Greetings and welcome to Dinosaur Bear!
This is the second blurb in my 2019 Spring Blurb series (the first can be found here if you missed it). While last time largely dealt with some home-life escapades, this time SB, the Boys, and I all headed west (yes, even more west) to see Meem!
Now, if you were wondering about the title of this post, well, I can assure you that it makes sense if you are up on your useless trivia knowledge. 😛
Meem lives in the bustling metropolis that is Los Angeles, and so it was to the City of Angels that we made our way. It was also SB and I’s first time in California (aside from a brief airport stay that doesn’t count) but Tristen had been here twice before. Our trip out was smooth sailing and we met Meem at her very-typically-California-tech-office that had a fancy little chess board as well as lots of drinks and snacks that we raided (after Meem said we could!).
It was very beautiful and because it wasn’t the weekend the area really wasn’t very crowded. Plus, the 429 hours (yes, 429) I put into Grand Theft Auto V started to pay dividends as I began recognizing things almost immediately (GTA V is based in a fictional LA area).
It was a little windy and chilly that day, and despite SB and I’d previous cold hardiness, it had been in the 90s when we’d departed our desert home so we were kind of wimps about it. 😛
After walking along the bluffs for a bit we stopped at a place called “The Lobster” which is, perhaps surprisingly to the slow among us, famous for lobster. It also has a great view of the beach and pier. After much debate over the extensive menu we decided to share a few things – including of course a massive lobster that Pigsten quickly claimed for himself (Broli seemed more interested in the greens on the scallops).
Even in late afternoon the underside of the pier looked like a place one wouldn’t want to be come nightfall (Meem told us someone had been murdered down there not that long ago) but it was totally fine at that point and very pretty with the incoming tide.
The next thing we did was make a (surprisingly cold) pilgrimage with Tristen to Muscle Beach. This included both the original Muscle Beach site near the pier:
The next day we ventured out to a place I am 100% positive you remember learning about in elementary school: the La Brea Tar Pits. Our reasons for visiting La Brea (in Spanish, literally “the tar” – so in English we are saying “the tar tar pits” lol) were twofold. First, I wanted to see them because it was something I remember learning a lot about when I was little. Second, Pig. I mean honestly, Pig is a pig, so it should be self explanatory. 😀
La Brea was pretty neat, plus if you just want to see the tar pits and not the museum its all free! The only real difficult part is parking, but it’s LA, so yeah (Meem got us there just fine though!). Another neat thing is that the area is obviously still active. Not only are they actively studying the pits, but little tar spots are still bubbling up to the surface and you can “play” in them if you are so inclined. Pig was inclined.
After exploring the tar pits for a bit (and trying – and failing – to keep Pig from eating the tar) we headed back to Meem’s house for a bit before making our way over to Hollywood. Now, I’m not a big celebrity person, but we were drawn to Hollywood simply because, I mean, it’s Hollywood! The only thing I specifically wanted to see was Weird Al Yankovic‘s star on the Walk of Fame which he had finally gotten (after being owed one for decades) on August 27, 2018. So that’s where we started – that it was right across the street from the Chinese Theatre was even more convenient.
After that we headed across the street to theater itself and checked out the myriad of the handprints in the courtyard area.
From there we headed down into a little shopping complex to the real reason we visited Hollywood: so Tristen could go to a Dave & Buster’s. 🙂 However, upon coming up some stairs we got our very first glimpse of the famous Hollywood Sign off in the distance, so we had to use the opportunity to take some photos.
After taking in the views of the Hollywood Hills we made our way into Dave & Buster’s for some surprisingly good food and more importantly, arcade games.
After our night in Hollywood (which surprisingly only resulted in a single instance of aggressive tourist exploitation when some dude tried to get me to pay him money so he’d give me his YouTube channel, lol) we headed back to Meem’s house in preparation of our adventure the next day.
The next morning we used to the train to head down into LA proper.
From there we hailed a car and made our way up to the famous Griffith Observatory, which I am somewhat embarrassed to admit I only knew existed because of GTA V.
Of course we were interested in visiting was to see the views and the observatory itself, but the BIG reason we made our way up there on a Saturday was because the Boys had a meetup with one of their most favorite friends!
The Boys had made their friend while living in Iceland, and their friend is from the Netherlands, but it just so happened we were all in LA at the same time! It was a great meetup and was a lot of fun. They even got to meet another buddy (the globe) that had went into space!
While at Griffith we took in the observatory, saw a huge Tesla coil, and of course appreciated the wonderful views.
They also received real sweets, in the form of some gummies, stroopwafels (yeessssss), and some EU M&M’s which were given to us because of how different they apparently tasted (upon reflection SB and I realized we never tried them while abroad).
Once we were done with our meetup we headed back to Meem’s house where Tristen was quick to crack open one of the sodas that Meem had gathered for him on her own westward road trip.
Not only do we all like sushi, this was one of the places with the conveyor belt where you can just pull the sushi off as it comes by OR you can place an order on the screen and a special magical upper conveyor belt with send a plate straight to your table. As you place your used plates into the slot next to your table (how it keeps track of your bill for grabbed-without-ordering items) it also keeps tabs on your number of plates and gamifies it to try to get you to eat more. We even got a little toy out of it. 🙂
The next day we left the city behind and headed up into the Santa Monica Mountains via Malibu (partially so I could see Pepperdine which I briefly considered for law school) and Highway 1. Along the way we stopped at the Malibu Hindu Temple so that SB and Pig could check it out.
From there we made our way to King Gillete Ranch, had a picnic, and played with the musical flowers.
We then made our way back to the bustle of LA and relaxed at Meem’s for a bit. That night we went to a quirky place called Cafe 50’s which has the kind of food you probably guessed it would. More notable than the entrees was the decor (we inadvertently ended up setting in the softcore/pin-up girl section of the restaurant, lol) and the milkshakes – which were numerous and delicious!
The next morning was our last at Meem’s house so it was mostly spent just getting ready for the flight back. Fortunately we had no real issues with LAX or our flight aside from a minor delay (that we ended up making back in the air anyways). The one funny thing was seeing all that luscious green turn back into this:
Yep. That’s literally where we live. If you had a microscope and an imagination you could probably spot my house in that photo. The transition kind of reminds me of when we returned to Iceland from Ireland.
Once home the Boys wasted no time busting into the EU M&M’s to compare them to U.S. M&M’s. Turns out the U.S. ones are WAY more sweet, whereas the EU ones have a much more nutty flavor.
But, that brings us to the close of our adventure to see Meem/Reem. We had a lot of fun and I’m glad we were finally able to go visit Meem (and get spoiled 😛 ). We were also the first family to come visit Meem at her new residence. I say family because one of my own friends was technically the first to visit her as he had a conference in LA. So, he officially moved into one of Meem’s 2 coveted will spots, thus forcing out Daryl 1 permanently. Tough luck that. 😀
That wraps up the second of the Spring Blurbs. I have one more planned so look for that likely next week. If you still haven’t figured out the post title, think harder. 😛
Until next time,