Saturday, August 8, 2015

Living Like A Tourist

This past week, my best friends from home came to town.  I was able to take a full week off from work to hang out and show them around (Southern) California. I didn't have a ton of money but I think I did a pretty good job of giving them a lay of the land and a really good job of driving up the mileage on my leased car.  

If you live in Los Angeles, here is an itinerary for a successful trip with your friends if you're living "on a budget" (and by that I mean living within my means sometimes and above my means a lot of the time.) 

Hiking in Griffith Park. This one crosses off a few things for visitors - you get some sun and gorgeous Southern California weather, you get some exercise in and you get great views of the city. Before we left, I looked up a couple of trails in the park and when I got there, I couldn't figure out a damn thing so I just parked and picked the closest trail and hiked it. It wasn't too bad, but it was definitely steep and definitely hot. I prefer it over Runyon because it's prettier and less crowded. 

Mexican food. When in L.A., right?? LOL! (Shoots herself.) But really, it's good here and El Compadre is right next door and they have flaming margaritas. We didn't get them... but they do exist.  I figured there were a few Los Angeles food options that I should have treated them to and Mexican won out over Ramen, sushi and fish tacos from a random food truck that appears on a different side street somewhere between San Vincente and Olympic from 5-7 every day. (That's not a thing but it feels like it probably could be.) 

Pool party at home. Basically, I'm poor. So I thought I might as well set aside one full day to not spending money and having people come over so it looks like I have friends. I originally was like, "Let's throw a cookout!" and then I realized that we have no grill. So we had a bunch of drinks and watermelon slices and called it a day at the pool with friends and dogs. 

Santa Monica beach and pier. We wanted to go to the beach (another relatively free thing outside of parking and stuff on the pier) and I was thinking of going to Orange County to a nice beach but then I realized that it'd be kind of fun to be tourists and do something super California-y... so we went to Santa Monica. It was crowded and people were walking around screaming and selling fruit and umbrellas and boogie boards all day long - but it was actually kind of stupid and fun to drink white wine spritzers on the beach, get a horrible sun burn and play some arcade games on the pier. 

Malibu Wine Safari. The coolest part of the trip was Malibu. We had lunch at Public School in Culver City and then drove up to Malibu for a wine safari that was actually pretty expensive, but worth it. We stopped at the beach first because we were early and it was gorgeous. Guys, Malibu is beautiful. I don't think anyone knows that yet. We then saw Andy Dick in a grocery store where he was basically begging for attention. Then the wine safari! We got taken around a beautiful vineyard and ranch, fed cute rescued animals with carrots and tried six different wines and had some snacks with a view. It was worth it for the views and cute water buffalo. 

Vegas. Originally we were going to Palm Springs and I still kinda wish we went to Palm Springs (even though it's like 110 degrees) but instead we went to Las Vegas because we had Britney Spears tickets gifted to us by Jess' fiance. So we spent Wednesday driving to Vegas, swimming in the pool, seeing Britney and losing money at the Paris Hotel and Casino. 

Ralph's. I went to Ralph's more times than I'd like to admit. Like... a BUNCH of times. So many times that one of my friends said she felt the need to say goodbye. Thanks Ralph, you're a great friend. 

Overall, it was a pretty fantastic trip. There were a bunch of things I missed... but I live in the massive city known as Los Angeles, so GET OFF MY DICK. 

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