A One Day Vacation From Our Vacation

Would you make a great escape, even if it were only for one day? We did, and it was totally worth it!

After one of the most hectic and frustrating travel situations where everything that could have gone wrong did go so very, very wrong, where we left San Francisco on strange terms, where we lost massive amounts of money we didn't have on what seemed like pointless things (I still haven't been refunded for that rental car I didn't rent), and we felt like we might never get home...spending one, wonderful day in Los Angeles was a true escape, and totally worth the struggle.

Trying to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles was as close as I will probably ever feel to Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption, digging through prison walls one pocket-load of pebbles at a time, squeezing through holes and tubes and crawl spaces, and walking through miles of sewage to get from point A to point B.

Disclaimer: I am exaggerating. No disrespect to Andy Dufresne.

The Great Escape

I still think of this scene from Finding Nemo every single time I see, read, or write the word 'escape'. 

Anyway, there we were, on a Saturday in San Francisco, in the only Starbucks in the world that has no outlets and no bathroom. All of our plans had collapsed in on themselves, and team morale was low.

As we watched a Hagrid-sized man with a cardboard sign that read "don't worry, it's for weed" pull out his wild red hair by the window in front of us, we tried to formulate a new plan. We needed to work fast. After all, we were drinking grande coffees in a Starbucks with no bathroom, making plans on a dying laptop in a Starbucks with no outlets!

We had to pee, and the window for using my laptop was closing quickly.

Perhaps it wasn't the wisest decision in the world to purchase a one-way ticket to San Francisco, but we thought it might be neat to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and across a few states, making a little road trip out of it. Fun, right?

The first bump in the road came when a rental car for that amount of time was a little (a lot) out of reach financially. If we shortened the rental time, we would have no time to make stops along the way, and would just be driving long hours minus all the stuff that makes road trips awesome!

Somehow, we landed on renting a car for half of the previously conceived road trip. We would drive the PCH to LA, and then fly to Austin! Scratch that. Too expensive.

We would rent a car to LA, then fly to Houston!

Scratch that, too.

Bump after bump in the proverbial road left us on an endless and expensive bus journey home. Think 'Milo and Otis' or 'Homeward Bound' (minus the animal abuse).

Parts of the trip were awful, parts of it were fun, parts of it were scary, when would it be done? That's a little rhyme to lighten the mood.

And then, there we were, in LA.

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How We Fell In Love With LA In One Day

Some cities have a tangible feel or vibe to them. LA is one of those cities.

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We arrived at night, and were staying with a couple of old friends of mine. We didn't no anything that night, but a good sleep in a good bed at the home of a good friend was more refreshing than words can say. 

My friend, Peder, recommended we go get breakfast at an Argentinian restaurant down the street called The Grand Casino. It was something we never would've found on Foursquare, Spot, or any Pinterest list. We loved that.

It all felt good to be around. The weather, those tall, iconic, LA palm trees, the wacky drum circles at Venice Beach annoying the lunch-goers. Even the traffic!

We spent the day exploring Culver City, Venice Beach, and Abbot Kinney (another little rhyme for you). And even though I know that a couple tourist neighbourhoods are not a realistic indication of the entirety of Los Angeles, we completely fell in love. 

Venice Beach Flags.jpg

It's hard to understand and write about a city that you don't know at all, that you only spent one day in. And though my thoughts about LA don't at all match my knowledge or experience of the city, it had the magic touch to make us forget about all those bumps in the road and scratched out plans gone awry.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we had spent the last week dragging ourselves up steep hills in the rain in uncomfortable silence (except for my heavy, shuttering, wheezing, sputtering breaths) in San Francisco (you're still cool, San Francisco).

The areas we explored were great, and we're glad we didn't try to squeeze a lot of tourism into our one day there. Instead, we took the leisurely course and promised ourselves we'd be back.

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There's not really a moral to this story. It's just a story. But we want to know if you've ever fallen in love with a place in a very short amount of time. Tell us about it in the comments or connect with us on social media!

 
 

Explore some other wanderlust stories, cautionary tales, and travelish anecdotes.

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