LA... hm. But Santa Monica is lovely!

Published: March 13th 2012
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Last night was, interesting...? I didn’t go to bed all that late considering my early morning today – but my plan for restful sleep was rudely interrupted by the two new girls in our room... around 1am I woke up to two girls so drunk, that it took the two hostel staff and two other guy guests to bring them into our room. The guys were worried about leaving them – they kept asking them if they were alright or not – the drunk girls couldn’t even stand/sit but insisted they were fine. I gave a sideways glance to Rachel, the other room occupant and we rolled our eyes. Neither one of us was impressed.

At least they didn’t talk or rummage in luggage – they were straight out. But between 1-5am I was woken up 4 different times as the girls took turns waking up, running to the bathroom and puking their guts out. Charming.

Even better, when I finally got up at 5:45am, I realized the room smelled like vomit because apparently one of the girls gave up and had started using the garbage can instead. Charming x100.

They’re lucky my luggage/clothes didn’t smell like their puke. Ugh. Learn to deal with your alcohol ladies.

Anywho, off to the bus I went. Or so I tried. It was still pitch black... so early. Some guy was on the street and decided I was his new friend – we chatted all the way to the bus stop. Once at the bus stop there were a lot of grumbly people – turns out the 5:45am bus broke down at that stop (it’s like... the 3rd stop into the run haha). It was now 6:15am and this bus was late too. People kept asking the broken bus’ driver to radio the other bus, but he wasn’t answering. Lovely. Finally at 6:45am a bus shows up – turns out the 6:15am bus had a new driver and decided he wasn’t going to drive down Cable St... which is like... the main road in Ocean Beach. Seriously?! What even...

Long story short, we were a bunch of disgruntled bus riders. Good thing I wasn’t catching a plane or something. I got to the Greyhound Station 30min early... good enough.

I had a good laugh at the station – you have to go through a security check, and while the one guy was having fun trying to check my bags (“You sure packed this tight – gonna have fun trying to close this back up for you. You got everythin’ in here! But you’re a lady, so that’s alright”) the other guard took aim at my Blue Jays hat lol. “Well, look here, we have ourselves a Blue Jays fan!” I smiled and nodded. “Now why on earth would you do that? I thought y’all were extinct” I jokingly rolled my eyes... I’m from Canada, I don’t have much choice! “Fair enough”

About 10min later he walked by the seating area and teased me about the weather – in the morning it’s chilly, so everyone was bundled up but I was just in a small sweater. “Guess you’re used to this kind of weather?” Yeah, this is way warmer than back home. “This is freezing” Oh, bless you... come to Ottawa in January when it’s -35. That’s freezing.

Bus left on time (well, 5min late. But that’s on time for American Greyhound). About 30min into the ride we had to stop on the side of the highway – the bus that left in front of us going to Vegas broke down and so we took all their passengers with us to LA. That is a highly unfortunate detour for them on an already long bus ride lol. I got a nice guy beside me though – Mexican guy who was very polite and kept asking me questions about my visit and such. He was nice.

About an hour later we crossed the border..? Well, not exactly but we had to go through a customs check. Major pain that is on a bus... they have to check all the Ids and such. We weren’t that long though, but then we hit California traffic. All things said and done, the drive was only 15min longer than it was supposed to be.

I did have some other entertainment though – free wifi (for about an hour before it conked out), so I contented myself with organizing photos so I can hopefully post them on FB soon. I also had a good laugh listening to these two girls beside me – a lot of random stuff, but the best was their debate over organ donation and what to do when you die. “I don’t want no fake people cryin’ over my dead body. Oh hell no” ... “I want to give my body to science. But no organ donation – no one gonna want my liver with the amount of drink I put in there. And never mind my corroded arteries! But those bugs, those ants, they’ll love that! They’ll eat that right up like it’s candy!” Special image that paints... oh yes.

Arriving in LA was... special? The bus station is on the outskirts of Skid Row – super wonderful place to be. I wasn’t bothered by anyone walking up to my bus stop, but it certainly didn’t look/feel welcoming. I’ve been in worse places, but certainly don’t want to be walking around there at night.

The bus ride to my hostel was looooooong. So much so that I’m debating changing my hostel for Wed+Thurs night because it takes 1h30-2h to get anywhere since I’m staying in Santa Monica. Beautiful place it is, but... so much commuting lol. We’ll see.

Speaking of the commute... it was interesting seeing the different neighbourhoods on the drive in. LA, in a nutshell, is scuzzville... my bus didn’t go through the main downtown with the skyscrapers, but the rest of the city is very run-down. There are giant parks where all you can see are homeless people in giant clumps, and there are lines everywhere for homeless shelters/food and such. The buildings are sad looking too. Like I said, not the most welcoming of welcomes.

Bussing down Santa Monica Blvd is another story – hello bar life and I suppose the gay area since rainbows were everywhere. Also went through a bit of Beverly Hills – those were some beautiful houses – the stereotypical thought when you think of LA lifestyle. Santa Monica has a great vibe to it too – my hostel is two blocks from the ocean front and a block from the shopping promenade – it’s very chic and modern flavour. I love it.

I figured since everything takes me forever to get to, I didn’t want to waste any time. I headed straight to Hollywood – lots of photos of lots of Walk of Fame stars, ranging from Shrek, to Eric Braeden, to Robin Williams.

I walked around the shops near Kodak Theatre – as cool as it would be to be in LA during the Oscars, I’m glad I wasn’t haha. Just thinking about the traffic gives me a headache. I wandered around the outdoor mall and got some pictures of the “Hollywood” sign... but they’re pretty far away, so I’ll try to get better ones somewhere else.

Of course I went to that Chinese Theatre (don’t remember the exact name) with all the hand/foot prints in the cement. I got a lot of pictures, even though they were hard to time between shadows and people’s feet lol. I stayed clear of the Twilight block though 😉

Coming home I grabbed supper at “La Salsa” on the promenade. Oh wow so best burrito of my life! It was a fish grilled fish burrito with cabbage, guacamole, baja sauce and jalepeno cheddar – plus a huge serving of fresh nacho chips with homemade salsa... for $6. If I stay in Santa Monica, this is going to be my nightly dinner haha. SO GOOD.

Tomorrow I’m off to Anaheim – figured why not do both Disney’s in a single year 😉


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