Date: March 19
Location: Back in Nashville, TN
Mood: Exhausted and sore!
“What are you doing for Spring Break?” was the question the whole month of February. People were going to beaches, skiing, home to family, for a whole week of work. I had made my decision, though: one of my best friends, Kyle (different from my boyfriend Kyle, with whom I recently celebrated a year of dating) was doing a semester in LA, in our school’s Belmont West program. Although flights to LA were extremely expensive, I was lucky enough to have frequent flier miles (my parents signed me up for a frequent flier program when I was 3 months old) and cashed them in for some oddly-timed flights. So after school on Thursday, my roommate dropped me at the airport and I went from freezing Nashville to balmy, tropical LA… “The first thing I’m gonna do after I hug Kyle is hug a palm tree.”
Our first full day was spent at Venice Beach, but unfortunately my camera had a heart-attack and corrupted its SD card so the only pictures that survived were the above and this fantastic mural:
Pretty sweet, right? Not only was it beautiful and sunny, but there were people covered in tattoos and awesome street art. My kinda town.
The next day we went to Little Tokyo, the Japanese neighborhood. It didn’t disappoint. Much like the Vietnamese neighborhood in Prague, it was its own little city within a huge city, with its own culture, stores, restaurants, and community areas.
The only thing that stopped me from cancelling my return flight and just staying in LA forever was the traffic…. it’s no joke. Lots of cities in the US are in desperate need of a public transportation system and LA is no exception. I’m already a nervous driver and hate paying for parking, but there’s no getting around it. Kyle said that when Google Maps gives you 45 minutes for a trip, you need to triple it and then add some padding if you want to be on time. That lead to his roommate leaving at 6:30 to be at work at 9, when it was only a few miles away. Ouch. Luckily, though, even being stopped in traffic is picturesque: here’s the famous Sunset Strip, palm trees and all.
Even though parking cost $20, we went downtown for the star walk, the Chinese Theater, and to buy horribly tacky neon Los Angeles t-shirts. Because, tourism.
We also hiked up to an observatory… the GPS got confused and instead of leading us to the normal parking lot, lead us to a residential neighborhood where we parked outside a giant mansion, semi-covertly went through a fence, and up an unlit path on the side of a hill. It wasn’t that dark yet, and it was worth it for the view:(That’s the Hollywood sign, in case you can’t tell.)
The next day, we went to Santa Monica for the beach, the scenic drive, and some excellent Thai food:
(The beach. That’s Kyle and his friend Bryan.)
(The Beach, that’s how the walk to the beach was, I guess they were doing construction.)
Finally, we went to the biggest independent record store in America, Amoeba Records:
All in all, despite the traffic, LA was amazing and I was so happy to see Kyle, do touristy things, and have a break from the conservative South. Sorry for the picture-heavy post! There’s another entry in the works, about an interesting hobby I’ve gotten myself into lately!