2014

Into the New York subway today and down to visit to the 9/11 Memorial.

The new One World Trade Center building is enormous - 104 stories high and the tallest skyscraper in the western hemisphere - but I have to ask myself, why would they build another one? The final component, the spire on top was put in place in October 2013 and standing directly beneath the main entrance and looking up is a little daunting to say the least!

The 2 reflection pools in themselves are a brilliant memorial to those killed in the 9/11 attacks, each 'group' of people having their names grouped with each other and engraved around the edge of the pools. One of the pools surrounds, basically has every name from the North Tower where the majority of people perished.

Another walk to the foreshore, the USS Intrepid Museum is a World War 2 Aircraft Carrier and now permently on display on the Hudson River in New York. It, like many other aircraft carriers I guess, is a huge vessel and as part of the display, holds numerous aircraft on it's hangar deck including the dark and sleek blackbird high altitude reconnaisance aircraft, and a bunch of high level military aircarft - none of which I have any idea of!! Kemm enjoyed it of course.

Wandered around the upper flight deck and then through the hangar deck where "lots of stuff' was on display. Well explained by me (NOT) but this was Kemm's outing!

It was an early morning start out of Toronto this smorning with a 3am wake-up call! A 30 min traffic free run to the airport had us arrive along with many others arrive about an hour before the immigration gates opened for entry into the US. Roll on 4.30am and the quese were building. Made our turn up to the automated passport booth only to find we had been directed into the wrong queue - we were in the US and Canadian queue for automated passport control - wrong! Over to the other queue please ..... ho hum, anyway made it down to the gate no problems and all aboard for the quick 1 1/2 hour flight to New York.The reasons we did all the immigration checks in Toronto were obvious - into the US there was nothing! We were in!

A big day today even though not picked up till 1pm as we were 3 hours ahead of LA time so didn't get up till about 10.00am.

Took approx 2 hours by the time we finally arrived in Niagara after a gorgeous drive along the Niagara River on the way there. The Autumn colours are in full bloom (if you can call it that) and the palce is absolutely gorgeous looking. The drive along the river was apparently classed by Alfred hitchcock as one of the prettiest drives on the planet. It was certainly worth the comment but I guess there'd be lots of pretty drives nowadays.

A full-on travel day today. By the time we arrived into Toronto it was nearly 7pm so it was straight out to dinner, then back in so little to report from today.

Ahhh... what a day - and yet I didn't buy a thing a Rodeo Drive!!

Great afternoon with our tour guide Adrain and his minivan. Did al the things I wanted to see here in Los Angeles - the Hollywood Sign, Rodeo Drive, Sundet Strip, hig profile actors homes, the pavement stars etc on Hollywood Drive.

Lots of photos to cover "all the action".

Full day out today at Universal Studios. Might only be a 10 minute walk to the park entrance from the hotel but there's also the regular shuttle service so hopped on that - mustn't overdo things too much or walk too far!!!

Headed first up to the 'Studio Tour' service where our little 'train' moved us around the actual working areas of Universal Studios. The place is huge!! In amongst it all there's bungalows, cafe's, whole wild west streets, canyons of water gushing down the mountain (on cue of course!!), a ride through the dinosaur 3d tunnel, we had 3D glasses on to make it seem real - that bloody great spider made me jump out of my skin!! I hate the things - it might have only been 3D and 'seemingly' close to me but how come it came right up to my spot on the tram!!

A long 10 and a half hour overnight flight from Nandi to Los Angeles, neither of us had much sleep but such is life!

Arrived in LAX and eventually found our pre-arranged ground transportation which got us to the Universal City Hilton, high up on the hill in Hollywood right at the doorstep to Universal Studios.

It was mid afternoon on arrival there and with lack of sleep we both bedded in for a couple of hours lie down.

Left Brisbane on Virgin and headed first up to Nandi in Fiji. Stayed at the Tanoa International Hotel only a few minutes from the airport so the hotel had transfer available for us.

I first stayed at this hotel when I was about 13 on a school trip from NZ, over 40 years ago! Of course I don't remember the palce much but that hotel is still standing! One of the porters I chatted to said it was a travelodge then, he had been working at the same hotel since 1978 - 35 years! Don't think he was moving any faster this time round either! Fiji time of course! No-one moves with any speed.

Spent most of the next day around the pool as the temperature was definitely swimming weather. Nothing amazing to report about our stay there but pleasant enough.

A very cool climate alpine region so lots of changing weather - one minute the sky was blue then a few minutes later it was cold and drizzly.

Drove down to the visitor centre and purchased a National parks pass then took the free shuttle bus about 20 minutes down the road to Dove Lake, the spot where all those well known Cradle Mountain photos are taken!! Unfortuately for us, although not raining, there was heavy mist, blustery winds and somevery light drizzle, but alas, no Cradle Mountain to be seen. Such is life! We've also been to the Great Wall of China and seen only what was 50 ft in front of us as well!

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