The plan here was to write a nice little note reflecting back on the one week I spent in Los Angeles on its six month anniversary. Instead, this has become an in-depth reenactment of the entire trip through words. Leave it to me to create another series before I finish the other one I started. Sometimes, you just can’t keep a good story down.
So, I hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan. (I mean, c’mon, was there any other possible way to start this?)
No. The answer is no.
Truth be told, however, I hopped off the plane at LAX at 1 a.m. in what felt like a dream and with my leather jacket, not a cardigan. So, you know, close but not quite.
We were supposed to land around 11:30 p.m. PT, shortly after Nicole (who was coming from New York). Instead of taking off at 7:39 p.m. ET like we were supposed to, we not only sat on the runway for an hour, we also had to de-plane, and then wait for a new plane, and then sit on the runway for another half hour. The flight attendant also felt the need to inform us that our new plane was actually a very old plane. And, even as the only one out of the other two friends I was traveling with who didn’t already hate flying, I was feeling agitated. All this before sitting through a 6 hour, 55 minute flight across the country.
I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
The flight was long, but Casey and I had a whole row to ourselves. Were we at the back of the plane right near the bathrooms? Yes. But did anyone have to take the dreaded middle seat? No. Bella sat up at the front of the plane, having boarded in one of the first groups. For the two of three readers here who haven’t met Bella, trust me, this makes perfect sense.
Jackie flew out of Tampa on an earlier flight. Even with a random detour up and around Michigan, she still made it to LAX and to D’s apartment only an hour into our flight out of Boston.
I’m sure right about now you’re starting to think we sound like the sisterhood of the traveling pants because there are so many names involved. There’s six of us, total. D is the one who lives in LA. She’s the whole reason the rest of us voluntarily sat on runways for hours and flew circles around Michigan on a cross country flight and battled the horror that is a New York City airport. When the end result is finally reuniting with your best friend after eight months, you do whatever it takes. All 10 hours of it, door to door.
Cue the shoutout to Ricki, D’s roommate, who was awoken at 2:30 a.m. on a Tuesday to our incessant squealing upon arrival to their West Hollywood apartment. She didn’t ask for a week’s worth of five new roommates, but she took it like a champ.
The next morning, the five of us travelers woke up feeling surprisingly well rested, only to find that it was 7 a.m. The jetlag was working to our advantage. D went off to work within the hour, and the rest of us rolled out of bed and down the street to the highly-recommended Mel’s drive-in to eat.
For a girl who’d never been farther west than western Mass., walking down Sunset Boulevard on my way to breakfast was nothing short of a pinch-me moment.
Mel’s is now one of my new favorite places on the planet. We walked right through the doors and back into the 1950s. For those of you who have never been, it’s like Route 66 meets car hop meets jukeboxes and the kind of good coffee you can only get at a diner. Nearly all five of us had avocado toast because you can take the millennials out of the northeast but you can’t ignore the fact that we’re millennials (even though I’m pretty sure there’s a 95% chance we’re actually Gen Z). Tomato, tomato.
After breakfast, we walked back down Sunset Boulevard in all it’s billboard-filled glory, and soon began cage-fighting each other for the first shower. Day 1 included all the tourist attractions because the one person who negated our tourist status was at work. So, after the assembly line shower production was over, off to Hollywood Boulevard we went. (Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard— even the street names ooze coolness. And yes, that is the scientific term.)
I think I took a picture of nearly every star on the Walk of Fame that afternoon. Everywhere I looked was something famous— names on the ground, theaters, street corners— it was like I had walked out of my own life and right into a movie.
We went shopping at Zara, bought sunglasses from a stand in front of the Dolby Theatre, and caught our first glance of the Hollywood sign by accident as we wandered around in the sunshine looking for the rooftop restaurant where we were going to meet D for dinner.
The temperature dropped as the sun went down, and I had purchased a purple sweater with puffed sleeves during our earlier shopping spree. The jean jacket I had grabbed as we went running out of the door of the apartment wasn’t working as well as I had hoped with my pinstripe overalls, so, yes, I resorted to the purple sweater. There has never been a more chaotic energy than the one exuded by that outfit on my very first night in Los Angeles.
We went from one rooftop to the next, finally linking up with D and gorging ourselves on french fries and brussel sprouts at Mama Shelter. Something about all six of us being together again for the first time in eight months, all laughing around one tiny table in the corner of the hippest restaurant you ever did see, is a moment and a memory I will never forget.
And this is only night one.
I'm Alex, and welcome to my blog. I'm a junior at Boston University where I'm studying broadcast journalism and dabbling in political science. Usually, us journalists write articles and not blogs, but seeing as summer 2020 already hasn't gone according to plan, I missed writing with a purpose. Here you'll find all my thoughts and the words I felt needed to be put to paper (or, immortalized on the internet).