Blog: numero uno. And what better way to begin, then with a trip to the Golden State, California that is. Which was nicknamed “The Golden State” back in 1848 for the discovery of gold! Anyways, besides the point, about a week ago I spent 4 amazing days in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, with some close friends from home and some I met last year in Rome.
To start off, I go into every single trip or mini-vacation with an open mind, wanting to just go with the flow and see what happens. I was unsure as what to expect down in Los Angeles as this was the first time I rented a car for my transportation, instead of using public transport. That being said, I believe it was a success minus the ridiculous traffic and waiting 45 minutes to drive 8 miles, true story.
Anyways, I arrived in Los Angeles at 9 am and it was already mid-80’s, clear skies and the sun was shining. I got my rental car and headed straight for Hollywood where I was supposed to meet my friends from Australia. I had a couple hours to just explore, and I must say, it isn’t quite what I expected, especially the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. The Walk of Fame is probably one of the most famous streets in the United States, I wouldn’t consider it a “must-see” but the Walk of Fame stretches just over a mile, while some area’s are nice and others not so much. The majority of things to do though are at the west end of Hollywood Boulevard, which you will see many famous stars “stars” on the Walk itself. This is your typical “Tourist” Boulevard, with many offering tours of the city.
After about 2 hours exploring, I finally got to meet up with my friends from Australia. That in itself was an amazing experience, meeting with friends I kept in contact with the last year in a whole new area. We got together and drove down Sunset Boulevard to look at the very “high class” neighborhood up in the hills of Los Angeles, needless to say, the drive wasn’t too bad itself. We ended up stopping at a small little restaurant/pub and grabbed a bite to eat, which was slightly overpriced, of course, but equally delicious.
Day number 2 we decided to head to Universal Studios, which I was more than excited for. When I was 10 years old I went with my family and had one amazing time, I am happy to say that I am 27 years old and still had an amazing time. The rides are always changing, due to what’s new in the movies and technology, the 3D rides are really great. After a few hours at Universal Studios and a quick stop at the Hollywood sign for a cheesy “selfie”, we headed to Santa Monica, with a quick pitstop at Millions of Milkshakes, one of the most popular milkshake shops in the world, which I can confirm, and you are able to make almost any combination of a milkshake that you would like, they come in a variety of sizes, and the straw is an actual straw! While indulging in the pure deliciousness of my Miley Cyrus milkshake (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Cookie Dough), I decided to take a random trip with my friends to find Kat Von D’s tattoo shop “High Voltage Tattoo”, which is popular on the TV show LA Ink. We did get to see Kat Von D herself, but didn’t go inside because they were recording. I still consider it a success! To conclude our day we spent about an hour in a half in traffic trying to get back to Santa Monica where we watched the California sunset on a nice fall evening.
Day 3 was more of a relaxing day as we again said our goodbyes and continued to laugh about the differences in how we speak, Australian and American. All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I had an amazing time visiting with my friends from Australia. I got the opportunity, from another friend who was so generously hosting me during this trip, to visit USC’s Athletic Training Facility. As I had never been in any training facility, and I majored in Exercise and Sport Science, I found it strikingly fascinating. I got to see the facilities, see the actual NCAA National Championship trophies, and put on a National Championship ring, pretty cool I must say. After my personal tour through USC, we all got together and went to a nice place to eat dinner in downtown Los Angeles, down by the Staples Center. The place is called The Yard House, and they have probably 50 different beer’s on tap, amazing, right? And sure enough I ordered a half-yard beer, not realizing it would come out like it did, and had to snag a picture. The good thing about our dinner, is the full tab was covered, our tab was over $200 and we got it all for free because they lost our order. I can say that is almost unheard of in Los Angeles and we were quite lucky!
Day 4 realization set in and I had to pack up my small backpack and head home, but… I had to make sure I snapped one last photo of a wall I drove past on Santa Monica Boulevard. The wall had “Before I Die..” in big letters painted across the top of it, me being the curious bee that I am, Google’d it and found out that it is a Public Art project for people to dream big and make their goals public. These walls are around the world and have a bucket of chalk near them so those passing by can leave their dreams on the wall. So what turned out to be a 3.5 hour drive to the airport just to get this photo, I found it inspiring to stop for a few minutes and read some of the things written down on this massive chalk board. One of the many quotes on this board is as follows: “The world is like a book. If you don’t travel, its as if you stay on the same page.”
So tell me, what is one thing you would like to accomplish in your lifetime?