North Or South, East Or West, Home Is Always Best...
OK, so me and The Tall Guy landed back on British soil at seven this morning.
We’ve been gone for a total of 18 days, and we sure made the most of it. I’ve got tons of photographs to bore you guys with, but quite frankly, I can’t be arsed downloading them just yet, so I’ll do that on another day.
The first night we landed, we stayed in a hotel in Manhattan Beach. I hadn’t slept or eaten properly in the three days leading up to our flight, so I was knackered.
The next day, we moved onto the Hyatt Regency at Newport Beach, which is where we based ourselves for the rest of our holiday, although, we did spend quite a few days in different cities. Nice hotel, although it must be said, we didn’t see a lot of it, during our time there.
I liked Newport Beach, it was nice and clean, and we were quite satisfied that we wouldn’t be mugged or shot, as we went about our business.
We could tell that Newport Beach was a wealthy place because they had a Ferrari car centre there. Me and The Tall Guy were tempted to go for a test drive, but we were afraid the sales people may have thought that we were there to rob the place, you know, with us being black and all. Just kidding of course. (g)
Now, I watch the O.C, and I have to say, where are the Japanese/Asian representatives in that programme? The place was full of Asian people for Oprah’s sake, yet I haven’t seen more than one character who happens to be Asian (yes I believe the principal is Asian, but she doesn’t count) mixing it up with Ryan and Seth.
Anyway, I digress, my fave thing about NPB was the South Coast Shopping Plaza. The Tall Guy and I, spent a full day there. Being a DKNY whore, I went a little bit crazy. I also went into Jimmy Choo’s to check out the shoes, but TTG wasn’t impressed at the prices. I on the other hand thought they were fairly reasonable, but who can justify spending $550 on a pair of shoes? (well I could, but I suspect TTG would not have been pleased.)
Talking about shopping Malls, Dylan, we went to the Delamo Fashion Centre, in Torrance, I believe you live in Torrance? I bought two pair of shoes, two vest tops, and a cinnamon bun. Heaven.
I believe it was the shopping mall that was featured in Tarantino’s film, Jackie Brown? The one with Samuel L, and Pam Grier in it? Totally cool.
By the way, Americans, a Senagalese taxi driver told us that according to the last US Census, 40% of Americans are Spanish/Mexican. Is that true? And if so, where were they in Newport Beach and surrounding areas? Just askin’.
We went to most of the main beaches in South California, including Venice Beach, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, and Hermosa Beach.
Venice Beach was not my cup of tea at all. I know that drug dealers, homeless people, and paranoid schizophrenics are a fact of life, but Venice beach seemed to have way more than its fair share. It was a little depressing actually, and I must admit to feeling like a voyeur as I watched some of the poverty stricken people walking along the promenade holding conversations with themselves. It was kinda sad.
We drove into Downtown LA, and stayed for less than 30 minutes. Talk about needing serious regeneration. The buildings were ugly as sin, and as a small town girl, I love the bright lights-big city feeling, that I get whenever I’m in a major international location. It didn’t come. I just felt dirty, and was happy to get out of there as soon as possible.
On the same day, we decided to go to
As an outsider, I saw abject poverty, and negligence, but the residents who lived there, seemed happy enough going about their business. Is it true that drive-by shootings are a fact of life within these neighbourhoods? According to our little tourist leaflet, Wilmington, Watts, and Crenshaw were not places for tourists to be wandering about in, after dark. I kinda got that feeling when we were there, but I must admit to being totally fascinated by some of the weird and wonderful sights.
Incidentally, we did the Hollywood and Beverly Hills Star Tours. The houses in Bel Air were magnifique. Oh to be that rich.
We walked along The Strip, and marvelled at some of the sights and sounds of Moviestar Land. Standing outside the Kodak Theatre was very surreal, and now whenever I watch the Academy awards on telly, I’ll be able to say that I’ve been there in the flesh. Happy sigh.
