Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'm back from the United States!

Hi there

Did ya miss me?  Well, there was a big earthquake in Wellington last Friday that I certainly missed.  I was desperate whilst I was away to find out if there were any earthquakes in Wellington that might send my house-sitter reeling back to Auckland.  There was no news of anything about earthquakes on American tv.  It was a BBC-watching Las Vegas taxi driver who told me about the above-mentioned one.  I was so worried until I got home and found my house intact even though my house-sitting friend wasn't so much intact.  She was very stressed out and glad to be high-tailing it back to Auckland.  Still, not an ornament dropped or a picture fell off my walls.  I have been so lucky compared to workers in the city where it was quite nerve-stressing.

My holiday started off a bit chaotic.  Well, of course, it would.  Aren't I the sitcom queen?  I arrived at Wellington Airport at 4 a.m. ready for my 6 a.m. flight to Australia.  I cleared security, thought "Oh, yes, I'll just go into the loo before I start the journey" ... to discover that my trousers were torn!  There was a biiiiiiiig rip right across the down-below area.  Rather akin to the back flaps in pyjamas that little boys used to have in the old days. 

Heavens-to-Betsy, what was I going to do?  Well, I couldn't do anything.  If I was in the pre-security area, I could have rushed home, changed, and still been back at the airport in time to catch my plane but, as it was, I had to wear those stupid torn trousers on the plane to Australia, hang around Brisbane Airport for 3 hours, then on the plane to the States for 14 hours.  I had to remember not to bend over,  accidentally tuck my shirt into the waistband of my pants as I exited the plane toilet, or do the chicken dance in front of anyone.   Luckily my t-shirt and jacket were long enough to cover everthing!

I stayed at the Hollywood Liberty Hotel in Los Angeles.  Imagine, perhaps, a Taihape motel dating back to the sixties and you'll get the idea of what the place was like.  But it stood right next to the famous Loews Hotel which charges a minimum $450 a night.  The Liberty was, like, a 1 minute walk to Graumans Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame (through a short and safe little tunnel that took you straight into the posh Hollywood and Highland mall) and was an extremely cheap stay for the area.  Loews Hotel is where successful actors go to do their 'backstage at the Oscars' interviews - see, now you've learnt something really interesting ... the interviews are not really 'backstage', after all!  The stars leave the theatre and trot to an upstairs floor at Loews.

There are lots of dress-up characters parading around Hollywood.  Here's a picture of Tinkerbell.  Of course I had to pay her hard cash for the photo.  She wouldn't accept pixie-dust.

And here's a pic of a guy being arrested in Hollywood, just across the road from Tinkerbell.  I'd watched him run out into traffic, and start abusing the drivers and banging on their cars and making a nuisance of himself in the road.  Maybe he was on drugs.

J and I went swimming yesterday.  I was tired, bleary-eyed, hardly able to concentrate.  I'd flown from U.S for 14 hours, stumbled around Brisbane for 12 hours, flown another three hours to Wellington, and felt dead!  But, still, a swim is a swim.  And, guess what? -  the Wellington City Council have started re-building the steps down into the water at Hataitia Beach.  Yippee!  Thank you,  WCC!   Good thing, too, because today - yes,we went swimming again today, 3rd time this month - I forgot my winter swimming booties and I had to hippity-hop and stumble and tippity-toe, cursing, as I made my way across all the pebbles, and sharp stones, and prickly seaweed to get into the water.  J, naturally, had remembered her booties.

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