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Post Script

Just to let you know we arrived home safely on Sunday morning (after a delayed start of about an hour). We were pleasantly surprised to be met by some family who drove us home. Spent the afternoon shopping and then had a  reasonably early night.

We spent Monday catching up on a few things – unpacking, washing, checking up on the house renovations and preparing to get back into our normal routine.

How quickly we move on! Once again we hope you enjoyed coming along on holiday – it was great to have you with us. Catch you soon. Norm and Wendy

Day 24 (Friday 4 June) Los Angeles

So now the end is fast approaching. We are sitting at the airport waiting for our return flight (it leaves in about 4 hours so we are a little early). It gives me time to write the blog and for Norm to do some reading.

We walked around Santa Monica again today and down to the pier. We had lunch on the Promenade and checked out the shops. No cameras today.

We were reflecting  – it seems such a long time since we arrived here (and then to Boston). We have seen and done a lot of things. On reflection we have not really stopped – I knew we would have been on the move but I didn’t  think we would have packed so much into the time.

We saw the sights and we talked to a range of different people (you all know Norm’s gift for asking questions and everyone wants to answer them – even some that I just cringed at when he asked them!) and everyone has an opinion and is happy to express it (and they don’t seem to take offence at the questioning).

I have been taking lessons and am getting better at asking questions of the taxi drivers when Norm has problems hearing. This proved rather interesting today with the trip to the airport. The taxi driver was Moroccan and had a few problems with English. This meant he spent a lot of time actually looking at us rather than the road ahead – which made for an interesting ride. We were on the highway with 5 lines each way and he seemed to want to occupy one the lanes going in the opposite direction. I tried unsuccessfully to get him to refocus on the road but once the line of questioning started he didn’t stop – I am obviously going to have to take a few more lessons from the Norm Lewis school of questioning! Our Moroccan friend has a dream to come to Australia – beware of a Moroccan driving a taxi!

Since we have been here the big issue has been the oil spill (we are now into day 46) and there are still problems with capping the pipe. Another issue is that the Government wants to halt drilling for at least 6 months but now the affected States do not want this as the oil companies are such large employers in these areas. The environmental impact is massive and the fishing industry will be greatly effected – it is said that this spill is 2 to 3 times the size of the Exxon spill which is still having an impact on the environment 20 years on.

We have found the people to be friendly, well-mannered, not loud, concerned about both the future generally and their own futures. A comment in the lift today (as we were leaving) by 3 middle-aged business men was that were going to leave the country as they felt there were opportunities for them – one guy said we are leaving as Rome burns.

Elections for State Governors and Primaries are in full swing and TV is full of advertisements for these (if you think the advertising for our elections are bad – these are constant and highly personalised which includes bagging the potential candidates).

Regardless of the negative issues – summer school holidays are approaching and retailers and restaurants are hopeful of a busy season. They are obviously a sporting nation with lots of live coverage of baseball and basketball at this time. The daily newspapers have even reported Sam Stosur’s success in getting to the final of the French Open.

This trip has provided us with lots to things to reflect on and has also given us the travel bug.

It is now time to sign off. Thank you all for being a part of the trip – we hope you have enjoyed it. I know a large number of people have been following us – on some days over 120 people have logged into the site and this includes some people we have never met but who sent notes to say that they were enjoying the blog which was  nice.

So that is all from us now – take care and we will be in touch when we return.

Lots of Love. Norm and Wendy