Thursday, August 03, 2006

Around The World in 30 Days - Los Angeles through to Hong Kong - the last two weeks :)

Boy, am I way behind in updating this! I suggest obtaining a beverage and possibly food before settling in to read - this is going to be a long one - lol!

Okay, back to Los Angeles which is where we were when I last posted :)

We spent a full 12 hours at Disneyland from 10am to 10pm!! There are two theme parks - Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure - we only did the one and we just managed to cover Disneyland in that time. It was a full on day but loads of fun. We went on pretty much all the rides there except for the ones for the little tackers. I did drag everyone on to It's A Small World ride and I still don't think I've been forgiven by Ken and Liam yet - we must never speak of it again - lol! It wasn't quite what I expected but it was a relaxing change from some of the other rides we had been on :)

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride was a must of course :) The ride was the inspiration for the films - the attraction itself is almost as old as Ken and I :) Liam, Caitlin and myself also bought pirate-themed hats although mine was more of a cowboy hat with a pirate patch stuck on the front. I did buy it for sun protection purposes though as I'd forgotten to pack a hat for myself!!

We saw some of the fireworks show but we had to be back at the designated pick up spot for the tour bus at 10pm so most of it we watched from the carpark :) It was pretty close to midnight by the time we got back to our hotel (we were the last to be dropped off) so we were glad to fall into our beds and rest our weary bodies, not to mention our aching feet!!

The following day we slept late which was fine as we'd made no specific plans for the day. After a leisurely breakfast we walked over to Rodeo Drive (nothing spectacular in my book really but then again I see the same type of shops in the malls here) and then jumped in a cab and headed to Hollywood Boulevard. Saw the Kodak Theatre where they hold the Oscars and the Mann's Chinese and El Capitan Theatres (which was pretty busy as Pirates II had just been released). We took a look at some of the stars in the footpath and Liam had his photo taken with that of Jackie Chan's :) We found a good vantage point in a nearby shopping mall to take a photo of the Hollywood sign plus I also took the opportunity to venture into the Gap store and do some minor retail therapy (I needed more t-shirts!) ;)

Trying to find a cab to head back to the hotel was interesting - there were hardly any and the couple that we did see were not for hire. We ended up having to go into a little English type pub that we found and ask them to ring one for us. It was a bit of a change to New York where just about every second car was a cab!

After we got back to the hotel we headed over to the Westfield shopping plaza across the road in search of another suitcase! We had only bought two and they were starting to get a bit full! It just so happened that Macy's were having a sale on selected lines in the luggage department so we picked ourselves up a bargain :) We also called into the cinema there and purchased advance tickets for Monday morning to go and see Pirates II.

We had a quiet night in as we had Universal Studios planned for the next day :)

Universal Studios was excellent! We upgraded our tickets to get Front of the Line passes (no waiting in queues and special reserved seating at the shows) - we were there at a busy time of year so they were well worth the extra money. There was lots to see and do, more rides to go on (the Jurassic Park and Mummy's Revenge rides were our favourites) and shows to watch. The Waterworld (based on the Kevin Costner movie of the same name) show was another favourite :) We also enjoyed the Studio Tour - saw the sound stages where some of my favourite tv shows are shot and movie sets from The Grinch and War of the Worlds amongst others. I'm not a Desperate Housewives fan but we did see some of the Wisteria Lane set. Normally the tour goes along the street but the day we were there it was closed off for filming.

Loads of fun and another full on day :)

Monday was our last day in Los Angeles so after a leisurely breakfast we headed over to the cinema to see Pirates II. I loved it but to have to wait until May next year for the third instalment to find out what happens is cruel - lol!!!

After the movies it was back to the hotel to pack and then head for the airport for our late pm flight. Next stop, Sydney!

We arrived in Sydney around 6am on Wednesday 13/7 feeling reasonably refreshed - we all managed to get quite a good amount of sleep on the flight. Being winter in Australia it was also quite a bit cooler than what we had been used to!! We were dressed warmly for the plane anyway and had jumpers in our carry on luggage so we were okay :)

After eventually checking in to our hotel (slight problem of there being no record of our reservation for us - a bit disconcerting when you've prepaid! Next time we will book it all ourselves rather than rely on the travel agent, this wasn't the first occasion where things went slightly awry!) and organising a hire car we headed off to Katoomba (about an hour's drive from Sydney) so I could go and visit with Karen and check out her wonderful shop, Dragonfly Dreams.

Caitlin and I spent a wonderful afternoon chatting and browsing and eventually buying (lol!) with Karen while Ken and Liam went off and did some sightseeing :) They came back a couple of times but we weren't done so they went off again - lol!

Thank you, Karen, for making my visit so enjoyable :) It was really nice to finally be able to meet you!

