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It’s been over a month since the move, and I’m finally settling in more and more every day. Class starts next Monday for me and we got our first homework assignment already. It’s definitely weird to even think about homework now.

Last week, I was up in the East Bay for a couple days for my mom’s birthday. Fortunately, I timed it just right: It was incredibly hot in LA that week and just perfect in the Bay. I hung out with my family and a couple friends. I also made a quick stop at Pixar with Sophia.

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This past week was the busiest I’ve been since moving down here though. I hit up some LA hot spots and just explored the city. Here’s a recap of my week:

Friday 9/16:

I left the Bay Area right after breakfast and drove the ~6 hours to Los Angeles. I made progress on my audiobook and only blasted music when I felt myself getting drowsy. I made it to my apartment right before dinnertime, aka when the traffic becomes hell.

I got dinner in Downtown Burbank with Alex and then drove to the airport to pick up Jessica, who flew in that night to visit for the weekend. We had a lot to catch up on (I hadn’t seen her since my last day at BlackBerry), so we stayed up for a bit.

Saturday 9/17:

Since I tutor in Koreatown all day Saturday, Jessica spent the day at the beaches. She started in Venice and rode a cruiser bike along the coast for a few hours. Meanwhile, I helped students write essays…

Afterwards, we met back up in Koreatown and headed to dinner. Then we got some boba, which was my first since the move. I was super excited to have boba again, but it wasn’t even that good.

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Sunday 9/18:

Jessica and I woke up early to beat the crowd at Runyon Canyon. Although it was early morning, some of the streets were already blocked off for the Emmys. Somehow, we found our way around all this and made it to Hollywood. We then found some sketchy street parking a couple blocks away from the Fuller Ave entrance and confirmed with two older ladies that it was okay to park there.

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Right at the entrance, we saw the famous Honor Cooler, which was packed full with snacks, cold water, and granola bars. There were a lot of people already out and about that Sunday. Dogs walked around with their leashes off. We heard about 10 different accents throughout the day. And you can’t beat the view from the top.

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Exhausted and sweaty at the end of the hike, Jessica and I went to The Grove, a huge outdoor mall-type complex located right next to the CBS studio. We got lunch there (I can’t ever say no to tacos), checked out the Farmer’s Market, and watched the fountains spurt streams of water into the air. The Grove almost felt like Disneyland: trolleys would go by every few minutes, the streets were designed somewhat similarly. By 3pm, we were so incredibly tired that we went back to my apartment, showered, and took naps 🙂

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That night, after I dropped Jessica off at the airport for her flight home (after a half-hour delay), I went to Alex’s to watch the Emmys with him and his roommates. The show was about halfway over when I got there, but at least I got to see what won the big awards of the night. After the show, we also watched the season premiere of American Horror Story, which took on a whole new format, one I’m not too fond of.

Monday 9/19:

I met with Hannah at Dialog Cafe in West Hollywood for a coffee and a chat. Hannah works as an assistant to Bill Block, so she gave me lots of good advice for starting out in this town. We also talked a bit about writing and what to do in the area.

When I left the cafe, it was raining! Only a few hours ago, it had been incredibly hot and sunny so of course I didn’t think to pack an umbrella. I walked back to my car, where my umbrella sat in the glove compartment, taunting me.

I drove to UCLA to pick up my parking permit. So much traffic… The rain made everything about 10x worse. And I think about half my monthly budget is spent on parking, I swear. The good news is that I was able to get a parking permit without any problems and the lines weren’t long at all, despite all the horror stories I’d heard.

Tuesday 9/20:

I got up early in the morning to go to Universal Studios Hollywood with Jacky. It was my first time back since my last birthday, and I was so excited to check out Harry Potter World. It was so well done; everything down to the details in the bricks were spot on. We tried Butterbeer (definitely more hyped up than anything) and went to Ollivander’s where we watched a young girl get chosen by her wand.

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We also did the new Walking Dead attraction, which stayed true to the show. The attraction was a walk-through that took us through each season of The Walking Dead. Much like its predecessor, the House of Horrors, this attraction consisted of actors in costumes who jumped out to scare us.

Since it was a Tuesday and everyone had gone back to school, the park was relatively empty save for the Chinese tour groups in their matching bright orange t-shirts. We managed to go on every ride and even catch a few shows. We left the park around 6 pm and went to Downtown LA to get some good boba.

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Wednesday 9/21:

I drove over to Culver City to meet with Anna, a fellow Cal alumna, who works at Maker Studios. She gave me a brief tour of the office, which was huge. We went to Downtown Culver City for lunch and had Mediterranean food.

That night, I met Alex for dinner. We went to a bar to watch the Dodgers game. We made plans to go to the A’s game next week when they’re in Anaheim.

Thursday 9/22:

Kayla and I went to Porto’s Bakery in the morning where we tried their famous potato balls and cheese rolls. It was the perfect day: not too hot and breezy. We people watched for a bit while drinking coffee and finishing our pastries.

Afterwards, I went back to UCLA to pick up my BruinCard. I explored the campus for a bit before walking down to Westwood to meet Stephanie for dinner. We went to Ike’s, but it definitely wasn’t as good as the ones in the Bay Area. I hadn’t seen Stephanie since we graduated though, so it was nice to finally catch up.

Friday 9/23:

After my morning run, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the next week. Then it was off to The Getty with Nick, something we both haven’t done yet. The art was cool and the whole Getty itself was beautiful; I forgot for a while that we were in Los Angeles. And then you saw a glimpse of the traffic on the 405 and it all came crashing back down. IMG_5148.JPG

Overall, a packed week for sure. Got to cross a bunch of stuff off my to-do list though. It was a nice vacation while it lasted. Pretty soon, I’ll have to get used to the school-work routine again.

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