08.10.2008 - 09.10.2008 13 °C
Had a couple of days in Los Angeles. Drove Las Vegas to Ontario and stayed at the Holiday Inn at Ontario. The only reason was so we could spend 5 mins driving to the Shopping Outlet - Ontario Mills. This is the largest indoor shopping outlet mall in California. Tried to break the bank - but the bargains just weren't really there.
The Holiday Inn was great value. Nice modern room - pool and spa pool. Rate included Breakfast. However, one thing on the breakfast menu had us curious - biscuits and gravy. The biscuits were really scones, and the gravy was a mushroom soup in colour and you poured it over the biscuit (scone) and hello - tasted just like a gravy - oooh yuk. We also had cinnamon buns, various cereals, coffee, omelette, toast, scrambled eggs, pastries, juices. Great selection - and probably the nicest staff of any place we visited.
Also visited the Citidel Shopping outlet mall in Commerce (heading towards Lax airport). Quite disappointed as Geoffrey Beene store (Sarah's fav) had closed down. Brittany kept the locals going for another few days with her buys. Simon also helped out - came away with new whisk, lemon zestor, and measuring spoons.
Stayed back at the Hacienda in the South Tower this time. However, ended up with a room change due to a leaking toilet. Poor Brittany went to get some ice and ended up knocking on the next door neighbour's room (so many room numbers to remember). Thankfully they were out - but came back just as she realised she was knocking on the wrong door!
Had our last trip to Costco to get our supplies: mayonnaise, smuckers jam, chocolate raisins, cashew nuts, coffee (3 tins). Had a farewell hot dog with mustard, onions, sauce and a 20oz soda (refillable) for only $1.50 plus tax - Simon tried to do 2 just for Scott!
Spent an afternoon by the pool - to grab the last of the sunshine (and tan before the wintery spring of Auckland).
Tried to upgrade on the way home ... but not happening. Only 2 spare seats in Business and 13 commercial upgrades. Full flight - but thanks to another Air NZ buddy (thanks Theresa) we were three together in the front section of economy. Its never what you know - its always who you know.
Arrived back to 13 degrees????? what is that about? Mountains of washing. We left Auckland with a 21kg bag and a 23 kg bag. (brittany probably only had about 15kgs in 2 bags). We arrived back in Auckland with 6 bags and 115kgs! not bad going.
Only one more flight - Simon went to Taupo Thursday 9th October to pick up Charlie dog. (Ended up with two of his friends as well - that needed a bed for the night - Oscar and Dobbin - both Cavoodles too - although Dobbin only 4 months old! Full flight to Taupo - but Simon got on. Empty coming home (no chance of an upgrade!).
Sure beats work. Poor Simon back on Saturday - Sarah back on Monday, Brittany back on Monday.
Best Hotel: Palm Springs Caliente Tropics.
Best Radio Station: 93.1 Jack FM in LA (we also listened to The Heat - in Palm Springs, The Mountain in the Grand Canyon area, and Virgin - soon to be Absolute - in UK).
Best Bed: Palm Springs Caliente Tropics.
Best Food: Paris.
Most Expensive City: Paris
Best church bells that rang through the night - Carmona, Spain
Disappointing moment - only that we never saw a proper cactus in Arizona - although Brittany would say she wishes she saw a cougar.
We have really enjoyed sharing this with you all - and it saves you all having to listen to us ramble on about the holiday. Its way easier to update this at home though. Odd times you just aren't as close to a computer as you'd like - and sometimes (eg Spain) when you have to navigate through foreign languages its hard to put photos on. We've been amazed at the number of views each page has had - anything up to 275 hits! wow!
Thanks to Lily and Owen Young for the inspiration to start the blog.
Challange now - is to keep it going with you all - whenever you next travel, and our turn to sit back and read it.
FAREWELL from SMILERS2