Heading home already?

Posted: January 11, 2011 in Los Angeles

It’s amazing at how quickly a month can go! We are packing to head home tonight and I am finding it hard to remember where the time went. We have spent the last couple of days taking it easy and seeing some of the other parts of the area…. Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Beverly Hills and of course Hollywood……stalking (sorry.. searching for) stars. We weren’t all that successful, although we did see a couple of people from a show or two.

We did see however their big lockout gates, hedges, walls, and security gates and guards. It makes you realise that they really don’t have much privacy and it must be horrible for them when they actually do venture out into the big bad world.

LA is a huge city and I am glad we had a car to get around because it didn’t really seem that there was a huge public transport network – although I did notice that the buses were running on electricity (and had bike racks on the front of them) I really liked Santa Monica, and we spent some time there at the pier as well as looking around the downtown area. Fortunately it was much easier to find fresh tasty food, that hadn’t been fried! Venice beach isn’t as nice as I was expecting, and I think Morgan and Zoe were glad to head off after having breakfast down there.

A couple of things I noticed about LA –

1. The stars obviously don’t shop at the same places the tourists do

2. Driving around LA would be a nightmare without a SatNav device! (why do they have different names on the maps as opposed to the signs on the streets?)

3. Mobility device machines seemed to be minimal or non-existant

4. There seems to be a greater effort to provide healthy food choices (in fact the these options seemed to be dominant – except the theme parks)

5. Its great to see some sun after three weeks.

Well… back to packing…. (I think that the three of us will be sitting on each others suitcases to get them closed)

Last post will be from Sydney

Cheers

Craig

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After five days in LA I still haven’t seen any stars. It makes you think they all go into hiding! We have spent the last couple of days searching tirelessly for actors, actresses, singers, musicians…… Anyone that would be regarded as even half famous! (If you call “Is that one?” searching tirelessly) I think we gave up after the first 15 minutes. The day before yesterday we had a bit of a slow day- some shopping, then over to Hollywood to see the stars- the ones on the ground. We went for a drive up to the well known Hollywood sign (which was originally a real estate sign that said Hollywoodland) and the views over the city were amazing.

Yesterday we decided we hadn’t been on enough roller coasters so we went to Knotts Berry Farm for the last injection of adrenalin pumping speed rides. It reminded me that sometimes you just can’t improve on a classic! It seemed that the most popular ride there was the oldest, most rickety ride in the park. There is nothing like being thrown around on a rickety wooden track in a smallish carriage at amazing speed (probably only 50km- but it felt faster) The Ghostrider was there when I was a boy and it seems even better than my memory paints it. I think the consensus on the day was that even though the newer rides that went at mind blowing speeds (0-130km in 2 seconds) and they did loop the loops constantly, the classic was still one of the best- if not: the best. The TPGs were great again and we virtually didn’t have to wait at most rides and mo more than 10mins on others. In fact I think the longest wait was for the food- which again sadly consisted of burgers, hot dogs, and fries! Although they did have massive pickles that didn’t look all that appetising.

After KBF we went down to Long Beach for dinner, sitting opposite the Queen Mary that is permanently docked in the bay. It really is a huge ship- I didn’t realise how big it was until I stood beside it. Well 2 days to go then back to Sydney.

Happy Birthday Darren!

Chat soon

Cheers Craig

Posted: January 8, 2011 in Los Angeles

After days of snow and freezing temperatures we arrived in LA to rain and cold weather and then finally today we see sun!!
Today we are at universal studios hollywood and it is not unlike the one we went to in Orlando although it dies offer the backlot tour which I thought was really good….

Yesterday we went to Santa Barbara and had a look around… I got a great dress for only $10!!

I am very much looking forward to the next few days here with all the sun… Not sure what we are going to do tomorrow although we are going to go to knotts berry farm whilst we are here and I am looking forward to that!!

We went to the hardrock cafe for dinner!!

Signing off for know
Love Morgan xx 🙂

Back to Theme Parks

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Los Angeles

Day 2 of LA and we are at Universal Studios. The last time I was here was 30 years ago with mum, dad, Darren and Grant (sorry Kate…. you weren’t around then) Lots has changed since then luckily….. But the back lot tour seemed very familiar…. Except they have retired Jaws…. ;(. The place has more than doubled in size since then… Still lots of fun though. There are far fewer people here which means the TPGs have been kind with the wait times in the lines.

I think one of my highlights was the hover board from Back To the Future! I still want one …….. hurry up someone and invent one. Oh…… Another was the Blues Brothers car….. what a movie!

Sitting in the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood for dinner at the moment and I haven’t seen ONE star yet….. except all the ones on the ground out the front. Great fun though.

Yesterday we took a road trip up to Santa Barbara for the day which was fun until we hit traffic. We took PCH (Pacific Coast Highway for those who aren’t familiar…. I actually thought it stood for Peoples Community House!) We drove through Malibu and were aiming to go the whole way up the coast, but half way along the road was closed for some reason and we had to turn around and divert through one of the canyon roads which was quite beautiful actually. We finally got to SB nearly four hours after we left! With a plan of taking under two hours we were pleased to find a place for lunch down at the Harbour (yes I know they spell it differently here but I’m not going there)

A beautiful spot.

Some take aways from the last couple of days….

1. I haven’t seen one mobility assistance machine/device here yet (is that a reflection of the healthy Californian lifestyle? Or that the rides don’t cater for non-abbled bodied?)

2. It is easier to find healthy fresh food here in LA

3. The Hard Rock cafe is great for a fun night….(ok so the food isn’t very healthy…. Except for the refreshing celery sticks on the spicy buffalo wings plate) But failed in Sydney… Is it because we aren’t as fanatical about out stars? Or was it just in a rubbish location?

Anyway – enough for now.

