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April 22nd 2015
Published: April 22nd 2015
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Hi all

The adventure has started and not without a few hiccups. Left my satchel at the restaurant we ate at prior to going to the airport. This contained passports, flight details, shuttle service and hotels booked. Luckily it was recovered and the journey began. Flights courtesy of Virgin were good as we were in Business. They supply you with PJ’s which are quite comfortable and saves you from coming off the plane looking like a crinkle cut potato chip. The food and service was excellent, probably the best airline food I have had. Even though we had lay flat beds both Gaynor and I had trouble sleeping, but 1st world problems aside we landed in LA at 7am and contacted our shuttle who duly delivered us to our Hotel in Fullerton. It’s about a 45 minute drive. Checked in albeit our room would not be available till 3pm so they stored our luggage and we made our way to Angel Stadium for the first of 30 MLB ball parks I intend to visit.

The park itself was OK but a bit dated. Tested out the food and Gaynor gave the hot dogs a 7 and the ball park I gave a 6. Gaynor struggled to stay awake as we had been on the road for over 24 hours. Met a nice couple from Canada and chatted with them while watching the game. Lacked atmosphere probably due to the fact the Angels lost 9-4. The main interest came when Ventura (pitcher for the Royals) had a confrontation with Mike Trout from the Angels, benches duly cleared but no fight and no ejections so pretty tame.

Left the ground to grab a cab home and was redirected 4 times to where the cab stand was only to find no cabs waiting at any. We wandered over to a nearby group of shops where a local café rang one for us. Managed to stay awake till 8pm and passed out till 4 am.

Woke up the next day, looked at some shops and purchased two T Mobile phone sims and proceeded to pick up the rental. Was given the choice of car and then I spent the rest of the day familiarising myself with driving on the right hand side of the road. A bit scary at first but managed without scaring myself to much although Gaynor struggled with sitting on the wrong side of the car.

Went for a drive to Venice beach to fill in the day. Talk about hippyville. Lots of souvenir store and scammers trying to give you CD’s for free then demanding a donation. Got the CD but didn’t give a donation. Not many people in the Exercise area as it was midweek.

Next day we drove down to San Diego trouble free for a game between the Padres and D’backs. Great ball park, good food and the game was exciting. 3-2 with the Padres getting up courtesy of a Jason Upton home run in the bottom of the 8th and shut down by Kimbrel on the 9th. Hot dogs scored a 7. Spent a day travelling around on a hop on hop off trolley bus visiting various sights with Old San Diego town was a highlight. This was the 1st settlement in California.

The next day we drove around visiting Coronado, an island just off San Diego which is where the rich and famous live followed by a tour of the USS Midway. This is an Aircraft carrier now turned into a museum. I managed to get an ex-serviceman discount due to my Navy time.

Back to LA for a game between the Dodgers and the Rockies. We had some time to spare so we drove to Santa Monica and visited the pier. Great vibe, with lots of people milling around. Gaynor tried out the famous Funnel Cake and was suitably impressed. Much better than Venice Beach. Headed off to the game where we had managed to get great seats via Stub Hub which also came with parking. Driving to the ground turned out to be a chore as there was an overturned car on the I-5 and traffic was backed up for miles. Thought we would be late but got there with an hour to spare. Watched Zac Grienke pitch which was great and the Dodgers won 6-3 after it was 4-3 in the 7th. Hot dogs scored a 9 and the stadium scored an 8. Carparks were huge and was a battle to get out, not as bad as the MCG but close. It’s always better when the home team is in front or winning as the crowd is much more animated and creates a great atmosphere.

Sunday was LA tour day so drove into Hollywood to where the walk of fame is and booked onto a hop on hop off tour again. Was OK except we couldn’t go to the first 5 stops because of a marathon taking place. But we got to see a lot of places Rodeo Drive etc and ended up back at the Chinese Theatre.

Monday was administrative day like writing this blog and catching up on Facebook. The internet has been down at the hotel for 2 days now so we found a Starbucks and used their free wifi. This is something a lot of people do, even some bringing in their own food and drink, sitting down and hooking up to the wifi. We sat for 2 ½ hours, drank coffee and surfed the net. Back to hotel to pack but then decided to take a drive to Adelanto to watch the High Desert Mavericks vs Lake Elsinore Storm. It was as per google a 1 ½ hr drive but took over 2 hours with traffic etc.

The reason for the trip was to see Kellin Deglan play. He played for the Melbourne Aces last season and I said if I was near his field I would pop in for a game. Rang the stadium and left my number. On the way there Kellin rang quite surprised I was intending to travel all that way to watch a game. He organised 2 tickets and said he looked forward to catching up. Got to the ground 30 mins after the game started, got our tickets and sat 2 row behind the Mav’s dugout. Kellin was catching, got a hit and scored a run but they went down 8-7. Now if you think Altona stadium is out of the way this place is in the middle of nowhere (aka the Mojave desert) and crowd wise it was like a poor day at an Aces game. Spoke to Kellin and Ashley after the game. It was great to catch up, he also informs me that Michael Collins (Canberra Cavalry) was the manager for Lake Elsinore so I went and caught up with him for a bit. So a 2 hour drive turned out to be a great trip.

Back to Fullerton to pack. Long drive tomorrow to Phoenix Arizona to see a game there.


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