All aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California!
I’m finally back in town!!! After this HUGE USA trip, limited WiFi and a huge phone bill, I’m glad to be back on these shores ’cause I missed you guys! It feels as though I’ve been away for a month even though it was only ten days, but we packed so much in I can hardly believe it. Mind you, shopping all day and partying all night does give you twice as many hours in the day.
Now I’ve had a chance to start downloading all these pictures I can hardly wait to share them with you all and I hope it doesn’t bore you to death. I always think of those movie scenes where people are tortured by being tied to a chair and forced to watch other people’s holiday slides… ugh. Instead of boring you with a hundred pictures of trees, I’m hoping that these fun snap shots will show you what fantastic places there are to visit out there; whether these towns are far from you or perhaps even near. Either way, you’ll discover that I travel just the way I live every other day; making it an occasion and staring in my own mental movie.
So I’m going to jump back to the beginning of the trip, as it is hard to get full sized pictures for you while on the move and it doesn’t really do it justice.
Travelling with friends can either be fun or can be a nightmare. Luckily for me, my girlfriends are just as crazy as me and we all know how to make a party out of a cardboard box. After leaving Melbourne and flying straight through to LA on a 14 hour flight, you’d think we would be ready for a bit of a nap. But no. As you saw, we headed straight out vintage shopping on the streets of Long Beach and collecting tales as we went.
One of the highlights for me was being invited in to meet the lads at Hawleywood’s Barber Shop, which smelt of soap, leather and pomade…. divine! This is not a place that women are generally allowed into so we were very honoured to be able to pop in and say hello.
One of the fastest ways to get to know a town is to catch a local bus, which is just what we did to get to Fourth street. I’m always amazed at just how outgoing and friendly most Americans are compared to Australians. It isn’t that we aren’t friendly, it’s just that people tend to keep to themselves unless they have been introduced to you. The idea of talking to people on a bus or elevator is rather alien to us, and if you do talk to people you’re seen as a bit odd. Once we got used to the fact that people actually just talk to you and say what it on their mind, it was a very pleasant change.
On the bus ride back to our hotel, we came across two guys who decided that a bit of blues and gospel singing was to be the order of the day and they amused us greatly with their tunes across the bus. It’s kind of like being on a school camp when things like that happen and everyone is having a great time. I can only imagine what would happen in Australia should the same scenario occur. Most people would think you’re crackers, not look you in the eye and be dying to jump off at the next stop! But to us, it was a fantastic and memorable way to kick off what was to be a legendary trip abroad.
Siting at the bus stop in my cool new sparkly vintage hat.
Our first night in California was spent aboard the beautiful, (now permanently docked) Queen Mary in all her art deco splendour. Although she is a fading beauty, all the photographs of passengers and days past give her a romantic quality not found in even the fanciest of modern hotels. There are legends of her haunted passage ways, and after trying to find our room amongst hundreds of identical corridors, I can see why! It was like being an a scary episode of Dr. Who where the passages just keep going and no matter how far you run you end up back where you begun… I’m sure there must be ghost of guests who were never seen again after trying to find their rooms!
We knew by the morning of our official Day One, that we were already going to need some luggage solutions because we couldn’t close the suitcases we’d come with just 12 hours before. And so it was, with shopping bags and suitcases in tow, that we moved on to Downtown L.A where the adventure continued…