Happy Birthday mum…

Cheers Craig

It can’t be 7:50!

Posted: January 3, 2011 in New York

What a way to start the trip to Los Angeles……

We finally got to bed at 1.00 am after finishing most of the packing, and moving the furniture back into the correct places (yes-we decided to rearrange the furniture in the apartment while we were in NYC) we set alarms for 6:45 and 7:00 so we could have a leisurely breakfast, finish the final bits of packing, and get ready for the car to pick us up at 8:00

I don’t know if we watched Home Alone 2-Lost In New York too many times….. But as life can sometimes imitate art (not that I would call HA2 art) somehow we all slept through the alarms!

After falling into a deep sleep, the next thing i heard was Morgan calling out “Dad… Are you awake… It’s ten to 8!”……

I don’t think I have seen any of us move as quickly as we did this morning…… Shower…. Dressing….Packing backpacks and satchels….. Cleaning the fridge out… Getting the final bits of rubbish out of the apartment…. Closing bags…. In less than 15 mins!

From waking to getting to the airport it took us less than 50 mins! That is a record I think… For us at least…. Good team work from all of us….. Tired… Still in a half sleep, unshaven…. (well me anyway)….. (Actually…. I wasn’t planning to shave anyway, but it just adds to the picture ) and hungry…. we did it…. And with plenty of time to spare….

We are on the flight to LA now…. Looking forward to the next stop….

Wow- this last week has just flown! New Years Eve 2010 in New York. Happy New Year to everyone! We have been flat out cramming as much sight seeing (and shopping) into the last week. We have been in the middle of one of the worst blizzards in a long time (and are still walking through slush!) I think the girls may be secretly glad that I made them bring a warm coat as well as good boots…..

Ice Skating in Central Park (or is it called ice sliding?) Horse and buggy ride around Central Park… Visit to MoMA- The American Museum of Natural History (complete with a picture of an indigenous Australian waiting at a “Modern Australian Train station” standing there in traditional costume!) Were just a couple of the highlights- you could easily spend more than a month here.

We caught a couple of great shows- The Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall (on Christmas Day- thanks Janet!), Billy Elliot was great (it’s the first time I have seen it without Morgan in it). The river cruise around the harbour/rivers this afternoon really showed how amazing this place is…. Not as big as I had imagined…. The views from The top of The Rockefeller Centre as well as the Empire Wait Building (2 hour wait including walking up the final 8 stories!!) were spectacular! (More pics will be up as soon as I can upload them) Many trips through and around Times Square, but have
avoided the 1mill plus people tonight and are happily watching the ball drop on TV.

Off to LA on Sunday…. For the last city on the itinerary…. Then home to Sydney.

Cheers Craig

Posted: January 1, 2011 in New York

New years eve

Posted: January 1, 2011 in New York

As this year cones to the end I have started to look back on all I have done this year… I have been overseas 3 times, got in to the school musical and am planing to start year 11….

Whilst on Facebook only 5 mins ago a friend from school back in oz reminded us that next year we graduate school… OMG!!!
Anyway the past few days have been awesome, we went ice skating in central park, went to central park zoo, went to museums and much more… One exciting moment was going to Billy yet again 2 years after I had last seen it and I still love it but came to the conclusion that Sydney was better but I might be a little biased, it was still amazing and the little boy who played Billy was just spectacular. It really reminded me how many talented children there are in the world, how much I loved being in the show and really just how young I was web I was in it….

Anyway we are going to watch the new year celebrations from the tv in our apartment instead of trying to get through the crowds everywhere…..

Happy new year to all!!!

Love
Morgan xx 🙂

Snow

Posted: January 1, 2011 in New York

I love the snow but when there is that much that it gets through ur boots socks and stockings and makes your toes numb it is not so great…
On Sunday it snowed all day resulting in a blizzard that night, Zoe and went and played in the snow right before the it started and we loved it… Yesterday although it was not snowing when we got home I was freezing it was so cold that my legs were freezing with goose bumps even after having on four layers…..
Today we are at the American museum of natural history and I have really enjoyed it…we also did a backstage tour at the Rockefeller center…. I loved
It

After 24 hours in the Big Apple, we have explored midtown New York. The apartment we are staying in is on 1st Avenue between 58th & 59th which is a great spot for walking around and seeing a fair bit of the area. Not surprisingly many shops were visited, and explored…. We did make it to the top of the Rockefeller Centre- what an amazing view from there. This is my
first time here and I am amazed at how different NYC is from other cities in the US- it really is an incredible place (even though we have only seen less than 10% of the city) A couple of points I have noticed by comparison –

1. I haven’t seen one mobility assistance device here!

2. There is a great diversity of food and cultures here….. Great options for eating (and plenty of places without fries or burgers!) 3. Going from 23 C to 3 C in the space of 24hrs is difficult (Zoe and I were swimming yesterday)

Well… After 6 hrs of walking I am tired and my legs are a bit sore….. So signing off for today.

Merry Christmas to everyone back in Australia…. Hope you are having a great day.

Cheers Craig

Posted: December 25, 2010 in New York

So we are here in NYC and I love it!!! We are only one day into this nine day experience and I can already tell that when I go to pack to go to LA I will not be able to shut my bag 😀 I have already gotten so many things, everything is so beautiful here and I love time square!! Time square was just as I imagined it and more!! I loved all the lights and signs for all the musicals on broadway!!

I also can’t believe that Christmas is tomorrow, this year has gone soooooo quickly it is not funny and this is a great way to finish it off… Tomorrow we are off to lunch somewhere in the theater district and then we are off to a surprise as Zoe and I have been told, I will be able to tell u exactly what it was tomorrow night!!

Anyway off to watch Santa clause 2, I hope everyone back home is having a lovely Christmas……

Love Morgan xx 🙂