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Home Sweet Home

Well, we made it home! I’m sitting with Barnaby in our bed right now at 7:15pm and we are so close to falling asleep! We will try stay up for another while before going to sleep so we can get back in the time difference. Other than broken sleep on the plane, our last decent sleep was over 40 hours ago! ;'(

We arrived back to Christchurch at around 9:15am, and we were greeted by Barnaby’s parents, which was a surprise! It was so nice of them to come to the airport. Logan’s parents were there also to pick Logan and Susannah up, so it was nice to see them as well. We walked outside to my brother Austin picking us up and it was FREEZING!!! It made us so upset.. Coming from the mid summer heat to the mid winter ice. It was awesome that Austin had brought the whippets in the car to greet us! I’ve missed them so much!!! They were so excited to see us! I jumped in the car and they just jumped all over me. We’ve been playing with them all day pretty much! (even right now they are in our room sleeping on the bed :) ) But we did watch some more episodes of 30 Rock in our down time. Great show, light comedy.

We went to Barnaby’s parents for dinner. Oh my goodness the food was amazing! We have missed NZ food so much and Barnaby’s mum is such a good cook! We had beef with potatoes, carrots, broccoli, yorkshire puddings and gravy! It was so delicious. Perfect meal to come home to! And we’re really looking forward to tomorrow night because we’re over at theirs again with Barnaby’s grandparents. Yay! I finally got my meat and three vege!! 

Even though we’re enjoying being home with family, the whippets, and great food, Barnaby and I already really miss LA. It’s definitely the city for us and yes it’s hard to be away from all these good things here in NZ, but we really need to come to a decision if we’re going to move or not. LA is where our industries are and we’ve made so many connections over the last 3 months it’s silly not to pursue it. We will never forget our time over in LA (especially since I wrote a blog post every day for the past 90 days!), it was an amazing opportunity for us and it opened so many doors too.

I’ll miss writing these blog posts! Thank you to all who have been following my husband and I through this journey and getting to know us though our experiences. I hope you have all enjoyed reading my blog and seeing the “photo of the day”. It’s sad to say goodbye, but I wish you all the best and I hope you all pursue your dreams as well. We will never regret our decision of traveling to LA for three months. It was a hard decision to make at the start, knowing we would be on a tight budget and not having an income for three months, but it was totally worth it! We now understand the LA film/music industry so much more! All the best in your pursuits.

Photo of the day: Us on our flight to LA on the left, and us flying back to Christchurch on the right. We look exhausted! 

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Day 90 – Our last day

Well today was the last day of our 3 month trip.. So sad! It has gone way to fast! I cannot wait to get back here!

Today we went to Starbucks for breakfast. I had a hot chocolate with a slice of banana nut bread and Barnaby had a vanilla latte with an egg and sausage breakfast muffin. It was nice to sit outside and enjoy our last day of warmth. I see we are heading back home for super cold wintery weather… Not cool.

We then packed up all our belongings and headed to my grandma’s to collect our other two bags! All our 4 bags are underweight which is great! It was nice to catch up with grandma and Bobby before leaving and I’m sure they really appreciated us saying goodbye. We had some pasta at theirs with Grandma’s homemade tomato sauce, which I will certainly miss!! Susannah got a tour of Grandma’s heirloom tomato garden as well as all her own artwork. I’m really going to miss Grandma and Bobby, they were so kind to let us stay with them for over two months! And it was really nice to spend some quality time with both of them.

We left Grandma’s for the airport at 4:15 and checked our bags in, went through security and now we’re sitting in the Koru Lounge enjoying free food and drinks! They have a nice dinner at the moment, Chicken with tomato and pesto on rice, mmm! I’m now enjoying a hot chocolate with Baileys Irish Cream. Our flight starts boarding in about half an hour. I don’t want to leave!! But I do a little bit, I miss family and friends at home, and I really miss my dogs and a good roast with veges!

