This trip to L.A. was a shorter one, only 5-6 hours. Our first event was crossing the border to California. THEY TOOK OUR FRUIT!! Totally unexpected…but apparently because California grows EVERYTHING for the USA, they have to crack down on any foreign foods entering the state. They searched our van, because we had an Illinois license plate and from the dirt on the sides, it looked like we drove around the world. We had a bunch of fruit and other produce for snacking on, and they took it if they couldn’t declare where it was from. So that was interesting. Nobody warned us of this, so we didn’t know. I kind of felt purified after crossing the border, haha.
We were coming into L.A. at around 3pm, so it was before rush hour had started, and we were driving into the city, not out. I was the one driving into the city. Drew did great navigating me. I did great staring forward, tensely, only blinking once a minute. It was a smidge nervewracking to be in such a big city after so much nature, but we managed.
We stayed in a hotel this time, called Custom Hotel. It looks really poshe but it was under $100, not too shabby. What’s unique about this hotel is each room is individually decorated. No more cookie-cutter decor.
The inside of the hotel was very cute. Some might think it’s too minimal or bare-bones. I’d say, I like it that way, it’s a hotel people, you’re a vistor, which means you’re probably there for a reason other than checking out the cool hotel interiors in the area.
Anyway, we just stayed a night, and honestly I wasn’t thrilled with the area, I mean it was by the airport, so there was that. L.A. didn’t grab me. But we did get to see a very cool friend of ours, she made time to see us for a few hours.
Remrie was the first person on the west coast that I shared my news of changing my name! I felt excited because Remrie had also lived in Illinois, and moved to the west coast, and changed her name, so I felt it was a topic we could both relate to. She gave me some good advice on the process and how to transition. Future blog post will be coming on the name thang.
We actually played it safe and called it a night pretty early, with our plans to beat rush hour traffic in the morning, and with at least an 8 hour drive, we needed an early shut-eye. In reality I believe we stayed up past midnight anyway, we really are hopeless, I know. BUT, we rose at 5:30am with grand plans to beat the traffic. I did get to see the traffic at it’s worst (coming IN to the city, thank goodness we were going OUT of the city). I will tell you, I don’t wish that kind of daily torture on anyone. I really don’t think L.A. is worth it, but that’s just my truth, everyone’s got their own desires and priorities for where to live and what kind of commute they want to endure.
We took a stop off at Santa Clarita, which is about an hour north of L.A. We met up with an elementary school friend of Drew’s, Lewis Consoli! Gotta love reunions.
It was these short and sweet meetings with friends and family that made the long hours in the van and $_ _ _._ _ in gas money ::dagger wound:: totally worth it. Traveling reminds us of our soul, our purpose, at least it does for me.
Before no time we were on our way again, driving straight north this time to our final destination. We encountered the true California farms!
We loved the scenery because the California farms are so different from Midwest farms. In the Midwest, there are about 3 different kinds of farms: corn, soybeans, or cattle. And with most of these farms, they are small enough that you can see a house attached to the land. In the California farms that we saw, we rarely saw homes attached to the land. It was just acres and acres of land as far as you could see, and the variety of plants were wonderful to see. We saw a lot of citrus, fruit trees, lots of olive and wine trees, lots of veggies, just everything! We saw cattle too, but not as much. It was a very peaceful and beautiful drive.
When we got to San Francisco it was soo cool. I was actually nervous for a good 15 minutes while driving through the new architecture. I think I was nervous because my “new life” was actually in sight now. Disclaimer: I don’t believe I’m starting a new life, it’s more of a fresh start.
We got into the city okay, and had to unpack everything immediately. Despite some miscommunications with our leasing company on how long and where we could park our van, with the help of my AWESOME friend Kathy, we hoisted everything up to our 5th floor of our building, took about 4 hours. We actually took a risk and left some of it in the hallway because we had to return the van by a certain time, and we weren’t done loading everything into our apartment. It was a risk, and thankfully nothing got taken. I do believe that risks should be taken daily in order to maintain a sense of balance and happiness in life. If you don’t believe me, read The Joy Diet by Martha Beck.
We ended the night with a 10pm dinner at Sushi Boom, a place in walking distance to our new home. It was a nice ending to a long and eventful day, not to mention, Drew’s 29th birthday:)