So I just got back from a speed vacation. I took a weekend trip to Los Angeles to visit a couple friends. I hadn't seen either in about 2 years and I found a round trip ticket for around 150 bucks earlier in the month.
I flew out on an MD88
from Charlotte to Atlanta on Friday morning. By far the worst landing I've ever experienced. The pilot came in incredibly fast and just cut on the brakes. We were delayed about an hour in Charlotte so maybe he was trying to cut into that delay. Either way if you weren't wearing a seatbelt, you would've slingshot about 10 feet of your seat during this landing. Several people around me hit their heads on the seats.
My flight out of Atlanta to L.A. was much better. I rode a 757
, which just had a better time handling the turbulence coming out of Atlanta. We landed at about 3 o'clock PST. Unfortunately, my phone had died on the ATL-LAX flight and I couldn't contact my ride who had to wait for an hour and half extra in the seedy LAX parking areas. I got off the plane and had to wait about 20 minutes to get enough charge to call out.
I stayed with a friend in Beverly Hills. The rains that had crushed the West Coast with flash floods had washed away a majority of the smog for the weekend so the views were spectacular. It was essentially perfect timing on my part as I hear L.A. has "air that you wear."
We traveled out to Rodeo Drive and Westwood on Friday. We were sticking close to my temporary residence of Beverly Hills. The friend I stayed with in Beverly Hills grew up with me back home in Georgia and our paths diverged after high school - him going to SCAD
and me going to Tech.
The post graduate, SCAD lifestyle is not really an enviable one. It involves lots of menial labor, constant networking (whoring), and very low pay. And we're talking low pay for Georgia standards not L.A. standards. The average person I met in L.A. was a recent college graduate with a B.A. in liberal arts working three to four jobs. Everyone had experience with the unemployment system (for at least a couple months) when they first moved out to L.A.. This kinda annoyed me in that generally speaking many people I met in L.A. consumed copious amounts of marijuana (even those on unemployment). Woohoo! Not only are we paying for drunkies back home, we're paying for legal stoners in CA!
Saturday was the grand touring day. We traveled out to Hollywood and saw the massive displays of insanity (aka Churches of Scientology). They literally are the biggest buildings in the main touristy, Hollywood areas.
We then made our way through Downtown L.A. towards Santa Monica. I got to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time. Prior to this trip, I had never been West of Omaha
Saturday night was a house party in the Hills (two houses down from Anne Hathaway). It would be an impressive home to own as a single person but I believe there were 6-7 recent SCAD grads renting the place with 80% of their combined incomes. Did I mention that face and presentation are everything in L.A. (not logic and well-being)?
I flew back Sunday morning or at least attempted to fly back. The flight out of LAX was not delayed until we got in the air and had to do circles over Alabama when Atlanta got hit by tornado warnings. I thought everything was cool being on a 757 like my original flight out to L.A. but I started to have this sneaking suspicion (after watching Tech lose on a bogus foul call) that our flight was destined to have a rocky landing. We came in to incredibly strong winds, thick clouds, and lightning. There were several points at which the plane suddenly dropped like a rock (astronauts could've done zero gravity training).
After landing, I was ready to hop on my ATL-CLT flight as my layover time had been cut in half. Or was it... The scheduled departure time went from 6:58PM to 8:00PM to 9:00PM to 10:00PM to 10:30PM. So about four hours delay, which allowed me to watch the entirety of the Saints-Vikings until OT damnit. We got on the MD88 back home and listened for score updates from the Captain. Some cheered and some booed at the news of Brees' game winning drive. I guess everyone with a few gray hairs in their beard is rooting for Buckhead Brett now.
We arrived in Charlotte at 11:47PM. My bag did not. I waited and waited and waited. 2:15AM rolls around and there's no bag. So all of my leather belts, blue jeans, and dress shoes were trapped in the rain in Atlanta. I filed a claim and drove home. The bag got home 11 hours after I did. I took Monday as a sick day.
All in all it was a great trip. The women are gorgeous and really only care about money and status so being gainfully employed doesn't hurt a passer-through. The contour of the Rockies was amazing to see as an East Coaster. The food was all pretty good and not as expensive as I thought it would be. I think a lot of the "expensive" tags come from a majority of L.A.-ers living way above their means to maintain status. Still a fun trip I plan to make again with more time on the next visit.
I got in a couple sports references even though we didn't go out to East L.A. to see the Rose Bowl or Berkeley. Next trip, I'll make my way out there. Anyone ever been to L.A.? Care to comment?
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