TO LA AND BACK

It seems that I am guilty of a list of things. On top of this list is laziness. Like pancakes stacked upon pancakes and oozing with maple syrup (it will become clear to you the reason I chose pancakes to symbolise my sloth-like state of mind), my lack of will to write for leisure (as opposed to writing for money – haha) had finally got the better of me – once again. What can I say. I’m lazy. So now that I’m not lazy today, I thought I’d quickly sit down and get a few words down lest my friends (hey Cheryl!) think I’m ignoring them selectively.

So yes, I am back from Los Angeles, California, back from my first trip to the US of A. I am home, home at last, back from the land of the brave and the free, back to my little girl, back to work!

Actually, I had NEVER taken a ‘real’ vacation overseas in my life. I am 30 years old and this recent trip to the US was my first ever sabbatical, replete with mentally vacant days of aimless street-wandering, people-watching and sampling 126 varieties of hotdogs and/or 231 types of pancakes all hours of the day.

So this is what holidays are about.

Amazingly enough, I lost two kgs during my two-week hiatus to California. It must have been all that meat. Because of the bacon and ribs I had been consuming, I had abstained from all manner of carbs and gobbled enough greens to lactate commercially. Apparently, American cuisine agrees with my body. Sadly, I don’t agree with it – not for two weeks. By day five, Lokes and I were hunting for rice and/or noodles. Unfortunately for us, what we found, and subsequently consumed and paid for with much reluctance, can’t pass for horse spit.

I saw much of central and North LA (the burning bush down south negated any plans to venture down). Pasadena is quaint, Santa Monica chic, Malibu awe-inspiring, Long Beach colourful, downtown LA very Manhattanish. Of course, we did the whole Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Rodeo Drive tour, but these venues did not really strike my fancy because they were too rich for my blood.

One of the highlights of my trip was actually doing laundry deep in the immigrant communities of Hispanics and Asians at Oak and Western, watching the tired but happy faces of Latin-American kids helping their moms push trolleys of fresh-smelling laundry around. There’s really some therapeutic about doing laundry, isn’t it, especially when you travel? I liked the fact that I did not have to pack dirty laundry into my suitcases of clean clothes. And I don’t think holidaying anywhere else in this world can provide this type of assurance – to do laundry in the middle of the night for US$3 a load.

Our trip to Las Vegas was painful, in that our wallets were emptied substantially. We stopped by factory outlets at Barstow and Primm and shopped as if our lives depended on it. We bought enough clothes for Raeven to last her til college and I indulged in yet another pair of shoes which I swore would be my last.

In Vegas itself, I tried my luck at gettng my money back, only to lose another US$50 to the fat coffers of Stratosphere and Luxor. Ah well. Miffed, we took advantage of the US6.99 breakfast buffet and the US$10.99 dinner buffet.

Of course, we went on Hilton’s Star Trek Experience. How could we go home without doing that? I even spent US$15 to take a pic sitting on Picard’s chair!

But you know what? Towards the 10th day of our belated honeymoon, we were alreading pining for Raeven. I told Lokes that this was the first, and last time, we’d ever go anywhere without her!

I’ll upload some pics up soon. You’ll notice you can’t get to any of Raeven’s pics now. Will put it up when I find some time!!