September 9

Late last night my friend Jordan drove all the way from LA to pick me up in San Diego. I was sorry to say goodbye to Lauren and her wonderful family, but it was time to move on to the next leg of my journey. It was so nice to have the chance to catch up with Jordan on the trip back. I was also lucky enough to be introduced to Jordan’s mother, Leslie, who is an amazing woman. We ended up staying up until 2 am talking about everything from history to current affairs to movies. This morning we dropped her off at the airport where she headed to New England for vacation.

Jordan and I began our day with him cooking for me (and cleaning up after!–I offered to help, I swear!) We walked through his adorable neighborhood to get to the market. There is a lot of construction in Playa Vista and the area appears to be growing rapidly. Jordan has lived in his apartment for about 10 years and all of the new housing has grown up around him. I could write an entire post on how much I love his place. He has high ceilings, gorgeous bathrooms, a fireplace, and a beautiful view from his balcony. What else could a girl want?

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We decided to head out for a little hike after breakfast. He took me to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, which is essentially a large hill that has hundreds of stairs leading to the top. They are all different heights so my thigh muscles were loudly protesting. (As I got close to the top I heard the Rocky theme song in my head.) It was disheartening to see all of the jacked runners working out there with ease. At the summit there was a view of the entire city. Since Jordan has lived in LA his whole life he could point out all of the neighborhoods and many landmarks.

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(Yes, in case you were wondering, I did discover how to take panoramic pictures today.) He pointed out his childhood home and we briefly stopped there after our exercise.

Next, we headed out to the beach. Since school started this week it was pretty quiet, which we both loved! We spent the afternoon frolicking in the waves (which are much stronger and larger than in Maine.) The biggest difference between going to the beach in California and New England (besides the water temp) is that you don’t go from one extreme to the other. From freezing cold in the water to roasting hot on the beach; instead it felt temperate the entire time. After enjoying the water, we crawled back to our towels while pretending to be castaways. I’m fairly certain we disturbed nearby couples while we were shrieking “Willllsonn!”

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Once the tide came in, we headed back to Jordan’s place for homemade tacos! Again, Jordan both cooked and cleaned! (And he thinks he’s getting rid of me on Saturday…) Our dinner was delicious. Fresh, local ingredients and good company. What could be better?

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After dinner we drove out to the Griffith Observatory to see the LA skyline and the night sky. Unfortunately it was too cloudy to see any of the planets, but we got an amazing view of the city.

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We also went through the exhibits and learned that we each weigh less than five pounds on Pluto! (Who needs a diet when you have a dwarf planetary body?)

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On the way home from the observatory we stopped in to visit Jordan’s friend, Tai, at the Roger Room, where he is a mixologist. He kept us entertained with his witty repartee and genuinely friendly manner, all while crafting delicious cocktails.

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So far I have absolutely loved LA. Everyone warned me about the traffic and smog, but this hasn’t been my experience; I have been lucky enough to see beautiful vistas and meet lovely people! I can’t wait to explore more tomorrow!

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