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20th November 2011

Our last full day in LA was quiet enough. Our plans were somewhat ruined by rain.

We called our friend Scott and arranged to meet him for a walk around 11:00am. We stepped out of our hotel room to find that it was raining - it continued to rain for the rest of the day. Albert Hammond was wrong; it does rain in Southern California.

I decided that I was tired of the GPS taking us to every freeway it could find so I set it to shortest route instead of quickest route and off we went to Scott's house. I think the lady in the GPS took great offence to me changing the way we travel and started messing with us - we went down side streets, backwards, sideways, every which way to go the 12 K's to Scott's place and arrived 15 minutes late. I learnt you don't mess with the GPS.

Scott rang us just before we arrived wondering where we were - we had no idea where we were. It was decided it was too wet to walk and we went to lunch instead. Astros again and boy did we have a good time. The food was awesome and Scott's conversation was just fantastic. We could listen to him for hours.  Scott was there in the music business when it all happened in the sixties and his stories were a joy to listen to.

Back to the hotel around 2pm and then as it was still raining we went a movie in Pasadena at 4:40pm. We saw Ides of March with Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. Another good movie.

After the movie we checked out a Macys and a Target before buying KFC on the way back to the hotel.

Tomorrow we need to check out of the hotel room by 11:00am and don't fly out till 10:30pm. Not sure how we will kill the hours, hopefully a walk with Scott and maybe another movie. We fly into Perth at 3:00pm on Thursday afternoon.

19th November 2011

Glendale Christmas
Glendale Christmas

A really good day today. Other than the Kings losing, but you get that.

We started out with our usual Maccas breakfast and then headed into LA for 1:00pm LA Kings game against the Detroit Red Wings - lots of Red Wings supporters there. We get there early to lap up the atmosphere. The game did not go so well, the Kings got a short handed goal which nearly brought the house down. The Red Wings responded in seconds and it was all down hill from there. 4-1 I think. Still good to be there and we will continue to support the Kings from afar and when in LA.

After the game we returned to the hotel for about an hour and then went to the Glenday cinema to see 50/50. Very busy cinema with the Twilight stuff out recently but only a handful of people at our movie. Good movie, very happy, very sad.

It was dark as we came out of the theatre and the Christmas display that we saw was fantastic. The theatre and shops are part of the Americana at Brand. It is a large outdoor shopping community organised upon the idea of a city centre—with a mix of architectural styles, building heights and materials used, as well as vast open spaces at the projects' centre. The centre area includes a Christmas tree which must be 60 foot high. The outdoor mall also features Waters of Americana, a fountain. The musical fountain, located in the central landscaped park, performs every hour, though a non-musical programme runs between shows. A gold-leaf statue rises from the centre of the fountain's smaller pool. We wandered around the area for an hour or so. So many lights - great to look at.

Then we went to dinner at an Applebees - quite a drive there but the food and service was great.

Lunch with Scott McKenzie

Rayls and Scott
Rayls and Scott McKenzie

Had a great lunch with Scott McKenzie today.

Scott has been unwell for some time now and it was great that he was well enough to come out for lunch. WE picked him up at his house and went to Astro's Family Restaurant. This place was crowded with cops. In the booth next tio us were eight Los Angeles SWAT officers. There was other police there as well. Popular with the cops, that's for sure.

We enjoyed chatting with our friend, such a sense of humour and spirit.

Two and a Half Men

After taking Scott back to his house we headed back to the hotel for an hour or so and then headed to the Warner Brothers Studios for a taping of the sitcom Two and a Half Men. Another good night and fun to see the stars in person. Like in the show we saw on Tuesday it was a Christmas special. In this episode Ashton Kutcher's character Waldon finds out from his mother (actress Mimi Rogers) that what he remembered to be a childhood imaginary friend was actually a real thing, a gorilla called Magilla. Kind of weird but it was funny.

17th November - Reagan Library

Air Force One
Boarding Air Force One

Breakfast at Maccas again and then north to the Ronald Reagan Presdential Library.

They call these Presidential things 'libraries' and I am sure there are books somewhere but they are really museums.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs is the presidential library and final resting place of Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. The library is located in Simi Valley, California, about 65 kilometres northwest of Downtown Los Angeles.

The exhibit begins during Reagan's childhood in Dixon, Illinois and follows his life through his film career and military service, marriage to Nancy Davis Reagan, and political career. His 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns are also highlighted, as well as his inauguration suit and a table from the White House Situation Room is on display. News footage of the 1981 assassination attempt on his life is shown, and information about the proposed Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI — dubbed "Star Wars") is included.

A full scale replica of the Oval Office is a prominent feature of this museum as well. The hilltop grounds provide expansive views of the area, a re-creation of a portion of the White House Lawn, a piece of the Berlin Wall. An F-14 Tomcat is also located on the grounds.

A large exhibit hangar serves as the setting for the permanent display of the Boeing 707 aircraft utilised as Air Force One during Reagan's administration. The aircraft, SAM 27000, was also used by six other presidents in its active service life from 1973–2001, including Richard Nixon during his second term, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. In 1990, it became a backup aircraft after the Boeing 747s entered into service and was retired in 2001.  It makes for a great photo op and a very interesting walk through.

Very interesting place to spend a few hours.

16th November - LA

Scot McKenzie

A quiet day today.

Slept in a bit - then brekkie at Maccas.

Some shopping and then we visited our friend Scott McKenzie who lives in the Hollywood Hils. Scott has been unwell for some time but we all went for a very pleasant walk chatting as we went. For readers who don't know Scott had a hit record in 1967, San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) and it has been our pleasure to administer the Scott McKenzie website since 1998.

In the evening we headed to the Staples Centre in LA for the Kings game against the Ducks.

Great game, overtime and then a shootout won by the Kings.

The Kings really put on a great night. Recognising a returned soldier, the national anthem and the game. Great night.