Los Angeles Stories and Tips

My First Glance At California

Dear friend, As you can see, my address is now working *phew*. Let me push the "Pause" button on our personal insights and let me entertain you with some good old-fashioned road-trip story of my first time to California.

Of course, California echoes something to everyone of us, we've read about it, we saw the movies and the TV series: the ocean, the sun, the movie stars, the surfers, the legions of Beach Blonde-girls, a lot of money and a lot of misery just kilometers away. None of these reasons had to do with my trip... It was football, American football that is. My better half is crazy about his college football team (Auburn University in Alabama). Now, you have to know that southerners are die-hard fans of their team and the city of Auburn which has 30.000 inhabitants has a stadium of 90.000 seats and when the team plays away, there is at least 15.000 people making the trip to support them. Justin is no different so, here we are on this beautiful Friday afternoon at the airport, tickets for Los Angeles in hands, hoping not to be selected for random searches. Now, just the plane trip from Chicago is worth going because you fly over some of the most amazing area of the US: Colorado, the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, the Deserts, Arizona, Nevada... Just before the Grand Canyon was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen: a painted desert!!! A brazen and sterile plain of rocks but with shades of sands, yellows, oranges, reds purples and greens. And nothing to spoil it... until I saw a road like a big scar across all this immensity. Then all of sudden, you see something that looks like a monstrous crack in the ground... the Grand Canyon with its red-orange-brown colored rocks. It is amazing to think such a tiny river carved the mountain this way... It looks like a vein you could see if your arm was cut open.

A little further away, lost in the middle of nowhere, here is Las Vegas, Sin City, like an incongruity. Forty minutes later, we're approaching Los Angeles, the City of Angels. And the first thing I see: The Hollywood sign...

It is the end of the afternoon in LA; the first thing we do when we reach the hotel is finding a place to eat. They have a little plaza not far away where the Mexican food is good: I felt like a steak fajita... After a delicious meal, we decide to go for a drive to the ocean and see the sun set and we reach Manhattan Beach.

On the parking lot, a surf girl is waiting for the sun to set before packing her board... All is quiet, just the sound of the waves. We leave and decide to drive around. Manhattan Beach is really lovely, it is a town build on a cliff toward the Ocean, it seem like the place for Surfers and Professional Beach-goers, lots of nice bars, the space is cramped, houses and apartment building are tightly put one next to others to save some space... and those tiny steeply streets reminds me of Vasto, the city by the sea I go to when I am in Italy. I could really picture myself living here. As it is now dark and we are somewhat tired, we decide to go back and go sleep; tomorrow will be a better opportunity to see more.

Got to save some room for the rest, there is plenty to tell. Hugs, Mel

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