Los Angeles (LA) LA for Christmas.
We rented an apartment along Melrose avenue over the christmas holidays. It was perfect for us,full kitchen for cooking our christmas dinner. We missed everyone over christmas. First christmas away from family. It was nice to skype everyone on christmas day and to see everyone. In the end we managed to cook a lovely christmas turkey dinner and had a nice day. LA is a great place to live. Even though the weather is cool the skies are so bright and cheerful. The quality of life here is great. Great weather, plenty of activities to do. lovely countryside, beaches and mountain treks all within short drives, lovely neighbourhoods. Having done alot of travling, LA is one place i would like to live. Everyone here is so happy and cheerful. We spent a day going around all the rich neighbourhoods where the rich and famous live. The houses are unreal no picture could encapsulate the grandeur of the houses. One day we went to warner bros studios. Here was went back stage of the comedy show Two and a half men. The stage is so fake for example the stairs has no second storey. The tiles on the stairs are only stickers. The beach scene outside is only a painting. We also saw the street scenes to so many films oceans 11, annie, spiderman, batman, Friends (central park is only a few bushes at the corner of the studios. From now on i am going to see films in a whole new light. We also went to universal studios here we saw the Desperate housewives set, everything there was so real a proper street except the flowers are fake and are sprinkled with water to make them look real.
We rented a car for the month so from LA we made our way down along the coast passing Newport and Laguna beach to San Diego. Another great city lovely and bright nice city. We spent new years eve here. On New years day we drove to Palm Springs. This drive was nice as we drove though the desert. The countryside is just like the cartoon roadrunner and the coyote. Big boulders waiting to be thrown on the road just like the cartoons. Palm Springs was like a hugh retirement village. It consisted of spa's and golf courses for the rich.We went more into the desert onto Las Vegas, Nevada.
Las Vegas is as they say the strip consist as casinos, casinos and neon lights. We stayed at the excalibur, castle themed hotel. Other hotels like the MGM grand had lions into the hotel. The Paris hotel had a fake Eiffel tower within the hotel. The New york hotel had a roller coaster at there hotel and the Luxor hotel was a pyramid hotel. All crazy theme hotels which are connected by sky walkways. Lots of gambling going on. I betted a whole 5 euro and won 30euro so was delighted. I didnt gamble anymore as thought my luck would run out. I did see people at 8am still gambling hundreds. There was some money been thrown away into slot machines.
From Las vegas we made our way into Arizona (cowboys and Indian countryside) This look like the cowboy and indian films with the tumbleweed running along the road. Very cold though as we went up to 6000feet above sea level. We saw the Grand Canyon. Spectacular views. It was hard to comprehend how big it was. One of the nights we stayed in a village called Flagstaff. Here is was minus 12. up to 5 feet of snow, so picturesque. While in Arizona we visited a meteorite site Beringer crater. It is the best preserved meteorite crater in the world. There as almost an eery sense to the place looked just like rosewell. I was waiting for aliens to beam us up!! On our way back into California we visted the sequoia national park. This was fantastic, we drove up the top of a mountain up to 7000ft (had to use chains on the tires). Some spectacular views, we drove up above cloud level (see photos). Once at the top we came to the giant forest home of the sequoias. The place was covered in 8 foot of snow, more then i ever saw even compared to the artic when we were there a couple of years ago. At the top we saw the general sherman tree the biggest tree in the world. I took an acorn so hopping to plant it when i get home!! Being an environmentalist and all hoping to introduce a new invasive species to Cork, there just too cool a tree to leave it in america.
Its one hilly city. Went Alcatraz great tour of the island and prision. Cable cars were very cool. Weather was cold and drizzley. Went for a walk along Bay bridge. Its huge,hard to believe how old it is. San Franciso is famous for its souerdough bread. Its made fresh everywhere, also famous is flavoured taffy. Taffy is toffey. While there we drove up through the Nappa valley (wine country). Really nice countryside. We stopped at the old faithful gyzeer. This gyzeer went off every 10mins up into the air about 60foot.We could hear it bubbling under the water befor it took off into the air.
We spent four days traveling down through California from San Franciso to Los Angeles. Wonderful country wonderful countryside. Loved every minute of the driving. The sites are so diverse. Saw elepant seals. Drove along the Big Sur (aprox 60miles of cliffs edge driving) spectacular scenery.
Back to LA
Our round trip ends back in LA. The world wind trip of California ends on a high. Our first night we went for a stroll along Hollywood blv. We came across the Muppet movie being filmed. It was a big scene with loads of dancers on the street. We might even be shown in the movie as extras watching. We also went to Jay Leno show. This was free. Saw Auston Kutcher and others i dont really know. Jay Leno was very funny even off camera. Another day we went to see the Dr Phill show and Live to dance. All great to see. Lots of hollywood stars everywhere here. Sad to leave California but excited too for our next leg Costa Rica.