The Summer of a lifetime has only begun...
First off, let me say that some of the things I had hoped to do during our Los Angeles trip didn't get to happen. We didn't go to San Diego or Mexico while we were there, and we sure as Hell didn't go clubbing. But it's all good. Next time, for certain. The fact that most of us were only 20 had a small part in not letting us do some of the good stuff. Now, onto the adventure:
Wednesday, July 2nd, 9:00PM
We left later than planned, but it worked out fine. Dobhie didn't get to hook up his Xbox to his dash-mounted video screen, but we watched some DVD's instead. As usual, I get no sleep in moving vehicles. It's just not possible.
Thursday, July 3rd, 3:45AM
We arrived at the Residence Inn located in Fullerton. A total of 18 people stayed there, and sleeping space was limited to the floor for those who arrived that day.
The first thing I did upon arrival was find a nice little corner of the hotel to dump my things and make my temporary base of operations (1).
I set up my gear, while the guys ate a very late dinner (2). They stayed up until 4:30AM kickin back and talking. I tried to sleep to the sounds of Cursive, but couldn't sleep at all that morning. I closed my eyes, but kept opening them and before I knew it, the sun was rising. 18 hours without sleep, no big deal.
At 8AM or so, the first of my cousins woke up, and some of them started cooking breakfast. The guys started to get up at around 9AM, and we headed out to the basketball court and played for about half an hour. The signs of my sleeplessness started to show, I began to lose a lot of my strength while we played. They went swimming after hoopin up, and I went straight to the shower to re-energize.
The guys ate and got ready last, mainly because some of them were just joking around. I found Robbie filming Geno acting a fool upstairs (3).
From my view upstairs, I snapped a couple of pics of what the downstairs half of our hotel suite looked like (4) (5). We were living pretty lavish that week.
When everyone was ready to go, we were off to Del Amo mall.
Del Amo Mall is supposedly the biggest mall in California, not really in size, but more like in area. We wandered around for the most part, while Fred and his girlfriend Chance did some actual shopping. While there, I actually spotted a "celebrity," co-star of Disney's "That's So Raven," sitcom Orlando Brown. Sadly, I didn't anymore celebs from that point on.
After walking around, we chilled outside to wait (6) (7) for Fred, and later, we'd end up waiting for Dobhie's cousins Andrew and JR.
After Del Amo mall, we hooked up with Dobhie's cousin Mark (DJ Remark) and from there, we headed to Santa Monica (8).
Although we didn't hit the beach (9) (10) (11), we did check out the pier (12) (13).
After walking up the pier, we headed to Santa Monica's Promenade(15), a swank shopping plaza. We walked as far up as Santa Monica Blvd (16), and then made our way back to the parking lot to cruise off to our next destination.
Our last stop for the day was at Long Beach City's shopping plaza called The Block. It was late, so the stores were closed, but the bars and movie theater were still open. Just like Santa Monica's Promenade, it was full of hot girls. Sensory Overload. We ended up leaving after less than half an hour of walking around The Block, and we were nearly kicked out because security doesn't allow people to be walking around the plaza in groups bigger than 4. There were 9 of us altogether.
We got back to the hotel room around midnight, and made a quick run to the grocery store to buy some liquor for that night. At the Food 4 Less, we saw a whole crowd of folks chillin in the parking lot, apparently waiting for word of an illegal street race going down. It was cool.
Got back to the hotel suite, got hammered (kinda). Slept at 4:30AM. Sleeplessness grand total: 40 hours, a new personal record.
Friday, July 4th, 12:30AM
Woke up pretty late, but it was for a good cause. Turns out just about everyone woke up as late as I did, so I didn't miss much. Got ready to go, but didn't know where the hell we were going to go. It was the U.S.'s Independance day, and they agreed to head out to Long Beach for the day. The girl side of the party decided to go check out the Hotel Queen Mary (17), an old ship that's haunted and shit. Sounded cool, but expensive.
