Place 76 – Day 3: Los Angeles,CA – Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier & A Comedy Show

Family Chat

We has a 1 – 1.5 hour facetime with Curtis’ family, in which we discussed a whole host of things and just ‘caught up’ in general.

Marina Del Ray

We got ready and then dropped off at Marina Del Ray. We are huge fans of NCIS:LA and had read that the ‘boatshed’ from the show is around this area, so we went looking.

After looking for a bit of time, and coming across a really nice area, we decided to take an e-scooter and head to the opposite side of the marina as we believed the boatshed was on that end.

A Nice Lighthouse In The Area

The Marina Was Pretty

Low and behold, we couldn’t find it, so we gave up and walked to Venice Beach.

Venice Beach

We got to Venice Beach, in terrific weather, and the first port of call was a bite to eat.

As to be expected, there were a lot of expensive places and we stopped in one of them and got pulled pork sliders, which looked good but really weren’t. We didn’t even catch the name of the place we ate, but the food wasn’t that great.

After food, we went for a walk along Venice Beach. We walked for a long while, until we came across Muscle Beach & a skate park.

We spent some time at these places and watched people do their thing. Kim even gave the rope climb a go, which she conquered!

Santa Monica Pier

We walked on from Venice Beach towards Santa Monica pier, where Kim saw a hoop and had to do some tricks on it!

We saw the pier from the beach and then headed up onto it.

The pier really wasn’t that interesting and we had evening plans, so we walked up the road to find a ride back home.

We had to wait a while, but got a ride home and once we got back, we realised that Panda Express was so close, so we got some food from there to save time.

We got the orange chicken again, as well as spicy chicken and Curtis got some wok fired fired shrimp, too!

On the way home, Kim managed to break her flip flops so we had to throw those away and she had to walk home barefooted.

Comedy Show

We ate our food and then had to get ready to go back out again.

In West Hollywood, there is a comedy place called Comedy Store which Kim had seen a few well known names were performing tonight, so we got some tickets! Kim got to dress up and even had shoes at this point in the day.

We stood in line for a while, but eventually got in, got our seats and ordered some drinks.

We Were Very Close To The Stage!

There were a few big names, such as Iliza Shlesinger, Sarah Silverman and Jimmy O. Yang.

We couldn’t film or take photos at all, but believe us when we say it was a pretty hilarious 3 hours! Whilst watching, we got a bottle of wine to share and Curtis got a whiskey. There was a minimum 2 drink limit anyway, so why not!

We got a Lyft home and it was safe to say it was bed time.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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Place 73 – Day 3: Seattle,WA – First Starbucks Store & MOPOP

The Actual First Starbucks

We had to pay for the bus this morning, which was a change from yesterday!

We got into the centre and went straight to the actual first ever Starbucks.

We waited in line to get into the store and before long, we got in!

It is a little tight and crowded and you cannot sit inside, but we got our coffee and headed back outside.

We sat and had our coffee on a bench with a great view of the mountains!

Museum Of Pop Culture

We next planned to go to the Space Needle, so we walked towards it.

Once we got there, we got some good photos of the space needle and then realised we didn’t have enough money on us to go in, so we’ll have to do it another day, but we did have other plans anyway!

The Space Needle

Instead, we went to the MOPOP (Museum Of Pop Culture).

This has all things from video games to movies of different genres to TV shows and also music.

There were a few different sections within the museum and the first we came to was the Sci-Fi section, with a brief stop off at the video game area!

Video Games

We played a few indie games and it felt like we were right back in the UK at EGX!

Sci-Fi

The science fiction section had mostly costumes that had been worn for science fiction characters, such as enemies from Doctor Who, the hoverboards from Back To The Future as well as Star Wars and Star Trek items.

Star Trek Weapons

Horror

We accidentally went through to the next area which was the horror section.

It was similar to the Sci-Fi section, but with horror. There were a lot of props as well as things like the costume from Friday 13th.

There was an area which had fake dead people wrapped in sheets and hanging, which was quite creepy!

Fantasy

We moved on upstairs to the fantasy area. This spoke about movies and games based in the fantasy genre, the big two it mentioned being Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings.

