We have had an action packed few days here in LA. Our first adventure was to Disneyland, the happiest place on earth. We did the Jungle Cruise, the Haunted House, It's a Small World, a river cruise and rode the train and monorail. Phew. We did not get to the Pirates of the Caribbean unfortunately, the wait time was about an hour. The crowds were manic at Disneyland, like the busiest day at the Easter Show on steroids. But we did have fun. Disneyland has changed so much, the rides are all the same but now there is a resort nearby, huge parking stations and the new park California, which we did not have time to visit.
Universal Studios was another of our outings and we had the best time there. Again this place has changed enormously over the years. We did all the rides, the Mummies Curse, Jurassic Park and Transformers. Transformers was absolutely fantastic, with huge digital images coming at you from all angles, just brilliant. We did the back lot tour too, which is always fun.
Thrown into all this fun we then did 'the trip from hell'. We decided to do a LA tour which was to takes us to Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, and Hollywood. The day was bad from the moment we were picked up by Speed Jordan in the bus. Speed Jordan was obviously one of the managers who had had to substitute for a driver who did not turn up for work. We were slipping and sliding all over the place while he mounted kerbs whilst talking on a mobile and also a walkie talkie. And that trip was only about 2 km. Next we were put on a bus with a lady driver, she was then pulled out and another driver was substituted. He did not like our bus, so we were moved to another bus. Drama, drama. Finally we got underway. The company advertises a 1 hour stop at each place. Well Venice Beach we had 30 minutes, Santa Monica we had 45 minutes, Rodeo Drive 30 minutes, which was about 25 minutes too long, then the Growers Market where we got 1 hour. Hollywood rated 30 minutes. Needless to say the 8 natives on board the bus were getting restless. Our driver then decided to chuck a wobbly and focused his anger on a single lady passenger on the bus, he let fire with a terrible tirade at her and us in general. I have since read reports of his outbursts on Tripadviser and my report will be joining those shortly.
Yesterday we decided to go to the Long Beach to see the Queen Mary. All our other excursions had been with arranged transport, but we decided how hard could it be to get to Long Beach. Dumb idea.
We caught the free hotel shuttle back to LAX, then the free shuttle to Aviation Station. The train came along, we counted the stations to where we had to change, all going well. Then oops they are doing track work. So we were transferred to a bus which took us to the next serviceable station, then back on the train to the end stop, then onto a free shuttle to the Queen Mary. That exercise only took 3 and a half hours!!! The good news was we had to repeat the effort to get back to our hotel. Yep, we did board the Queen Mary which in her day must have been a beautiful and gracious lady but is now looking a little sad and needs some serious restoration work being done.
So that's it for the LA bit. This afternoon we take off for Las Vegas for yet another type of American madness.
Starting off in Sydney we head over to the US for a few days in Los Angeles, then Las Vegas and finally over to the Big Apple. Then off again, down to Cuba for about 18 days for some old cars, cigars and Baccardi. After that we head north, this time to Toronto in Canada for a whistle stop before crossing the Atlantic to the UK. One of the highlights there will be a week down on the Isle of Wight. Jetting off again we will then spend approximately the next two months driving around Italy and France. After all that hard work we journey over to Greece where we will island hop using the local ferry systems, with 3 nights on Santorini, 3 nights of Mykonos and 3 nights on Paros. Yep, we love doing the tourist stuff! Finally we begin the long haul home stopping off on the way in Honkers for a little retail therapy.