Jun. 26th, 2012

sarahblack: (Supermodel Cher)
Sorry about the lack of updates. I haven't been able to access a proper computer until now. I've been able to check my email a few times on my phone, but now I want to take the time to tell you guys what I've been up to in the US of A!

The flight from New Zealand was long but not unpleasant. Air New Zealand really is a great airline to fly with. The food is pretty good for airplane food, they serve wine with the meals in Economy class, and there are tons of films and shows to watch on their entertainment system.

I got from the airport to my hotel without running into any trouble. I was surprised - I thought security at American airports was meant to be a pain. I did have to scan my fingerprints, but that was about it. And the airport staff was really friendly and nice.

I met up with my group at the hotel, and we went out for some Greek food. My first time eating Greek food, actually! I'm going to have to check whether actual Greek food tastes the same if I manage to swing by Greece later this summer. I had Moussaka, and it was pretty damn good.

The second day in LA was really eventful. We went to Rodeo drive and saw the Beverly Wiltshire Hotel. It's the hotel that Richard Gere took Julia Roberts to in Pretty Woman! I really wish I could afford to shop on Rodeo drive - the shops are all so pretty! (And full of very pretty things. Except for the shop with the hideous 80s-looking Valentino dresses in the window. What was that?)

We drove through Beverly Hills and looked at the pretty houses, took some photos with the Hollywood sign and checked out the Walk of Fame. I really liked seeing the hand- and shoe-prints of the Harry Potter trio in front of the Chinese theatre. But I didn't like the fact that the Twilight trio was right next to them! Boo.

The Walk of Fame had some very interesting characters wandering around. I saw Yoda and Spiderman, and one guy who may have been trying to impersonate Jack Sparrow. Badly.

We went to Santa Monica and looked at the beach, the pier and a pedestrian shopping street. The weather was perfect and the Pacific looked sparkly and blue. Just the way it ought to look. There were rides (a rollercoaster, Ferris wheel, etc.) on the pier, but I didn't try them. I just walked around, watched the people who were fishing off the edge of the pier, and spied on the street performers and artists who were trying to make a buck using various methods. One guy had a bunch of parrots that he would decorate people with so that they could get photos of themselves covered in parrots! They were really big parrots, too.

After all of that we drove to San Diego, camped and had a barbecue party!

The next day (yesterday) was spent in San Diego. I went to the beach and got sunburnt in all of the places where I couldn't quite reach with the sunblock, or where I didn't use enough. Mainly my feet look like they belong to a lobster, but my back is quite sore as well. But I have a medicated sunburn ointment from home and some Aloe Vera to treat myself with so I should be okay.

Aside from burning myself up on the beach, I also went with the group to check out a Steakhouse where a scene from Top Gun was filmed, an old fashioned sail-ship that was made to be used in Master and Commander, and a big aircraft carrier that was used in WWII. We also checked out the gaslight district of downtown San Diego. The evening was spent in the same way as the evening before - camping and having a barbecue party!

Today we drove through the Californian desert into the desert of Arizona. It was a hot ride! But we got to see some very pretty sand dunes - just like in the Sahara! We also saw the fence that separates the US from Mexico.

So far I really like the US, though. They people are friendly, and the scenery is truly amazing. I can't really describe it in a way that does it justice. I tried to take some photos, but you know how photos taken out of the window of a moving bus don't really look all that great... I did get some good shots of the sand dunes, though. They were so cool very very burning hot!

Arizona is insanely hot, too. I'm so glad I'm sleeping in an air conditioned hotel room tonight. Camping in this heat would be terrible.

Right now I'm doing some laundry at our hotel in Phoenix, but after that I am going to have a well earned rest. Being on a bus all day is exhausting! (Also, I need to put on some more Aloe Vera. My poor abused skin!)

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Sarah Black

March 2015

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