There were more items on display from both of these films, as well as other items.

Pearl Jam

There was a whole floor on the band Pearl Jam, from Seattle.

We had not heard of them, but we enjoyed reading about them as well as looking at their memorabilia.


MOPOP | Seattle,WA

Rating:- 7/10


Lunch

We left the museum after this and found somewhere delicious for lunch.

Just before we left for lunch, we found the International Fountain, which is just a big fountain which is synchronised with music.

We went to a place named Michou.

This place was fairly busy when we arrived but it was an Italian style deli with a lot of, large, sandwich options.

Curtis got a roast chicken & chipotle sandwich and Kim got a beef and cheese sandwich. Both sandwiches were delicious, so we ate those up and then got out the way.


Michou Deli | Seattle,WA

Rating:- 9/10


Cinema

We walked down to the cinema to watch the film Fighting With My Family.

Neither of us realised this was based on a true story and then when Curtis realised who it was about, it all made sense!

We really enjoyed the film, actually. We aren’t sure how anyone from any other country would understand it as it has a lot of British humour and slang, but it was good for us!


Fighting With My Family

Rating:- 9/10


Dinner

We got back home via an Uber and had leftover Thai green curry, which was, as last night, delicious!

We watched some TV and did some research for tomorrow and future travels before hitting the hay.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 8: Victoria,BC – Fisherman’s Wharf

The day started relaxed but productive.

We got some admin done, such as uploading photos and videos to Facebook. Not important, but needed to be done. We also spoke with Kim’s parents.

We went out to get some fresh air and went for a walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf which is only down the road.

This place is busy during the summer and has a few eateries, ice cream places and experiences.

Some of the floating houses

In the winter, these places are closed, but it is still great to look around. There are houses in the water, known as ‘floating houses’, which are actually privately owned and used, but you can still look around them.

We left here and went to the supermarket to get a couple of things. We got garlic bread, which took ages to find, as well as more cereal and some coffee. The coffee was fun as we selected the bean we wanted and got to grind it ourselves, which was stressful but fun.

We left the supermarket and came back, just in time for Kim to start on the pasta bolognese, which tasted fantastic! The garlic bread we bought was not so good, though.

We sat and watched TV with Linda for the rest of the evening, as well as doing laundry.

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 5: Victoria,BC – Frozen Fountain & A Great Evening

We went up to a bar/restaurant we had been told about my Mark and Jill as their daughter works there, so we made the 40 minute walk, in the -3°C (feels like -9°C) weather.

There was a bit of snow on the ground but nothing really.

As we were walking, we saw that the fountain outside parliament was frozen, which looked awesome, so we had to check it out.

We then headed back to our destination. When we arrived, firstly, it was nice and warm. Secondly, Kim asked to see the person we had come to see and and she had finished her shift for the day, so we were unable to see her, which was a shame.

We did get a got choclate though, which was a result and it was tasty too.

We then braved the cold again to head back towards the apartment with a stop at the supermarket.

We got some items for dinner as Kim was cooking tonight!

We got back and Curtis watched two periods of the Leafs game whilst Kim made hunter’s chicken for dinner.

We ate our dinner and then it was time too brace for the cold again and go down to the city to see our friend Brody, who is Canadian but we met him in New Zealand.

On the way, the fountain was frozen but it now had a light around it which made it look even more awesome!

Once we found the bar, we also found Brody, got a drink and just chatted and chatted and chatted. We had an amazing evening, even planning to do something really awesome within the next month, hopefully.

Brody kindly gave us a lift back and then it was very late and very much bedtime.

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 382: Auckland – Fred!

We planned to leave for 09:00 this morning to head back to Auckland, but none of us woke up on time, so that didn’t happen!

Danielle’s mum made us some pancakes for breakfast and then we all packed up and headed out back to Auckland.

There was a lot of traffic on the way back, so it took us about 5 hours all in all! We did make a quick bakery stop on the way back, but that didn’t delay us too much.

Once we got to Auckland we met our host for our remaining few days in New Zealand. Our host is lovely and has a bulldog who is very excitable. His name is Fred.

