”I don’t go looking for trouble, trouble usually finds me”

Recap of my weekend in Los Angeles!! Such a fun trip, I never wanted the weekend to end.  According to my calculations I was in California for 37 hours and I slept for 6 of those.  It was a little rough.  First off I woke up at 4 am to get to Omaha in time for my 7:40 flight.  Get there, park, get through security annndddd see my flight has been delayed until 10 am.  Definitely not going to make my connection at that point.  I go, stand in two lines forever to get on a different flight and get one through Denver (instead of SF) that leaves at 1:20.  Awesome now I have 6 hours to kill.  In a normal airport terminal it might not be a big deal because they have restaurants and like spas and shopping and stuff.  Not so in Omaha.  They have one island in the middle of the terminal that is a Scooters on one side and a bar on the other.  Really considered starting at the bar at this point, but didn’t want to part with my money so soon.  Instead I bought a big bag of chex mix to have for breakfast that would also end up being my lunch because of the stupid United terminal in Denver.  Finally touch down in LA at 4:30 (only 3 hours late) and get there right in time for rush hour!! Luckily the flight with the rest of the group was also delayed on the tarmac so there wasn’t a huge gap between us.  Quick stop at BevMo and then we headed to the coolest apartment ever in downtown LA.

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Thank god everyone was hungry so we changed and then headed to the Times square of LA for dinner at a place called Yardhouse (I think).  Now this may not be exciting for many, but I was super excited to be so close to all the fun stuff.  We were only a block or two away from the Staples center and all kinds of shopping and restaurants, which is pure bliss for someone who lives in BF Iowa where you have to drive 45 min just to get Starbucks.  Sadly the weather was not what I demanded it be in LA in April so it was a little chilly walking back to the apartment where we warmed up with Champagne and cards against humanity before abandoning it mid game to decorate our Bridal Mischief Management Team shirts.  Then knowing we had a big day of fun planned the next day we went to bed at a reasonable 1 am (a mere 24 hours after I woke up that morning).

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Next morning we started off our day by heading down to the Art district to have breakfast at the Urth Cafe with probably 90% of LAPD, LA Sheriff’s department and a couple LAFD. After eating the best chocolate croissant ever we of course had to stop and see some of the cool wall art on display.

Naturally we had to be all artsy and thoughtful and take pictures with/of the cool ones.  I got to pose in front of my second set of wall wings, which if I do say so myself these are prettier than the ones in Nashville, just because I love the bright colors.  Also I was considerable less awkward with my hands!

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So inspirational.  Next we were off to Universal!!  Excited is probably an understatement, I have probably wanted to go to Hogwarts or a Hogwarts replica since I was 11 and started reading the books so it was really magical to see the things I had been reading about and imagining for so long in a physical form.  It was also a little weird seeing all these cool, rustic buildings with snow on them while walking around in a t-shirt and being perfectly comfortable.  But it was beautiful and I could probably easily live there if it was allowed.  After a few photo ops, we went on the main ride, which turned out to be the longest line of the day but it gave us a chance to see the inside of the castle and the earmuffs that supposedly were actually worn in the movie! So that was a really cool opportunity to imagine what being in a real castle would be like, even though I am sure this castle was a fraction of the size of a real castle!File_007.jpeg

A lot of it was hard to get a good photo of because of angles, lighting, size or placement in general.  But after the ride which was super impressive BTW they do a really good job of making them really realistic and cool, we did some shopping.  Naturally we had to buy wands for those that didn’t already have them and then BUTTERBEER and FIREWHISKEY!!!  I have been waiting for that moment my whole life!!  We decided to get the frozen butterbeer and a shot/double shot of firewhiskey to mix in there.  Then we got lunch at the three broomsticks, which had traditional HP meals (aka British) and were a ton of food!! I got the beef and lamb stew in a bread bowl and that was one of the smaller meals.  I could have also got a half a chicken with a cob of corn and a salad or one of their other huge meals.  Go hungry or with someone who wants to share with you! But as far as park food goes, it was really good and not just something fried so that’s a bonus!

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Naturally after eating a traditional, Harry Potter style feast we were off to do more rides!!  Thanks to the matching bachelorette shirts and some smooth talking we pretty much hopped the line on all the rest of the rides. We went on Transformers, the mummy, the simpsons (not the best), and the studio tour.  I do have to say I think Universal is really good at making rides where you don’t even really go anywhere but thanks to special effects and proper tilting/wind pressure it feels like you are.  Also the studio tour is a godsend for tired people everywhere.  If you can do like we did and do it toward the end of the day with minimal line time then it’s like an hour or so of sitting in the shade off your feet yet still being entertained. File_007.jpeg

Once we had enough fun we decided to head home and get ready for the night but we couldn’t leave without getting some VooDoo Doughnuts!! It’s a new addition to their boardwalk and just like the original it had a ridiculous line. However I had to seize the opportunity to get some Jamba Juice so I did that while the other half of the group graciously stood in line for Doughnuts.  I did do what I could and sniped a table with some chairs by the entrance while they were there so they could sit for a second when they came out, that’s nice right?File_002.jpeg

Then we exhaustively went to the grocery store for some water and mixers before heading home to get ready for the night of celebration.  After the strongest Tequila shots ever we headed to an Urban industrial farm restaurant (I will just let you imagine what that would be yourself) and had yet more amazing food, followed by some bar drinks, more cards against humanity (but less sober this time) and another reasonable bed time of 1 am.  Then I was back up at 3 am to catch a 5 something flight!  Yay exhaustion!

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I don’t remember much but I know I made it home and slept a very long time and after two days at work I was back on the road.  This time to Brookings for a work meeting at SDSU including a tour of their beef facilities, which are very new and very nice. I saw some cute babies and even a baby with cleft palate, which is one of the one deformities I had never seen before. File_001.jpeg

Needless to say it has been a very busy few days and I am hoping to spend the next week or two relaxing until the next round.  The same as last year, this year May will be a crazy time.  I am going to St. Louis for work the first week and the second I will be back in California for Bren Bren’s wedding!  Just have to make it through Marathon Monday and getting my dress altered and then some boring work days and meetings and the fun can begin.

I shall leave you with my future residence that is everything I have ever wanted in life.  It’s a Harry Potter themed Starbucks!!

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