Over the weekend I went to California - Los Angeles, to be precise - for a little escape from reality and a Vitamin D infusion. I would like to say up front that Seattle actually has plenty of sunshine for this dark & twisty lover of rain and snow, but people seem hell-bent on perpetuating the myth that it is constantly rainy here when it most certainly is not. But I felt the urge to walk on hot sand, which isn't in season yet here in the Pacific Northwest. Check back in about July for that.
Los Angeles is a truly crazy, beautiful, ugly, weird city. I struggle to think of another place that's as fun to visit for a few days here and there, yet almost 100% unappealing to me in terms of a place to actually live. I have a pretty decent number of friends who have lived there or are currently living there, and to all of you I say, HOW DO YOU DO IT? While there are countless fun, educational and touristy things to do and see, there is also the fact that LA is maybe one of the ugliest cities built in a stunningly beautiful location that I have ever been. Between the traffic (plan on 30 minutes to go four or five miles), the lack of good public transportation, the sprawl and the smog, it's tough for the gorgeous coastline and rugged, majestic mountains to hold their own, and that's sad. But for a few days? It's worth all the bullshit to enjoy the good stuff. So despite my complete disinterest in LA as a home, I'm always up for a visit.
My LA to-do list always includes beaching (Hermosa, Redondo and Manhattan are my faves, with honorable mention to Venice Beach for extremely awesome people-watching); museums (LACMA, Natural History Museum, California Science Center, Getty, the list goes on and on); driving the Malibu coast (aka the drive that will make you cry); taking in the extreme kitsch of Hollywood; checking out the Farmer's Market; and of course, the iconic Mulholland Drive. Go, play, explore - and if you've found a way to live there and dig it, I want all the details!