The last day of our trip was driving into Los Angeles. Now, if I didn’t make this clear before, I shall do so now. I moved across the country from Alabama to Los Angeles California without ever having been to the west coast at all.
The furthest I’d ever been west was Wisconsin. P.S… The cheese is really good there. However, there are two types of cheese curds. One is fried cheddar and the other is some kind of raw oyster thing. Just be aware of what you’re ordering…
Back on topic.
So, we just saw the Grand Canyon and now we were driving into “Tinsel Town.”
What is it that you were told about LA?
Were you told that there are only gorgeous people there? Were you told that the sun never stops shining and it’s gorgeous all the time? Were you told that LA is a cesspool of evil where liberals go to die?
Yeah, that’s what I was told too…
The last drive was supposed to be a 7 hour drive. I was supposed to drive straight to an apartment that Preston and I had been looking at online thanks to my friend Pete. We had spoken to them on the phone, arranged a meet and greet to see the place and already been emailed the paperwork which we had filled out.
So, the first snag was that driving into town was mostly hills. So, Preston’s big ass truck had problems. Which meant we were behind schedule and we had to get to our meeting. So, Preston being the nice guy that he is, calls me and insists that I go ahead of him and get to the apartment, so as not to be late. Of course I didn’t want to do that, but he pushed me till I did.
So there I was. Driving into LA alone. I rounded the hill to see the sign that said, “Los Angeles.” I of course frantically tried to take pictures of the sign. However, the second I got over the hill I looked down to see traffic as far as the eye could see.
So, I was alone, I was stuck in traffic, it started to rain, and I looked to the right to see a transvestite pushing a homeless man in a grocery cart along the street.
All I could think was… Welcome home.
The road I was most excited about was “Sunset Blvd” partly because my favorite show of all time is “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” but mostly because I thought Sunset blvd was Hollywood blvd. So, when I drove down Sunset, didn’t see Grauman’s Chinese Theater and all I saw was about a million tiny buildings shoved into the smallest amount of space with a Subway on every other block. I was less then elated.
P.S… I hate Subway and I had just moved into the land of Subway apparently. Did God hate me? Probably.
So, after a long time I finally arrived at the apartment… on Sunset. Yes, the apartment I was visiting was right off Sunset Blvd. Reason being, when Sean, Preston, and I were originally planning on moving here, Sean insisted on living in Hollywood. His Uncle who lived in Burbank told him that everything was in Hollywood and living anywhere else meant hours of traffic. Which meant that we absolutely must live in beautiful Hollywood.
By the way… Most auditions are in Santa Monica. I go to Hollywood all the time to hang out with friends or go to random jobs, but everything really important seems to happen to me in Santa Monica. Granted, the traffic is bad when you “go over the hill,” but you learn to deal with it and you learn tricks to get by it as much as is possible. Overall, there are safer and cheaper places to live than just Hollywood. Before you decide where to live, shop around. Hollywood is a good place to be, but you do have other options.
So, I arrived at apartment, on possibly the worst looking street I’d ever seen in my life. I called the woman I had spoken to on the phone, and said that I was there and needed to be let in.
A young Asian girl in her early 20’s wearing “Hello Kitty” footed pajamas greeted me at the door. She spoke absolutely no English, but led me to the room. Where was the other woman I had spoken to? No clue.
Maybe she was somewhere laughing at my expense, thinking, “Stupid southerner. He’ll be dead by dinner time.”
Hello Kitty Girl or “HKG” led me to the smallest room I had ever seen with bullet holes in the wall. That’s not a joke. The rent was $800 a month and I now knew why. I promptly thanked her, which she didn’t understand, and ran like hell.
Preston finally arrived in town and was immediately pulled over by the Police for talking on the phone while driving. Apparently, that’s illegal here. Thankfully, he explained his way out of the ticket and the cop let him go.
We then met up at our final hotel of the trip, which we didn’t get till the night before. There had been some confusion about what place we would stay at. So, after we realized that we had nowhere to go, La Nita kindly went online and got us a hotel for two days in a place off Sunset.
Problem is, she didn’t specify that there needed to be two beds in the room. So, when we got to the hotel that night, it was super small, super crappy, and had only one full size bed. We attempted to upgrade, but the price was too high to do that, so we got stuck with only one small full size bed for two grown men.
Day Three –
Albuquerque, New Mexico to Flagstaff, Arizona.
First off, Albuquerque was beautiful. If you get a chance to stay there, do so. You basically have to drive up a mountain to get there. I stayed there both times I drove through. The second time, I dined at a Route 66 Diner and had some fried pickles. Can you say, “When did I go back south?” Of course you can. Why did I ask that?
The first time I went, Preston and I stayed in a wonderful little hotel next to a diner and we walked there because we were lazy. Whereas the first hotel had a nice pool indoors, this one had a pool, but I don’t remember being able to swim. Probably because we had a long trip ahead of us the next day.
Just had an idea… How about I list the EXACT hotels we stayed in on my first trip? Sounds fun.
1. Comfort Inn Fort Smith in Fort Smith, AR.
2. Days Inn Midtown Abq in Albuquerque, NM.
3. Flagstaff/Grand Canyon Travelodge in Flagstaff, AZ.
Something I noticed was that in that area, a majority of the food was a tex-mex type thing. At the diner, Preston had enchiladas covered in green chili sauce and I had roasted turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy. The whole food type mixing thing felt weird to me.
The next morning we had our free breakfast at the hotel and headed off. This was a shorter day (Thank God). After our really long drive, Preston and I wanted to get to Flagstaff asap, so that we could see the Grand Canyon in the day time and the night.
Two things we saw that day…
1. The Painted Desert
Ten dollars a car, but sooooo worth it. I really wish we could have stayed longer, but we were in a hurry to get to the GC.
2. Twin Arrows
Twin arrows is an abandoned Gas station/ gift shop out in the middle of nowhere. Preston and I pulled off the side of the road (There is no parking. I’m relatively sure, what we did was illegal.) and played around. Very fun place to see. You feel like you’re in the past. It’s actually kind of creepy. I’ve heard that truckers get tattoos of twin arrows to signify their life on the open road.
So, we headed away and reached our destination quickly. I think around 3pm or so, and headed to the Grand Canyon. It was about an hour away from our hotel and I drove my Jeep. At this point, Preston’s truck was smelling awful because of the clutch burning after holding a trailer for so long.
If you ever get to see the Grand Canyon…. It will change you.
I was excited to see it, but I didn’t freak out about it because I imagined it as a crappy family touristy thing to do, however, when I got there it took my breath away.
Another note… Every heard of the Sky Walk? It is supposed to be this amazing glass walkway over the Grand Canyon. Preston and I looked into going. It was ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS a person to go. That and it was three hours from our hotel. We aptly decided that was something we couldn’t afford and went to the south side of the canyon and payed twenty five dollars for one car.
Much cheaper and just as beautiful.
We then left after the sun went down and headed back to the hotel. The pool was freezing, but we’re guys and we went anyway. It was a cool way to end the day.