We flew out of Sydney on the afternoon of the 1st of November and arrived at LAX in the morning on the 1st of November. We flew back in time!! Incredible! The weather here is marvelous. The shuttle buses at the airport are really cool looking, especially those Hertz ones – it made me wish we rented our car from Hertz.
We got ours from Alamo and the guys at the counter said I could pick any car I wanted in my class and drive off but this other guy at the car park insisted on helping us get into our car and then promptly asked for a tip! I gave him $3, which was all the dollar notes I had but he was still not happy??
We were shellshocked to be honest and after we left, while Ryan drove, I flicked through our guidebook to read up on the tipping guide! They recommend tipping the hotel bellboys and chambermaids between $3-$5 but those are for bellboys and chambermaids who would be helping us with take our luggage to the room or tidying up our room!
We didn’t have any luggage so all he did was open my door and let me get in like a gentleman normally would. That meant we gave him a market rate tip for a nice gesture so I don’t know what he was unhappy about. Sure was a shock introduction to the tipping culture here!
We had a 6 hours stopover in LA on our way to Las Vegas. The traffic jam in LA is meant to be pretty bad during peak hours and since we didn’t know when the peak times were, we decided to stay close and drove out to Venice Beach.
It’s meant to be autumn here but it sure is way warmer and nicer than our spring weather in Sydney before we left. There were people going for a run in shorts; tourists like us, enjoying the amazing scenery and watching the surfers trying to catch a wave (well, at least I was).
We spent a few hours there just wandering around before heading off to Santa Monica to look for the REI store to stock up on all our backpacking needs and since we were in a shopping area, I could not help having a quick look in some of the shops like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie making mental notes of what to buy when we get back to the USA at the end of our backpacking trip. *gleefully rubbing my hands* Can’t wait!!