notes from the road

The conclusion of a tremendous trip!

22/07
We had a nice breakfast of cornflour pancakes and then visited Sonia again in hospital and she was very grateful for us to come and visit her. Then jumping back in the Buick we made our way through the Dutch town of Solvang (morning tea), Santa Barbara (fish and chips on the jetty) and then into Los Angeles. Our first port of call was the TOMS headquarters where I wanted to show Mum and Dad around. Everyone greated me very warmly, and I hugged and chatted with lots of people who I barely talked to when I worked there, possibly skewing my parents opinion of my popularity at work somewhat. We then settled into our hotel and took it easy. Mum had a bath and Dad and I poured a whole bucket of ice over her when it was time to leave – we all thought it was funny. Later on we went out to dinner at a very nice Mexican place with my good friend Jinous whose reaction to my plan to live in Harlem was not what I had wanted, scaring Mum a little bit I think.
23/07
Today was Disneyland day! After a hiccup on the very crowded freeway resulting in needing to do an un needed loop, we got there and were initially shocked by how few people were there with us. Within a few hours though things kicked into gear. We started off with some nice and easy rides like the Pirates of the Caribean and Haunted mansion and we all had a super time – I got very excited, and Dad would scare Mum when ever it got dark, and then tried to make up for it with a kiss, complete with cartoonish kissing noise. Then by using our fast passes wisely were able to hit up some other big rides like splash mountain, and Big Thunder – both of which Mum was quite scared on, but I think really enjoyed – though it doesn’t look that way in the picture that we got. After a good little lunch, we hit up Space Mountain (thrilling!) and Indiana Jones (Dad drove us) and many more. The crowds really started to get thick when the lights show started and for the fire works, but we watched them and then drove on back to our hotel. It had been a solid day indeed – we’d been laughing and screaming for 13 hours at Disneyland and it was past 1 when we finally got to bed.
24/07
Being the last day in the country for Mum and Dad we only had two objectives – the first – to make it to the airport ontime, the second to catch a tour of Hollywood. We had sorted with the tour company to have them pick us up from our hotel, they were a little late picking us up and then the 45 bus ride to get there had us a little on edge – when you have a plane to catch even if it is at the end of the day, you don’t want to be late at all. We finally got our tour and it was lots of fun – we saw loads of expensive and very glamorous houses owned by Elton John (who has the most expensive one at $82 Million), Brittany Spears, Reese Witherspoon, Camereon Diaz and Justin Timberlake who apparently gave all of his staff Range Rovers for Christmas. Once this was finished we had to wait around a little longer for our bus back to the hostel which took us another 45 minutes. The mood on the way back was quite tense, we were about 2 hours later then we had planned on being, and wouldn’t get a chance to go bag shopping before the plane left. But at the time I thought, ‘one day we’ll look back on this and laugh’, and that is what I am doing now ‘ha ha ha’ as we made it there with plenty of time to spare. Once Mum and Dad were checked in they walked me to where I was going to take the first bus to get to Ryan’s place. There we had a teary goodbye, and it put an end to one of the most enjoyable holidays I’ve ever had.

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