We arrived at the airport on Saturday evening in time to hear a final boarding announcement. We were naturally stunned and couldn't understand how we'd got the departure time so wrong. However, Qantas was very accommodating. It promptly shifted our ticket to the same flight number; departing the following day. As fate would have it the delay ultimately proved a blessing in disguise.
Garry had originally tried without success to secure us a First Class upgrade using points. He tried again using our new flight details. This time he was successful and, as a result, we flew home in total luxury. I'll happily spend an extra day in LA to secure a lie-flat bed topped with sheepskin-lined mattress.
The unscheduled delay also gave us time to do a little extra sightseeing in Los Angeles. Up to this point we'd simply spent two mad days scouring city stores for shopping bargains. We began our day with a trip to the California Science Museum. It's currently hosting a exhibition of artifacts from the infamous Pompeii eruption, and is one of only four locations displaying an original space shuttle.
Garry and I then drove pass the soaring skyscrapers that make up Downtown LA. Another first for both of us. It’s hard to believe that these tower really will survive a major earthquake. I suspect my skepticism reflects the influence of the 1974 disaster movie, Earthquake. I saw it as an eight year old child and for weeks afterwards every tall structure filled me with fear.
Shinjuku in Tokyo has similar high-rise office towers straddling another of the Pacific Rim's earthquake zones. However, for some irrational reason, LA’s structures feel more vulnerable than those in Japan. I guess time will tell if LA's architects have been wise or foolish.
This purpose-built touring road has a number of scenic outlooks, including one that offers a grand view of the Hollywood sign and LA’s sprawling urban expanse. Our detour proved to be a smart choice. Within minutes of arriving at the Hollywood Bowl outlook we had the scenic spot to ourselves. As the afternoon sun warmed us, we soaked in the view, and expressed just a hint of envy for nearby residents enjoying their hillside infinity pool. It was the perfect way to finish our extended vacation.