All this happened, more or less...

My name is G and these are the true stories of my adventures.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The City of Angels and a Little Advice

Flying over the ol' US of A

This past weekend, I flew out west to tear up LA with MJ 2.0. Schedules being what they are, these four days were the longest uninterrupted stretch of time we've spent together since we met o so long ago. We didn't let it go to waste. MJ gave me a regular tour d' force of the local attractions, including such famous and phenomenal sites as the Griffith Observatory (by night and by day), the Getty Villa, and Sid Grauman's Chinese Theater. We indulged ourselves in an incredible, magical, mystical array of food and drinks -- Thai, vegan, and sushi; french dip sandwiches at Phillipe, hot dogs at Pink's, and tacos from a street vendor; mojitos at Ciudad and cocktails in MJ's tenth-floor downtown studio. We cruised everywhere from Skid Row to Rodeo Drive, and one night we caught The Taking of Pelham 123 in the Arclight dome.

Of course, the highlights of any trip are the adventures you don't plan. This worked well since both of us hate planning. Other men have accused me of fearing commitment, but MJ brings out my roll-with-the-punches spontaneity to the nth degree. In fact, we were wandering around Union Station and nearly jumped on a random train -- definitely would have if we didn't have dinner reservations with a friend. (MJ: "I hate having reservations. It's too much commitment." A man after my own heart.) The unplanned adventures we had sometimes rose from the ashes of plans that fell through, like the afternoon it was too cold to go body-boarding so we instead strolled on the beach and hunted for starfish and crabs in the rocks. Sometimes we just stumbled on things, like a fancy cocktail party in the ballroom of the Roosevelt where we were sneaking around looking for Marilyn Monroe's ghost. (Didn't find her, by the way, but did suddenly feel tragically under-dressed.)

Chauffeur Extraodinaire

We also got quite a thrill just cruising around one day. My esteemed tour guide's commentary went something like this: "On the right up here there's this awesome Brazili... THAT'S A BUGATTI VEYRON!!" The most expensive and (arguably) the fastest car in the world. Definitely not something you'll spot buzzing around my little Nowhereville, Michigan. Pretty amazing to see it "in the wild" like that, just chillin' like a villain outside a restaurant.

This trip, like all the best trips I've taken, started with the urge to go catch up with an old friend, and it only reinforced what I already knew -- the absolute, hands-down, best way to travel is by visiting friends. The last time I was in LA, I was with a couple deadbeats who took me to Universal Studios and Six Flags, and beyond that we saw almost nothing of the city itself. This go around couldn't have been in sharper contrast. I'm thoroughly flattered by the way MJ cleared his schedule and devoted himself to my entertainment 24 hours a day, making even the drabbest and darkest corners of LA enjoyable and adventurous. His energy, his humor, and his passion for the City of Angels made the trip for me.

Griffith Observatory

I caution you, dear reader, to choose your travel companions wisely. A good rule of thumb is this: If someone bores you at home, he will have you clawing your eyes out on the road. If someone annoys you at home, you will murder him on the road. At the very least, you'll bicker like an old married couple, using that tone you swore you'd never take with each other. It may be tempting to travel with your flavor of the week/month/year -- whoever's currently making you all starry-eyed and stupid -- but you're likely to regret it. Even a relationship that works well at home can develop an ugly side under the many stresses of being out of your element.

Instead, travel with people who are tested and true, and people whose idea of a good time aligns with yours. I, for example, have to travel without an itinerary. I like a generous block of time, a diverse list of possibilities, and the freedom to move in whatever direction the moment lends itself to. For that reason, I travel with my friends who are energetic, spontaneous, and not wound too tightly. Furthermore, I travel with friends with whom I have such a firm and weighty history that any adventures or misadventures that occur couldn't possibly jeopardize our friendship (and we certainly have had some misadventures). Traveling with boyfriends, on the other hand, goes quickly sour according to how hectic the traffic was, the state and cost of the hotel, the delay of a flight, illness or sheer exhaustion, and a million other variables.

In short, your trip will be smoother, more peaceful, and more pleasant if you keep in mind what Byatt wrote: "Friendship is rarer, more idiosyncratic, more individual and in every way more durable than this [poetic] Love."


ScaryGames said...

This blog have a beautiful pictures and good info. I like this congratulations for admin...good luck!

G said...

Well, thanks!

Love, the Admin.