North America, Australia and Oceania · 15 Days · 22 Moments · November 2017

Honeymoon voyage in United States of America

26 November 2017

As I was saying, he placed the bamboo head piece on me and said now we had to kiss on the cheeks. Once I’d kissed both his cheeks, I was told there were more cheeks and to turn around, while dying of embarrassment I turned around and there was a line of his warriors waiting for a kiss on the cheek. Once I got through, I sat back down. About 20 mins later, Nathan and I were both called up to dance (refer to photo of Nathan shaking his thing). They took us on a journey through the islands of Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand and Hawaii. Performing the traditional dances by men and women for each. It was amazing. They then did a fire twirling performance, one of them is a five time world champion and another the current world champion. It was incredible. We then were called up AGAIN. This time because we were on our honeymoon. With the other honeymooners we had to dance on stage to their traditional wedding waltz. It was a fantastic night and the chief was so entertaining.
Sunday was first spent in the pool and by it. We had a light lunch in preparation for the meal at the Luau. When we arrived at the sea life park, we walked past the turtle resting pool. They were huge and so beautiful. When we got in, we were greeted with a Mai Tai and a Lei made of real flowers. They called us over to view the roast pig and taught us they roast it in the ground. We wandered around getting our fake tattoos, trying traditional salmon and potato and realised we were sitting next to an older couple from New South Wales. The first thing the chief did was ask if we’d made bamboo leaf headbands (we hadn’t as we assumed we couldn’t bring them home). Seeing as we were literally the front row, he spotted me and called me up onto the stage. He presented me with a beautiful headband covered in flowers. He explained which side to wear the flowers on depending on whether I was married or be continued (ran out of space)

25 November 2017

Saturday was fairly uneventful. We had a sleep in and hit up tiki bar for lunch. I tried a ‘French dip’. It’s a toasted sandwich that you dip in pho. Really good! Then we lounged by the pool and had a very relaxed night in.
I ran out of room for Friday, firstly I should mention the fire truck. The fire trucks here do this awesome thing where they can steer from the back at the same time as the front, so they were demonstrating how they can drive on an angle down a street, very cool and helpful for turning tight corners. After the parade, the party animals that we are headed home to watch a movie and have a G&T. At the ungodly hour of 11pm on Friday, we heard a ridiculous amount of honking on the streets below. We looked out and there were countless Utes driving down the street with trays full of Hawaiians brandishing their flags yelling and singing. So obviously I dragged Nathan out of bed and we hit the streets in our pjs to watch the celebration. It was crazy but very cool. Not sure if it’s illegal to ride in the back of the Ute but cops were pulling over the utes and talking to them for awhile. We then got some photos of the fish in the ponds in reception of the hotel. They’re HUGE!
Friday as it turns out was ‘Black Friday’, so naturally we had to check out the shops. Got some fantastic bargains! There’s an outdoor shopping area outside the Sheraton hotel which is beautiful. There were fountains with ducks living the high life in there. Obviously after this shopping, we’d earned some lunch. We went to tiki bar and ordered some drinks and they gave us the ceramic tiki glasses to keep. There were signs everywhere about a holiday parade later that evening so after a siesta, we wandered down to the Main Street to check it out. It was amazing!! There were high school marching bands and they were all so great to watch, the drums and all the other instruments were so impressive. There were classic muscle cars with survivors of Pearl Harbour in them. There was a balloon snoopy who squeaked with every step and Chinese dragons. There were also a team of ghostbusters with the car and all!

23 November 2017

Thursday, thanksgiving, began with Nathan enjoying the block out curtains after over a week of no curtains in LA. So I went for a walk to check out the supermarket. I was overwhelmed with the options and ended up with a breakfast of turkey, boiled eggs, pineapple, grapes and pickles. We then went for a huge walk down the beach and made some purchases at the pre Black Friday sales. We had happy hour (which looked suspiciously like breakfast but with gin) Had dinner, severely disappointing but the night took a positive turn at the tiki bar. We were sucked into buying photos from there but they’re nice ones.

22 November 2017

And today we arrived in sunny Hawaii!! The weather is amazing!!! Everyone is so relaxed and lovely here, you don’t feel like you’re going to die every time you’re in traffic like in LA. We were starving! After throwing our bags into the room, we went in search for food. Found a place called LuLei and had an amazing turkey sandwich and a Hawaiian beer. We then went for a wander up the main strip of Waikiki. Very expensive shops there. There’s a convenience store called ABC and there are so many it’s ridiculous. Every 5 or so shops, there was another. We did a basic DIY dinner in our room and are finishing off the night with a G&T and some forensic documentaries. We are finally caught up to date!