When we got to LBC (18), we hit some pretty nasty traffic(19), and we sat there for nearly half an hour, moving barely half a mile. All the gangster rap music that Dobhie had been bumpin since we got to LA was starting to get to me. Nothing like Ice Cube to get the blood boiling. All the time spent just to park on the dock side of Long Beach was for nothing, because we were eventually directed to park somewhere off downtown. Another long walk later, and we were somewhere downtown waiting for a shuttle to take us back to the Queen Mary (20). Seconds after the shuttle arrives, and the whole group of us are trying to squeeze our way into the shuttle. I was somewhere in the back, and never made it onto the shuttle with the rest of my group. Instead, I had to run off to another shuttle around the corner to take another shuttle. That sucked so much.
Eventually, I met up with the group, and they bought their tickets to take the Queen Mary ghost tour. While we waited, we walked up the marina, and I spotted something called the Russian Scorpion (21), a submarine (22) docked right next to the Queen Mary. Half an hour later, the sun set, and at 9:00PM, a fireworks show commenced right behind the Queen Mary. Pretty. When their tour was over, we all went into the Queen Mary and checked out some of the haunted spots (23) (24) on the ship.
We went back downtown to get some dinner, and our first choice was The Rock Bottom, but it was damn crowded. It was getting late, and LBC at night (25) didn't seem like a very friendly place. We finally decided to eat dinner at Denny's and headed back to the hotel. I decided to pass on getting fucked up that night and opted to get a full night's rest. Tomorrow was going to be our last day in Los Angeles, so I had to have as much energy as possible.
Saturday, July 5th, 12:00PM
Woke up late once more, and this time I nearly missed something. Today, the party had split up into three separate groups, off to do their own things. One group went to a swapmeet/flea market to shop, another went shopping in Santa Monica, and our group (the guys) went off to Hollywood to get a glimpse of the rich and famous lifestyle. We picked up Andrew and JR, and from there, we took a bunch of highways (goddamned LA), to get to Hollywood blvd. We ended up getting lost somewhere up east Sunset blvd., and we had to double-back at least two times. We finally went west, and found Hollywood blvd (26) an hour later, 4:30PM. We parked, and walked up the that Hollywood star walk thing. Neat. We ended up at the Mann's (Grauman's) Chinese Theater (27). Dobhie bought one of those Star Maps things, and after our walk on the boulevard, we agreed to hunt for Britney Spears' house. According to the map, she's got a house waaay up in the hills, with no apparent way of accessing her house, short of a military special ops team drop-in. The drive up to her hood overheated the brakes of Dobhie's Durango pretty badly, great view of the city, though. After making our way down from the goddess' palace, we rolled out to Rodeo dr. to check out the high-class shops there. Most of the stores on Rodeo are from weird italian people I've never even heard of. Crazy.
We met back up with the rest of the family back at the hotel at around 8:30PM, and by then everyone but the group that had gone to Santa Monica had returned. This group was meant to be last because they had Rosilyn with them, and we were supposed to pull a surpise party on her when they got back. We waited for a bit, but eventually they got back, and we put the fear of the living God into the child (28). After the initial rush faded out, we barbecqued (29) some hamburgers and hotdogs outside. Played some late-night basketball, then tried to sleep early, because we were set to check out at 7AM the next day.
Sunday, July 6th, 6:30AM
Although some of us only got 3-4 hours of sleep, we were all able to get up and go on time, except Geno didn't sleep at all because he stayed up playing Warcraft 3 on my laptop. Hah. He ended up sleeping the whole trip back, though. We ate a free breakfast, compliments of the Residence Inn, and damn...it was quite possibly the best breakfast I have ever had.
6 hours later we're back in the quiet city of Sacramento, and I find that my house is all kinds of fucked up (30) since I left. My parents had already begun tiling the kitchen and family room since I had left, and now, I find myself in the thick of it. Bah, more work for me to do.