It has been an amazing opportunity for Barnaby and I to go away for 3 months! I’m so pleased we could afford to spend this amount of time away (without pay!) and check LA out to see if we should move here. LA is awesome. People are so welcoming and they like to listen to what you have to say. I have given out so many business cards here compared to New Zealand! There is such a small music/film industry in NZ and here it’s just massive! I met so many composers and I’m so thankful to Ashley Irwin (President of Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL)) for convincing me to join SCL! Thanks to him Barnaby and I were invited to so many screenings and “meet the composer” sessions, it was awesome.

But now the time has come to go home… Goodbye LA, nice visiting! Hopefully we will see you again very soon!!

Photo of the day: Barnaby and I waiting at LAX

LAX

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Day 89 – Great end to the day!

Today was a day where we bought things we needed that we hadn’t gotten yet so we were driving all around town!

We had a quick stop in Bobbe Joy’s make up studio this morning, I’ve been getting make up from her for quite a few years now. I bought three eye shadows from her. Yay for more make up!! Shes such a lovely woman and I totally recommend you all to go see her and get some of her make up! Her products are so good! She works in Beverly Hills and her website is: http://www.bobbejoycosmetics.com/

After all our shopping we got back to the house around 6:30 and relaxed for a bit. Barnaby and I wanted to take Logan and Susannah to our favorite food places for dinner and dessert so we walked down to Sayuri, which is a sushi bar. Barnaby and I both had the Chenzo sushi; shrimp tempura, crab, avocado, tempura crumbs and eel sauce. It is so delicious! It’s the only meal I have from that restaurant. While we were paying the bill, outside the restaurant next door, called Crustacean, were a few paparazzi taking photos of Iggy Azalea!! Barnaby and I got up from the table and raced over to take photos of her! It was amazing! Susannah came over and we got a photo together with Izzy (which is definitely the photo of the day!!!) They drove off in her boyfriend’s blue Ferrari which was cool! No license plate! And super tinted windows!

So we paid the bill and then Barnaby and I told Sus and Log about the GoGreek Yoghurt place, which was next door, and we walked up and it was closed!!! We were so upset! There was this guy out front and we told him it was our last night in LA and we were leaving for Christchurch tomorrow and this was our favorite place to come for frozen yoghurt, and I’m pretty sure he was the manager or something because he brought us inside and he gave us greek yoghurt for free!! So nice! We talked to him for a while and he told us about how he wanted to bring a healthy alternative to frozen yoghurt. His greek yoghurt really comes from Greece! Flown to LAX once a week! So cool! And so fresh! He told us it arrived yesterday so we ate really fresh yoghurt today!

What an awesome way to end our day!! And to end our 3 month holiday! Only one more blog post to come, maybe two more blogs just to say we arrived in NZ safely etc.

Photo of the day, Susannah and I with Iggy Azalea!!

Iggy

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Day 88 – The day after Disneyland…

So sad. Disneyland is over, it’s behind us! I wish we had gone again! Its so magical there!!! So we left Anaheim and headed straight for Downtown Disney! (Cant leave Disneyland that soon!) I had some disney dollars so bought a book about Walt Disney and Disneyland. It’s a very impressive book! I’m really enjoying it! I also got a disney scarf and a disney cookie cutter! Yay!!! 

We then drove to Long Beach and had lunch at a french restaurant on 2nd street. I had a steak sandwich with fries and a caesar salad. Barnaby had a savory crepe with chicken and some pasta-like sauce, his was so delicious! We then walked down 2nd street and looked in some cute shops. After that we went to Culver City’s Westfield Mall and got a few things since we’re leaving in 2 days. 2 days!!! So sad!

Today was definitely not as impressive as yesterday. Maybe I could work at Disneyland!! So I can be there all the time and make people feel happy!

We got back to the house we were house sitting a couple weeks ago, started reading my Walt Disney book and ate some chicken pasta for dinner and now about to go to sleep! Sorry for a short blog..

Photo of the day: Saw this board in one of the shops today! For those who follow the food we’re eating and love food! 

Food

Ps. here are some Disneyland photos! You all must go!! Walt Disney even said that he wanted Disneyland to be a place where children and adults will both enjoy!
Clockwise from top left: 1. Me receiving my birthday badge, and Log and Sus receiving their first time badge. 2. Us outside the Walt and Mickey Statue and Sleeping Beauty Castle! 3. Barnaby and I waiting in line for Space mountain in our disney gear! 4. Fireworks!! 5. Us all pulling faces on the Space Mountain ride. (best to see these in large view!)

