Today, the fun can truly begin!
And by fun I mean I can enjoy my first day in Los Angeles after 3 hours of jet lag fuelled sleep and being woken repeatedly throughout the night by the LOUDEST snorer I’ve ever encountered. I swear if my mind had been in any way functional I would have recorded that snore for prosperity, because fuck me that guy’s snore should be holding a World Record. I’ve heard jack hammers that were quieter. I think I heard some of the other roommates planning on smothering him - at least I think that’s what they were saying, I’m not sure, because it was so hard to hear them clearly over the LOUDEST SNORING IN THE WORLD!
But I digress. Fun times are ahead!So after discovering that Samesun does free breakfasts (hello proper American pancakes! Yes that cooking is my handiwork… hush, I have 2 more mornings to perfect my technique) and that Uber is the best, most reasonably priced way to get around LA (thank you lovely hostel front desk guy for helping me download the app!) I head off to meet Mikey at 12pm to go to UCLA. So freaking excited! Even if the front desk guy did laugh at me for thinking I could walk there.
Hey, everything looked really close together on the map, how was I supposed to know it was nearly a 4 hour walk away??
Anyway, Mikey is an absolute gem, and I’m so so so glad we seemed to hit it off well. It’s absolutely gorgeous weather so, after meeting at a coffee shop and exchanging mine and Stitch’s letters, we went for a tour around UCLA, where he showed me all the gorgeous red brick buildings (I’m a sucker for stunning architecture) and I never could have dreamed just how BIG the campus was! We saw the inverted fountain, the Bruins bear… he even showed me where they filmed scenes from Gilmore Girls and Legally Blonde.
But the best part was definitely the Powell Library:
If I’d had a library like that at university I sure as shit would have studied more! If not just decided to move in there permanently.
We also took full advantage of the campus’s Student Union - I am now the proud owner of a UCLA vest top, so I can use it as ‘proof’ and pretend I studied there - and had one of the best (and largest) burritos I’ve ever eaten. It said it came with chips so naturally, as a Brit, I expected fries, so I got royally confused by the bag of nachos they handed to me! Stupid addled brain took at least 5 minutes to register the mistake, which caused a few chuckles all round.
Mikey was very kind and afterwards took me to Diddy Riese, a local hotspot where they sell the best cookies and ice cream sandwiches! And some of the best priced too - white chocolate chip cookie, dark chocolate chip cookie and mint chocolate chip ice-cream, which all together was about the size of my hand, for only $2?!?!
Excuse me while I drool…
So eventually it was time to go back to Venice Beach, suitably full (both in stomach and camera card space) and just a little sunburnt, when the craziest Uber ride ever happened. See, for those who don’t know, with Uber you have an option to split the cost of your fare by picking up another passenger en route to your destination. I happened to be the extra Pool person, entering the cab only to discover that the original passenger was desparately racing to LAX to get on her flight on time. We were half an hour away, and her flight left in 20 minutes… did I mind heading out of my way, or did I want to wait for a new cab?
You bet your sweet ass I jumped in that cab.
I’ve never seen a drive so hell for leather in my life! I swear he had the hand-eye coordination of a fighter pilot - think Luke navigating the trench of the Death Star in A New Hope. If the trench was the Freeway during pre-Labour day weekend traffic. It was incredible, and we got there in record time - I really hope she made her flight on time!
Lesson number 3 was learnt today - if you want to know the best places to go in a city, talk to Uber drivers. So friendly, and they know their home like the back of their hands!
Finally, we made it back to Venice Beach, sitting and chilling under the palm trees, writing as the sun began to set over an incredible day. There was a bunch of guys (The Calypso Tumblers) doing some outstanding dancing and tricks on the boardwalk, so I spent the last few daylight out watching and filming them and their awesome act - you can watch some of their work on my previous video!
And so ended my first full day in LA (after finishing my leftover lunch burrito of course). Such a beautiful, sunny city with a wonderfully chilled atmosphere. And I could stay on that beach forever.
Thank you Mikey for a fantastic first day in LA!