North America 2005

An incredibly amazing travel log from the unfathomable genius of James Wheare and Tessa Caldecott

Sunday May 22

London, UK
12:00 - Tessa arrives at London Heathrow
15:30 - James arrives at London Heathrow

blergh by Tessa

I got distracted by things last week, what can I say?

But as of this afternoon I am back in merry ol’England! And we just had a rain storm. Ha. Aha.

I will fill in log stuff soon, my brain is not ina core..cohr… not in a clear state… too little sleep and feeling very disorientated by everything being the other way round here and stuff and… argh I can’t believe I’m home! I can now proceed to freak out all my English friends with constant americanisms heh heh

I love home. But I don’t think I ever felt as sorry to leave another country as I was …yesterday or whenever it was.

Argh the lights are flickering! What the sith?


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'Until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard' by James

So here I am in the airport lounge, waiting for my flight home to board. Tessa’s flight should have left half an hour ago but I’ve got another hour and a half till I can board. We’ve barely parted two hours and I’ve already had two notable experiences.

First of all, I was charged with the errand of delivering Tessa’s last remaining US mail. Of course, since the destruction of the World Trade Center, there are no post boxes within the entire LAX airport complex. Not to worry, I’ll just hop in a cab to the nearest post office, it shouldn’t cost too much. Yeah, nice try schmuck; like hell those cab drivers want to take you on a 10 dollar round trip after they’ve been waiting all day for that killer fare out to Newport Beach from some spoilt good for nothing pretty boy… tsch, noob.

So the first suggestion I received was to wait for the Renaissance hotel shuttle, which would take me to the post office for free. “Thanks for your honesty,” I happily chimed as I plodded over to the shuttle pickup point. I soon grew impatient of waiting for the fabled Renaissance shuttle, so returned to the taxi rank. After all, I had some US dollars to blow.

I was greeted by a slick, disgruntled, headset-donning driver who gave me a dirty look and sucked a few gallons of air past his teeth after I failed to believe his lies that there was a letter box “just over there.”

“I been waitin’ two hours, man! You better treat me well!” Yeah. Fun.

Anyway, I then proceeded to lose my Virgin Atlantic gold card going through security, having thankfully already secured a spot in the Air Canada lounge.

“Yeah yeah, stop whining, how was your last week in the US?”


Los Angeles: Sunday May 15th - Saturday May 21st

LA was fantastische. We arrived at our Santa Monica palace at 3pm to find we’d been left the wrong key and no clear way to get in. After struggling with the front door, back door and the lady’s chamber for a few minutes, we heard an ominous call from the street.

“Can I help you?”

Thankfully, the neighbours had been warned of our arrival and we were lucky to find Jan from down the road, all too happy to spring to our aid. While she headed off to enlist the super powers of her rock-climbing son, I summoned up the dregs of my spy-training and scoured the house for an entry point. I soon discovered a cat-flap and a pair of barbecue tongs, and triumphantly managed to extract the back door key from he inside lock. Then Jan’s son came and climbed into the upstairs bathroom window anyway just to show off. Ruin my glory why don’t you. Hmph.

After that initial excitement, we settled into our new paradise, contemplated a dip in the garden pool and instead collapsed on our beds, destroyed from the perilous drive down from San Francisco.

Over the next few days, we lived it up in blissful climes, winding things down at a leisurely pace to bring our trip to its finale. Amidst all the shopping on the 3rd Street Promenade and Hollywood, strolling along Santa Monica beach and star-spotting, (we only came away with Matt ‘Chandler’ Perry) we made time to get our culture fix at the Getty Center, meet up with the lads at E3 and watch lots of movies—including Star Wars on opening night. And again the next day. At midnight.

The Getty was spectacular, combining a shining example of modern architecture, wonderful works of art housed in the Richard Meier-designed complex, and a beautiful location all for the low low price of nothing! We really could have spent all of Wednesday there, but alas, we had prior engagements elsewhere, namely dinner and our first Star Wars excursion. The film was a great, classic George Lucas visual feast, with reassuringly wooden performances and a terrible script. It just wouldn’t be Star Wars otherwise.

After a series of late nights—we went to an awesome house/garden/LAN party in Garden Grove last night— our body clocks should be in a suitable state of turmoil upon our return but hopefully things will be back in order before too long.

The End?

Or is it just the beginning?

This has been such a wonderful trip, and thanks all for following along with the madness, albeit at a rather unorthodox pace. I’m still trying to get more photos up and linked in to these last two entries, so don’t leave these hallowed halls too soon. I expect Tessa has a few things to add as well.

Thank you to all our wonderful hosts and the amazing people we’ve met along the way, this tour would have been far less interesting without you. Please stay in touch and come and visit! Lots of love, peace and respect and all that yummy goodness.


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