LA to Vegas
We arrived in LA around 10:30am and had no real issues getting through Immigration and Customs. We caught the shuttle bus to the Dollar Rent a Car yard and ended up in a Chrysler Jeep. Nice car.
Then we drove to the hotel at Buena Park.
After a short break we walked to Knottsberry Farm where we rode some of the roller coasters. Actually I rode just one - the Ghost Rider. I lost/broke my sunglasses - that was a pain.
Then it was off to Wal Mart at Cerritos, we also checked out an AT&T store. We would like to have gone to a few more stores but were just so tired and so it was to Carrows for dinner and back to the hotel
Tuesday 31st Narch 2009
Great day today. Our sleep patterns were all over the place - ended up we got up around 9:30am and after packing and checking out drove across the road to Carrows where we had a very nice breakfast. Eggs, toast, bacon, oatmeal and best orange juice ever.
Then we drove to Sports Authority in Cerritos, looking for Kings and Lakers stuff - no luck.
Around noon we headed towards downtown LA and sadly ended up on the infamous Interstate 5!!!! We did OK for a bit but ended up in a grid lock with police cars and motor cycles weaving through traffic trying to get to what ever it was that was stopping us. We detoured off the 5 onto a side road and thanks to the GPS quickly found our way to the Glendale Galleria. Scott had a quick look at the Lego and Apple stores and we also looked for that sporting gear with no success.
Around 1:30pm we went to our friend's house for a very pleasant visit. Scott McKenzie has been a good friend for over 10 years now. For those youngsters who don't know, Scott had a massive hit record in 1967 called San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair). We met in 1994 when Scott toured Australia with the Mamas and Papas and for the last 12 years I have maintained the Scott McKenzie web site - www.scottmckenzie.info. Rayls had made a lovely quilt for Scott and we gave this to him. Pity Rayls was not there to give it to him but we did our best. We chatted for about 3 hours and had a great laugh. The two Scott's chatted about wrestling for much of the time. It was a pleasure to meet up with Scott who recently recorded a new song - a tribute of sorts to Denny Doherty who was an original Papa in the Mamas and Papas. Anyone interested in this wonderful new song let me know and I will send you a copy. By the way, Scott is meeting up with a friend Barry McGuire (60's hit Eve of Destruction) to just meet up and hopefully write a new song - good luck with that Scott.
Sadly at 5pm we had to leave - we hope to meet up with Scott again in three weeks or so when we return to LA.
On the road then into LA and the Staples Center (pardon the spelling) the home venue of the LA Lakers and Clippers and LA Kings. Scott (son) had VIP tickets and we were allowed on the ice to slap some shots at goal and then we watched a great NHL (ice hockey) game between the LA Kings and the Dallas Stars.
Scott had bought a Kings jersey with the name Hartman on the back. Whilst in the store a man asked about the name and it turned out he was Steve Hartman!!! We chatted to him and his daughter Allison for a few minutes - nice moment. Then when we got to our seats we found we were sitting quite close to the Hartmans. Allison and her brother had managed to get some pucks after the warm up by the players and they very kindly offered two of them to us. Steve's son - sorry I didn't get his first name - came up to me and asked me if I was from Australia and when I said yes he offered me the puck - what a great young man. I went over to thank Steve and bumped into a friend of his called Mark. Mark has been to Australia a few times and even to Perth - he knows enough about Western Australia to call it WA!. Never met this guy before and we chattered for just a few minutes but he offered to host us for a meal at his house - a barbie he called it. This is an offer that maybe Rayls and I can take up on a future trip. I have business cards for Steve and Mark and will email them soon and maybe keep in some sort of contact. Great guys.
The actual game was a wonderful experience - they put on a great show the Americans. Someone sang the national anthem and they honoured a soldier - a returned hero they called him. Very patriotic, wish we Aussies played our national anthem prior to sporting events.
I know little about ice hockey but I enjoyed the game, sadly the Kings lost.
After the game, this was just after 10pm, we got out of the car park with surprising ease and were on the road towards Barstow, around 80 miles away.
At 11:50pm we stopped at a Wal Mart in Victorville - it closed at midnight and wouldn;t let us in so it was back on I15 and on to Barstow - Jack in the Box for dinner and a nights sleep at the Days Inn. Great day - a really great day. Tomorrow onto Las Vegas
Onto Las Vegas
Wednesday 1st April
It was a real late night - probably 2am before we were asleep at Barstow.
I was woken by a knock on the door at 9:30am. No idea who was there but it was time to get up so no worries.
After packing and getting ready to go we headed up to Dennys for breakfast. Not as good as normal. Trena who served Rayls and me a year ago was there but sadly did not serve us.
After brekkie it was off to Wal Mart for some supplied and then Scott drove us into Las Vegas. Glad we only have this Jeep for a few days - it gobbles up the juice.
We arrived in Vegas just after 2pm. Scott had got us a great room in the Bellagio - 19th floor - room number 190626. I wanted 190654 (my date of birth, but no go). The view from this room is awesome. We can see the fountain show out the front and have a good view of the strip. We are opposite The Paris so the Eiffel Tower is just across the road. The fountain show is every 15 minutes and is to music - great to watch during the day and even better at night.
We drove to the Fashion Show Mall and looked around - looked for some cheap show tickets but nothing there of real interest.
Then back down the strip to our hotel where we pottered around for a couple of hours. Scott arranged for us to have access to Skype which allows us to talk like on a phone call for free to family back home.
We had dinner at the Bellagio Buffet which was nice and got back to our room at 9pm.
It is now approaching midnight and I spend the last 3 hours at the window of our room typing the last 2 days stuff and watching the occasional fountain show.
Tomorrow we fly to Phoenix for the day, Friday to Dallas. We will be back in Vegas for 3 days in a few days.