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The Real La La Land - Day 8

My final day in LA had arrived, and I woke with a heavy heart as I often do when I have to

leave. But LA had done it's job and, apart from the heavy cold, I was feeling refreshed, inspired and stronger. I say stronger as I had an incredibly difficult 2016 which had a real negative effect on my general wellbeing, but now I was starting to feel like me again.

I had some time before needing to be at LAX so I took a Lyft over to The Grove and spent time walking around and just absorbing the atmosphere. I sat outside Starbucks and had one last Chicken and Artichoke flatbread as Starbucks in London doesn't have them. They should. They rock. I watched The Grove tram making it's way through the complex, past the beautiful illuminated dancing fountain and down towards the Farmers Market at the other end while Disney music played in the air.

Before I knew it, I was back at Ian's and we were heaving my ridiculously weighty luggage into the Lyft to take me to the airport. My Lyft driver, Herman, was hilarious. We talked about so many things from Trump, the history of LA and his love of salted caramel!

Arriving at LAX I saw people coming out of the airport and heading to their shuttles and felt a pang of jealousy. That was me a week ago, about to start a hilarious shuttle journey! But I made my way to the baggage drop for Air New Zealand. ANZ have to be the best kept secret in aviation! They are brilliant. Reasonable prices, wide comfortable seats, good food, great customer service and a great choice of in-flight entertainment. I always use them when I go to LA and also where I can for flying in actors from 'Twin Peaks' too.

Venice Beach and Marina Del Rey.

I have to say, I'm a great flyer and I love airplanes! While others are bracing themselves for take off and closing their eyes in angst, I'm the annoying passenger, super excited, sticking my head up against the window as far as I can to see the tiny toy buildings and ant people!

As we lifted up from the runway at LAX, we flew away from Venice Beach and Marina Del Rey and I looked back to see the city I love becoming smaller and smaller. This really is my second home and the only place apart from London where I feel so comfortable.

We flew over some incredible scenery on the way back to Heathrow and I couldn't resist

snapping a few pictures of the beautiful snow-capped mountains - although I couldn't say for sure which mountains they were.

Snow-capped mountains.

I also spotted three very strange looking lights coming out of the mountains. They were in a line, bright and large; and the woman behind me spotted them also, but neither of us could make out what they were or what they were for, answers on a postcard please!

The films I picked for my 10 hour return journey were 'Bridget Jones Baby', 'A Street Cat Named Bob', 'Now You See Me' and then 'Titanic' because I just needed something to make the last three hours go quick!

As we made our descent into London Heathrow I could easily spot my area as it's relatively near the airport and has water reservoirs and the River Thames around it! I then had a surge of excitement as I was looking forward to seeing Chester, my beautiful gingertom, after being away from him for so long!

Walking through the front door I was greeted by my good friend Caitlin who had been looking after my flat and Chester. She had actually cleaned my flat (I can hear my sisters laughing as I type this) and there was a beautiful scent of Yankee candle in the air. I could see that both she and Chester had had a great time and I was pleased that they bonded so well!

Caitlin is also in love with LA and we often talk about how much we want to move there, although both agreed it may be wise to wait 4 years...hopefully less. And so my LA adventure was over for another year.....or was it? Email conversations since indicate that I may be back there sooner than I think!

So although this part of the blog is over, I have had great feedback and have been asked to share some stories from previous visits which I just may do! It was great to see so many wonderful friends but I was also sorry to miss others, especially you guys - Madchen, Patrick, Lenny, Sherilyn, Heather and Monique!

Thanks for reading the crazy whirlwind of this journey and please feel free to share so that others can enjoy!

Lins x

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