The Good, The Bad, and The City…

I love to travel.   From approximately my fourth year on this earth when I made a four day trip from Alaska to Idaho, I was in love with travelling.  I enjoy the excitement of being in a new place, the fresh air of a different location, the adventures of sleeping in a different bed, and all the different sights and experiences that come along with the journey.

My most recent escapade led me to the city of Beverly Hills near Los Angeles, California.  My partner in crime and I decided to make the 5 1/2 hour journey with the main intention of attending a convention with some of our non-conventional friends, and… it was an adventure.

Friday

We have a habit of taking late night drives, and this trip was no exception.  In an effort to make a better convenience for the friends who were so kindly housing us, we planned to arrive around 6 a.m., which, if my math has not failed me, meant that our departure time, was 1:30 in the morning.

Though my name may fool you, due to my career in education, I am no longer the night owl I used to be.  Before 11:30 – Midnight, I am good to go, but afterward, I am about as useful as a piece of limp spaghetti used to hold up a tent.  I tried taking the first shift driving, but only made it about an hour before my eyes were heavier than my consciousness.   We pulled off to a rest stop and he took the wheel.   About 4 hours later, we arrived at the apartment we were lodging in.

Our hosts were already up having breakfast, and we gladly joined them and helped load up the car they were taking to their booth in the convention.  I forget in between visits that our friends are on a specific diet restriction, which allows them to eat nothing the body typically would digest.   So, our next adventure was calorie-free  ketchup, fat-free fried eggs and gluten-free brick bread.   I was fortunate enough that they had a flavored salsa, which made this slowly eaten meal at least somewhat palatable.

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Westfield Century City

We helped our friends get on their way for the day, then headed to bed to get some much needed rest before beginning our plans for this lovely Friday.   The original plan was to be at the mall when it opened at 10, purchase my outfit for the following day and perhaps spend some frivolous money on other non-necessities.  Well, 10 came and went with a snore, and some time around noon, I woke up, showered and then went to wake him up, to little avail.

It was around 2 pm before we actually got in the car and drove the mile and a half to the Westfield Century City Mall.  L.A. is one of the few metropolitans where it is far more logical to drive than to walk such a small distance.

Just prior to the mall, we stopped a Ross’ Dress for Less store (I consider myself thrifty) in an effort to find an affordable option for an outfit.  They were even considerate enough to give us free parking for 2 hours if we purchased something, now isn’t that sweet!   No luck at Ross’, so on to the mall.

We decided to stop for a spot of lunch before he moved on to another engagement at 4:00.  BJ’s had a location in the mall, and I will always go for familiar rather than foreign when it comes to food.

On to the shopping!

I am now by myself in the mall, in the middle of Santa Monica.  I am usually not much of a shopper, but I decided to reach out and give it a shot.  Good gracious!  After two hours of searching in shops I had never heard of before, I finally selected a purchase for $55, which officially makes it the 3rd most expensive item I own behind only my car and computer.

Sometime during the day, I decided that I wanted to have my nails done at a local salon, and now without a car, I had to walk my way down the street.  This may not have been as much of a chore, but my phone had recently died, and my GPS was no longer of use, which is always my failsafe when in a new city.  I found myself walking three blocks in the wrong direction, before turning around and walking another 30 minutes to the Golden Nail Salon, there in Beverly Hills.  The family that owned the shop, not only stayed open to service me, finish an excellent job,  but the woman who did my feet offered to walk me to her car on the way to where I was staying.  I graciously declined and ten minutes and $90 later, I was finally back at home.   The rest of the night passed quite slowly, with nothing more exciting than a piece of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, and a rough night’s sleep.

Saturday

This was the day of the convention, we had until 11 am before it started and as memory serves from the year before, it would not take more than an hour to tour the entire thing.   So, the morning started my schedule with a run to Target, to purchase things I had not the day before, which I did for less than $30 dollars, including $2 for parking.

After I returned, we decided to head on a culinary adventure at Norm’s, a small restaurant around the corner.  Unfortunately, this was one of the worst meals, I have ever eaten.  I started with a pork chop and mashed potatoes, but was told after I had complained about it being bland and tough that they were out of the moisturizing flavor.  So, I had to replace my chop with a small cut of steak that did not fair much better.  Needless to say, I will not be returning to this restaurant.

We drove back and started to get ready for the convention.  2 hours later, we were walking out the door and in the car to drive to the convention.

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Anodized Aluminum necklace from Truly Sin-Cyr

As suspected, it was not very large, even though it was the 10 year anniversary, and we were thr0ugh it in a little under an hour.  We went to a couple of the free classes, learned a little and were back in our friends booth, just in time to see an “interesting” burlesque show, and to discuss dinner plans.   I only made one purchase at the convention from an amazing company named Truly Sin-Cyr.  It was an aluminum chainemaille rainbow necklace for a great price and a caring guarantee.  However, all the happy feelings left when I saw I had to pay $36 for valet parking, whereas in Vegas it’s free with a tip.

The ultimate decision was an American diner named Truxton’s.   This was a dramatic extreme in comparison to the first meal of the day (thank goodness), and I fully recommend it.   After dinner, it was back to bed for another attempt at sleep.

Sunday

Last day of the trip, and aside from packing, there was very little planned for this day.   The one agreement we made was for the two of us to walk away with a massage.   Well, not being a mother, I had no clue how hard it would be to find such a thing on Mother’s Day….similar to a needle in a haystack.

Massage therapy
Swedish Massage

Breakfast was at a Nate and All which included some amazing bagels and salmon. Back home for packing, and then to the final LA event.

Our massages were side by side in the MassageinLA building.  This incredible team gave us an opening within an hour, customized massages, offered an extension and gave us 10 extra minutes free for an incredible price, even in LA!  This was my second massage ever, and I have to say, what an amazing experience.  I fully endorse this company and their beautiful ladies for anyone interested.

The trip ended with a stop at a full service gas station and a shocking gas price of $4.59 a gallon.

Overall, I think the best parts of LA include the various opportunities within five minutes of a location, delicious food, and a group of very nice people.

The worst parts of LA…Parking, Price and TRAFFIC!  I would never be able to live on a regular basis in LA, but it certainly offered some great time away from Vegas.

My goal on the next trip?  I would like to eat at The Stinking Rose Restaurant!

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