Not prospective students.

Z and I have lived in LA long enough now to know what it’s about. So when three of our friends from the Midwest came to visit, we showed them a real LA. We started with, what I dubbed, a day of weird. We first went to Venice Beach, a place brimming with odd people and attractions, to hit the #1 LA attraction: Small World Books. Once we had our fill of street performers, skateboarders, and UV rays, we headed to the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Palms. The MoJT is a strange museum. I encourage anyone in LA to go, but DO NOT look up anything about it in advance. Surprises (non-scary) await you inside! We capped the day with dinner at Annapurna and dessert from Essential Chocolate Desserts in Culver City. It was a perfect day. Except that one in our party fell ill that night. Thank goodness all was well by the next day!

At the Observatory

Day two began with a trip to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. We sampled fancy ketchup, bought produce, and got lunch from the street vendors. Then, since we were in Hollywood, we walked to the Chinese Theatre and saw more stars. After the crowds, we were ready for some (moderately) fresh(er) air and went to the Griffith Observatory. Once we’d made the rounds, we climbed down and drove home so Z could make pizza for us.

On the third day we left the city to catch a taping of Conan’s show in Burbank. Our guests were all surprised that tickets to TV shows were free, so FYI travelers, tickets are free. You sign up for them online and arrive at the studio a few hours before the show. Then we shot across the 101 and down a canyon road to meet Celeste for dinner at Duke’s in Malibu. This restaurant has a great location overlooking the ocean and even greater veggie burgers.

Book tunnel!

Downtown LA was calling to us by the final day of their visit. The first stop we made was at The Last Bookstore. This is a massive bookstore in an old bank’s building that sells used and new books, records, and DVDs. There’s also a yarn shop there and several artists’ studios. We all had to buy something. We then wandered to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which is an impressive structure with beautiful architecture. Then we stopped for coffee at Akasha and bought mini cakes at the Culver City Farmers’ Market, where we also met a clown who was a WWII enthusiast. We had dinner at Gloria’s Café and went home to relax together one last time before they left our town. Z and I’ll be filling our days with MarioKart and dark chocolate until we have guests again.

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