21 November 2017

Because I am the worlds cheapest person, I managed to stretch out our daily hop on hop off ticket to two days. We jumped back on in Santa Monica with our goal of visiting ‘The Grove’ One of our Uber drivers said we needed to check it out. After the worlds worst traffic and my eyes being filled with the sunscreen of Satan, we eventually got there. The grove is almost like Disney land. It’s an outdoor shopping centre that is very whimsical and the buildings look like you’re in a classic movie. Unfortunately they were filming dancing with the stars finale so lots of areas weren’t accessible. We then found the farmers market next door and experienced the best sandwich of our lives. With an incredible pickle. It was from a deli run by an old couple. The food options in the farmers market were endless. We then walked back to the La Brea Tar pits for an educational experience and checked out everything we could see at the LA art museum without paying for a ticket.

20 November 2017

Monday! We decided to book in with the hop on hop off tour bus. We ‘hopped’ on in Santa Monica on the yellow route. This stopped in rodeo drive and switched to the red line. On Monday we stayed on the bus until we got to the Hollywood walk of fame. Suuuuuper scummy area. It was good to see the walk of fame but it was dirty and you couldn’t walk 5 steps without a CD shoved in your face by an amateur rapper or a person in a dodgy off brand costume trying to force you to pay for a photo with them. We checked out some stars and got back onto the bus. We saw the Musso and Franks Grill, the Beverley hills sign as well as the Hollywood sign. I ran out of room for photos so I’ve split this post.
Monday continued, we snapped some photos on the walk of fame as well as the handprints in the concrete outside the Chinese theatre. We hustled past the dodgy spider men and cat women back onto the bus back to the crossover point at rodeo drive. We decided to go for a wander. Quickly discovering we couldn’t even afford lunch there without selling our house, we took some photos and got our steps up for the day and headed back to the bus. We attempted to have a drink out for Rox this evening but it didn’t go as planned.

19 November 2017

We kicked off Sunday by reattempting the bottomless mimosa situation elsewhere. However, we were still just naive Australians. Turns out you can get bottomless anything at a place called O Red. So following Grandpas rule of try everything once, I decided to order the Bloody Mary. Grandpa was right, you should always try things. It was delicious!! It even had bacon in it! We walked off our brunch by hitting the pier and checking out the shops along there. They had a big display for those killed while serving in the army. We then saw a really creepy trump and Kim lookalikes. Particularly creepy because Kim was about 3 foot tall. We then found an even creepier clown in Santa Monica. We decided to dust off the cookware again and eat in for Sunday night and prepare for our big day Monday!

18 November 2017

Saturday was an unexpectedly lazy day. We decided to try out brunch in Santa Monica. We discovered a thing not known to us at home. The bottomless mimosa. That resulted in an afternoon nap. I had a lovely thing called a poke bowl with fresh tuna, avocado, rocket, rice ect. While Nathan sampled the burger. After some shopping and a nap, we obviously deserved dinner out and went to the Del Frisco Grille. We shared a nice bottle of prosecco over a lovely dinner then decided to continue on to the Cope’d’oro cocktail bar (thank you lonely planet book). We watched in awe at the performance that was the bartenders creating the cocktails (while we drank a wine and a beer) I had to add in the photo of a line of tequila shots that a group nearby did. They were the biggest shots we’ve seen of anything ever. They would have been at least 3 of our shots. We waited for ages for the group of people to do them, eventually they attempted the shots. Lots of struggling.

17 November 2017

The dribs and drabs of universal studios! A selfie thrown in there, moulin rouge, the walking dead walk through ride (terrifying just quietly) as well as the most incredible view across Hollywood from universal studios. I was lucky enough to get a cuddle and a kiss from Scooby Doo 🐶 and we met a raptor in Jurassic Park. We managed to spend our entire day here. It was just so much fun and there was so much to do. Both universal and Disney have massive town like areas outside them as well with shops, restaurants and bars. We had a wander through there then collapsed into our Uber and ordered Chinese for dinner (not as food as at home).
Next was Springfield!! We started with a photo op with Clancy Wiggum then decided to hit the Krusty Burger for lunch. No surprise, the portions are huge. So we shared a krusty burger meal. We had a look around at all of the amazing places there like the Duff Brewery, Dr Nicks, the Kwik E-Mart and then to Moes to try a Duff beer. They actually brew Duff beer for Universal Studios. After this we went to the studio tram car tour.
Sorry for the delay! So Friday the 17th was universal studios. I’ve had to split this post up because of the thousands of photos I took of Harry Potter world. We started our day with the hippogriff ride which had us walk by Hagrids hut (first photo). I then dragged Nathan straight onto the main Harry Potter ride which was amazing!!! We had a wander around Harry Potter world, the shops were incredible. The decorations and tiny details were so cool. We had a drink at the hogs head pub and continued around before heading to Springfield.