We decided to fly to San Francisco for three nights. We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton hotel (looked like a shithole from the outside, but the rooms were lovely) just off the 101 freeway.
We went down to Fisherman’s Wharf (Pier 39), sampled the variety of seafoods on offer (the clam chowder was to die for) and bought souvenirs. We also did the Alcatraz tour, which I thought was fantastic, and enjoyed immensely, and took in a S.F forty-niner’s game at Monster Park. It was a fun day, and I was amazed at how friendly both sets of fans were to each other (well before the game at least, after the game, it was a different matter).
The concept of tail-gating, is alien to us Brits, but myself and The Tall Guy thought it was fantastic. TTG went the whole hog, and bought loads of Niner’s clothes, including a cap for me. Being far too vain to wear red (it just doesn't suit me) I opted for a green vest, which as it happens, was the colour of the opposing team. Clothes over fandom I’m afraid. I wont even wear a Manchester United strip, so there’s no way I was donning Forty-Niner’s red ensemble.
Unfortunately, The Forty-Niner’s defence were piss-poor, and they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. It was a good day though.
Whilst in Frisco, we caught a bus to China Town. How effing busy was that place? I wanted to stop at a restaurant, but it was so damn busy, we just got the hell outta there. Who the fuck needs to be trampled by a million people all in a rush to be somewhere? I could have stayed at home for that shit.
Bam, I thought of you when we went to San Diego, it would have been lovely to meet you. We went to Sea World there, which was lots of fun. Shamu is still the best. The Dolphins and the Otters were awesome too.
As we were so close to Las Vegas, we decided to go there for a couple of days. I tototally loved this morally questionable, den of inequity. We stayed in a suite on the 27th floor of the Flamingo hotel and casino, on Las Vegas Boulevard. The suite was amazing, and the hospitality was second to none.
Toni Braxton performs on most nights at Flamingo’s, so we bought tickets to her show. She was fucking awesome (although we did wonder if anybody ever understands what the hell she’s saying when she sings?).
We didn’t gamble much, I’m too much of a tightwad to throw away money, when there are so many clothes in the world without a good home. (g)
We went into every single hotel in Las Vegas, including The Bellagio, and Caesar’s Palace. They were all much of a muchness, but it was a fun experience.
My favourite thing about Vegas was the frequent water shows, that combined music and lights. The performances were utterly mind-blowing, and sooooo romantic. I highly recommend going to Vegas just to watch those aquatic shows.
On the way back from Vegas, we stopped at a shopping outlet where we managed to blow over $600 in two hours between the two of us. My buys included a fabulous Ralph Lauren coat that had been reduced from $298 to just $150. What a bargain eh?
Overall, we had a jolly decent time over in California, but I have to say, service-wise, Florida beats Southern California anyday.
We always tipped generously, but I have to say, half the fuckers we tipped, didn’t even deserve a cent, which totally peed me off. The best service we received were from waiters/waitresses, aged between 20-25. The older they were, the more miserable the service. What’s up with that shit?
If any of you go to Las Vegas, I totally recommend Planet Hollywood, at Caesar’s Palace Fashion Forum, because the service there was fantastic. The guy who served us, was totally worth every penny we tipped him. It didn’t hurt that he was cute too.
By the way, we didn’t get the chance to watch much television over there, but I have to say, CNN’s Nancy Grace is the most acerbically witty T.V presenter ever. I want to be her when I grow up. Even if she is a tad right-wing.
As for Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, what a fucking twat. Nuff said.
Ann Coulter also managed to raise my political hackles. What a moronic sanctimonious twat that woman is.
OK, I can’t be arsed writing anymore, but I must add that whilst in the US, I bought tons of books, most of which I read.
Jane, Angie, and Sybil? J.R Ward’s Lover Eternal, and Lover Awakened totally rocked.
Dawn, e-mail me your address, and I’ll mail both of them off to you.
So, did I miss anything major round here? I already caught up with the J.R Ward kerfuffle, so I don’t need to hear any other details regarding this.
I hope you guys missed me, it does feel good to be back.