Soak Up the Sun

IMG_20131010_182254

 

 

In April I had the opportunity to travel to L.A. for the first time to celebrate my best friend’s birthday during Easter weekend. Not only was it special because of the holiday and it being her birthday but we also hadn’t seen each other in 6 years because of the distance between us. I had been praying for a vacation and the original plan was for her to come visit me in Atlanta but she was California dreaming. So I agreed to travel with her to L.A. and we met up there on the WEST SIDE at the Garden Suites Hotel off S Western Avenue located in Koreatown. The room we got was decent for a three star double occupancy. It was clean, quiet and provided the basics.The Garden Suites Hotel

 

The Garden Suites Hotel Room

The Garden Suites Hotel Room

We did some research on things to do prior to coming but had planned to be flexible enough to change our plans if needed be. We had tickets to Last Comedic Standing at the Improv Comedy club but we were in a time crunch as my friend’s arrival time was much later than mine and conflicted with the show time. When she arrived we rushed to the club only to find out we had missed the show; which was cool, because I don’t have cable anyway to view it when it airs, lol.

 

So instead of getting our laughs in, we went to a Mexican restaurant by the name of O across the street from the club. The ambiance was amazing and the server was professional and polite. She suggested some empanadas that were very delicious and very cheesy. Over all the O seemed like a very cool networking/date spot.

After we grubbed, jet lag kicked in and we made our way back to the hotel for the night. It wasn’t too hard getting up the next day because my body was still adjusted to east coast time and I woke up about 4am the next morning! Our plans for the day were for breakfast and the beach. The cool thing about Koreatown was its  mini downtown section in the neighborhood. When I arrived the day before, I wasn’t sure if I was in downtown Hollywood or if I was in a mini downtown similar to Atlanta having its own downtown, Midtown and Buckhead (which are 3 different sides of the city.).

I had to realize L.A., similar to ATL, that the city is fairly expansive and skyscrapers are not centralized to just downtown unlike my home town where town where it is a one stop shop. This is not so much the case in LA and ATL, although LA is bigger than both. And because of this finding a place to eat was easy to do. There was a Denny’s right around the corner that was decent and the staff was nice. This being so close to our hotel we had breakfast there the remaining days of our trip.

Santa Monica Pier

World Famous Santa Monica Pier

After catching a quick bite to eat, my bestie and I planned to head to the Santa Monica beach to soak up the sun and  find out what the hoopla was about and if we would see dancing and singing teenagers on the sand like a Frankie & Annette beach party flick. Most of the performers were on the famous pier.   We seen kids doing  Michael Jackson impressions, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and the famous pier Ferris wheel.

Most of the day we sat on the beach and talked which was really peaceful (except.. I had Sheryl Crow’s song  stuck in my head) but one thing I noticed that was not, were the way of the gansta seagulls! They were the most aggressive kind I’ve seen ever on a beach. They were stealing food off picnic plates, pooping on people and flying really low over us. I have to say they were more aggressive than any pigeons I’ve seen, they were ghetto. Lol. Make sure you bring a cooler for your food and umbrella to shield yourself from their poopy presents.

When we decided we could no longer compete for the beach with the birds we walked over to a local Segway shop only  to find out most of their supply was rent or uncharged. This wasn’t a totally let down because it actually gave us more time to take pictures and prepare for the evening’s schedule event of speed dating.

For my pal’s birthday we had agreed to do something new and different. That for us included speed dating with Date Switch, a speed dating service that I am sure is in a city near you. The event was at the 31 Ten Lounge in downtown Santa Monica, a very low-key venue pushed back off of Main Street. When we first arrived there were more women than men but after getting settled a few more men came to join us and help to balance thing out. Well, we were still short a few men but they helped.

TMZtourguideWe met some nice guys but the biggest thing I didn’t think about was how I was going to keep in contact with these new friends if the rules were we could not exchange information while at the event; so I pretty much told my fellow mini daters that I lived out-of-state and I chalked it up as an experience. And it was, I love how diverse Cali is and of course the weather is wonderful. Most of the people I met were nice enough with the exception of the occasional creepers but other than them I enjoyed my day.

Our next and last day we planned to visit the usual tourist spot and part take in the touristy activities. We took the TMZ tour and seen no one, lol. Our tour guide was still entertaining and I went on a search and found the star of Ms. Dorothy Dandridge. If you’re not sure who is just click her name. Also we ventured to Universal Studios to find out park ticket prices only to discover there is this whole city walk thing they have up there that is amazing!!!

Me in Cali trying out iFly. Simulation skydive

Me in Cali trying out iFly. Simulation skydive

Once we got up there we discovered this attraction called the IFly Hollywood which is a sky driving simulator. We had to take part in the fun. I think it was a great way to highlight our trip and our instructor was really nice too.  It’s a treat I would definitely do again.

Overall, I had a great time but not enough time. A trip to L.A.  needs to be at least a week to start. I know there was much more we didn’t get to before we left out but it was still worth the adventure. Hopefully the next time I visit it will be longer and I’ll get the chance to check out Randy’s Doughnuts and get on Let’s Make a Deal to meet my fictional boo thang Wayne Brady, maybe one day in my California dreams.

 

 

Until Next Time…

 

~Adventurous Daydreamer~