We are 22 days into 2012 and it feels like this is the first time I’ve sat down. While that may sound unpleasant, it has been an incredible 22 days.
At the beginning of the month, the jam and some of the extended jam headed to San Antonio to see my cousin graduate from boot camp. If you’ve never been to a boot camp graduation, they are very powerful. It was a great experience, and I am honored to have been a part of it. After the graduation, we bounced around San Antonio a little bit, including a quick trip to Gruene, Texas where the dance hall scene from the movie “Michael” was filmed. Dizzle bought red cowboy boots and danced on a picnic table. Side note: If you’re ever in San Antonio and you share my affection for tequila, the Iron Cactus makes the best margarita I’ve ever had. (Except for my own, obviously.)
At the end of the weekend, I flew back to Raleigh to unload and reload my suitcase for a trip to the Consumer Electronics Show. I had no idea what to expect out of the show, but I was blown away. I would recommend you add to your bucket list.
After 3 days in Vegas, I headed to Los Angeles to find a place to live and get a feel for the city. Much like CES, I wasn’t certain what to expect during this visit to Los Angeles…
Thursday morning, Dock and I flew into LAX. After we picked up my rental car, which happened to be a convertible (I was determined to drive in California with the top down just once), we put the address to the restaurant in my GPS and made our way. For whatever reason, my GPS thought it would be funny to take us through Korea Town. I don’t know what you may know about Korea Town, but it’s frightening, and I later learned that it is the largest population of Korean’s second to Seoul in the actual country of Korea.
Needless to say, all I could think was “what am I doing moving here?” Then we got to Los Feliz for lunch, and it was beautiful. The food was fresh, we sat outside (in January) and the people were friendly. After lunch, we headed to Glendale where we were staying and unpacked, etc before guac and Margs. Then we headed back to LAX to pick up Dizz. And get a parking ticket. At the terminal.
Friday, we got the lay of the land, driving through every neighborhood that had been recommended to live in and checking out our offices. This tour included driving up and down Sunset Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard, Wilshire Boulevard, etc and all I could think about was how much fun it’s going to be to just pick a street, and walk it to check out the shops, restaurant’s, food, and wine. After lunch at the farmers market in The Grove (holy amazing) we went to the place I thought I wanted to live, and… signed a lease. It was that easy. Friday night was another night of great food in Glendale.
Since I had found a place to live on Friday, we got to explore on Saturday. Dock, Dizz and I drove down Santa Monica Boulevard all the way to the pier, and got onto “the one” to drove up the coast to Malibu. (Side note: I had no idea of Pepperdine’s location. Wow.) Driving up the coast was another one of those breathtaking moments, where I had to pinch myself to make sure it was real. We had brunch on the beach (I will have no trouble getting used to freshly squeezed orange juice in my mimosas) and did a little exploring. This is also the part of the trip where I drove with the top down. I felt like Lauren Conrad.
On the way back from Malibu, we stopped at Rodeo Drive. When we walked up from the parking garage, I came face-to-face with Hermes, and this time I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing. Rodeo Drive was, of course, everything you’d expect. I loved it.
To avoid hitting traffic, and driving in the dark, this was when I had to drop D-squared at their hotel (they stayed closer to LAX on their last night). As is typical, I spent the drive back to Glendale crying. Pretty sure I’ll never stop crying when my parents leave. Saturday night, I stopped by my first BevMo! (Beverages and More – everything in LA is abbreviated), bought a bottle of wine, went to the hotel, ordered room service and a movie.
Sunday morning, I woke up and decided to hike up to the top of the Hollywood Hills (no I didn’t see any dead bodies), which was so beautiful. I had never really hiked before, and I was surprised at what a work out it was, and how hard it was to hike down.
After my hike, I met with my LA native friend, and we headed to Venice. I don’t even know where to begin with Venice. All of you have to see it. When we first got there, we walked through several charming boutiques, and looked in the windows of busy coffee and wine shops. And then, she took me to the boardwalk… I really don’t know how to put this in words. Every ten steps, someone wanted to sell us marijuana (it’s legal in LA), muscle beach is a real thing, people had no clothes on, there were fully tattooed men hanging out, piercings everywhere, young kids playing drums for money, the list goes on. I am pretty certain my mouth was wide open the whole walk. And then, just like that, we were at a quaint little wine bar having a glass of cab. I don’t think I’ll ever figure out Venice.
Sunday night, we headed back to Los Feliz for another glass of wine and some apps. Great touristy day.
Monday, I worked from my hotel and then checked out the Glendale Galleria. Where I bought myself a congratulations/happy birthday Michael Kors bag. Tuesday was another working from the hotel day. After work, I decided to go explore UCLA’s campus, which was beautiful. I also tried to stalk to the mansions in Bel Air, but it was dark and people were following me closely, so that didn’t work out. Wednesday, we went to Orange County to visit with a client, came back to West Hollywood and had dinner at The Village Idiot, where I saw Stephen Colletti (third time I stopped breathing).
Thursday morning, I made my way to LAX (at 3am) for my flight back to Raleigh. I knew the second that I woke up that morning that I had fallen in love with Los Angeles, because I was sad to leave. I am so excited to call LA home, I can hardly stand it.
Woke up Friday morning, picked up Dizz, had surgery, and here we are. On tap for the rest of January: Visit from the jam. Turn 27. Going away dinner with my lovely colleagues. Pack up my home. Head to Baltimore for a few days. Move to Los Angeles. Bam.
Alright, February, whatchya got?
Also… good thing I didn’t call this “Bluegrass in Baltimore”