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15th Novembver

Got an early start and were on I15 headed back towards LA a bit after 8am. The drive was uneventful and we made a decision to check out the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda an outer suburb of LA, probably 40K's or more out of downtown LA.

The Library is more a museum and is actually built on grounds around the house in which Richard Nixon was born. Fascinating place. Richard and Pat Nixon are buried in the grounds, we went into the house, the information passed on by the volunteers was awesome. One of the highlights is the chance to step aboard Army One--the helicopter used by Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. Extensively restored and now on permanent display at the library, the helicopter presents visitors with a rare chance to see how presidents traveled.

We spent a couple of hours at the Library and could have spent more time there.

After the museum we drove down I5 past downtown LA to Glendale where our hotel is. Just a cheapie hotel but clean and comfortable.

We took a rest and then headed to Studio City to the CBS Studios for a taping of a TV show, Last Man Standing, It is a new show not seen in Australia yet but it stars Tim Allen from Home Improvement.

Laat Man Standing

TV titan Tim Allen returns to ABC as Mike Baxter, world voyager and one daredevil of a marketing director who is about to face his greatest challenge yet...his family.

After Mike’s wife, Vanessa, (Nancy Travis) receives a promotion at work, Mike must spend more time in his female-dominated household. With years of advice and guidance from their nurturing mother, Mike’s three daughters are not prepared for their old-fashioned, hotheaded father to take over. Especially 20-year-old Kristin, who’s trying to raise her own son, Boyd, with more of a liberal approach than Mike can stand.

When he isn’t reclaiming the masculinity in his home, Mike works at the sporting goods man-cave, Outdoor Man: A place where men can buy guns, jerky and a camouflage recliner in one testosterone-fueled location. Mike’s boss, Ed, took Mike off of his thrilling magazine expositions and stuck him in front of the computer to supervise the company’s website. With the help of his naïve subordinate, Kyle, Mike runs the Outdoor Man video log, which not only explores the store’s stock of man-gear, but also helps Mike express his biggest concern with the 21st century: “What happened to men?”

Tim Allen stars as Mike Baxter, along with Nancy Travis as Vanessa, Hector Elizondo as Ed, Alexandra Krosney as Kristin, Molly Ephraim as Mandy, Kaitlyn Dever as Eve, and Christoph Sanders as Kyle.


After parking the car we had to line up for a bit and wegot chatting to this really great and interesting couple. Boyd is originally from Alberta, Canada and Hayley is from LA. Really nice to meet them and hopefully they will look up this site and send us an email.

The show itself was really good. They always have a comedian who talks between scenes and tonight it was Robert Lee who was really good.  Funny guy, as usual Rayls and I were the people who had traveled the furtherest to the show. Robert had me upthe front for a couple of minutes - that was out of my comfort zone but I got a laugh and applause so it must have gone OK.Rayls got to talk quilts for a bit as well. The show was the Christmas special and a had a big secret guest star who ended up being Nick Jonas!!!!!!! The young girls sitting in front of us got very excited abouth this.

Lot of fun and laughs and we ended up with an autographed picture of Tim Allen.

I must make mention of one of the audience members who was a returned veteran. He was seriously injured in and incident in Iraq in 2005 which killed 6 of his colleagues. He has had 60 operations since. Very sombre.

Good day.

14th November - Back to LA

Amy and Rayls

Up fairly early today so that we could say thanks and goodbye to Steve. Steve has had the last week off work and he was not keen to go back.

After Steve left we finalised packing and chatted with Amy for an hour or so before we follwed her to her work place, the Heritage Theatre, today she was working in the box office and we checked that out before saying our goodbyes and hitting the road. Amy has become such a great friend, we love her like a sister and it is always sad to leave. Hopefully we will see her again soon.

There was much texting between Amy and us as we drove to Barstow even whilst she was sitting on the dentist chair later in the day.

We headed off at 10am and after an hour we stopped in St George for some stores - Roberts, JC Penney, Sears and some lunch from Jimmy John's. Hour and a half in St G.

An hour and three quarters later down I15 we were in Vegas and more specifically Henderson where Rayls checked out a Quilteque Quilts and a Bead Shop. Approaching Quilteque I drove like an Aussie ifor a bit. You would think after all these trips I would know to keep to the right. It was only 10 seconds but scared the hell out of Rayls, me and the dude coming in the opposite direction.

Just a smidge over 2 hours in Vegas before back on to I15 and off towards Barstow. Pain driving west with a setting sun. Spee limit was 70mph but for a half an hour there we were all down to 50mph whilst the sun blinded us all.

It was a 4 state day today. Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. We had gained back an hour crossing from Arizona into Nevada and it was 5pm when we made it to our pit stop for the night. Days Inn Barstow. Checked in and then to Dennys for dinner. 

547 kilometres today. Top speed 140.41 kph and average speed 99.83 kph. Onwards to LA tomorrow, just a bit over 2 hours away. Wal-Mart truck tally is 51.