Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 1) - America
ONLINE AND LISTENIN'
Well, California was the Business Baby!
LA was excellent, I don't get these people who waffle on about how ruuuubish it is. What's not to like; Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Hollywood (or Holly - WUD, as the locals pronounce it, or at least they do in my head) all very rich, very flash, very wannabe! It's great. I don't necessarily wanna live there, let's not lose our minds here. The difficulty for tourists is that it's widespread and public transport isn't very obvious. Most people seem to hire a car but we managed on the metro, taxis and tours.
The Metro will get you to famous spots like Santa Monica and Hollywood. Taxis will get you out and about in the evenings. Tours will get you into the Hollywood Hills. Tick, Tick, Tick.
San Francisco, what a winner, I just love the place, can totally see myself living there someday. Had a bit of a dodgy start there, we ended up having to get the greyhound from LA, which was prrretty painful; 8 hours of screaming babies and gospel singing freaks.
Speaking of freaks, San Francisco is full of them. The icing on the cake had to be when we stopped at a pedestrian crossing waiting to traverse la rue. There were loads of these bible bashers around the place shouting about hell and damnation. Apparently one of them started screaming at me “Stop your philandering, the Lord begs you to stop your philandering”, even a little crowd was forming! I was completely impervious to all of this as I was too busy checking out a cute guy across the road but Sharon, after she recovered from her hysterics, filled me in.
San Francisco is as hilly as hell but mastering them makes you feel good about yourself. It's another city that's difficult to get around but our hostel was downtown so within walking distance of most touristy things (like Chinatown and Coit Tower). Jumped a cable car across town to the bustling Fisherman's Wharf. Alcatraz was incredible and a definite 'must-do', I found it very cinematic.
While in Chinatown we booked our flights to Vegas and had a very bizarre experience. Everytime I spoke to the travel agent she would answer but instead of looking at me she'd look at Sharon sitting beside me. I must have conversed with her for 20 minutes and didn't get eye contact once. I don't know if she thought Sharon was a ventriloquist and I was her dummy!
Vegas, now that is a place I could really lose the run of myself in, I enjoyed a flutter and even a winning streak for a while, needless to say I lost it all again. It's a beast of a place, fueled by booze, fed on mountains of food, and money, money, money makes it's world go round. We stayed in a perfectly nice hotel off the strip and saved a fortune on accommodation compared to the famous hotels on the main strip.
Sharon wanted to go to a Blink 182 concert in the MGM Grand, it was fun. There was a lot of people doing the whole first finger and pinkie finger extended 'Rock On' sign. Shaz (who has been known to 'Rock On' herself) kept jokingly saying "these are my people man". Major highlight for me was the Rat Pack gig (tribute to the originals), now they are my kinda people, very funny and so so cool, in the true sense of the word. It was even worth the trolly ride out to the old school Sands Hotel in the 110 degree desert heat. (I died several times before we got there).
Did I tell you that after the 15 hour flight from the States to Sydney, my flippin baggage was lost, terrific! Got it back but there was a good two hours there where I had no idea what I was going to wear the next day...the horror!! (Kidding, I'm a backpacker, I anticipate I will live in t-shirt and jeans, the glamour of it all)