Los Angeles is a city where dreams are made and sometimes broken – filled with surfers, glam, and skyscrapers, right? I spent a significant amount of time in my early life in Los Angeles. My grandparents lived outside of the city while I was growing up, and I’d visit a minimum of 3 times per year. For sometime I was quite obsessed with it, and planned to move there after graduating high school. But, once I graduated and started my first year of college things began to change. Over time, my interests shifted. I’ve grown as a person, and as I explore more of the world, I’ve learned there are other places “out there” that I like a lot more than I once liked LA. And, LA had changed over time too.
We visited Los Angeles and went on short west coast cruise. We picked this itinerary because of costs, proximity, and ease. Our trip was full of things to see and do. We planned to visit the usual tourist spots, the ocean, catch a Laker’s game, ride down the Skyslide, etc.! There was a lot of fun stuff on the agenda!
But, for some reason, when it was time to get on the plane to head to LA, I didn’t feel my normal “travel excitement”. I’ll admit I was traveling back to this city with some preconceived notions about the way LA would be after all my years away. You can thank pop culture and the media for that. Upon arrival, those thoughts turned out to be true. It’s not that this trip was bad, but I’m not sure that it was good either. Regardless, we learned a lot in LA!
Here are the 5 lessons we learned from our trip to LA:
1. Do take hand sanitizer.
And some toilet paper or tissue. Trust me this will really come in handy, especially in places like Venice Beach when using the bathrooms.
2. Do not book a cheaper hotel in a less desirable neighborhood to save a few bucks.
Especially on New Years Eve – when you cannot discern between fireworks and gunshots. It is well worth the money and the peace of mind you will have to stay someplace safe and quiet.
3. Do use Uber for your main source of transportation throughout the city.
Plus, drivers can give you recommendations on great restaurants.
4. Do not wear flimsy, thin soled flip flops in places like the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
You’ll want your feet to be up off the ground. And, bring some plastic bags to store your shoes in to help keep things in your suitcase clean after a day on the streets.
5. Do venture away from the metro area and its major tourist spots.
We loved our day spent visiting Catalina Island! It was our little refuge away from Los Angeles!
Typing this post about our trip and reflecting back to my lessons learned, I can’t help but chuckle. It’s funny how we change as people, and looking at what I personally took away from our visit to Los Angeles.
Really, I cannot tell you how happy I was to go to the airport for our return flight home. Perhaps it was because the night before our early morning departure was the worst night we’ve ever had in a hotel? Maybe I was tired of feeling dirty?
Going back to the city I once loved so much was an interesting experience. Travel isn’t always perfect, and some trips just don’t work out the way you hoped they would. As a blogger, I feel compelled to be honest about this fact. I walked away from our trip to LA with an overarching empathy for Dorothy and Toto…
It is true that sometimes there is just no place like home!
Los Angeles is the second West Coast city I didn’t personally care for. Was our trip to Los Angeles a total bust? No. Would I go back there? Not intentionally.
Have you ever had a trip that left you feeling a “little different” about a place you visited? Could you put a finger on what it was? Did you love it at a different point In your life? Tell us about it in the comments below