Thursday, 6 September 2012

Week 13: Road Trippin'

After finishing my work with the HistoryMakers on Saturday, I wasted no time in knocking as many things off of my Chicago bucket list, as well as making time to finish packing for my re-location. I took in a Chicago White Sox game on Saturday night. I ate at Grand Luxe, one more round of beignets for me. I finally checked out Pearl’s Place for breakfast with a friend. I rode my bike to Promontory Point and I watched the sun rise off of Lake Michigan on Sunday morning. I would have sailed on a tall ship, but we were late to Navy Pier and the boat left without us. I definitely plan on visiting Chicago more often in the years to come because of the wonderful people that I met and plethora of things to do there. 

By Wednesday of Week 13, I was ready to embark on my cross country adventure with my best friend, Marvin. We packed my car to the brim, tied my bike to the trunk, and said good-bye to our apartment in Hyde Park.  We spent the first day travelling to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The second day, we drove to Albuquerque, New Mexico. We enjoyed some Tex-Mex food at Frontier Restaurant, where everything comes with green chilies. In the morning of the third day, we rolled into Tucson, Arizona. I received a warm, albeit brief welcome from my aunt, uncle, father, sister and niece. A few friends from college also made an appearance for my 22 hour stay in the “Old Pueblo”. 

On the fourth day, we drove into Phoenix, Arizona, where I had to unload my 5x10 storage unit’s worth of stuff into my friend, Melanie’s, truck and trailer. After that we checked into a hotel and met my brother and sister in law for dinner on the West side of Phoenix. After dinner and then meeting up with some other friends for drinks, we called it a night. In the morning of the fifth day, we met up with Melanie and Wyatt in Buckeye, Arizona, had breakfast and then followed each other into Los Angeles, California.

After we got everything into my apartment on the third floor (with the janky elevator), we were all ready for some food and drinks. I treated us all to a meal at the Cuban restaurant down the street from my new place. There is nothing in the world like having good friends to help transition from one life to another. Marvin and I decided to leave the boxes unpacked, sleep in and then explore Los Angeles on Labor Day. In preparation for my first day of work, we made a trial run to the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City, it took about 20 minutes, without traffic. We ate at Tubb’s Chili restaurant down the street, and it was very delicious. We spent a few hours walking through the shopping district and guessing what happens inside of Sony Pictures Studios. I later discovered that Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy tapes there. 

Next we got in the car and headed toward Venice Beach. Everything was so congested so we decided to pay for parking and see what all of the commotion was about. Venice Beach is full of freaks and geeks and I mean that in the most endearing way possible. The shore is beautiful and the water is the perfect temperature. The boardwalk is full of street vendors, bicyclists, people on rollerblades, and rowdy teenagers, it was interesting to say the least. The highlight was a drum circle on the sand, I’m pretty sure that one guy brought his cow bell and how people move to the music is always a source of amusement. I have so much to unpack, transportation options to choose (bike, bus or car), and reality to adjust to, hopefully I’ll sound more like a real Los Angelino in time for my next blog post.  

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