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Day 87 – Disneyland!!!!!

 

 

Oh my goodness. What a day! Definitely one of my favorite days I have had! Disneyland fulfills it’s saying, “The happiest place on Earth”!

 

We woke up at 6am to be ready for the park for an 8am arrival. Thanks to some amazing family friends, we all had free tickets into the park! We arrived and I got my “Birthday Button”, YAY! Susannah and Logan got their first time buttons as well. It was so awesome! All these people who worked at Disneyland were wishing me happy birthday, even the Disney characters on the parade spotted me in the crowd and wished me happy birthday too! And even just random people visiting the park wished me happy birthday! It was so nice! I felt so special :)

 

Our first ride we went on was Space Mountain. The line was 15 minutes, which is short but expected so early in the morning. We went on this ride twice today because it is so much fun! It’s dark inside so you can’t see which way you’re going to go and its fast. So many tears streaming from the sides of our eyes! It was awesome!

 

We went on quite a few rides:

 

 Pirates of the Caribbean – Not a rough ride, but it was mainly going through the storyline. Was enjoyable.

 

Indiana Jones Adventure – Extreme, going around in a jeep with bolders heading your way and fast movement which was super fun!

 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Pretty good, rather fast but not extreme, not big drops.

 

Splash Mountain – I was so scared to go on this ride from a past time I went on it! I was about 8 or so years old and I found it so scary when it drops that I hid in the canoe. The photo came out and it looks like I wasn’t even there! So Logan, Susannah and Barnaby all decided we should do it. I started panicking and felt like I couldn’t get enough air in. And to make matters worse, they opened an entrance in the line, which made us go straight onto the ride! I held Barnaby the whole time, sitting behind him. When the drop came I held him tight and my stomach went up. We checked the photo out and you cant see me again! I’m hiding behind Barnaby.

 

Haunted Mansion – It has 999 ghosts! The beginning is when you’re in a room and it starts stretching but really you’re going down a floor, really cool effect. But when you get on the ride, the effects they use on the ghosts and floating objects is just incredible, I don’t know how they do it! Definitely a must see!

 

Matterhorn Bobsleds – Very bumpy! Fast ride with sharp corners.

 

Mad Tea Party – We we’re in a teacup spinning around. Did get a little dizzy!

 

“It’s a Small World” – Slow ride going through different countries singing, “It’s a Small World” in their languages. They had for New Zealand a Maori character with two kiwis. Not a lot for NZ, Australia got a huge corner! You get pretty sick of the song by the end of the ride, its around 10+ minutes long.

 

Alice in Wonderland – Another ride going through the storyline of the cartoon movie. It had reopened on Friday after being done up.

 

Peter Pan’s Flight – Walt Disney’s first ride he went on! Super short ride and not the most exciting, but it was Walt’s first ride!

 

Dumbo – Our last ride for the night, we did this one at almost midnight, you’re in an elephant spinning around going up and down.

 

Soarin’ over California – A virtual ride in California Adventure where the seats go up towards this huge screen and you’re shown clips in California and it feels like you’re flying around!

 

Aladdin – In Cali adventure. Pretty much a musical maybe like the one on Broadway. It was great, very funny!

 

We also got some photos with Disney characters! I really wanted my picture with Mickey and Minnie! So we went to their homes. Minnie wasn’t around but Mickey was at his place. I didn’t realize we would be waiting an hour to get his photo but we waited.. Totally worth it! Mickey (silently) wished me a happy birthday and gave me a kiss on the cheek and asked for a kiss on his nose! It was awesome! While we were over on the Cali Adventure side we saw Minnie in an aviation outfit so I got my photo with her too!

