Day 46 - 10/08/2002 - Los Angeles USA

Today was a rest day - especially after doing two major fun parks in two days, I needed to recharge.

I woke up late and watched some American cable TV.  The HBO channel has a lot of movies and I watched bits of various movies while I was channel surfing.  It was very relaxing to just lay down and watch some TV for a change - I can't believe how little TV I have watched over the last 50 days.

I went to Downtown Disney for lunch and got some good value Fajita's - I even got complimentary corn chips with salsa dip.  The service was good, as I have come to expect from restaurants in the USA.  I am not sure if the service is good because the waiters want your tip (probably), but whatever the motive, I have been impressed with the quality of service I have had in the USA - maybe this whole tipping thing is not such a bad idea.

Grace (from the Contiki tour) and her boyfriend Zac picked me up from my hotel and took me to the Newport beach area.  We went out for dinner at the Yard Bar (a place the Robin from Las Vegas recommended to me).  I got a pepperoni pizza and tried some of the Yard Bar's many beers - their menu claims that they have the world biggest selection of lager ... and they probably do.  The meal and the beer was good.

We then went to the Huntington beach area where there are nice shops/food/bars along the water.  We walked along the pier and I got an ice-cream from a place that has over 2000 flavours!  When I entered the store, I could only see about 15 flavours ... I inquired about where the 2000 flavours were and the assistant pointed to some vanilla ice-cream behind him ... I still looked puzzled and he explained to me that I could pick anything in the store and he would mix it with ice-cream and make my own flavour (it was a shop with about 2000 different sweets and lollies), so I got a snickers flavoured ice-cream ... it was nice.

It was great to spend time with Grace again - this time in her home town.  It is amazing how close she lives to where I happen to be staying in LA (orange County).  Grace's boyfriend Zac was great ... he talked heaps to me and kept the conversation alive and I felt as though I had know him for years - I continue to realise that different people from different countries are not very different from each other - we seemed to have a lot in common.  It is great to meet great people all around the world.

Today I noticed that my back was hurting pretty bad - fortunately, for the first time during this holiday.  I am not sure if it was because of all the theme park rides from the last two days or just being tired or sleeping the wrong way, but it did cause a lot of discomfort and I moved like a robot all day.  I hope that the pain goes away before the long flight tomorrow night.