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City of Angels

The moment the plane took off I felt grounded. I have been floating for months. Everyone keeps saying that I need to ground myself but it's easier said than done.

I almost avoided the entire trip because flying up in the air to another city doesn't generally tie in with being grounded but trusted my gut and went for it.

LA + VAN

Up in the sky I was overcome with the familiar warmth and excitement that comes with travel.  It felt right.  I felt at home.

We landed in Los Angeles and were met by my beautiful friend at the airport in her beat up rental car.  She took us to a dive bar by the airport for a drink and some food and I couldn't stop grinning.

After  a deep sleep I woke early and headed out into the warm morning air.  I strolled around my friend's Santa Monica neighborhood and felt comforted by being back on the West Coast.  When the other girls woke up we headed out to caffeinate and start the day.

LA + VAN

We spent the day shopping, laughing our asses off, singing in the car, praising the sunshine, eating great food and walking arm in arm in the streets.

LA + VAN

That night we visited an LA institution, the Dresden, and sat up at the piano with ridiculous rum cocktails to be entertained by Marty and Elaine.  This couple is in their late seventies and have been singing old classics five nights a week since the sixties.

Word is that they are fully nocturnal and almost never seen in the daylight.  They both have jet black hair, a Vegas vibe, and are effortlessly charming.  I fell more in love with the evening with every Frank Sinatra tune, Elaine taking breaks from playing the piano to sing or play the flute, Marty making jokes at the room, singing and playing the drums.  "Clapping is free ladies and gentlemen."

The next day we lay on the beach and made love to the sun. I took my restless body for a long walk up and down the beach and stopped for moments just to realize how god damn lucky I am.

LA + VAN

The night took us to a cozy house party where I filled a red cup with bourbon and coke and made friends with strangers.  Capped off with late night nachos and James Brown at a diner it was a perfect Saturday night.

The weekend was good for my soul. Armed with two beautiful women, coffee, bourbon, Malboro lights and drive through food, it was completely self indulgent and good for this beat up heart.

LA + VAN

On the way back I got stranded in Vancouver, my home city, but I'll tell you more about that later.  For now I want to soak in the memory of the LA sun.

More photos here.

General, TravelGillian Young