So I am back! I would love to say I am happy to be on home turf but, as much as I missed people while I was away I was not happy to leave LAX. I spent three and a half weeks out in LA with my best friend, staying with her family and I have to say it was an adventure from start to finish. Having only one down day, the whole time we were there meant coming home was a bit of a shock to the system. It is funny because I feel like people seem to have their reservations about LA; they don’t like it because it is too superficial, they think everyone has plastic surgery or the traffic is so bad you will be sat in your car all holiday. But if assumptions and generalisations are enough to put you off then you should probably give London a miss because it rains too much and Paris is a big no no because the locals are rude.
I cannot pin point my favourite thing that we did while we were out there but the beaches would have to be ranked up there with some of the best places in LA! Staying by Seal Beach meant I got to visit there lots which was beautiful. It was also just along the coast from the iconic Huntington Beach. There was everything you could possibly want from the glamour of Malibu and Laguna, the waves and surfers of Seal and Huntington or the wacky individuality of Santa Monica and Venice. They were all so worth a visit!
LA is a tourist destination and I felt so lucky to not only be staying outside the centre of the city but also have my own local experts. I feel like there are certain things you have to do if you visit LA. Visiting Hollywood Boulevard is definitely one of those things. I was prewarned prior to arrival about how tacky and depressing the street with the stars was but nothing could really prepare me for the reality. Another (less naff) tourist activity is the hike to the Hollywood sign. Now, there are many ways to get up and down to the sign. I would recommend picking a route and sticking to it. This is where our plan was flawed. Whilst it took us 20 minutes to hike up the mountain, it took us 2 and a half hours to get back down again. Nothing like a wrong turn to throw you off track and into another national park all together. The only lesson I learned that day was Duke of Edinburgh means shit when you are stuck on the side of a mountain, desperate for a wee, with no water left and the mid-day sun beating down on you.
Disneyland was also such a massive highlight!! With the park being so empty before 5 (it was a school and work day) we had free reign to go on what we liked which, considering the entry ticket costs almost $100 (that could have gone on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit) it was so worth it! The longest we queued was for 25 minutes and whilst I was assured many times that this was not normal it was so much fun!!
I’m not sure whether it was the hot weather or the promise of a tan which made it so much easier to get outside. We took a twenty mile bike ride along the board walks (I managed to fall off and make a dick out of myself), we also went paddle boarding, and it was my first time (I managed to fall off and make a dick out of myself) or go to one of the baseball games (GO ANGELS). It felt like although I spent most of the time horizontal- whether that was my choice or not- we did so much and it was the most fun!
With both me and my best friend being older than 21 drinks were also definitely on the cards. We ventured down to second street Long Beach and the nights we had, I don’t even know where to begin! It was generally the norm that as soon as you walked into the bar and spoke (in your normal English accent) everyone at the bar was your best pal. Both guys and girls just sort of flocked, mimicking your accent and trying to disprove English driving licenses as real! Without going into too much detail they were so insanely fun and definitely worth a visit.
This holiday has been the trip of the lifetime with the best company I could have asked for! I have learnt so much about myself and it has allowed me to reflect on what I have as I come into the new academic year. Now all that I would need for this to be perfect is for me to be sat writing this with a cold Coors Light in one hand looking out over Huntington Beach!