Last stop before home
17.05.2013 - 21.05.2013 24 °C
We finally made it to LA. It was only a 3 hours ride from Sequoia but we were so glad to return the car safely at the airport. Driving in LA is just a nightmare. The motorways aren't too bad, its just the roads in the city are packed making it pretty hard to switch lanes in a hurry. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel in Hollywood then returned the car. Unfortunately we got caught in peak hour traffic and the ride back from the airport was really slow and long. By the time we got back, we were exhausted and couldn't really be bothered doing anything. So we just had dinner at the hotel (3 courses for $20). The downside.. after tax and service and tips it wasn't too cheap at all. No idea what the service charge is for (yet tips weren't included)?!?!?!
We thought we go ring shopping today. On the way to the metro, we strolled the streets of Hollywood Boulevard. It was just jammed pack with tourists and people dressed up in costumes. We checked out the Hollywood stars and the outside of the Chinese theatre then made our way to the Jewellery district by metro, since we have a 7 day pass, we might as well use it. Unfortunately Blake wasn't too keen on buying an engagement ring there as it seemed a little on the dodgy side (i.e. no marked priced on anything, think they would have just picked a price out of thin air). We decided its best to get it from a branded shop in the end - so we spent a quick 10 minutes in the district and headed to Little Tokyo for some sushi train at a place called Kula. All the plates were only $2 and they were all sorts and varieties of sushi. So good.. so yum . We bought some food (for dinner) at the Japanese supermarket which was awesome. It had everything Japanese (food and drinks that is) that you can think of all in one store. Blake wasn't feeling too well today so he went back to the hotel to rest up, while I went shopping . (Michelle kept saying that I looked pale and I think she talked me into feeling faint so she could keep shopping .. but in all seriousness i was a little faint.)
The public transport system in LA is similar to Perth. It has a couple of Metro/Train lines but you still need to catch a bus if you want to head somewhere not super busy. We managed to find our way to Beverly Hills no problem. First stop... Rodeo Drive. Every expensive shop you can think of is here.. Gucci, Bvlgari.. just to name a few. Clearly it is way out of our budget but it suited us fine just browsing from the outside of the shops. One shop we did pop in for a look was Cartier.. just thought we check out what was the cheapest engagement ring there (just for curiosity). Unfortunately we weren't served at all.. so we just left. I heard a lady being quoted $84k for a diamond ring so we couldn't have afforded it anyway. We didn't see any celebrities though its really hard to tell theses days. There were plenty of people with small dogs and big diamonds so we aren't too sure. There were lots of tourists though!! Even on a Sunday.
For lunch, we decided to on some yummy Italian food just off a side street in Beverly Hills. We had beef capaccio for appetisers, Blake had a tuna salad and I had a yummy grilled seafood salad. Surprisingly, the bill turned out to be cheaper than our dinner at the hotel and the food was excellent.
After lunch, we did a bit of shopping on Beverly Drive (slightly more affordable than Rodeo Drive). Blake bought a pair of shoes (Blake has bought more shoes in America than i have!! What have i turned him into..) then we hopped back on the bus back to our end of town: Hollywood. In the evening, my (Michelle) high school friend whom i haven't seen since we left school, took us out for some Thai food. It was great catching up with her.
We spent the day at Universal Studios today which was only 1 metro stop from us and a free shuttle ride up the hill to the entrance. For a Monday, there were heaps of people here. Not so many little kids and babies in prams but just lots of adult tourists.. especially the asian ones .
We started the day at the studio tour as we were told the queue gets really long later in the day. We waited a 15 minutes which is nothing really, and off we go on the tram ride around the studio sets. There was a show called Home & Family (like a lifestyle show) that was being filmed while we were on the tour which was cool. We saw the sets of the Bates Motel & War of the Worlds. Looks pretty real. We were saved by King Kong in 3D. And went through the mummy's dungeon which was cool but we felt so dizzy after. The tour went on for a good hour.
Next stop was the waterworld show which was amazing. We went on the simpsons 3D simulator ride which we waited in line for a good 45 minutes. The Mummy ride wasn't bad- slightly anticlimactic (it was a short ride and it went backwards too). The Transformer line was a good 45 minutes but we queued up for it anyway. The ride itself was so cool.. storyline was kinda pointless, but hey it's a simulator ride, who cares about the storyline. We finished the day on the Jurassic Park ride. I (Michelle) was determined not to get wet, unlike my Disneyworld experience were i had to walk around all day in wet clothing!! I'd even sat in the middle and had Blake sit on the outer seats. Unfortunately the drop was through a waterfall.. so it was kinda impossible to not get wet. Ah well.. It was good fun though.
Today is our last day in America!! We have officially been away from home for 358 DAYS!! I can't believe we managed to survive that long (24/7) with each other.
We started the day catching up with my friend Emily from Perth at Hard Rock Cafe. She just so happen to be here on holiday. Believe it or not, this is our first time at Hard Rock Cafe since we've been in America. We only had drinks and a bruschetta to share but it was great catching up/gossiping with her. We then went on a last minute retail/shoe shopping along Hollywood Boulevard. Then had a 1 hour thai massage (only $45) on the way back to our hotel. We decided to finish our last day in America with a burger and some yummy sweet potato fries!
What a journey it has been...
-We have been to over 70 cities in Europe and so many more in America.
-We have eaten some amazing food during our year long journey including three, Michelin star restaurants. We really should rename this blog: Michelle & Blake eat their way around the world!! Hahhaa..
-We have learned how to speak some Italian, Spanish, and American. Blake has realised no one in the world can understand his accent. We realise we'll never speak any French because it is just too hard.
-Michelle still looks Asian
-We do not want to see anymore churches or museums (Well Blake's keen on Museums)
-We learnt how to ski and ride a horse
-We swam in alligator infested waters/spring
-We went on a bobsled ride
-We rode on a dogsled ride on a frozen lake which you can't even do that back in Perth.. because our lakes just don't freeze.
-We have learnt not to book anything at the last minute.. you do not get it for cheaper!! More like double the price of everything!!
-Young travelling Australians aren't the nicest people in the world (outside their own country)! So try not to get put off if they come across as arrogant, up-themselves people, because Australians in Australia are actually really nice people.
-We got to shoot a shotgun!!
-We visited more wonders and natural beauties than we thought existed.
-You don't realise how good home is until you leave it for a year!! Ahh.. can't wait to sleep in my own bed and not have to live out of a backpack!!
And the lists goes on.. Just re-read the blog!!
Many of our friends and family have looked after us around the world which we are very thankful for. It is sad that our year long travel journey has come to an end, we have had an amazing time but its time to have a relaxing holiday in Malaysia. Travelling is hard work and some of us just need a holiday from our holiday .
I know for many of you, our blog has kept you entertained at work, at home, even when feeding a baby early in the morning!! So, Thank you all for reading our blog. I am sure you have all enjoyed our trip around Europe and America just as much as we have.
xoxo Michelle & Blake