16 November 2017

Today we had an incredibly lazy day. We watched over a season of the Simpsons and ate this ridiculous thing we found at a supermarket. A pre done Mexican dip thing. We decided to continue our Mexican fiesta by going back to our Mexican place. Still not learning from our past experiences, we were lured into happy hour again. The food is awesome. We had fajitas and margaritas. For some reason, dogs are allowed to go into shops here. I would hate to think what our dogs would do to their beautifully kept shops. Now for an early night. Universal studios tomorrow!!

15 November 2017

Yesterday was DISNEYLAND!!! Unfortunately we were both a bit excited and didn’t take a huge number of photos. We started our day with me getting the opening hours wrong. Once we were through the gates, we sprinted to the 3 rides on our hit list. Pirates of the Caribbean, nightmare before Christmas and splash mountain. After that, Nathan felt like we should try the full American experience by trying a ‘corn dog’ (possibly helped along by me forgetting to pack our sandwiches). They’re weird. We also learned a lesson about ordering chips with your meal. Unless you say fries, you get a packet of chips 😒 We then had a good look around, spotted a Saint Bernard therapy dog (need to get dexter into that) and I painfully decided whether to buy Christmas stockings for about an hour. I bought them in the end. We called our Uber and headed home. We then hit up the Mexican place again for dinner. Food is amazing!! Did some late night shopping then headed home.

14 November 2017

Today we wanted to walk to Venice beach. Unfortunately overshot it by about 4kms. So after about 7kms of walking, visiting muscle beach and coming back around to Venice beach and discovering that end of the beach is somewhat terrifying, we came back to Santa Monica for something to eat. Still haven’t learned our lesson about drink sizes here (refer to photo) We then tried to find whole foods but discovered another nice supermarket on the way, pavilions. Alcohol is so much cheaper here and it comes in giant plastic bottles (classy - refer to giant plastic bottle of Gordon’s gin. 1.75L for $20). On the way home we spotted a squirrel! Nathan thinks people would have thought I was weird trying to get a photo because they see them as rodents. He was so cute though! After our massive day of walking, I crashed and fell asleep. Ready for DISNEYLAND!!!!

13 November 2017

After our home cooked eggs and bacon (the bacon is weird and curls up), we headed off down to check out Santa Monica pier. Turns out their bike tracks are bikes only 😬 as we were informed. After checking out the pier, and some obligatory selfies, we did another block to check out the train station. We’ve discovered apparently no one can understand us because of our accents 😒 We came back down to ocean drive and had a snack at blue point tacos. Turns out American jugs of sangria are much larger than Australian ones, refer to photo... We then walked off the sangria by checking out the shops. We found a Disney shop!!! After a respectable 13,000 steps for the day we hit up the supermarket for some veggies and chicken and will be having a lazy afternoon planning our Disneyland and universal studios days 😃😃 Miss you all! Ps as promised a photo of our modest balcony.

12 November 2017

Our AirBnB! Right on the corner of 5th street and Santa Monica Boulevard. They have board games!! And a laundry! Already doing washing. Two bedrooms and two full bathrooms with shower baths (my favourite). We’ve sorted out the wifi and the number of channels is overwhelming! Over 400! We’ve found a local supermarket, Vons, Kristen has said we need to track down a whole foods though. We’ve stocked up on some basics like veggies and some meat. We have a modest balcony (photos to come in the daylight) which will do the trick for happy hours.
Selfie at Melbourne Airport as requested by Mum!
Honolulu airport where we struggled to stay awake until our 12.30pm flight to LA. We walked roughly 5430 steps to waste some time and try to find something to eat that wasn’t crap. Fried rice and water was the best we could find but it wasn’t bad. There was a beautiful pond with MASSIVE (gold?)fish in it. I eventually succumbed to the exhaustion and fell asleep at the airport. Nathan lasted until the flight to LA, about 3 mins into boarding anyway before falling asleep.