Hats off to my fellow travelers who understand the never-ending journey from Australia to the U.S, or anywhere basically. Because no matter how many times you shift in your chair you're never actually comfortable once the joy of free alcohol has worn off.
So I flew Air New Zealand from Melbourne to Auckland. For my six hour stop-over, I splurged on a lounge. I'm not typically one to splurge but I AM SO GLAD I DID. I ate and drank and was oh so merry by the time I had to board. This is probably my second favourite travel tip of all time. If you have enough time to justify the $50 or so, just do it.
But as we all know, the hassle of security and boarding and life-jacket demonstrations that nobody actually pays attention to is all worth it once your feet touch the ground... And you have your bag... And you've waited who-knows-how-long in the queue to be allowed in the country... And you've finally logged into the free wi-fi long enough to contact your friend who is lost in a completely different terminal. So maybe it's actually once you've stepped outside and stifling L.A. air hits and you finally acknowledge that you've abandoned the Melbourne winter for a solid month.
L.A. isn't my first leg in my journey of appreciating the kindness of people, but it certainly was reinforced. My travel partner and I stayed with some of her family friends that I had never met. This was no AirBnB. This was old fashioned hospitality that went above and beyond to make our first few nights ahhhhh-mayzing. If you're travelling, always see if there's someone you can stay with. Not only is it cheap, it's welcoming and comforting knowing that you aren't alone in a foreign place.
So naturally, we did ALLLLLLLL of the touristy things. The Stars, the Sign. Heads up, L.A. is not the shiniest of places and even if you look as hard as we did you don't always see celebrities. We ventured to Universal Studios where I had a ball, despite my hatred of rides. But a real highlight for me was Warner Brothers. Home of Friends and all the other shows I love. Sitting on the dorky little tour bus and answering trivia, oh boy I was at home.
To sum up, L.A. is not the stunner that T.V lead me to believe but it's nice to check out. Definitely not the highlight of California for me. The cars are trucks, the weather is hot, the soft drinks are huge, and the food is greasy. Ah yes, we are truly in The States now.