In July of 2009 I went out to Los Angeles for about a week, and it was the first time I had taken a trip by myself. I always have traveled, but one of my parents (or some other adult) was always there, but this time I was all on my own. For a lot of seasoned solo travelers this seems like nothing big, but being 19 and flying alone to a place I’d never been was a really big step for me. After I switched flights in Dallas (and after awkwardly using one of those convenient little bags in the back of the seat) I was A-Okay with it though, and felt like a solo traveling expert, and this trip only enhanced my love for travel. It was this sense of satisfaction, the first trip I’d paid for and planned.
I landed, got my baggage and my cousin, Michael, who is an editor out there, picked me up. After getting myself situated on my air mattress in his bedroom/livingroom we headed into town to get some of the touristy sites out of the way. We went to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Kodak Theatre and I hunted down the Audrey Hepburn Star on the Walk of fame. Then we went to Amoeba Records, this really awesome record store, that also happens to be the largest independent record company. It was so amazing. I walked along and just grabbed a random CD and bought it, a very fun game. My CD ended up being alright, but I don’t think that’ve listened to it since.
We made our way to the Santa Monica Pier and watched the surf roll in on the Pacific, and my love for California was official. We walked from the Pier down to 3rd street, which was so cool because there were all of these performers, and when I say performers, I mean artists.
The next day we started off the morning at Intelligentsia, which is the most amazing coffee I’ve ever had! After that we spent the day in Venice. We got up early drove to a lot a little ways away from the beach. Then we went by this little market and got some nectarines and some beer. We walked to Michael’s friends house, which for the record is the coolest apartment I saw in Venice! There are gargoyles and huge statues on it! It was so awesome! We had a few beers and then went down to the beach. It was such an awesome little community. There were a lot of tacky souvenir shops, but there were a lot of awesome artsy shops as well! We hung around that area for the day.
The next day we drove around the town and hit up a couple of the museums. We went to the Annenberg Space for Photography, which was displaying the “Photo of the Year” winners in photojournalism. It was so spectacular, and I really connected with it because I personally have a love for photography. Then we went to the Getty Center, which is such an awesome place! It’s kind-of expensive unless you have enough people in your car to make it cheaper, but it was totally worth it. They had a lot of really amazing exhibits! There was a lot of photography, modern art, classical art, sculptures, and there was this amazing exhibit of medieval Bibles, and I learned that the colors stay so vivid in the bibles because they were printed on lamb skin, so it’s done like a tattoo.
Our next day was spent entirely in Malibu! We drove there from Silver Lake, and it was such an amazing drive through vineyards, amazing little houses, through Malibu Canyon and there were these amazing moments where you would go around a curve and you could see these amazing views of the Pacific. We laid out on Zuma beach, jumped around in the water and laid out some more. That night we went to dinner at Four ‘N 20 and holy crap! I still rave about that restaurant a little over a year later. If you’re in the LA area ever, seriously, go there and get the tortilla soup… Don’t ask questions, just do it! Then we wandered around downtown at night, which was really cool! It was beautiful, with all of the sky scrapers all lit up. It was awesome.
My last day we went to Intelligentsia, then back downtown to look at the Walt Disney Music Hall and to go to the MoCA. It was a really cool museum, and I got to see a lot of works from some of my favorite contemporary artists like Jackson Polluck, Andy Warhol and Barbara Kruger!
I loved my experience in Los Angeles, and have every intention of coming back and spending a larger amount of time there. It’s always great to get to spend time with my cousin and see new things.
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