthy options even at Disney – yay!

I went to the Star Wars area and tried to jump on the Star Tours ride but the line was too long. Bought my bro’s a secret pressie, a hat for my goddaughter and some Mickey Mouse pjs for me then we were off.

You wouldn’t think it would be too hard to get from Disney/Anaheim to LA/west Hollywood but boy was it a mission.

4pm on Saturday, so there is limited transport running. We can take a taxi or bus to the train station ($28 on Amtrack) but that will only take us to Union Station and we are a good hour on the subway after that. Not happening.

We tried to rent a car, we walked to the yards and even though their sites said they were open to 5 they were both closed.

The hotel we walked into tried to help us, seeing if there was a shuttle or private car we could take.

In the end we got a taxi for $100 including taxes and tips. Good to know for next time though. I would really have thought that with all the travellers there would be a better transport system in place.

We checked into our hotel, The Standard Hotel in West Hollywood. It was totes amazeballs and I fully recommend it if you are staying in that area!

It’s a very trendy hotel, an amazing lobby with fancy furniture that Jay recognised as somebody’s work who I can’t remember.

There’s a bar that flows out onto the pool area that I would have liked to visit given half the chance.

Our room was massive! Minimalistic, a big bed, orange plumbing fittings, a rainfall shower head and a balcony by the pool area on the first level.

We ran over to Trader Joes. I fell in love! The cheese and meat is do cheap! Ended up with a big platter of food for dinner and 2 bottles of wine.

We walked past Chateau Marmont on the way there, valet literally lined up a block and there were gates set up for paps, Golden Globes was the next day so it was crazy.

My friend Amanda gave me her friend, Alethea’s number so we met her at Fatty’s in West Holiday for drinks. We then continued on to Greystone & Henry Hoorah or something like that.

The club scene there blew my mind. All bottle service. All booths. All big groups. It was amazing. No room for the normal folk. I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed it more with bottle service but as someone just visiting I didn’t particularly love it. Great scenery though.

We rocked home and came across the luggage trolley on the way back to our room. Being the drunken idiots we are, I jumped on it and Jay pushed me home!

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Surprise!!

I’m coming home!!Β 

Yep, I made the decision today, I’ll be back in NZ mid feb πŸ™‚

Kicking goals, once I decided this morning I booked a few days in NYC, A tour from NYC – Miami with Top Deck Travel, a few extra days in Miami and maybe a cruise or a trip to Barbados.

Then I made my bucket list for my last few weeks here which include snowboarding and a Canucks game. I’m doing both on the 1st. BOOM!

Love kicking goals! My poor, poor bank account however…Β 

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Orphan’s Christmas

On the 24th – which was the 25th in New Zealand I skyped my family while they did their gifts. I thought I’d get upset but I was okay! It didn’t really feel like Christmas for me because I wasn’t at home.

I made red velvet cupcakes with green icing and Billy bought over tea. I walked over to Michelle’s and we all went down to the Stanley Park Christmas Lights. I ended up going back to Billy’s and we played monopoly until 1am. He kicked my ass.

Christmas Day here, I woke up late, met Billy & we walked to Carso’s for Christmas lunch. They did an amazing job -turkey, ham and all the delicious trimmings. The turkey was 8kg and took a longgg time to cook so we didn’t end up eating until 4pm! Lucky we had lots of beverages and yummy snacks to keep us entertained.

My secret Santa was an awesome little Canada flask, everyone got great gifts.

Carso made an amazing warm punch with spiced rum, red wine, oranges and cranberries. Soooo delicious! I’ll be making that next year.

Over to Michelle’s for dinner, we had a late one, thank goodness. Joe made two delicious chickens and great stuffing. Lucky we didn’t eat until about 11pm, we were all so full!

We played Cards Against Humanity – my new fave game. It’s hilarious. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Laughed till I cried, again and again, I’m going to buy it for everyone!

Around 2am I got a cab home as it had started raining. I was too exhausted to even open my gifts/ stocking from home so crashed out an skyped my family the next morning and opened them all.

Next Christmas, I will be home. It’s not Christmas without being with my family, I had a great time but feels more like a week of partying than anything else.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!!

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Holiday Season

Here come the holidays!

This is my first orphan Xmas away from my family. I am not looking forward to being away from them. My original plan was to skip the country – home was 3k return and not viable however Hawaii was $700 return and the distraction of the sun, sand and waves would keep me happy. However that didn’t work out either.

I have a few friends to visit on Xmas, some dinners and some lunch so I will be nice and occupied. Christmas in NZ will actually be on the 24th here. Luckily we finally have wireless at home now so my olds can Skype me in!

New Years, well I know this will surprise you but I wanted to skip the country lol. However nobody wanted to fly away with me so I thought I was destined to be stuck here.

There is a Great Gatsby party here I was planning on going to and a friend invited me to Whistler but I’m not sure they got accommodation sorted.

Then I got a message from one of my first Contiki buddies and they’re getting married/ having their Canadian ceremony on NYE in Toronto! I love weddings and it would be the perfect excuse to go explore the other side of the country with some great people. I think I will book that.

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Four months in

Four months in!

To celebrate four months in Canada I headed up to Whistler with my good friends Tahlia, Michelle and Scotty.

Snow has recently been falling upon the mountains and I’m starting to get really excited about seeing a decent amount of snow up on the tips. I will be super excited come the time it snows in the village. I don’t love the cold but I love the idea of snow capped buildings and trees, not to mention log fires, warm apple cider, snuggly clothes and attempting to learn to ski and snowboard. Eeeeeeep!

Even compared to just a few weeks back it’s beautiful to see how the seasons have change the landscape in Whistler. The leaves are the most predominant change – turning to the gorgeous rustic orange, red and brown hues.

We stopped at The Warehouse for lunch. I wouldn’t go back there. It may only be $7 or so a meal but we waited a good hour and they mixed up all four of our meals. I had The Works burger and I felt ill for ages afterwards. It’s much more fattier than I’d normally eat I guess.

We wandered around the village just taking in the sights and stopping in random stores – mainly ones that involved chocolate so I could get my fix.

There were heaps of cross country bike riders out – it’s awesome to watch. They take the gondola up with their bikes then ride down the mountain in all its muddy glory. I would love to give it a go but I fear I would break my wrist or something silly.

On the way home we stopped at a few lookout points along the way. It’s a stunning drive and the Canadian landscape still fascinates me.

The pic of me below jumping in the air is probably my favourite. Two seconds after that pic I fell straight on my butt. It was hilarious – wish someone got a picture of that!

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