I know a lot of you are following me on Instagram and Facebook but I thought it might be fun to do a blog post every week or two sharing our travels!
This trip is a big one and the result of a year of saving. When we got married in April last year, we didn’t have much money left over for a honeymoon so decided to wait a year and do a BIG trip. When you live down in New Zealand, you have to make the most of being on the other side of the world so we decided on doing Tahiti, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, Reykjavik, Paris, Newcastle, London, Dublin and Tokyo – All in 6 weeks!
When we were booking our round the world ticket, Tahiti came about because our flight form Auckland to LA was with Air Tahiti Nui, flying through Papeete and they were offering 2 free nights accommodation!
We thought it was a great idea and I was SO thankful that our first few days would be spend relaxing. The lead up to leaving was incredibly busy and it really saved me knowing that I had 2 days of rest and relaxation to look forward to.
The 5 hour flight got us into Tahiti at about 12am and it took quite some time to get through customs and the heat was exhausting. Luckily our hotel was just a few minutes up the road and had air conditioning!
We woke up the next day to a gorgeous view and incredible weather. Because we were at a resort, prices for food was pretty expensive so we did some research and decided to take a walk to the local supermarket to pick up some food and drinks.
The walk took us probably 20 mins or so since it was so hot and we were walking pretty slow. I had to cover up as we forgot sunscreen and I didn’t want to get tan lines for my very important shoot with Pinup Girl Clothing a few days later.
Once you leave the resort, you are reminded that there is actually a lot of poverty in Tahiti but everyone was very friendly. The supermarket was HUGE and had everything from appliances to clothes and beauty products.
We bought some nice french bread and cheese plus lots of snack and drinks.
After walking back to the resort, we decided to go for a swim in the pool- well actually I had to convince Matt who wasn’t particularly interested in a swim but hilariously he actually fell asleep in the shallows and got some mega sunburn on his back.
The resort had both a Lagoon which had water and fish from the sea and a pool and it was so lovely to just hang and enjoy the gorgeous weather.
That night we had cocktails and a delicious dinner that Matt couldn’t stop raving about. The following day we were due to fly out at 11pm so after having to check out, we once again spent the day by the pool until it was time to fly.
The flight to Los Angeles took about 7.5 hours and we tried to sleep for most of it since we would be landing at 11am on Sunday and wanted to spend the day in Burbank. It’s never fun sleeping on a plane but we got enough sleep to keep us going!
I had already told Matt that as soon as we landed in LA, I wanted to pick up the rental car and head straight to Burbank for shopping! Bless him, he was a very willing shopping assistant and got us to Burbank in one piece despite having to adapt to driving on the other side of the road.
First up was Pinup Girl Boutique! The staff were super friendly and helpful and one of them happened to be Ashley (Southern California Belle) who was also going to be in the PUG shoot the following day. Meeting and chatting to her helped to calm my nerves a little!
I could have bought a lot more than I did (especially the bags!) But I tried to be semi-restrained and settled on the Pele Dress, 2 Sabrina tops, the Aqua Bustier, the Red Renee and the Leopard Print Gilda Dress.
Next up we checked out Unique Vintage where once again the staff were incredibly lovely! I decided to get two of the Bettie Page Clothing shoes in red and blue since the heel height should be comfortable for work. Plus I got a Stop Staring Dress, Headscarf and a hat for Matt.
We also stopped in at one of the best vintage shops I’ve ever set foot in, PlayClothes which is in between the Pinup Girl Boutique and Unique Vintage. It is chocka block full of amazing stuff, you’d need hours to go through all of it! There were so many other amazing vintage shops we could have looked at but time ran out and they were all closing.
We were staying in a Air BnB place back on the other side of LA in a area called Hawthorne. As soon as we got off the freeway and a few streets away, we realised that perhaps we weren’t in the best area. Thankfully our unit was second back from the road but we had a bit of a terrible sleep waking up to lots of noises and to top it off I had a really upset stomach which kept me awake- not ideal!
My alarm went off bright at early at 5.30am on Monday morning for the Pinup Girl Clothing shoot. I was feeling a little strung out, still with a very upset stomach and just generally not how I had dreamed I would feel on the morning of such a special day!
But by the time we got to PUG HQ (after a bit of a stressful drive battling LA traffic!) and I met the amazing woman I would be working with that day, I started to feel a lot better. Kayla (Aussie Plus-Size Barbie) gave me something to settle my tummy which was a bit of a life saver!
Missy and Tara were doing hair and Micheline Pitt and Erika Reno were doing makeup. I was really interested to see what products they all used, especially the makeup. Micheline used a lot of Anastasia Beverly Hills Products and I loved the super glittery eye shadow!
Once Kayla and I were all done up, we headed to the Gardens for the shoot!.They were beautiful and it was a stunning blue sky LA day! The entire day was so much fun and there were SO MANY outfit changes! The team work fast, only needing about 10mins per outfit and with 3 of us models, it meant there was always someone to shoot. Holly West, Laura Byrnes and Lori were the photographers, working on rotation which was fun!
We all had a blast and I have to say that I now have a much bigger PUG wish list now that I’ve tried on so many amazing things!
It was so amazing to meet such empowering, inspirational ladies. Despite a team of 10+ women, there was not cattiness just friendly, uplifting love!
The shoot wrapped at about 4.30pm and when we arrived back at HQ, Matt was waiting patiently for me. He had gone to Universal Studios for the day and had a great time!
We picked up some dinner on the way home and had a early night- the day was such fun but so exhausting!
Originally we were due to stay in LA until Wednesday and then drive to Vegas. But we made the decision to leave on Tuesday since we didn’t feel particularly safe where we were staying. So on Tuesday morning we packed up our things, loaded the car and drove to Venice Beach.
We spent the morning walking along Venice Beach where Matt bought this super cool jacket and I had a lot of fun at the candy shop!
Then we went to Santa Monica which we had loved last time we were in LA 2 years ago. We shopped along 3rd Street Promenade and at the end of the day, got something to eat at the pier.
In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best idea to set off to Vegas from Santa Monica at 6pm as it took us nearly 2 hours just to get through LA but oh well!
We arrived in Vegas at midnight but did stop off at Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner. If you are ever driving between LA and Vegas, make sure you stop off here! It’s right off the freeway and about 2 hours out of Vegas. It’s been there since the 50s and is full of memorabilia!
I loved that I got to eat a slice of pie (rhubarb and strawberry) at a 50s Diner- I can tick that off my bucket list!
Coming up in the next post- Viva Las Vegas and the Miss Viva Las Vegas Pinup Competition!