A while back, my bestie HJ asked if Dear Husband and I would be interested in going to Los Angeles. His niece, Lizzy, asked for a trip to L.A. as her 18th birthday present and asked if we might want to go with them. Because of some other travel plans and obligations, we decided that Jose would stay home with the dogs – but I wasn’t going to pass up a trip to sunny southern California! So last Monday, I boarded a plane and flew to L.A. for four days.
(Before I go on, I have to give a thankful shoutout to Lizzy for being the only 17 year old I know who’s like, “Let’s invite these old people on my birthday trip!” She’s awesome, made me laugh a ton, and the whole gang made for wonderful travel companions.)
I’m not always great about taking photos of the places I visit. For one thing, I’m not a very good photographer and can’t be bothered to do anything more advanced than snap a photo with my phone. And as I told HJ, there are a bazillion professional photos of any tourist destination we visit – I can just google it if I want to see it again. But there is also the matter of capturing a moment, of being there in a time and place nobody else is… so I did take a few snaps along the way.
We saw some Hollywood tourist traps, like Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Madame Tussauds wax museum.
We viewed the Hollywood sign from Lake Hollywood Park. I took the worst car selfie ever on the way there which will hopefully never see the light of day. But, as we gays are prone to do, I did find the local bear community:
Or something like that.
We looked at nice houses as we drove around Beverly Hills (including the really cool Spadena House) and shopped on Rodeo Drive. Well, the ladies did – I stayed on the sidewalk so I wouldn’t be tempted to spend more than I needed to. I had good company and it’s certainly a pretty view if you’re going to wait outside.
At Jose’s suggestion, we looked up los callejones in the fashion district and visited Santee Alley for some more budget-friendly shopping. I love me a good flea market and though this felt very much like one, it was considerably more. I bought some cute blue boots for $40 there and while I’m sure they’re really made of milk cartons and duct tape, I’ll get my $40 out of them!
We hit up the Santa Monica Pier, because it’s iconic and I wanted to see it.
And since we were there, we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway for a while. Talk about gorgeous! I’m an east coast kid and enjoy our coastline, but there’s something about the beach just bumping into the hills that makes it feel like a totally different country.
We also took a day trip to Palm Springs. There are a lot of guys in my knitting circles from Palm Springs, so it was nice to see the town I hear so much about. Looking back, I wish we’d spent a little more time wandering around the downtown area – there were a ton of shops and restaurants I would’ve been happy to investigate.
Random fact for those who don’t know me well: I grew up in the community of Indian Land, SC. Imagine my surprise when we arrived in Palm Springs to this sign:
I immediately texted my sister that I’d travelled over 2,000 miles to find another Indian Land. My elementary/middle school was torn down years ago, but this was so reminiscent of the sign in front of the school that I was instantly reminded of home.
I also joked that I should’ve taken a picture of every Starbucks we stopped at to make a massive photo collage. Starbucks are pretty common around Charlotte (as they are everywhere, it seems), but they were so conveniently located on every corner in L.A. that we drank a lot of coffee.
As you might suspect, we did more but we were limited by COVID and time. L.A. itself is large and the surrounding area is enormous – there’s no way to see everything in a few days and I would imagine it would take years to really get a feel for the place. Nevertheless, it was a fun trip and I’d go back to experience more of the culture, history, and local flavor. But for now? Back to life, back to reality.
Until next time,