The 6 hour flight, (longest flight of my life) literally across the country, was worth it once I got off the plane and saw two of my closest friends from Houston. I did happen to get lost in LAX trying to find their terminal, somehow I ended up on a shuttle that dropped me off in the employee parking lot, but that's not why you're here.
Once we all linked up, it was like undergrad all again, which means it was time to get LIT! Our first destination was a dispensary. After all, it was April 20th, so why not celebrate. On the way, it was only right we stopped in Inglewood to see the infamous Dunes Apartments from Issa Rae's show Insecure. Leaving the scenic view, we ended up stopping at three different dispensaries, two mysteriously being closed on 4/20.
However, the one we stopped at was a cool little spot. There was an hour wait after showing your IDs to the receptionist. Only two people at a time were allowed in the back, where I heard a DJ playing trap music and an occasional person walking out with a white prescription bag in their hand. Standing in the back room, $50 ended up getting us two edibles, an eighth, two edible lollipops, a plastic grinder, a splitter, and a lighter. I may sound like I know what I'm talking about, but these recreational activities only happen about once or twice a month, if that. I'm proud of my accomplishments because I learned how to roll, and I'm actually pretty good at it.
Mastro's Steakhouse in Beverly Hills was the choice for dinner, for my friend Angie's birthday. Waiting for our waiter, who took forever to check on us on such a busy night, one of my friends spotted Odell Beckham Jr sitting a few tables over from us. The steakhouse was a great choice, I tried almost everything on the menu that I wanted. I ordered crab cakes, lobster mashed potatoes, and champagne. My friends ordered the Gorgonzola mac and cheese, a filet of steak, and sautéed shrimp.
Since this was my first time going to the West coast, I wanted to make sure that I did a few touristy activities as well. Luckily, our AirBnb was on Hollywood Blvd, so I was able to see the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Glancing out the window from our apartment, you could see people hiking Runyon Canyon in the distance, which was the challenge Saturday morning. I will admit that it was kind of hot outside and there is no shade as you walk up the path, but I was determined to make it to a point to get a picture with a great view. Blazing as I walked up the hill to the park entrance, I saw how steep the hikes were. About half way up the easy trail, half my team took a rest, leaving me and my friend Kim to finish the journey. Kim got tired about five minutes later, but I had her phone in my pocket, so I made her keep walking to catch up with me. By the time she caught up with me, I told her to walk 10 more minutes with me, and by that time, we were at the top. (I'm attaching some pictures below, and I just noticed that you will see what I did with my hair for the first time ever...) Back to the story, the views from the top of the mountain were worth the 35 minute hike. You can overlook the entire city, see the Hollywood sign, or view the mountains from the top of the canyon. Not sure who’s idea it was to smoke again before walking down the canyon, but it helped me control my breathing and I was able to enjoy the breeze.
Somehow at night, we ended up drinking half a bottle of Tito's, one blunt, and an edible, went to an area where we saw a lot of people standing outside of bars. Walking through the area, we all agreed to go to the first place we heard good music. The line wasn't long and the music sounded good, so we walked into this random bar and I paid for a round of shots. After finding a couch, drinking more tequila, and dancing most of the night, we didn't even notice what time it was until the music stopped. Once the lights came on, we noticed there were only about 3 other black people in the bar, we also noticed that were in a gay bar. By the time we realized how lit we were, it was even funnier that none of us even noticed our surroundings. The night got even crazier when we returned to our AirBnb and saw a homeless man sleeping in the parking garage, and at that point we were far from sober and were too nervous to get out of the car.
Of course Rosco's Chicken & Waffles and a Venice Beach were two spots we had to visit, because who wouldn't if they went to LA? I tried the chicken and macaroni & cheese since I'm not a fan of waffles. The food was definitely over-hyped, but worth the journey. The beach vibes were so chill because everyone was so relaxed. Watching people skate, ride bikes, surf, workout, or just walk up and down the strip full of restaurants and vendor stands was a comforting sight to see. It was the complete opposite of New York where everyone is always in a rush to get to their destination. The residents and tourists walk slow, enjoy the space around them, and even look more friendly. Not to mention seeing all the palm trees (my favorite emoji) up-close and the mountains in the distance, the pictures I captured definitely show me enjoying myself.
We spent the last 2 hours of our trip sitting in the airport. Somehow, we all managed to keep a few things in our bags that would not make it through the security checkpoint. A fourth of a bottle of tequila, four mini bottles of vodka, and an edible remained; so of course we made the best of our last moment. The next hour of our cross-faded journey included sitting in front of Southwest Airlines’ check in gate obnoxiously laughing about past memories and looking over pictures from our trip. So I think it's safe to say: I definitely enjoyed visiting Los Angeles with my friends, and I would definitely do it again.