As you know, Friday, I flew out of San Francisco for a weekend trip to L.A. to celebrate Craig’s brother Justin’s 29th birthday.
This is the breakdown.
So, as I had never met Craig before moving to the west coast – I’ve also never met Justin. This is odd considering I lived next door to both of them for 13 years in Baton Rouge. So, I couldn’t really aid in any of the planning – since I didn’t know anyone involved. Not that I think men are incapable of doing such things… I’d just rather do it myself and do it right.
For instance, the night before we left Craig still hadn’t made reservations to the place he wanted to take Justin out to eat Friday night. So with the limited knowledge I had of this restaurant (i.e. spelling of the name, location, or anything really) I managed to find it and make the reservation.
So, we make it to L.A. right on time – no delays (hooray… since we were already getting into the city dangerously close to 4:00 p.m., and dancing the line of peak traffic time.) The weather was GORGEOUS!! 75 degrees sunny. A welcome change from San Francisco’s high 40’s, rainy, and windy as fuck for the last… hmm 3 weeks straight. I digress. Upon our arrival, Justin suggests we take a trip to the liquor store to get this party started (yes please). I do love me some southern boys. We think alike.
Justin and his live-in girlfriend, Nicole live in a house that also doubles as a plant store. Walking up to their house is like making your way though a miniature rain forest. The man owns the store is also their landlord and is the proud owner of an extremely loquacious parrot, Eyo. In the evenings, Justin and Nicole take Eyo inside their apartment so that it has a safe place to sleep. Whenever we returned from the store Craig thought the best possible plan of action was to try to hold the bird. I for one dislike birds – like cats their temperaments are not always the most loyal and affectionate. Needless to say this was a bad idea… because not but half a second after Justin had removed Eyo from her cage about to pass her off to Craig, SNAPPP! Eyo had latched herself on to his thumb. Instinctively, Craig yanked his hand away, but unfortunately for Eyo, she has quite the grip. Thus, she plummeted to the ground with one hell of a thud. For the duration of our stay she proceeded to give Craig a pretty gnarly death stare… I doubt she ever forgets.
That evening the four of us enjoyed what just might be the most delicious sushi I’ve ever had… EVER. We went to Yu-N-Mi’s Sushi on Little Santa Monica. It was truly an orgasm for my palette. Kobe beef rolls, lobster rolls, blue fin tuna delights, and so much more. Not to mention a few bottles of sake for the table (are you surprised, I think not), yum! Oh yeah, I’ll have dreams about that place for many moons to come. Plus it was on Craig… Score!
After our meal we went to a quaint little bar in West Hollywood called The Woods. Which was perfect since I had just gorged myself on raw fish, so I was glad to be somewhere chill where I could happily sip my Stoli sodas. Somewhere along the line, the boys were somehow provoked to began taking Jager Bombs. All the while, I’m trying to maintain my gag reflex as LSU has forever ruined Jager for me (thank god).
Around 10:30 Nicole and Justin were ready to call it a night, Justin had his first LSAT prep course in the morning and Nicole had two 20 page papers to work on for grad school. So, Craig and I opted to take a $40 cab ride to a really cool spot called Renee’s Courtyard Cafe to continue drinking and meet up with our friends Anthony “Cava”, Kim, and Ty all the way in Santa Monica. As you can imagine the night quickly went down hill from there. About 4 Stoli Sodas and $100 later, I was quite drunk and am fairly certain I had an extremely stupid and candid conversation with Kim, that I wish would never be remembered or repeated. On the upswing, Cava was kind enough to let Craig and I sleep in his bed that night, considering we were a shitty mess…
The next morning, Cava again generously lent us his car to use for the day because we had to meet Justin and Nicole for brunch across town. So forty minutes later, we were back in West Hollywood about to enjoy a delicious meal at Griddle Cafe. Which allegedly serves Oreo cookie stuffed pancakes and peanut butter crunch crusted french toast. OH MY. Just thinking about that place I gained 5lbs. But, I wouldn’t know for sure because everyone and their mom thought it would be a good idea to go there for breakfast that morning. Oh well, I’ll save that potentially heavenly experience for my next trip to L.A.
*The information that follows is blatant ranting and an accurate depiction of what I consider my hell.
I’ve always heard stories about traffic in L.A. from friends, movies, and guilty pleasure trash reality shows The History Channel. But nothing compares to what happened over the course of the next four hours of my life. Remember when I said it was about a forty minute from Cava’s house back to Justin’s. Yeah well. After brunch we realize that Justin is about to be late for his LSAT class so we must drop him off at UCLA and we don’t have time to go back to get Cava’s car which we have left at their house. UCLA is approximately thirty minutes away from where we were and about forty minutes back to WeHo… I’m already beginning to get car sick. I’ve never had an issue with motion sickness, but I think the hangover I was trying to nurse and the unexpected scorching heat extremely warm weather was not helping my situation. Immediately, we turn around and get back into our loaner car and head back towards Santa Monica. A half an hour or so into our drive (when we should be getting dangerously close to our destination) I begin to notice we are hitting cross streets from the side of town we had just come from. With extreme caution and masked distain, I present my lovely little discovery to Craig… upon which our heads explode.
So, after nearly three and a half hours in the car we finally completed the 12 mile trek. Oh my god the hell. Fortunately, Craig isn’t one of those people who displaces his anger onto other people and I’m extremely good at being quiet when necessary (and not touching the radio controls.) Thus, we were both still alive at the end of our journey… and surprisingly didn’t hate each other. Aside from, my delirium that shortly followed (i.e. uncontrollable giggling and incessant counting) it wasn’t the worst experience of my life, lie. Upon our return to SF, I made sweet love to an unsuspecting MUNI train.
We then spent the afternoon at The Promenade, a very touristy shopping area very close to the beach. It was nice to to be out of the car anywhere, and they wanted me to at least see some the tourist things. It being my first time in L.A. and all. We walked down to The Santa Monica Pier, where I think every child in a stroller in North America had to come to gather. This is where we also debated whether or not $10 was worth riding the roller coaster. $10-1, roller coaster-0. Eh, maybe next time.
That night the boys and I met up with the rest of the IGN kids plus Kim for one of their friends 35th birthday party. The theme was dress as you did in middle school. Craig and I did not participate. We are lazy boring. We made it an early night, but not before enjoying the fruit roll-ups, hostess snacks, and condoms provided.
All and all, a really good trip. I got to view the Hollywood sign from afar. Justin drove me down the walk of fame and past Mann’s Theatre. I got to eat delicious treats, drink often, and bask in some beautiful weather. Even though I may be a bit traumatized by that car ride for quite a while – it was totally worth it.
Will I go back to L.A., hell yes. Would I move there, eh the jury’s still out on that one. But, who knows what the future holds. 80 degrees in February sounds pretty amazing to me.