Archive for October, 2012


Beverley Hills

The beautiful California sunshine was smiling on us again today as we did a short morning tour of Hollywood and Beverley Hills in an open top mini bus. In the evening we went to the LA Lakers basketball game. It was the first game of the regular season and the crowd was pumped ! They handed out free T shirts at the gate so we all just had to get into the spirit. The only celebrity we have seen in LA we saw at the game – a season ticket holder with court side seats – the one and only Jack Nicholson. The whole event was pretty amazing with loud music, the national anthem, lights, big screens and neon signs all around the massive multi level arena, not to forget the very acrobatic Laker cheer girls ! The Lakers lost, so the crowd were not happy but it was a great night.








Well today was a day we were looking forward to the whole trip. We tried to keep it a secret from the boys but so many people kept asking them are we going to Disneyland that they soon caught on. Who doesn’t grow up dreaming about going to Disneyland ?



Venice Beach

Caught an open top bus tour today to head to Santa Monica Beach, which took a few hours through the city and is the official end of Route 66. We then hired bikes, Angus and John on their own and Campbell and I on a tandem and rode the boardwalk to Venice Beach. It is a huge beach and there were so many people enjoying their Sunday afternoon. Joggers, walkers, tourists, bikers, doggie lovers, then there are the people using all the exercise equipment and rings and basketball courts, paddle tennis and handball courts and of course the famous outdoor gym for the muscle men and women !! Then there are hundreds of stall holders and street performers and dudes with their boom boxes on rollerblades and skateboards and all sorts of other moving contraptions ! Saw a lot of funny sights !





Universal studios

Caught the subway to Universal Studios today, wasn’t far, was only one stop. There was a lot of Halloween decorations being so close to Halloween. We had a tour of the studios, caught a few shows including Waterworld, Blues Brothers (all the kids got to join in and were given the Blues Bros sunnies as a souvenir, hence the photo), Special Effects Show and Animal Actors. Caught some rides including 3D The Simpsons, 4D Shrek, Transformers (not mine or Angus’s favourite, both had our eyes shut !), and Jurassic Park. John had to brave Revenge of the Mummy on his own, the rest of us were too chicken ! I get sick just watching a 3D movie !







Los Angeles

We arrived in Los Angeles today after leaving Phoenix yesterday, about 370 miles. We stayed in Blythe last night which was just over the border into California. Driving in LA wasn’t too bad, pretty much freeways all the way to hotel varying from 2 lane to 5 lanes wide. Drivers in LA not as uptight as in New York. Made it to hotel without even being beeped at. Our hotel is in Hollywood and can see famous sign in the hills from our room. We are close to Hollywood Boulevard, so we don’t have to go far for entertainment.



After 5,500 kms on the road we arrived in Phoenix to stay a week at the Yeagers ‘winter house’. A lot of Canadians escape their winter by coming to Arizona and they are known by the locals as ‘snow birds’. We were asked at the supermarket if we were ‘snow birds’ and we said not exactly, we still have a long way south to fly yet ! The house is in Florence, about 60 miles south of Phoenix and in a very newly developed housing area. It is in the desert but it is amazing to see that in amongst the cactus (cactii ?) and the rattle snakes (haven’t seen one of those yet) there are irrigated cotton and lucerne crops grown and quite a few large dairies. The channels are cement lined as the soil is just a dust bowl. We really didn’t see any farmland driving down through the mid west of the US, is was a lot of arid rangelands, with only a few sightings of cattle ranches. It was 34 degrees here when we arrived, so the warmest we have felt since we left Australia. Guess its good to get acclimatized for when we get home.

We spent the week relaxing and catching up on school work. We had a few visits into Phoenix to have a look around, go souvenir shopping and also John just had to go to Alice Coopers Bar & Grill, that was different ! Near where we were staying was also a community centre, it was like a sports centre so we went there a few times, they had a pool, tennis courts, basketball and rock climbing. It was nice to just have a week to chill out !







Grand Canyon

Before we headed to the canyon, we watched a documentary on the history of the canyon at an IMAX theatre at the visitors centre, which was an awesome way to see the canyon and made us all want to take up hangliding ! We headed out to see the Grand Canyon today and it truly was an amazing sight, no wonder it is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. We hiked around part of the south rim and took about 1000 photos ! (I don’t know why but it’s hard to get the boys to pose for me any more !) Drove south to Sedona for the night, about 190 kms.