sarahblack: (Karen Gillian being gorgeous)
I've been having a fun couple of days in LA!

Yesterday I went with Sigthor and his daughter Juliana to Norm's diner for brunch. It's been around since the 50s, and it's very American. You can get 'hotcake' stacks (American pancakes that are served with whipped butter and syrup), eggs and bacon, French toast drizzled with powdered sugar, and every other unhealthy breakfast food that you could imagine. It was awesome.

I ate pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and hash browns! So yeah... I didn't really need to eat again for the rest of the day.

After recovering from brunch, Juliana and I went to Rodeo Drive! I had so much fun walking up and down the street, staring at all the beautiful window displays, taking pictures, breaking my neck trying to watch all the sexy convertibles zoom up and down the road, and just soaking up the atmosphere. The buildings are just as pretty as the the products being sold inside, and the palm trees and the blue sky give everything such a glamorous feel! We didn't spot any celebs, but we did see some very rich people. It's hard to imagine being that rich.

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I'm just strolling in there to buy a Rolex...


More pictures from Rodeo Drive )

Sigthor took me to the Griffith Observatory later in the day. We were there just in time to catch some pictures of the Hollywood hills at sunset. It was a bit too hazy for good clear pictures of the Hollywood sign - but you can see it in some of the pictures if you look closely.

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The Griffith Observatory is a pretty popular film location - if you've seen Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, it's where Demi Moore and the Angels have a gun fight - but apparently it was also used in a James Dean film. So of course there is a convenient James Dean monument to pose with.

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The evening was spent at a local cinema, watching The Amazing Spiderman. The cinema was so cool! It's tiny and the inside is decorated all Egyptian style, the man who checked our tickets at the door was dressed up as Siderman, and they had butter popcorn!

Today was just as fun. It's the Fourth of July, so people generally have a day off. My local friend [livejournal.com profile] promiseoftin was therefore able to spend an afternoon showing me around Venice Beach and feeding me cheesecake.

Venice beach was a lot of fun. There were people selling their art, a few street performers, people who wanted to help you get your 'Medical Marijuana License', one religious nut, and loads of muscular people. Apparently there was some kind of muscle competition going on, and Al Pacino was there to present an award! (Al Pacino appears at Muscle Beach contest)

I can't believe I saw Al Pacino.

Anyway, we went to the Cheesecake Factory after, and it was amazing! I had a lunch-sized pasta dish (which seemed pretty full-sized to me) and of course some cheesecake for dessert. I had a raspberry lemon cream cheesecake. I'm pretty sure it was one of the best things I've ever tasted. Yum!

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We checked out downtown LA, saw Union Station and drove through Chinatown and Little Tokyo among other things. It was a blast!

This evening has been rather relaxed - aside from all the noise from the fireworks. The poor cat of the house is quite frightened and keeps jumping on my lap to be kept safe.

I did go with Juliana and her friend Erica up to the roof to look at the fireworks, though. It was almost like New Year in Reykjavik! Or a war zone. Maybe both.




P.S. In other news - They may have found the Higgs boson at last!

I have no words. This is just beyond cool. I'm so happy it happened in Higgs' lifetime. Must be amazing to see your theory come to life like that. ♥
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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