Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I love LA

Conducting business @ Venice Beach 6/1/06
(Conducting business @ Venice Beach 6/1/06)

All photos from my LA Trip here. Slideshow here.

If you watch the slideshow I'd recommend either of the following 2 tunes as a soundtrack:

mp3: Dr. Dre - Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang
mp3: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication

You know, every time I go out to LA to visit my sister Victoria I have such a great time. I love ad-hoc vacations... the kind where nothing is really planned. This was one of those trips. Here's what I wound up doing last Wednesday through Sunday.

Wednesday 5/31/06:

Victoria in the convertible Ford Mustang
(Victoria in the convertible Ford Mustang)

After a bit of a stressful workday I flew out ~ 10:30pm via SunCountry Airlines. Had a great flight and luckily got a whole row to myself. Nice... watched the season finale of "Lost" on my notebook PC. Actually quite disturbing to watch on a plane when you think about it... Once I arrived @ LAX I picked up my Ford Mustang Convertible rental car. I most HIGHLY recommend getting a convertible in LA! Makes the whole driving experience out there so much better... Plus, along with breathing in smog you get sunburned at the same time. So awesome! Seriously though, the convertible was so amazing... totally makes driving through Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, and of course Compton and South Central a great experience... I arrived at my sister's apartment in Korea Town around 1:30am Thursday morning. We chatted for a while and that was it for Wednesday.

Thursday 6/1/06:

Victoria and a new friend @ The Brass Monkey
(Victoria and a new friend @ The Brass Monkey)

Slept in a bit (actually I did that every day I was there). Headed out to Malibu. Unfortunately the "marine layer" was moving in, so we went to Venice Beach instead. Had a great lunch and played in the sand and water for a while. In the evening we headed out to Vine Bar were The Rock Insider was DJing. Had a great time there... the music was excellent. However, I didn't see JAX (at least I don't think I did). Not sure if I got there too late or too early. After Vine Bar we headed over to The Brass Monkey which is a Karaoke bar in Korea Town. This place was pretty crazy... lots of hotties singing and dancing. Check the photos for further evidence... Looks like my sister had a pretty good time.

Friday 6/2/06:

Six Flags Magic Mountain
(Myself and Victoria @ Six Flags Magic Mountain)

A bit of a "touristy" day to begin with as we headed to Six Flags Magic Mountain. I loved the drive there through the LA hills. Simply beautiful, especially when you can go 90 mph! It was a hot and sunny day... around 90 degrees. First ride we went on was "Roaring Rapids", a water-ride. Victoria and I got totally drenched... actually felt really good, though. Lucky my camera still worked after... Another highlight was the new rollercoaster "Tatsu", a brand-new ride. Absolutely breathtaking. Highly recommended if you go there. The only major roller coaster we missed was "X"; because we couldn't fucking find it! Pathetic I know... trust me though, the ride is really poorly marked... by the time we found it, it was shutting down. Ahhh well, something for next time.
After Six Flags and all that sun and "fresh air" we were pretty beat and headed back to the apartment. Relaxed a bit. Then my sister's friend Hal invited us along to a Beverly Hills MTV Promo Party. Unfortunately my sister's friend had to cancel at the last second so we had to go there by ourselves. Not the easiest place to find I tell you (especially in the dark)... Beverly Hills and some of the smaller streets are tough to navigate. Luckily we found the place around 11:00pm and proceeded to the valet parking area (so LA, I know). This is when things started to go very wrong... since my sister and I were her friend's "plus 2" and her friend wasn't with us, the fucking bastards wouldn't let us in! Yeah, rejection sucks... I almost said "Don't you know who I am!???". Well, it wasn't meant to be...
Instead, we went to the Cat & Fiddle Pub in Hollywood and had a great time. We met the singer/guitarist from We Are Scientists there. Just kidding... just a guy that looked a lot like him. On the way home I noticed that Stella Artois and an empty stomach don't mix well for my sister. Her famous quote on the way home when I missed her drive-way (I don't live there you know): "Where you goin' Asshole!???". Sometimes my sister is just lovely I tell you ;)

Saturday 6/3/06:

America's Got Talent badges @ Paramount Studios
(America's Got Talent badges @ Paramount Studios)

My sister's friend Damon hooked us up with passes to the rehearsals for "America's Got Talent" @ Paramount Studios. Wow, this was amazing! Walked through the empty sets, checked out the studios, watched some of the rehearsals, saw Taylor Hicks (seriously), chatted with some of the contestants. Really a great insight into the whole TV/Movie business...
After Paramount we headed to Melrose Avenue for a while and had "linner" at our favorite restaurant, The Vienna Cafe. I love Wiener Schnitzel in LA!
After Melrose we headed back to Victoria's apartment to prepare for the big Arctic Monkeys / We Are Scientists gig at the Wiltern Theater. One of the main reasons I had come out to LA, actually. Luckily the Wiltern is only about 5 blocks from my sister's apartment so we actually walked (I know, crazy for LA) to the show. The show was spectacular... the Arctic Monkeys were so great, and vastly improved over last time I saw them in Chicago. For more on the show see my next post.
After the gig we were on the guest list to the one and only SkyBar in West Hollywood. Yes, the place were YOU can't get in and all the movie stars go. However, this is where things went wrong again... On our way there we got caught up in a major traffic jam and police and (ghetto birds) were all over. And when I say police everywhere, I mean everywhere... at least 10 cop cars and like 50 police officers. Turns out motherfucking Ice Cube (my recent live Ice Cube review here) was playing right across the street @ House of Blues that night and something really bad had gone down outside. I assume it was a gang shooting of some sort. Anyway, long story short... there was no way to get anywhere close to SkyBar. Again, I guess something to check out next time I'm out there... After driving around for quite a long time we decided to just go to Carl's JR and call it a night. Yummie... grease is good!

Sunday 6/4/06:

Me cracking up after Victoria fails to get a good picture of the fucking SkyBar... that figures!
(Me cracking up after Victoria fails to get a good picture of the fucking SkyBar on the last day... that figures!)

My last day in LA. We headed to Venice Beach to do some boogie boarding. Unfortunately on the way out there the fucking "marine layer" moved in again and it was a bit too chilly. Instead we decided to head to the Westwood / UCLA area for lunch. Very nice area... quite relaxing without all the students actually. After lunch my sister had an appointment to tutor a student in Bel Air. Quite the experience going though the security to get there... Wow, what a house and neighborhood! I had a lot of fun walking around the area while my sister was teaching. What a beautiful view of the hills and downtown LA...
From Bel Air we hit Mulholland drive and drove through Beverly Hills for a while. What a great road to drive! Next, one of the mandatory stops whenever I'm in LA: Amoeba music in Hollywood. Perhaps my favorite record store on the planet... I could spend days in there. Unfortunately I had to head out to get ready to "ship off"... On the way to the airport we had the "last supper" at "In-N-Out Burger". God, I absolutely love this place! Please build some here in the Midwest!? Pretty please?
Around 1:00am Monday morning I headed back to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Mark Rosen (local sports broadcaster) was on my flight and I also saw Jesse Ventura's son at my gate... Crazy! On the way back I had a whole row to myself again and seriously crashed out...

That's it! What a great time... and I miss my sister already! I miss the convertible too...

- Steve


Lizzy said...

you saw taylor hicks?! dammmmmmnnnn. I lov ehim, and I'm passed the point of being embarrassed about it. haha

Anonymous said...

Anymore pics of new friend? haha

rocknrollstar said...

I hear you anonymous! Unfortunately, no...

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