Stopover in Los Angeles, my American Stopover – short but sweet!
On my second visit to New Zealand from the UK, due to the timing of my flight out of Heathrow, I had a delightful stopover in Los Angeles. Although my original plan was to spend my time browsing the shops at the airport and kipping on a bench in the terminal, after arriving shattered (the women next to me on the plane had a baby – enough said!), I opted to check into a cheap hotel within a short distance from the airport.
Upon arriving at Los Angeles (LAX) airport and clearing immigration control, my bag was one of the first off the carousel so I headed straight for the taxi rank. After a short wait, I jumped into a cab and asked the taxi driver to take me to a local low budget hotel. He looked a little perplexed that I didn’t have an exact destination in mind but he couldn’t have been more helpful and a few minutes later I was stood in the lobby of the Holiday Inn.
After booking a standard room for the night, I opened the door to a lovely, large room complete with massive bed and did the quick room tour – working flat screen TV with access to like a million American channels, complimentary toiletries in the bathroom, safe to hold my passport and power point to charge my mobile. Then I rang the concierge desk, booked a taxi for the morning and asked for the number of a local takeaway restaurant. About half an hour later I was sat on my bed eating a large American-style burger and fries whilst browsing the TV channels.
A great night followed and early the next morning I jumped into a cab and arrived back at LAX. Feeling a lot more refreshed and with plenty of time before my flight I headed to Starbucks for a coffee, (not a patch on good old Kiwi coffee, but with nothing else available, the best alternative!) followed by La Brea Bakery for some pastry style breakfast – delicious. I then spent the next couple of hours browsing the shops which included duty free and the local ‘I Love LA’ and Hollywood Store souvenir shops for some mementos of my brief stay in LA. I boarded the flight with slightly more bags than I started with but was looking forward to the rest of my journey to New Zealand. Would I recommend a one night stopover in Los Angeles en route to New Zealand? Yes, most definitely. If you have the time and energy to go through US customs, want to do some shopping and have a decent few hours sleep before the next long leg of the journey, you will love this kind of stopover!