Lexi and Hiro's Round The World Journey 2008-2009 travel blog

Highway 1 winds through the mountains along the coast

Beautiful scenery of the Pacific Ocean

The famous Hollywood sign

Lexi with Snoop dog

The walk of fame

Santa Monica Pier

Rodeo Drive baby

At Universal Studios with Sherk

Jaws at Universal studios

We bid farewell to beautiful Yosemite and we hit the road again to LA. By now we are used to driving in the US and enjoyed the great drive back to the coast for 5 hours, then decided to stay overnight in Monterray. Next morning we started early to keep driving down to LA, through beautiful “Big Sur” coast line. It was very winding but scenic and beautiful drive, and we enjoyed it so much. It reminded us of the captain cook highway to Port Douglas.

We got caught in pretty bad traffic jam when getting close to LA, but finally got there before sunset. Well, to be honest, LA is another disappointing destination in the US and not as glamorous as it is made out to be. We were really excited to be here to see Hollywood, Beverly Hills, famous people and theme parks… but maybe we expected too much. First of all, LA is one of the worst air-polluted cities we’ve visited on our trip, much worse than Mexico City, I would say it was as bad as Beijing. The whole city is covered with smog, our eyes were sore and even felt disgusted to breath. I understand the US is a car society, but LA’s traffic is a nightmare, during morning and afternoon peak hours highways are all absolutely chocka blocked causing more pollution. Public transports do exist in LA but it is not good enough for the city of this size.

Downtown LA is far from what we expected it would be. It is like downtown Mexico City, quite dirty, dated buildings, and Spanish is spoken here more than English. There was really not much to see in downtown. Then we visited Hollywood, yes we saw the Kodak Theatre, the “Hollywood” sign on the hill, the walk of fame and souvenir shops, but that is about all. It was much smaller area than we thought and somehow didn’t excite us at all. You really only need 1hour here. We also went to Beverly Hills, and walked through famous Rodeo Drive with rich international brand stores, but again it wasn’t big nor good compared to shopping streets in Europe or Asia. It does have super rich and elegant atmosphere though compared to the downtown.

What we think of LA is that there is a tremendous gap between the rich and poor here. We went to Beverly Hills and saw nice shops and beautiful houses on a hill, but in East and South part of LA is described as “war zone”, where people are still living in the poor conditions and violent crimes occur daily. We took a public bus and subway quite often in LA, there were many Hispanic and black passengers, but we rarely saw white ones. When we asked hotel concierge about public transport, he didn’t recommend us to use it, almost sounded as if public transports are for lower class. There was nothing wrong with public buses or subways, we took a train at 5am and felt safe. If they really want to improve LA’s air pollution, they just need to move their lazy asses out of cars and use more public transport.

We didn’t go to Disneyland but we went to the Universal Studio as there was nothing else to do. It was fun, we took a few rides and studio tours. Almost all rides are designed to make you wet and I really don’t understand why Americans are so excited when they got wet.

Now we are leaving the mainland US to Hawaii which is our last destination. We just can’t believe how time goes quick and it is coming to the end.

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