The company let me come to Los Angeles at the end of September. Before you continue reading I should let everyone know that I’ve never been outside Hampton Roads without a parent or sudo guardian present (this includes our trip to DC for HostingCon in August 2009).
So I land in LA on Monday night off of a delayed flight from Cincinnati. I checked into the Westin airport hotel and after dropping off my stuff, I changed and then left the hotel to explore the area and see what’s around. Now don’t get me wrong, the hotel is really nice, but the area around it is pretty scary. This is where I learned that I shouldn’t have picked an airport hotel. Within 20 minutes of leaving the hotel I got hit on four times – One guy asked me if I wanted to make $200 in 30 minutes, another guy followed me three blocks into a bar, one couple stopped me on the sidewalk and asked if I wanted to come with them to have some “fun” and another guy tried to get a copy of my room key.
Then the next day I go to pick up my rental car and since I lost my wallet the weekend before, Bank of America issued me a temporary debit card, but it doesn’t have my name on it and therefore the car rental place wouldn’t take it. I ended up having to call our EVP Sunil to bail me out. Then I got to the LA office and it was such a relief. Keeping in mind I’ve never personally met most of the LA office staff, I didn’t want to leave the office because, f***, LA is scary.
That night Jeremiel and I hit up the Standard in downtown LA which is so far probably the sexiest non-nightclub bars I’ve ever seen. The place is a hotel but the roof is a cute little bar with a ton of sofas, water bed pods, a bar, a pool, and a fireplace. Basically like an upscale boom boom room.
But then the next day….
I was on my way from the hotel to the office and the GPS drained the battery on my cell phone. Not having anything other than printed directions from Map Quest and no way to call anyone, I ended up cruising the streets of LA, Hollywood, and various other mexican-sounding cities before a gas station attendant led me back to Marina Del Rey, where I coincidentally stumbled upon Glencoe Ave and got to the office. Apparently everything thought that I got wasted the night before and was passed out somewhere or that something bad had happened (what would make them think that?), and people were worried because my phone was off. A few minutes after getting to the office Shelby and I left to go to the LA datacenter.
The nights following, me and various people from the LA office went out to some neat places, including Liquid Kitty, Bigfoot Tavern, Don Antonios, and C&O Trattoria, probably the best Italian place in the US that I’ve been so far. I also saw Donna from That’s 70’s Show standing outside some bar down the street from C&O but I didn’t even recognize her until Sunil and Shelby were like “dude that’s the chick from that 70’s show.” On Sunday, my coworker Paul took me through Hollywood and the beach areas. I got a picture with Edward Scissorhands, and a tour of the homes in Beverly Hills. Afterwards we went to this Korean Restaurant which was so far the best Asian food I’ve ever had.
That night at the airport though I hear the guys in front of me mention that James Franco was “over there”, so I glance around and sure enough, there was James Franco and two security guards a couple bag check lines over. I almost freaked out but I’d heard that it’s not cool to do that in LA since celebs are around all the time, and I didn’t want to look like such a girl.
I got home and it took a week to get used to VA Beach again, especially the traffic. I’m glad to be back though…I’d definately visit LA more, but living there is another story…