My friend from Japan invited me to come to Los Angeles with her for a travel/vacation after school finished. At first I wasn’t really considering it, but after a while it seemed like great timing. I had just graduated and would have a small break from work until the 14th of January and would also be receiving a nice Christmas/sign-on bonus. So, I had time and money to travel – and I had never been to LA. I decided to go! We were in LA from January 3rd to January 7th. We took too many photos and did too many things for just one blog post so I’m going to split it up by days. This is day one.
My traveling companions were Ai and Atsushi, both from Japan. We met in LAX and took a shuttle to the Alamo by the airport to rent a car. From the beginning we planned to rent a compact car for the first few days and then switch it out for a convertible to celebrate Ai’s 21st birthday on the 6th.
The first car we rented was a Dodge. It was called a compact, but I didn’t think it was very compact at all. “American Size.” they said. It was very nice to drive, had lots of space, got great gas mileage and had a big trunk for the luggage.
Our first car. Photo credit Atsushi Tanaka.
In retrospect, I don’t know how we would have gotten around LA without a car. It seems like it would have cost a fortune to get around using public transport with all of the back and forth we did. After getting our car we set off to a starbucks to talk about the plans for the day. We arrived at noon so we had quite a bit of time to spend. Although, we didn’t end up packing the first day very full. Atsushi and Ai were just coming from traveling from New York so they were still tired from that.
We went to the place we reserved, a place right on Venice Beach. Prime location, awesome room.
Ai on the sofa. This sofa was pretty big and faced a big screen projector hooked up to all of the TV channels under the sun.
The patio. Nice chairs for sunbathing. Directly to the right was a very nice view of Venice Beach.
Atsushi practiced his bar talk. “My name is Atsushi but you can call me Ace.”
On the first floor outside. Photo credit Ai Irie.
Since we were right on the beach we decided to don our beach attire and hit the boardwalk to catch the sunset. The sun sets at 5, and it was getting to be around 2 or 3. Walking around the beach was a really great feeling. Hard to believe that it was January.
Venice Beach Boardwalk.
California has such beautiful beaches. Such beautiful everything.
Little bird tracks in the sand.
Drew was here.
I really like this picture.
The sand was perfect. Photo credit Ai Irie.
Atsushi watching the sun start to go down.
One of my favorites.
The sun looked so big that day. Photo credit Atsushi Tanaka.
Atsushi also likes photography. I think he has what it takes, this photo is really cool. Photo credit Atsushi Tanaka.
Photo credit Atsushi Tanaka.
The sun is nearly gone for the day. Photo credit Atushi Tanaka.
California Beach sunset.
After the sun went down it got very cold. We stopped at the car for our hoodies and walked to a nearby restaurant. They asked me what foods California was famous for. I was kind of drawing a blank. I had no idea. In Japan, each prefecture has at least one or two foods that it is known for, but I couldn’t think of what – if anything – California was known for. They asked, “Are hamburgers good in California?” “I think so,” I said. I’ve heard “California burgers” so many times I figured they must have something special about them. We went to a bar and grill called the Library Alehouse. We each got a burger and it was definitely a good choice. They had great burgers!
The beer menu.
After dinner we walked back, stopping to get some supplies at the pharmacy. I think that was about all we did for the first day. Atsushi and Ai were pretty tired from their earlier traveling so we decided to sleep early and get up early the next day. On the schedule for day 2 is… Hollywood, Walk of Fame, Santa Monica Pier, and the Griffith Observatory.