The trip down to LA was great. I'm going to try to make this quick as I have 2323243 other things to do — I'll save trip details for phone conversations and inquisitive e-mails. I stayed with a good friend of mine and his aunt and uncle in a small town called San Dimas. The first full day down there we hit up Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. Pretty much walked the entire Hollywood Walk of Fame and saw the Man's Chinese (it's actually Grauman's) and Kodak theaters. Stopped in at the Roosevelt hotel and got some drinks.
Later that day we drove through Beverly Hills and did some window shopping on Rodeo drive. The amount of money in that area is truly unbelievable. To be perfectly honest, it was disgusting. I saw four Bentleys in less than 20 minutes, not to mention the Aston Martins and countless Porsches and Range Rovers. Speaking of cars, I actually saw a Maybach on Hollywood Boulevard; what a beautiful machine. We ended the night at a seafood restaurant/bar called Gladstone's on the water in Malibu.
The following day we woke up pretty late and wanted to be back in time for dinner with my friend's uncle so we didn't stray too far from the house. We went down to the shopping/bar area in Pasadena and walked around and had a few drinks. That night we had dinner at Little Tokyo in San Dimas, which, I was told beforehand, was the best sushi outside of Japan. My friend was absolutely right — it was the best sushi I've ever had. From the quantity to the quality, it just doesn't get any better. At the end of our meal I put on my best Fear Factor face and ate crickets that were given to us by the sushi chef. After seeing him take a few down I didn't hesitate too much and went for it; they were surprisingly good (I think they were coated in sugar), but I can't say I was too fond of the legs.
The next day we met up with another friend of mine from the law school. She was born and raised in the LA area and had a lot that she wanted to show me. We started out the day by walking up and down the sidewalk at Venice/Muscle Beach. The area there was really neat; there were lots of places to skate and play paddle tennis and basketball. The sidewalk was lined with the usual shit-knack stores and sidewalk vendors hawking everything from handmade purses to kites. The one odd thing I noticed was that all of the meatheads working out in the "beach gym" thing were wearing nothing but what can best be described as tighty-whitey underwear — weird.
After we left Venice beach we hit up the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica where we stopped at a few places to eat and drink. We then walked along the Santa Monica Pier, which was gorgeous and very busy. That night we went to a bar called Miyagi's in West Hollywood (where Hugh Hefner supposedly frequents; no, he nor any Playboy bunnies were there that night). The plan was to jump in and out of a few places but I was smitten with the bartender and didn't want to leave — it was a good time. Be prepared to pay at this place; the drinks I was getting were $17.50 each (needless to say, I wasn't aware of this until the tab came).
The next day I drove down to Huntington Beach to meet up with one of my best friends from high school who is now living there. We went down to the beach and the Huntington Pier, which was awesome. The beach was packed and the water was full of kids and surfers. There was actually a big surfing competition going on while we were there, which was kind of neat. We stayed on the pier for quite a while and snapped up a lot of pics. At the end of the pier we watched some guy and his kid reel up a stingray they had caught. The plan that night was to head back up to LA and go out on the town, but I was so tired that we decided to hit up a local place in Huntington Beach. Good times.
I Wish I could write more, but I've got a lot of other things to take care of. If you've e-mailed me within the past week, hold on tight, a reply is forthcoming, but it might take a couple more days — I have a shit ton of e-mail to return.
I did manage to get a few pictures, but nothing too great. I forgot my camera on one of the excursions and am waiting to get the pics from the girl whose camera I used that day — I'll put some pics up shortly after I get those other photos.