19th January 2011
So I made it!
After 6 hours on a bus, 4 hours waiting and 12 hours on a plane, I finally made it to L.A.!
Getting through immigration wasn’t even close to as bad as I thought it would be, even after thinking I had lost one of the extremely important papers I needed for them to let me into the country. Customs was a breeze, all we had to do was show an officer the immigration card and he said “have a good trip.” Here I was thinking it would be horrible and as it turns out customs in Dunedin is more intense.
Josh and I had booked a tour of downtown LA the day before in Brisbane airport so our first mission was to find out how to get to the pickup point, this took a good hour and a lot of walking. Our tour was with Starline Tours in association with VIP Tours and we had the best driver called Eddie. He gave us inside information on the places we went and sites we drove past. We had 4 stops overall with the first being at Venice Beach, it was incredible! The street was filled with little shops, all selling the same things; sunglasses, bongs and weed. There were also a few tattoo/piercing parlours but by the state of the general area I wouldn’t go near them with a 10 foot pole. We went for a walk down to the beach as well but had to keep our shoes on so we didn’t stand on needles. A slightly scary thought but we got away needle free.
Our next stop was Rodeo Drive, seeing shops like Gucci, Dolce & Gabana, Chanel. It was honestly just like you see in the movies, everything was bright, shiny and oh so pretty! If only I could afford it....
We stopped at a place called Farmers Market for lunch which was basically a whole lot of different food places then shops on the other side. The last stop was the Chinese Theatre where we saw the Hollywood stars, hand and foot prints in the ground, Madame Tussoes Wax Museum and tons of people trying to rip you off. I had a woman come up to me who was dressed up and made me take a photo with her then wouldn’t leave till I gave her a tip. We also had heaps of hopeful rap artists trying to sell us their CD’s. It’s crazy how different it seems in comparison to what you imagine being the centre of Hollywood. Oh I can’t forget, we also took photos of the Hollywood sign.
So after the tour we headed back to the airport and basically just mucked around until our flight which was at 10.30pm. That was about 5 hours waiting, at an airport, with nothing to do. Lucky I came prepared with my laptop and magazines.