A little over a year ago I experienced my first ever palm reading. While the overall experience proved to be quite traumatic and anxiety inducing, I did however take one positive away from it all. My psychic predicted that I would travel to California. Prior to this moment I had never once considered venturing off to the West Coast. I'm a culture seeker, adventure traveler, with little interest in the U.S. apart from New York. But I was curious. What could possibly await me in California that triggered this psychic to envision me there? I took a cue from the life of Elizabeth Gilbert and decided to act on the prophecy. As 2010 drew to a close I resolved to book a trip to Los Angeles in the New Year in order to unveil my destiny there.
Let this be a testimony to the 'intuition' of my fortune telling friend that nothing particularly groundbreaking awaited me in California. I did however reconnect with two wonderful friends and discover my love for all, yes ALL, of L.A. On April 16th, 2011 I took off to LAX and was greeted by my incredibly gracious friend and host Patrick, whom I had met two years prior on my travels through Turkey. We spent our first day exploring Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and coasting through Malibu on the Pacific Coast Highway. We began at the Getty Center, ate lunch at In-N-Out, walked the Venice Beach Boardwalk, shopped the Third Street Promenade, ate dinner at Pink Taco, and finished the night with drinks on the beautiful Standard Hotel rooftop.
Our second day was no less jam-packed than the first. Let me take this opportunity to once again thank Patrick for his patience and enthusiasm during our marathon tourist mission. We kicked-off the morning with a drive up the Hollywood Hills to get, what felt like, within arms-reach of the Hollywood sign. Later we visited my girlfriend Casey, former FIT illustration student and now full-time fabulous tattoo artist, at her job on Hollywood Blvd. We waited 45 mintues to eat the famous Pink's hotdogs, checked out Melrose, Rodeo Drive, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Sunset Strip, Kodak Theatre, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and finished off the evening eating sushi at Geisha House and dancing at Playhouse Hollywood.
Three days in and I was feeling seriously jet-lagged. Still we managed to cover all of Universal Studios including the horrific Simpson's simulated disaster, ate the most incredible persian food at Raffi's Place in Glendale, headed up to the Griffith Observatory to catch the most breathtaking views of L.A., and grabbed desert at chic Bottega Louie. My last day there I spent on my own which meant braving the Los Angeles metro system. I managed my way to the historic Spanish-Mexican district known as El Pueblo, explored Chinatown, and arrived at the MOCA only to discover it was closed. In the end, I might not have had quite an Eat Pray Love enlightening journey, but I did fall in love with a new city, and discovered my inner Cali girl.
Life is far too short for regrets. Sometimes you just have to shake yourself up, be scared, reminded that everyday there are new possibilities to reinvent yourself and grow. Enjoy!!
Lots of love,