This morning we realise we´ve had a Skype message from one of Bernice´s brothers and it sounds like bad news. We eventually get in touch (internet is very flaky in the hostel, as always when you need it!) and find out what has happened, we couldn’t have guessed this one… Hey bro, we´re both thinking of you guys, lots of love and big hugs on its way to you.
Once we´re packed and checked out of our room, we take ourselves over to LA Café for some better internet. We finally make a decision about what next! We´re going to hire a car and instead of just doing a loop out through the Canyons to Denver and back again, we´re going to do a huge triangle road trip, north to Vancouver then back down to Denver and then west again to San Francisco to finish.
It´s actually cheaper to hire the car out of the city, say in San Jose than in SF, but we do need to use a big company as many won´t let us take it out of state/country, we think we might have said this already… We plan to go to Dan & Angie´s Sunday (she picks us up) and leave for San Frncisco on Wednesday where we´ll spend a few days before going back to their´s and picking up the car… don´t think they´re too far from San Jose as that where Dan works…
On the way back to the hostel we stop in at a wee shop opposite called “Britboy Fashions”. We were going to have a look (got to support your own!) last night but they seemed to be having a photo-shoot or something. We get chatting to the owner, Brian, who has workshops out back where he designs and makes the clothes he sells. He has been getting the Union Jack material from home but it´s expensive to ship out and he´s got wind of a place in town, so we wish him luck. He´s from Southampton and been here years! We think he felt sorry for us being on the road for so long and not having room/money to buy anything from him – Bernice did like a UJ jacket, but it´s not practical… anyway he gives us both a freebie tee-shirt, thanks Brian 🙂
Bags collected we get on the bus to the train station and then board a train to Irvine… so excited, we´re picking the big camera up today 🙂 But what a stress day it turns out to be. We´re pretty sure the service centre is open till 1730, and we get on a 1300 train, which should give us loads of time, get us there for 1530 near enough. Wrong! The train breaks down and we have to wait on the next one. We break our golden rule and Bernice turns her phone on and calls the Canon number on her receipt – confirm when it closes and see if they can keep the shop open if we don´t make it on time… except the number just goes to a call centre somewhere in the US and they put her on hold, they haven´t a clue about where we are asking about, let alone opening hours. Frustratingly Bernice hangs up and calls back and asks not to be put on hold but to be put onto someone who might be able to help. The next guy is no better, he wants to know why we´re calling, the make and model of the camera… just tell us the opening hours!!! Eventually we get some but then realise they are for another time zone!!! Nightmare! Probably £20 worth of calls and still no further forward.
On the next train, we calculate we are only about 20 minutes from our destination and we´ll be there about 1700, so a taxi will get us there no sweat, and it can´t be that far/expensive from the station as a bus was only going to take 8 minutes (not one due now), providing there is a taxi to be had…
Hurray, taxi available, service centre reached, and open. Camera collected. Double Hurrah! Now we can relax. The alternative doesn´t bare thinking about – shop shut, not open till Monday, Angie picking us up for a six hour car ride Sunday… it doesn´t compute!!!
Now we just have to get ourselves to Newport Beach to Deirdre and Brocks. That wasn´t going to be any rush as they aren´t going to be home from work till 1800, but now we might be a tad on the late side as it´s still quite a distance away. We text Deirdre once we´re on the last bus and know that we´ll be with them around 1900… When we arrive we´re greeted by Deirdre, Brock and Cody the dog who´s as mad as a brush but lovely with it, Bernice is in her element 🙂 Their apartment is in a big complex that has 2 communal pools, and lots of BBQ areas to use, which is where we head to cook dinner. Nice 🙂
Afterwards we head out to a local bar and have a fun time dancing and drinking. We get on really well. They are planning a trip to South America in April time and are keen to get loads of tips and let´s face it talking about our trip is all we know right now 😉 We are only meant to be staying one night, and our plan was to go a motel tomorrow night near the motorway where Angie could easily pick us up. But within hours this evening they offer us a bed for a 2nd night – their plans for Saturday have fallen through – we need to work out the logistics in the morning but it sounds like a plan.