when eric agreed to meet me in los angeles to drive to minnesota i didn’t have a set plan for what we’d do once he landed in la. i thought it would be nice to hit a couple of art spots and keep everything cheap and easy. it was neither of those things. we crammed a week of the city into less than a day.
i took him down to venice beach so we could see the freakshow (closed) and the skatepark (much smaller than i anticipated). those two things being somewhat ‘meh’ i decided we should walk to the ferris wheel on the pier.
so we walked and walked… and walked. we finally reached the pier and while walking up to it i realized i made him walk all of venice beach to the santa monica pier.
taking in the sights we grabbed a cup of coffee and sat under a tree on the beach. neither of us wanted to walk all the way back so we decided to take a bus.
all of our change and a couple of stray bills could afford us two bus tickets. just as we decided to take the bus, one came rolling up the street. we jogged up, tossed our money into the receptacle and took our seats. impressed with our decision to take the bus instead of a cab and the serendipitous timing, our faces immediately soured as the bus- once certainly poised toward venice beach- took a u turn and headed in the opposite direction. i tapped the girl sitting in front of me, “where does this bus go?” in the notorious la girl monotone she said “malibu” before putting in her ear buds.
getting off at the first stop available to us we realized that we were in the middle of nowhere on the pacific coast highway. across the road is a country club, surely they’d be helpful. the staff seemed annoyed to see us. we explained the bus situation and that we needed change to try and catch another bus, they said they didn’t have change. we asked to use their restroom, a giant no. we asked if they had any courtesy services / shuttles that could help us get any closer to where we were going. the sound of their eyes trying not to roll out of their sockets was the elephant in the room. so we politely excused ourselves and began another long walk along the highway.
i was feeling desperate, it was incredibly hot and we were both getting sunburned from being in direct sunlight for so long. as we walked along the beach i approached the occasional person in their car seeing if they’d give us a ride up the beach. note to self: nobody in los angeles is going to pick up hitchhikers.
finally we saw an oasis in the distance. passing under the highway via a bridge we were able to stop, cool off and grab something to eat at a really charming spot called “patrick’s roadhouse.” we enjoyed the ambiance and a break from what was supposed to be a fun little jaunt that was easily turning into a pain in the ass.
after our late lunch in the middle of nowheresville we opt for a cab to coast us back to venice. i ask the cab driver to drop us off at the pier so that i can show eric the canals. after strolling across the waterways we start walking back to the car. i had no idea how far we were, it was another mile before we got in the car and blasted air conditioning into our sweaty faces.
at this point, traffic has begun and we didn’t want to be detained in gridlock. as we were squirreling through the side streets eric decides he wants to go to the la brea tar pits. we plug that into the gps and off we go. we walk the entire grounds, enjoying the bubbling tar and the sculpture garden of lacma. my favorite outdoor installation was “urban light.” the sun was just setting and the lights were on giving everything an ethereal glow.
next stop: the chandelier tree in silver lake. while we were marveling at all the lighting fixtures strung up in the branches, a girl eating cereal on her porch stared at us.
making amends with this being the grandest day out, we traveled to “the last bookstore.” a lovely mix of art, used and new books overwhelmed and excited us. one of our friends from denver, cougar, met us there. on our way out a homeless man gave him a ring and said, “hey kick-ass, this is yours. it’s going to make you a lot of money.” you know, as a homeless man will do.
looking for a spot to chat a little and end our night we found a semi-speakeasy called “the association.” this place was sexy as hell. the lights were dim and red. the bar was empty when we strolled in. the music was libidinous. it was the perfect end to our night. we chatted and laughed. it felt really great to see someone we knew and share stories and connections before setting off on our huge road trip in the morning.
the kids are alright.