Categotry Archives: Trip 2007


United States [February 2007] – Day 12

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Categories: Archive, Flashback, Trip 2007, USA

Tuesday 20th

We spent the next morning preparing for our inevitable return flight back to Sydney. I caught up with Richard and his work in the morning, before we bid him farewell and drove the distance back to the car rental facility near the airport.

We ended up at LAX a good two hours before the departure time, so we had a light lunch at a Chili’s (sort of quasi-Mexican style fast food), once we had passed the (as per normal) paranoid LAX security.

At 12:50 PM we took off, heading back to Sydney – to arrive late on the 21st of February, safe and healthy.

– That’s all folks! –

This was our last day in the United States – that is, until April – although to be perfectly honest, we had no idea there would be a second trip so soon.  However, that’s another story for another time.

For now, let’s recap (through pictures) some of the magical places we visited in February, 2007…

Outside Aloha Stadium

Underneath the massive guns of the U.S.S Missouri

The Grand Canyon

The Golden Gate Bridge


United States [February 2007] – Day 11

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Categories: Archive, Flashback, Trip 2007, USA

Monday 19th

The instantly recognizable symbol of Los Angeles

Lights!  Camera!  Action!  Our last stop in the United States was Los Angeles, California.

Wake up call done, we got up and readied to go to the airport. We finally boarded and we were on our way to the city of angels. This was my third visit, and Toni’s first time in L.A.

We landed around 8:30 AM and proceeded to the National car hire centre where we picked up our hire car. It had been raining all morning, so the conditions were not the best (including the fact that the car seats had been soaked).

After some confusion with the map(s) – which included a quick visit to a service station for a replacement map – we headed north up La Cienega and onto Fairfax, which took us into the heart of West Hollywood.  Toni still enjoys teasing Rob, who had the unenviable job of navigating through Los Angeles and battling crazy L.A. drivers!

We made it to Richard’s house on North Crescent Heights and surprised him, as he’d thought we were arriving the next day.  We moved the luggage in, and he kindly wrote us some directions to a good vantage point of the Hollywood sign.

Hollywood’s Walk of Stars

We drove up to Hollywood Boulevard (the location of the famous ‘Hollywood Walk of Stars’) and parked under the Kodak Theatre.  Security screened the car for bombs (the Academy awards were on the Sunday of that week), and so the building was surrounded with security and rigging and scaffolding.

Autographs at Grauman’s Theatre

We took photos of the (Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre, the fingerprints in the concrete and some of the stars on the sidewalk.  As we were to find out, there were some advantages to the Oscars being in town. We were able to hold a real Oscar, in a gallery of sorts which had been set up especially for Oscar week.

   A room full of Oscars™ – but none for Tom Cruise!

   Grauman’s Famous Chinese Theatre | Toni finally achieves Hollywood recognition

Toni and I were interviewed by an Austrian TV show whilst enjoying the Oscar exhibition, even though Toni was very camera shy and attempted to flee the scene J

We ate a quick breakfast and headed for the Bronson caves – home of the original bat cave and countless TV shows.  We originally started a long trek up into the hills before it became apparent that it was going to be many hours of walking. We turned back and looked through the caves.

The amazing hills behind Hollywood | The Original Bat Cave

We ended up at the Beverly Centre which included getting lost in a utility hallway and a general browse through the multiple levels.  We were all shopped out in San Francisco, I imagine.

Afterwards, we headed back into the car and I drove Toni down to the famed La Brea Tar Pits which are still active and reside in the middle of West Hollywood.

Once we had finished walking the park we headed west on Wiltshire before heading up onto Santa Monica boulevard in an attempt to hit the Santa Monica pier. We had to return by 7 PM for dinner at which point we realized we weren’t going to have enough time.

The La Brea tar pits in West Hollywood

We ended up heading back via Beverly Hills, and we glimpsed Rodeo drive on the way.   Richard cooked up an interesting meal, and we had a great dinner conversation before tuning into a TV special on the history channel and then calling it an evening.


United States [February 2007] – Day 10

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Categories: Archive, Flashback, Trip 2007, USA

Sunday 18th

clip_image002Our last day in San Francisco. We originally headed to the Embarcadero Centre but ended up heading east instead.

We wanted to go to the Zoo, but it became apparent that a trip to the zoo was unlikely due to construction and repairs to the Muni.

We ended up heading to Japantown, via the San Francisco Town hall. As you might have guessed, Japantown is basically a Japanese version of Chinatown, a conglomerate of Japanese run businesses and architecture.  It is not far from Golden Gate park and, again, we walked there from Union Square.

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 Town Hall | Riding the cable car

Japantown is dominated by a large pagoda which was erected to pay homage to the cessation of arms between the US and Japan at the end of World War II.

We enjoyed a lunch of authentic Japanese teppenyaki and a browse through some of the local shops before heading back to the hotel via Cable Car.

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Toni points out the ‘Tenderloin’ district | Cable crossing

On our way back we ventured past San Francisco’s city hall which is a huge complex with golden trimming. The building sits on about four city blocks worth of real estate.

Upon our return to Union Square, we went to Macy’s to buy another suitcase and do some additional shopping.
The day got ahead of us and before we knew it, it was time for dinner. We headed to a place which had been recommended – Kulleto’s – which we had attempted to eat at previously.

   The Peace Pagoda, Japantown

We enjoyed a first class meal (including Rob’s first taste of a Californian Zinfandel) before retiring to the hotel for an early night and packing.

We weren’t especially looking forward to a 3:30 AM wakeup call and a 6:30 AM flight to Los Angeles.

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