The LA Diaries Day 2: Random Explorations

For those of you who are coming late to the story, here is the update: drove from the top of California to nearly the southernmost point, arrived at our friend’s house around 4 am, coherent enough to unpack, hug, and pass out in assorted places in his living room. (Also worth noting, there was one long couch and three of us. I offered to sleep on the floor, and my two travelling companions would take the couch. They said that of the three of us, I would sleep the best on the floor, because of my ‘rustic’ personality. I looked perplexed, five hours of driving had drained me mentally. They elaborated, saying that ‘rustic’ was really a nice way of saying ‘the most hippie’ of the group. I could do nothing but laugh at this choice of words, being both insulted and complimented at the same time)

The next morning, we discovered that another group had arrived around 7am. Driving from the San Francisco area, the car was composed of Maria, born in Nicaragua but raised in the Bay Area with a large heart, Iesha, a strong-willed and friendly woman that got to know my roommates better than I, Leah, a Canadian with a fondness for Phineas and Ferb as well as a sarcasm I grew fond of, and Dalya, who hailed from Redding (Same as I) and had a quick smile and adventurous soul. Of these four, I only knew Iesha, and vaguely recall waking up at 7am hearing such a clatter, so I peeked out of my sleeping bag to see what was the matter. I retracted back into my sleeping bag, realizing that another group of souls arrived, but was just coherent enough to recognize Iesha, so I woke up, walked (like a somnambulist, no doubt), gave her a big hug, and then promptly retreated to the warmth and comfort of my floor.

When I woke up again, far later in the day, plans had yet to materialize. Understanding that we had a long drive, although the other car managed to make it in four hours, having driven apparently an average speed of 120 miles per hour, Erikson (our generous and kind host) let us sleep as long as we need. In addition, the two sisters were to be arriving later that day. Hailing from Arkansas, Zoe and Hannah were some of the first people I met when I was in Korea. Described by some (not me) (just kidding, it was definitely me) as Disney Princesses, they are affable, great singers, friendly souls, and unnaturally close to the animals around us.

Self-Portrait

Until they would arrive, the only item on the agenda was to buy alcohol in anticipation of New Years. This took us all of fifteen minutes, and my car (Iesha, Maria, and Herry, a Korean with a gentle-hearted patriarchal soul) decided that we could spend the rest of the day at the beach. We were guided by our noses to the smell of the sea, and when we arrived in some Albertson’s parking lot, guided by google maps to the nearest ocean. We arrived at a cold but satisfying ocean, with azure water and surrounded by relatively small houses that were no doubt the second homes for an affluent other class. As we walked the length of the beach, heading for a lighthouse that we were never to reach (a metaphor, no doubt, for the inevitability of some failure, despite prolonged effort. It is not meant to be discouraging, merely a fact), we gazed at both the ocean, the families that frolicked on the beach, and the houses with huge glass windows and yet never saw one inhabited. We lamented that one of these would serve as a nice place for us all to gather next year, a kind of new Global Village (the name of the dorm that we all lived in when we studied abroad together).

Soon, the wind got cold and our spirits were slightly dampened. On the walk back, we decided to take the road, seeing a different side of all the beach houses, and ended up unintentionally trespassing. The neighborhood we were in was filled with quaint, small, humble homes that were adorned with pastoral artwork and flower beds, giving rise to us naming them “hobbit homes.” It turns out these hobbit homes were protected by security guards that did not seem to share our cheery disposition (nor the welcoming attitudes of hobbits) and prompted us to leave that area quickly.

Photo Credit: Herry

We all met up again at Joe’s Crab Shack in Oceanside, where Erikson worked, a full table with about 12 people, reflective of the slow emigration to Erikson’s home. We caught up with the sisters, ate too much seafood, watched the sunset, drank good coffee, then retreated to Erikson’s home to rest up for the next day.

And by rest up, I mean, of course, drink. The part of our group that did not drink went up to one room to catch up, swap stories, hug, and rest up after the flight. The group that stayed downstairs were semi-acquainted with each other, meaning that before that day I had only known one of them. What better way to get to know each other then start pouring alcohol and let the games begin? As I had so little to eat and relatively low water intake that day, I felt the effects quite quick. I regret nothing. We laughed at each other, played kings cup, finished off a bottle of Jagermeister (which impressed me), and ended up crashing around 3 or 4am.

I was content. Being surrounded by souls like these, who are eager to share their stories and their experiences, feels like home. Although of course I have my family, it is people like these that cause me to spread my heart throughout the country and world, leaving bits of me with them and them leaving bits with me. Even without alcohol, the new sites, the new people, the new atmosphere is intoxicating, and I feel lucky just to have met each and every one of them. And on that sappy note, we will finish tonight’s story. Stay tuned to read about day 3, a.k.a. new years eve. I will try be brief, but will end up writing you a novella.

Until next time, enjoy your journey.

Ryan

Found this along the beach. Roughly translated: Look at the sky
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