I desperately wanted to go somewhere for my birthday that wasn’t a beach but a place where I could explore, have fun and celebrate. Maybe its just me but I find it extremely difficult to plan a trip with another person. It’s not just the pressure of organizing logistics and activities but the anxiety of knowing I have to be “on” all the time. Pushing all that aside, I googled the crap out of Los Angeles and unknowingly created a “how not to plan a trip to Los Angeles” guide.
lol Just joking, sorta
Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you planned
I had an entire itinerary planned for our short trip to Los Angeles, California but as soon as we got there I realized that I might as well throw it in the garbage. First of all, the jet lag hit me like a tonne of bricks, by 7 pm I was exhausted and ready for bed. My cousin said she was tired too but I think she was just saying that because of me. We forced ourselves to stay awake for dinner and drinks and hit the sack, pretty damn early.
If there is one takeaway from this short trip, it's to rent a car. My cousin wanted to rent a car and drive along the coast but I decided against it. I wanted my cousin to drink freely and not be stressed out over traffic and directions. I learned the hard way that LA doesn’t have the best public transportation and that pretty much everyone drives. We found ourselves waiting 20+ minutes for subways going a short distance (a walkable distance) and over an hour for buses on congested roads. I always account for delays whenever I plan a trip but this was BS, we wasted 1/2 our day on delayed transit.
We missed out on many things that I regret now, like: spending time at Santa Monica Pier, fully exploring San Diego or even exploring the City of Los Angeles more.
But you know what? We had a great time regardless and when we return, we’re staying much much longer.
Some California Highlights
It took forever to get to the Griffith Observatory (even with a car) as it was backed up (in both directions) but we made it on time to watch the beautiful sunset over the Hollywood sign.
Even though I chose the earliest train to San Diego, it was delayed by over an hour which cut our already short time in San Diego to merely a few hours. We walked around the town and ended up bar hopping during happy hour and got quite a good buzz. If we didn’t have to catch the last train back to our hotel, I am sure we would have seen what San Diego has to offer.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Do I really need to sell anyone on Universal Studios in California? Sometimes you just have to let your inner-child out and have some fun. I had a great time here, although we ended up staying too long.
Hollywood Walk of Fame / Chinese Theatre / Tourist Trap
It was my cousins first time to California, so we absolutely had to visit the iconic landmarks. But honestly, other than some stars on the ground and buildings that haven’t changed in decades, all it was souvenir shops, gas stations and x-rated anything. The most memorable part of that area was finding an Irish pub that had endless drinks during brunch (thank you, Lord).