A visit to SoCal

So in our efforts to explore this great state we now call home, we headed down to LA this weekend for a visit with friends. Having never been to Southern California, I wasn’t sure what to expect — in my mind, the massive urban sprawl was filled with bleach-blonde wannabe actresses with fake boobs (among other things) and movie stars swarmed by paparazzi. But I was pleasantly surprised. LA is HUGE — seriously, huge — and has lots of cool little enclaves and neighborhoods with distinct personalities to explore.

We stayed with a friend of mine in Hollywood, and after the long drive down from Berkeley, we hit up Vince Vaughn’s La Velvet Margarita Cantina, which was what one might describe as very LA, with lots of cool decor and expensive cocktails. We took advantage of the $5 recession-buster margaritas.

We spent the rest of the weekend driving around the Hollywood Hills and Laurel Canyon, exploring Venice Beach and barhopping in the Valley.

I love the vibe in Venice Beach — it’s sort of an anything goes place, where you can be whoever you want and wear pretty much anything. We watched a couple of sidewalk shows, including one where a tiny man jumped on piles of broken glass and emerged unscathed.

For Halloween, we went to a party in an apartment courtyard not far from where we were staying in Hollywood.

All in all, a very relaxing weekend in LA (is that weird?). Glad the city proved me wrong.

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