Friday, August 22, 2008

Celebrities Shmelebrities

Our flight to LA via Seattle went super smoothly, and we even made our first new friends! Katie sat with us on the plane, and we chatted nonstop for the entire 2.5 hour flight. We then met her husband Kurt at LAX. Here's the immensely photogenic couple:

We waited for about 1.5 hours for our free 24-hour hotel shuttle. Every other hotel had a shuttle that flew by every 2 seconds. After a while we finally called, and were told to expect a black limo in 10 minutes. We got a big white van in over an hour. And it wasn't free. I guess that's what you get when you choose the absolute cheapest hotel in the area!

Waiting... wondering... and very Canadian!

The following morning, we picked up our rental car: a Toyota Corolla. OOooooo so sleek.

Now let's talk about our LA experience. The streets of LA aren't lined with celebrities as I had anticipated. They are more so lined with garbage and unkempt everything. Not quite as glamorous as I had expected...

Soooo, did we meet or even SEE any celebrities?


But we sure did dine at the same restaurant that Jessica Simpson and Tim Allen frequent.

We also took a stroll down the walk of fame. My favourite stars were ANDY GRIFFITH...

...the Olsen twins (Carlynne- this one is for you. Twin power all the way:)...

...Sandra Bullock (the epitome of romantic comedies!) ...

...and Britney Spears. Hey, don't judge. She has some catchy tunes and I'm SURE she puts on a good show. I'm not going to lie...I would not turn down the chance to see her in concert.

Lowell's favourite stars were Chris Farley and David Spade. Mainly because Tommy Boy used to be his favourite movie and the stars made him feel all nostalgic.

It was also fun to see Anne Shirley because when Lowell was in grade 12, he was Gilbert for his High School's production of Anne of Green Gables. (PS- we have no idea whether this is THAT Anne Shirley or not, but it's cool anyway.)

Other highlights of LA included Universal Studios.

I got Starbucks for the SOLE purpose of walking around looking like a cool dude celebrity. I would've purchased normal coffee- but it was way too hot.
We just walked around, we didn't actually go IN to where all the movie sets and stuff are (as it cost an arm and a leg), but we peered through the bars imagined that we did.

We also walked around a popular shopping centre known as 'the Grove'.

Hee hee, there's Victoria's Secret in the background!

We didn't have any American cash on us, so we ended up parking for free. OOPS. The parking attendant was probably thinking 'stupid Canadians..'. But it was kind of a ritzy outdoor shopping market, so we EXPECTED that they would accept credit cards. I guess we expected wrong!

We also drove up the Hollywood hills where the celebrity home bus tours go. We MUST'VE seen celebrity homes, but we just don't know which ones were inhabited by famous people, or who the famous people were.

Last thing we did before heading back to the car rental place was pay $10 to park our car at Santa Monica Pier and have a 20-minute power nap in the car. It was supposed to be $8, but the machine didn't give us change. Still the wisest $10 we ever spent! Rush hour in LA is crazy, and would have been disastrous had I still been in the sleepy/heat-stroked state I was in prior to the nap.

That night we flew to NZ via Tahiti (all we did in Tahiti was nap in the airport). This trip was 17 hours long, and luckily Lowell and I managed to sleep for most of it. When we arrived, we were welcomed by Pastor Andrew's warm smile. We had made a connection with Andrew through his church's website, and it was sooooo nice to have someone there to pick us up. He went out of his way to give us a little tour, told us about some landmarks, and also educated us on some NZ terms. For example, for us, the word 'supper' refers to the big meal in the evening. You know: breakfast, lunch, supper. To THEM, supper is tea and a biscuit before bed. Also, 'counters' in the kitchen are called 'benches', and regular closets in the wall are referred to as 'wardrobes'.

Lowell also tried a NZ spread called Marmite. To me it tasted like soy sauce, but it sure looks like Lowell is enjoying it!

Here's our hostess, Kay, working hard in the kitchen.

Here are our friendly, welcoming, and jolly hosts: Andrew & Kay.

Today we are hoping to move into a little place of our own, and also purchase a car. We'll keep you posted!


Bloggy Mama said...

Yay, you made it, safely! Looking forward to more adventures.

Shelley said...

So fun watching you experience NZ!

Tracy said...

Good to hear you made is safe and sound! Keep the stories comin' ;)

Katie Stephan said...

Lowell and Julie! Hey guys! So fun we made your blog :) We have been thinking about you guys! I was wondering if you saw any stars... Funny that I had a similar reaction when we visited Hollywood for the first time -- everything looked so small to me and dirty for sure :) haha. Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun though. Your blog is sooo cute! It was fun to check it out and all the cool pics. You guys write so well, I'm always cracking up as I read along... and the camera you use is awesome! Curt and I definately need to get a new one. Anyhoo, glad you arrived safely... Curt and I are already plotting how we can possibly raise the funds we'd need to buy plane tickets over there. Yeeeeaaahhh. It's not looking good. But, here's hoping we come into a small fortune in the next few months! haha. Oh, and I would totally go to a Brittney concert too. oops. (good thing Curt is in the other room at the moment) :) Well, hope all goes well getting settled in NZ! and... we are horrible first friends leaving you at the airport to wait for 2 hours for a ride to your hotel! We should've dumped all the useless stuff we keep in the trunk of our car and crammed you and your stuff in with us. So sad. Alrighty.... enjoy your new home, and hopefully we'll talk to you guys again soon! Take care! :)

Karyn Clemens said...

Why does it not surprise me that you found a few places to nap along the way? lol


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post even with the lack of celebrities. Alisha + Tylers
wedding was very special and we are still in Fernie and will do some
hiking this PM and tomorrow. Will keep praying for your adjustment to
NZ life, driving, and work.
Love, Dad + Mom G.

Stephen, Tricia, and Jubilee Taylor said...

I identified with a few things in your posts, so...
Just a few words of encouragement:
Driving on the left becomes less daunting and less dangerous as times goes on.
Marmite will grow on you, if you give it a chance (try it with a little grated cheese on toast, or on a grilled cheese sandwich)

Dave @ The BRG Blog said...

Looks like you guys packed quite a bit into a very short time, which is a very hard thing to do but it looks like you did it with great success.

Glad you enjoyed California. Sorry about the hotel - I tried my best but these days are very uncertain.