Hello wonderful readers! Can you believe it, we’re very near the end of the semester. I have a paper to finish, a paper to complete and a take home exam to do and then that’s it! I’m freeeeeeee. This semester has been so enjoyable, but also so long! 16 weeks is ridiculous by anyone’s standards. Even with the Thanksgiving Break 3/4 of the way in, everyone’s lost motivation and just wants Christmas.
Anyway, back to documenting my trip of Los Angeles (I can’t believe it was nearly two weeks ago now!) and what a great Saturday we had! After nearly dying down Flowers Street in Central Los Angeles, we decided to treat ourselves to brunch the next morning in Santa Monica. We’d planned a delightful day; hire bikes, walk down the pier, go on rides and pretend we’re in the movies. Did any of that happen…
Well, the brunch did. It was DELICIOUS! We went to a cool diner called Swingers (if you can’t go to Hooters, try swinging instead…) and because I’m a basic bitch, I got some avo toast. Spiced with chilli flakes and sitting on top of the most delightful wholegrain loaf, it was a treat. Being in the diner led us to our first (and only) celebrity spotting of our Thanksgiving trip, in that we saw Howie Mandel and his family. Howie Mandel is one of the judges from America’s Got Talent, and between us we were debating for a while whether it was him*. I heard him order off the menu and I immediately recognised his voice! Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right time or place to ask for an autograph or picture, but rest assured, seeing Howie Mandel is implanted in my mind.
*It definitely was.
Once we’d had brunch, we then made our way to the beach and it was b-e-aUTIFUL. The sun was shining, there was barely a cloud in sight and we were all aclimatising ourselves to the Californian temperature. Flagstaff had been below 0 celsius, so it was pleasant to feel the sun hitting my back once again. Yes, I may live in Arizona, but Flagstaff is a-typical.
It was at this moment that I felt very privileged. I’ve seen the Atlantic, I’ve seen the Med, the North Sea, but never the Pacific. It made me realise just how far away from home I am, but how proud I am of myself for being out here for the length of time that I have and not dying or becoming 30 stone. Being in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas had been a dream of mine for years and years; to say I’ve now been there is a pinch myself moment. There I was, standing in the midst of palm trees whilst my friends at home were planning their dissertations and stressing out. Sorry, not sorry.
Once we’d walked over to the pier, the clouds were beginning to darken? Was this a sign of impending doom? We saw the Santa Monica End of the Trail sign for Route 66 which was bloody awesome. Granted, we’d seen the end before the beginning (so now I need to go to Chicago in order to see the start), but it felt like I was at a cool, important part of American automobile history. Santa Monica Pier is fun, yet it didn’t give me the initial impressions that Brighton does. I love a pier, walking down the road with fresh doughnuts and the sounds of seagulls all around you. But, Santa Monica Pier was quite small in my opinion. Nonetheless, it was still wonderful to (attempt to) strut my stuff down it.
Once we’d been on the Pier, we decided to dip our feet in the Pacific Ocean. The temperature had dropped so now it was a little chilly. But, the ocean made me even more cold. Yet, I couldn’t give this opportunity amiss. I had to get my feet wet!
My friends and I then decided to take photos of each other jumping by the beach, as though we’re still 15 years old and we’re looking for that perfect photo to edit with a cringey caption. However, when I was jumping, I forgot about the fluidity of my top. My friend took a burst shot of me, but from flicking through, this is the only one that captures the height without flashing my boobs for you all to see. I was joking in that I’d flash the sea, but I accidentally did it in front of everyone instead!
Once these photos were taken, it began to rain. OH DID IT RAIN. It rained so heavily, I’d yet to experience any rain like it in America. The rain was so cold, I was in my sandals and my toes were freezing over. We still had a fair walk to the car, so we just had to brave it. In the middle of the journey, we took solace in a shop selling English things. It felt as though I was still at home! I was soaked through! None of us had chosen an outfit that was rain-appropriate. Olivia thought it was hilarious that my hair was sticking to my face, so I have shared that photo for you all to see.
The afternoon saw us go bowling in Downtown LA to try and escape the rain, which we fortunately did. I’d upload my score but the four of us (Lauren, Olivia, Sarah and myself) had a high score of 38 so yeah, I’ll leave that for you to imagine just how bad we were! We then went to TGI Fridays for dinner and a delicious ice-cream shop for desert.
As you’ve read, Saturday was a splendid day, full of twists and turns that were unexpected. Yet, I couldn’t have laughed any more than I did. At this point, Los Angeles was coming to an end and we had to think about packing and the long trip home. But, we still had one more full day of fun. Make sure you look out for that blog post, but for now, I’ll imagine the warmer weathers of Santa Monica by listening to this.