I’m surrounded by the most interesting visuals right now.  I’m sitting at my desk in the living room, which is pushed up against a window, and outside it is snowing heavily, like it could snow all night, like The Shining kind of snow.  Next to my laptop on which I’m currently typing is pitcher full of pink tulips which I bought to decorate for Easter (the only things I decorated with for Easter) and they are beautiful, just as Eastery pink tulips should be, even though they are surrounded by tax forms and a list of dermatologists and drafts of an essay I intend to send out today and a bunch of work for my actual job.  Oh, and an oven mitt, inexplicably.  My desk…looks probably like what my mind would vomit up on any given day.  Anyway.   Next to my desk on the floor are three pairs of pretty, strappy sandals that are completely unprofessional but begging, yes, I can hear my shoes, I FEEL their emotions, begging to go to California along with my gym shoes and practical pumps.

Because I leave this frigid-ass state the day after tomorrow for a SIX DAYS in Los Angeles, and Friday morning can’t come soon enough.  I don’t know anyone living in this state who doesn’t want to stick his or her head in an oven at this point.  And while I will be in LA for work, attending conference panels, writing articles, trying to pitch stories, and etc., there will be some down time on this trip, enough to throw on a pair of sandals and relish the sunlight.

Just recently I realized how thoroughly my ideas of place are formed by the books I read. As I’ve pondered what to do with the free afternoon I have, I keep thinking of T.Jefferson Parker’s books. I’d like to see the California he creates, the orange groves and canyons and long stretches of Pacific perfect for surfing…T. Jefferson, how about a tour? In retrospect I guess I haven’t read that much about California because he’s the only author who comes to mind, but still – I’ve read enough of his novels to want to know the secrets of the dark and dangerous LA he depicts, and not spend a few hours on a tour bus.

Here are my ideas for my free afternoon so far:

Go see a movie, in Hollywood. This idea appeals to me to a ridiculous degree.

Take myself to lunch at the Ivy.

Go to Disneyland

Visit Venice Beach

Visit Universal Studios

I try not to often elicit comments on this blog – not because I mind bloggers who do (I read many who do) but because it’s just not me, but I thought I’d throw this post out to the masses – if you live in LA, or if you’ve ever been, can you tell me how I should spend a free Saturday afternoon/evening in the city? It needs to be available by cab. Money isn’t that much of an object (as in, I’m willing to treat myself to an expensive meal or a surfing lesson, NOT as in, you know, taking the private tour of the Art museum).

S. is really excited I’m leaving for CA because he thinks I’m going to fall in love and then I’ll let him add it to the list of places he can look for a job if Michigan’s economy fails him.  He loves California, which I think is hilarious given the fact if he even thinks about sunlight he burns and he hates deep water and, well, confusion of any kind.  I myself am highly suspicious of the whole state since my parents raised me to believe in its precarious attachment to our country (it could fall off at any time!!!!) – hopefully that won’t happen while I’m there.  Regardless, I get to see a part of the country I’ve never seen before and I think that’s important.  And proof that the sun is still around would be great, too.  I’m flying out on Friday the 13th so think good thoughts, and I’ll be coming at you from the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the next time we meet.

Now let’s hope T. Jefferson Parker googles himself, finds himself on the blog and offers to give me a tour of his California.  I’m off to buy my first book for the Once Upon a Time challenge to take with me.

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8 Responses to Cal-i-forn-i-a

  1. Emily says:

    Sounds like me when I left snowy CT for warm, sunny Atlanta. Don’t have any advice for what to do (never been to L.A., but could tell you what to do if you were in San Diego). I hope, for your sake, Southern California doesn’t do what it’s done to me THREE times that I’ve been there, which is to bring in the only cold, windy, rainy (even some bonus hail when I was there last year) weather anyone ever remembers this time of year (I’ve been in March, April, and May).

  2. yogamum says:

    Have a great time! I lived in LA for two years as a poor student so I don’t have any suggestions, except that the Asian food there is AMAZING. Yum.

  3. Emily, I’m going to pretend I didn’t read that! It will be sunny, it WILL!

    Yogamum – thanks! I’ll definitely plan on some asian food while there!

  4. Andi says:

    I know less than nothing about California, and I have to say that I’m a bit suspicious of the whole state (could be that falling off thing you mentioned), but I hope you have a LOVELY, sunny time. 😀

  5. litlove says:

    I went to LA once and had a lovely time. All I’d suggest you do is find a delightful pavement cafe somewhere, order a delicious meal and sit in the sunshine, watching people go by as you eat it. I had a lot of pleasure out of doing just that!

    Have a fantastic trip, Courtney!

  6. bloglily says:

    When I was in LA last month, I had a wonderful dinner at Lucques (8474 Melrose — I’ll bet lunch there is really amazing. (Have a blood orange sour — they were great!) We also had a very nice brunch in Venice at Joe’s on Abbot Kinney (where there are a bunch of interesting furniture and design stores, art galleries and even a bookstore or two). (Joe’s is at 1023 Abbot Kinney and the phone number is 310-399-5811.)

    But one of the best things I did was have a great pedicure at one of the many nail salons in Santa Monica on Montana Ave. The perfect thing to go with the strappy sandals and something that’ll help you remember your fun trip for a long time after you’ve come home.

    have a fun trip. Love, Lily

  7. Stefanie says:

    Wish I saw your post before your trip. I grew up in San Diego and went to college in the San Fernando Valley and my sister still lives in LA. Can’t wait to hear what you did and what you think of LA!

  8. LK says:

    I’m in San Francisco, so I can’t help you with LA. Except that I think it would be fabulous to go to the haunted Roosevelt Hotel….

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