We got settled, had a chat with our host and then when she went out we got showered and relaxed.

Kim went out in the evening to see Tabitha for the last time before we leave. They went to a night market and wandered around there for a bit, eating some food, and then Kim came back and we chilled out watching some TV. Curtis got some much needed admin done whilst Kim was out, so that was a win!

We have all the admin to get done tomorrow, so it means waking up early for nothing fun.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 62 – Day 3: Bland Bay – Secret Cave!

We left the hotel nice and early, around 07:30 and then drove to McDonald’s to get a spot of breakfast.

After breakfast, we drove a car park over to the supermarket where we got some meat for the BBQ.

We left the supermarket and made the drive down to Bland Bay. A lot of the roads were gravel, but it was good fun! It was a straight road for 100km, so it was at least easy.

We got out to Bland Bay and just chilled out for a few hours in the blazing sun. It was delightful!

We were then told about a cave that we had to see in person as it was beautiful! With that, we all hopped on the boat and headed out there. The waves were causing our boat to bounce all over the place which waa great fun!

We arrived at the small, secluded beach and it was stunning!

We then had a look at the stream leading to the cave, which was also filled with rocks and seaweed, and it was quite choppy, with big waves rushing in.

That being said, we eventually started making our way out into the water, consistently getting stabbed by the sharp rocks. Josh then said he saw a stingray, which froze us both and we decided we weren’t moving!

We waited a while and saw nothing, so all got moving again. We swam the last part into the cave and it was well worth it! Unfortunately, we didn’t get any good photos of it, but there was a deep pool of water with light perfectly shining onto it from above. Beautiful!

We got in the water and chilled a little, before we got back out and had to make the treacherous swim back.

The swim was actually ok, but we did get stabbed by multiple rocks again.

We got back on the boat and headed back to the house.

We then got the BBQ going and Josh cooked up a storm! Once we ate our food, we had some games of Cards Against Humanity and Josh sent out the Contiki to catch some fish.

As they were bringing it back in, there must’ve been a shark on it, or two, as the power pulled the whole whinch down the bank and the contiki went underwater! There was a made dash to pull it in and it eventually relaxed, but most of the hooks were gone from the line! Another eventful weekend here so far!

We packedup the outside after this and then went inside for some sleep, after we got some great night photos!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 69 – Day 3: Kaitaia – Te Paki Sand Dunes, The Top of NZ & Spirits Bay

Post breakfast, we were in the car and driving further up north! By 09:00, we were on our way and it was already getting warm!

We drove 1.5 hours up north to get to Te Paki stream. Here, in the middle of nowhere, there are giant sand dunes! Kim had read online that you can rent a ‘sandboard’ and go sandboarding on the dunes.

Once we arrived, we got ourselves a couple of sandboards and headed up the dunes. We were advised to go right to the highest dune to get a great view and then slide back down, which is what we did. What we didn’t realise was how incredible steep all of the dunes are and the effort it takes to get to the top, including getting sand blown in your face all the time!

Kim struggling with the dune!

We did get some amazing views at the top of the highest dune, which we soaked in whilst we relaxed after the tiresome climb!

The first sandboard down looked very high but wasn’t very fast at all.

We then went down the next hill, which was smaller but had way more speed and was great fun!

Luckily, as we were leaving, the sun got much warmer, so it was the perfect timing!

We had a drink and then drove from here to Cape Reinga, which is the top most point of New Zealand. Once we got here, we parked and walked down to the lighthouse, seeing the amazing views on the way. Apparently, two different oceans combine at this point also, which is what we assume the waves in the middle of the sea are!

We walked back to the car after seeing the lighthouse and drove to a beach over a gravel road, which took a while! The beach was called spirits bay and it was beautiful! We sat and ate our homemade ham, beef, cheese & salad sandwiches and then got back to the car to drive back to the apartment.

We chilled out for a while whilst we recovered from our tiredness and then we got back in the car and drove to the town to find food. We got a kebab each, which was an odd thing to choose but was delicious!

We watched a cabin restoration TV show and some other TV and then got packed up to leave tomorrow morning.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale