California Adventures 2016

Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial — San Diego

What an interesting week of events.

Getting away from several months of true mental troubles was needed and I’m glad I took the plunge. Heading to a different coast to see what life is like outside of my current living situation gave a good distraction on things.

Los Angeles and San Diego, that’s where I journeyed to.

Both destinations were about sightseeing and most important to me, FOOD.

In LA, I stayed with my friends Corey and Tiffany from college, who lived in West Hollywood. I figured in LA, it was important to get through a lot of the cliche destinations, which I felt I did for the most part, visiting Hollywood Boulevard and going through the Walk of Fame and Madame Tussauds. The wax figures were too real and it was as close as I could get to meeting Taylor Swift.

I met Taylor Swift! Just kidding. One day, maybe.

Corey met some new people in LA, who showed us around some cool places. We went to Lake Shrine, a very peaceful area which includes a portion of Gandhi’s ashes there.

Lake Shrine in LA. Where a portion of Gandhi’s ashes resides.

Most important to me was when we went to Santa Monica and walked along the Third Street Promenade, which is a shopping, dining, and entertainment area. I love watching vlogs on YouTube of people I follow who were in that area and it was definitely surreal that I was there as well, where they were. Santa Monica in general was a very surreal moment. Grand Theft Auto V was basically LA in a nutshell and there were a lot of areas in Santa Monica where I could just point out, “That’s where so and so happened in the game”. So crazy. The pier at night was awesomely lit and a one stop shop for Pokèmon GO. I had to get the Pokèmon mention out quickly. I caught so many. It really was LIT.

Santa Monica was LIT. (From Corey Prak)

My LA trip concluded with the best breakfast ever and an evening hike. I was a fan of The Waffle after seeing pictures of it from Rooster Teeth employees Burnie Burns and Gavin Free. I took Corey and Tiffany out there to eat and try some award winning waffles, such as their Red Velvet one. Money well spent. We went up Runyon Canyon for our exercise portion of the day and watched the city from up top as the sun began its descent. Thanks to Corey and Tiffany for letting me stay in LA with them and their dog, Hadouken for being my roommate for a night.

Corey, Tiffany, and Hadouken — My family from the west coast!

Thought I was done, right? NOPE. Let’s move on to San Diego!

Hollywood (Yes, that’s his real name) and Justin took Corey and I to San Diego, where I would get dropped off to see Dave, my buddy from high school. Before that, however, they showed us around the place. We mostly hung around Ocean Beach, while going through the area getting Pokèstops and attempting to find that darn Pikachu along the Pier. Wonderful place. Just not the greatest weather for swimming.

Ocean Beach

After that, I got my first In-N-Out experience. Thank you based higher power for showing me a fast food burger that is absolutely delicious. After that, spent some time at Balboa Park, which was another Pokèstop haven and chilled around the place, where I caught my first Pikachu and got to talk to this boy and his mother about how much better he was at Pokèmon GO than the 5 of us gents combined.

First In-N-Out
Fountain in Balboa Park
My Pikachu found at Balboa Park

Staying at Dave’s house was an experience. He lives in a legit castle (pictured below). The rest of my time in San Diego was spent at the San Diego Zoo, where I got so see a ton of animals sleeping due to such a warm day. In addition to people watching at La Jolla Beach and sight seeing on top of Mt. Soledad, a Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Corey and Tiffany returned to San Diego for the weekend and went out to eat and meet Dave. An honor to make some connections between hometown and college friends. It was an awesome end to the trip, just winding down and talking with close friends you haven’t seen in a while. It served as the proper distraction.

The castle I stayed at.
View from the top of Mt. Soledad.
La Jolla Beach
Dinner with my hosts for the week, Tiffany, Corey, and Dave!

Now where do I go from here? Return trips are in the queue because there is just more stuff to do. This trip served as something that was much needed in order to take the edge off my troubles and to really just get myself out of my comfort zone. One doesn’t need to be landlocked to one place forever. We’re always so worried about spending the money we earn because of some potential disaster that might cost money in the future. Doesn’t that suck to think that way? Sometimes, life is about risks. If you’re going to take those risks, you better make it as successful as you can. Don’t waste the moment to have an experience.

Now, I return to my regularly scheduled broadcast of life complaints.


Originally published at bcao.me on September 20, 2016.

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