I am of course talking about the rather interesting mess of a city, Los Angeles. First arriving into LAX, I breathed a sigh of relief. Gone was the ridiculous humidity of Texas and I gladly said hello to the bright blue skies and slight breeze that greeted me.
A very quick coach ride into downtown and it was rather evident that I was going to enjoy the West coast. I had waved so long to Matt and Jake but only for a few days. They were close on my heels and flying just a day later.
As I arrived at Union station, it was a joy to see a decent metro system once again. I hadn’t come across one since New York and that was oh so many months ago now. A straight shot later and I had arrived at my home for a couple of days. Hidden away from anything remotely touristy, I was first staying in Southern Pasadena until my companions arrived.
What was the first thing on my agenda? Airsoft. Smack bang in the middle of two of the most popular indoor sites in the whole state, I had to try and choose. On the second night, I set off to meet and greet some teams I had been speaking to over the last couple of months. My first real taste of SpeedQB and what an experience it was. I’ll leave the in depth of it to a different post though.
Matt and Jake arrived and I departed suburban life for the hustle and bustle of Hollywood. It’s got to be done when visiting LA right? A Chinese theatre, stars walk and the required Hollywood hills tour later, we had done it all. Even given the opportunity to see and sing (yes sing) The Fresh Prince of Bell Air while right next to the actual house. Vinny Jones house, check. Tom Cruise, check. House where Michael Jackson died, check. Jennifer Anniston, check. Not to mention our first semi-serious beer pong for the whole afternoon. In 35 degree heat. Far from the cleverest idea we had ever had, but still, it was definitely an experience.
Next stop, Santa Monica and the miles of beach line that LA has to offer. Slightly overcast and a little depressing, we were actually slightly disappointed with the whole place. Potentially because it had been hyped up so much, but there just wasn’t that much to entertain us. The hostel was a dry zone (no alcohol allowed, I mean really?), so that instantly slipped into the bad books. Such a shame as from pure first impressions, it’s one of the better looking hostels we had been in. The closest beach had a giant car park in it, which kind of ruined the landscape. On top of this, the Santa Monica is just tacky. I think I actually prefer Weston-Super-Mare! Needless to stay, this was a very short trip and we left a night early.
Oh and I nearly forgot to mention, the group had grown from 3 to 4. A dutch guy called Victor had now become an honorary English guy for the California leg of the trip. A semi-professional football player, this guy knew how to party, so he fit in perfectly.
So where was next on the destination list? San Diego and the historic gas-lamp district of downtown. I couldn’t wait.