Sunday 2th May 2008
Everyone laughed when we said we were flying out of Heathrow terminal 5 and there were several jokes about lost lugguge, but to be honest leaving from there was waaay easier than Gatwick. Wayne and Laura took us ap and despite the fact that their alarm(s) didnt go off, we still arrived in plenty of time. And life was so much simpler with our on-line boarding passes already done. Terminal 5 is huge, but sooo quiet.
As usual we left to pouring rain
.. but this time arrived 11 hours later to beautiful blue skies.
OK That all sounds like too much plain sailing for one of our holidays, and the fact that we also managed to find the hotel we were booked into first try also adds to this impression but yes, you guessed, there was a downside. A rather big downside. This is the view from our hotel window!!
The hotel had been booked blind by the travel agent, with our flights, and had cost us quite a huge part of our holiday money. It attempted to make itself a luxury hotel, and was very near to the Getty Centre and the end of Sunset Boulovard - well yes we can see the rroad links are good. And we could hear them all night too.
To be honest our time in LA was not at all enjoyable. We were charged $18 for valet parking which as well as being expensive was a pain because you would be amazed how many times you need to go out to the car when every time you do the valet guy has to bring it round. Martin was particularly annoyed about this as he had read that the parking was free, but we didnt have the appropriate reading material with us. Furthermore as well as being right on the junction of two international freeways, the swimming pool was on the side of the road, and although Wii fi was available, laptops were not.
We gave the place a shot though and after dropping off our suitcases, headed out to see the sites. LA is huge, and the Americans do not give you any indication of where things are. Oh they are very good at letting you know where YOU are, but signs saying 'Downtown' or 'Beachfront' are non-existant so if you dont have a decent map or simply dont know, then there is no way to find out. Its not easy to ask anyone either because LA doesnt allow you park anywhere. All the parking was at meters (we had no change having just arrived) or car parks were $12 (thats £6 in real money).
So after driving round for over an hour and seeing nothing much we returned to the hotel. Martin then saw the end of Sunset, so off we went again. It took us half an hour to drive through Beverly Hills and all we saw were very tall hedges.
At this point we had had enough, so we high tailed it back and took the decision to abandon our plan of 3 days in LA and to drive to Vegas the following morning.