Liam and Caitlin haven't been to Sydney before so the next morning we took a quick walk down to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. That was all we had time as we had to head back to the hotel, load up the hire car and head out to the airport for our flight to Adelaide.

Adelaide was a whirlwind! We had nine days and pretty much most of that was spent sorting out our house there so we can rent it out. It was nice to catch up with family and friends, mum and dad in particular, and the kids managed to spend some time with each of their best friends. I managed a quick lunch with a couple of friends and saw my stitching buddy, Leonie, and my other stitching friends from the Embroiderer's Guild. I had been through my stash and had a car load of stuff that I didn't want but knew would find good homes with the ladies there :)

Before we knew it it was time to pack up and move on! This time to Perth to catch up with Ken's mum and dad for a couple of days. Then it was on to Hong Kong and back to the warmer weather :)

After checking in we went for a wander down to Nathan Road and just generally took it all in. We found a local Chinese restaurant that Ken had been to before and had a very enjoyable meal. The kids had fun trying to eat with chopsticks :)

The next day we walked down to the Star Ferry and headed over to the island. We then boarded a double-decker bus bound for the Stanley Markets. Now, these are the way markets should be! No one sidling up to you peddling copy watches, handbags and DVDs every five minutes like they do in the markets here. Let me look without hassling me, give me help when I ask for it, then I am more likely to buy :)

After the markets we caught a cab up to The Peak. Unfortunately it was a bit hazy so the view wasn't as spectacular as it can be. We then caught the tram down to the bottom, wandered about for a bit, travelled on the longest escalator, and ended up on the Metro back to the hotel. We were planning to go to Ocean Park the next day so we decided to try the Italian restaurant in the hotel and then have an early night.

Unfortunately we didn't make it to Ocean Park as Caitlin was ill throughout the night - poor kid. We were up at 5.30am sorting her out and getting housekeeping to change the bed etc. It wasn't anything she'd eaten as her and Ken had shared their main courses the night before and Ken was feeling fine. I think it was just one of those bugs that come and go. Anyway, we decided to postpone Ocean Park to another time and just had a quietish day. By mid afternoon she was feeling better so we ventured out for a bit of a walk but didn't go too far as to tire her out too much. It was mostly so housekeeping could come in and service our rooms :)

By dinner time, Caitlin convinced us that she was just fine so we went out for dinner to a really nice steak house not too far from our hotel. Missy didn't eat much but it was something and she kept it down :)

I spent from after breakfast until lunchtime the following day re-packing the suitcases, then it was out to the airport to catch our flight back home.

We arrived home late last Thursday night (good grief, we've been back a week already!), dumped the suitcases in the entrance way, showered, had some toast and Vegemite and then collapsed into bed :) Friday morning we went and collected Tikki - she had been very well looked after but was very excited to see us. Ken welcomed her home by giving her a bath and then taking her for a big walk - lol! She's not keen on the bath bit but she loves her walks.

Saturday, Ken went back to work, I took the dog for a walk and then the kids and I went grocery shopping - what fun! It will be another month before I can go grocery shopping on my own again! After getting back from the shopping, it was Liam's turn to be ill. I figured the heat and travelling in the car (not that we had far to go) could have been a contributing factor because he was fine for the rest of the afternoon ... until Ken came home from work *sigh*. Anyway, we packed him off to bed and he was fine the next day so I think it was something similar to what Caitlin had. So far it has missed Ken and I and for that I am extremely grateful :)

Anyway, that's our trip - a fantastic time was had by all :)

I had intended to upload some photos with this post but Blogger Photos is again being a right pain in the butt and will not, for some reason, upload them ... grrr!


Lisa said...

Welcome back, sounds like you had to a great time :o)

Nicki said...

Welcome back too. Wow doesn't time fly? Can't believe you've been on your trip and been back for a week! It sounded wonderful. Thanks for all the reports :)

Jenn said...

I've so enjoyed readying about your trip. They had closed down the Pirates of the Caribbean ride for a few days so they could add a Jack Sparrow figure into it. This was just around the time the movie opened. Did you by any chance happen to notice it?

Everyone has been having problems with blogger and uploading photos. I do hope you can get it to work out soon so we can see pictures of your trip.

Leonie said...

Glad to hear that the rest of your trip went well-excepting for Caitlin's ilness....... Hope the rest of the school holidays just zoom right by! lol

cathymk said...

What an amazing trip - sounds like you all had a ball. (wish I could have fit in one of the suitcases - it would have had to be a big one though!!)

Imprez said...

Hi there) I enjoyed a lot reading your story about the trip. I’ve been in Sydney last year, too. It’s a wonderful city, isn’t it? I’ve no problems with checking in to the hotel. I stayed at Sheraton hotel . a very nice place, indeed!