The trip started in LA where students explored the bright lights of Hollywood (if they could see through the pollution), and the densely packed Venice Beach. The free outdoor activities along the coast ranged from beach volleyball to roller skate dancing, handball, basketball, skate boarding and body building at muscle beach. To say this was an interesting place is an understatement. There was a wide range of interesting people, and really highlighted the value of free outdoor sports through the number of people actively participating in the wide range of sports. It also reinforced how lucky we are in Australia with so much space in which we can exercise.
Our first major sporting event was watching the LA Galaxy play the Seattle Sounders at their home ground “Brand Depot”. The game was a little slow with a 0-0 result, however, the LA Galaxy fans were loud and entertaining, and when David Beckham came on for the last 20 minutes of the game, the crowd really perked up. Though they drew, it was evident as to why Beckham is one of the most expensive players going around. His skills and impact on the field was noticeably superior to all other players.
As the game was on the 4th of July (Independence day), a fireworks show followed the game (though they were nothing compared to what we see in Australia) before taking an interesting bus ride home through Compton. It was a cultural experience to say the least.
When the students had free time in LA, some ventured to Disneyland, while others took one of the thousands of tourist buses to see homes of the stars. A few shed their winter skin in the super heat and have been in long sleeves ever since. After a quick 2.5 hours sleep after the Galaxy game, we move on to Chicago.