 

Alright, now onto the food! For lunch we ate at Plaza Inn, which is on Main Street. Barnaby and I shared the pot roast with veges, potatoes and gravy, and a biscuit as they call them here (tastes like a scone), popular with meals here. It was pretty tasty. We made a reservation for Carnation Café, also on Main Street, for dinner. It was really good! We all really enjoyed our meals! Susannah and I had the chicken, which was one of Walt Disney’s favorites! It came with veges, potato and gravy and a bun. They even came out with a birthday cupcake with mickey ears sprinkles! Logan, Susannah and Barnaby sung me happy birthday too :)

 

After dinner was the parade! It was awesome! So many Disney characters and dancing! It’s just so magical there! I want to live there! Or work there! Everyone is so happy and excited to be a part of Disney! My favorite part of the parade would have been when Mary Poppins and Burt came out on carousel horses bobbing up and down. So cool!

 

We saw the start of the fireworks in Disneyland but had been given fast pass tickets for World of Color, which is the water feature at the end of the evening. It was so amazing. Beats the Bellagio Fountains 100x!! It was just so incredible! If you don’t know much about it, I’m sure there would be a video on youtube! We were super lucky getting fast passes as they go early in the morning. We were talking to one of the ladies at information in the later afternoon and she asked us if we had fast passes as they had sold out from the desk there and she said she would get us some! So awesome!!

 

After the World of Color we went back to the Disneyland side and went on a few more rides until it was 12am, which is when the rides shut. So once they shut we went down Main Street and had a look in a candy shop then walked back to the hotel. So we were at Disneyland for over 16 hours!

 

It was so amazing! Such a cool birthday present!

 

Sorry I haven’t had the chance to revise this as it is after 2am now and I desperately need sleep! Hope it all makes some sense!

 

Photo of the day: Myself with Mickey and Minnie!

Mickey and Minnie

 

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Day 86 – Anaheim

We have made it to Anaheim! Tomorrow is the big day! Disneyland here we come! And it will also be my birthday (USA time). It was my birthday NZ time today so it was nice to receive some birthday messages from people at home.

We stayed at Susan’s house last night which was lovely, and this morning she head to leave early for her job, 6am she left! We got up at 8 and got ready for the day. Susan even bought me Fruit Loops! So sweet! We did our laundry, had breakfast then drove off heading to Anaheim! We stopped off at the Citadel Outlets and had lunch and bought a few things. Then we drove to the hotel in Anaheim which is on the block of Disneyland!

We decided to have a couples night so Barnaby and I went out for dinner and we had Indian which was very tasty and their mango lassi was yum! Logan and Susannah went to P.F Changs which they really enjoyed too! Barnaby and I walked up to Downtown Disney and had a look around and I bought some Minnie Ears! It was nice to have an evening with my man on my NZ birthday :)

Photo of the day: No photo! Stupid Wifi…. not loading the photo… hopefully the internet will work better tomorrow so I can post photos of Disneyland!

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Day 85 – Hollywood again!

(Barnaby’s post) Last night was our last night in Woodland Hills and the last time we are all going to be in the Valley. This morning we all packed up and drove to Hollywood to go to the church Brooke and I have been going to for the past three months. It was lovely to see everyone there for one last time before we left. Dan did a fantastic sermon, it was his first in a series on Jeremiah, we are kind of sad that we miss the whole series! Before we left for the last time, a number of people that we have become friends with over our time here, came over and prayed for us. It was really really nice of them, and we are really really going to miss them all!

After church we (Brooke, Logan, Susannah and myself) walked down to Hollywood to see the sights. We had lunch at the Hard Rock cafe, then did a bit of shopping around the highland/hollywood mall (the girls shopped, logan and I drank tea and sat outside). We are spending tonight at Brookes mum’s cousins house in Glendale. It is lovely to see Susan one last time before we go home, and its lovely to get to another side of the city to show Sus and Log around.

We decided to all go out for a meal in Glendale. We went to a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that turned out to be a hookah bar too (flavored tobacco)! The food was quite nice, I had a salad, Logan and Susannah shared a pizza and Brooke and Susan shared some chicken kabob! Brooke also got a chocolate brownie (that we all ate) with a candle on top, because it is her birthday in two days!! (tomorrow for those of you in NZ)!

Photo of the day: All of us (minus me) at dinner this evening.

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