I want to start by saying that when I travel alone and I'm out alone in an unfamiliar place I tend not to pull out my camera and take many pictures. I don't want to look like a tourist and have someone try to swindle me or put myself in danger, so I don't really have many pictures of the first few days. *shrugs* At least I have the memories.
Because I wasn't paying attention when I was purchasing my ticket, my flight out didn't leave until 7 in the evening. I think this was actually for the better. I got to hang out with friends Tuesday night and spend all Wednesday morning and afternoon packing and cleaning up. I'm a procrastinator. It also meant the first part of my flight wasn't that full. I ended up with a whole row to myself. Yes!
I wasn't so lucky the second part of my flight. The whole row was booked and I was next to someone who hogged the arm rest and kept elbowing me in the side. I sucked it up because I had an aisle seat and I could at least lean into the aisle. I don't particularly care to fly. It is what it is though. One of these days I'll be able to afford business/first class and then it won't be an issue.
I got into the hotel at about midnight (the cab driver was like, you're gonna pay cash right! I was like, uh yeah. It was weird.) and proceeded to change into my pajamas, turn on Cartoon Network (I always watch CN when I stay in a hotel since I don't have cable) and passed the fuck out. It was already about 3AM here in Indiana and I was tired.
I woke up bright and early at about 630 or what my body thought was 930 and laid in the oh so comfy bed for a couple of hours trying to figure out if I wanted to work out or skip it and spend the whole day taking it easy. I opted for the latter.
I finally got out of bed to grab some breakfast since I was starving and then jumped in the shower. I was assigned a handicap room so the WHOLE bathroom was a shower. I don't know who laid the floor in the bathroom, but it needs to be redone. You'd think that if the entire bathroom is the shower that the floor would slope into the middle of the bathroom so the water doesn't run out into the room. Nope...it sloped out so that it ran into the room. Two days in I figured out how to face the shower head so that I didn't have a room full of water. Good thing the room had hardwood floors.
Rima, Gaby and I had dinner plans that evening so I needed to find something to keep myself occupied during the day. It really wasn't sunny enough (for me) to sit and hang out at the pool and I had a short shopping list I wanted to take care. Mostly things I could've gotten here, but hey I was on vacation, maybe the mall had some fun stuff.
I normally don't care for the mall and am usually in and out within an hour or two, but I ended up spending about 5 hours walking around in there. I think I looped around it at least twice. The first time to find lunch and see what stores they had and the second actually going INTO the stores to shop.
Before I made it to the food court for lunch I was side tracked by the Sanrio store. If you've been following me for any amount of time then you know that Hello Kitty is my homegirl. I was in the Sanrio store for AT LEAST 30 minutes just walking around in circles checking everything out and trying to figure out what I was bringing home with me. They had all sorts of stuff, but as I get older I've become more selective about the things I buy. I ended up leaving with some stationary and a reusable tumbler. I really wanted a new bag, but they were overpriced for my liking and I just couldn't do it.
I also picked up a couple of things from Old Navy (I had a coupon), a new pair of white Chucks (I've always wanted a pair) and got myself a pedicure after I had some lunch. Then I headed back to the hotel to wait for Rima to get off work so we could have dinner.
We almost didn't have dinner. Rima was on call and had been up since like 4AM and then got caught in traffic due to an accident on the highway. At the last minute she texted me and we hit up Kula Revolving Sushi. Sushi. Yum!
This place was fun. Why doesn't Indianapolis have one? You can sit at a table or a bar and there's a little track that travels past all the places people are sitting and you just grab whatever types of sushi and other items you'd like to eat. They have little signs that tell you what you're grabbing and each plate is $2 each. $2 EACH!!! Each plate had 2 - 4 pieces on it. I had 5 plates. I could've probably had one more, but I was kinda full. The guy next to us had 13 plates. That's about 39 pieces!!! I don't know where he put it all. I wanted to go back for lunch the next day, but I had other food places I needed to explore. I definitely plan to hit them up again next time I'm in town.
I got up at 630 AGAIN! I laid in bed for a while and then finally pulled myself out of bed, put on my gym clothes and went to work out. It felt good to work out. I worked up a good sweat. Afterwards it was about time for lunch so I showered, got dressed and went walking (more exercise). The nice thing about where I was staying was that everything was about 2 miles from the hotel so I could walk.
I walked up to Green Mango Thai Bistro for lunch and as I was walking up I noticed there was a Fatburger right next door. I so wanted to eat both, but my mission was Thai food and I'd had Fatburger before when I was in Atlanta.
I love curry and there Jade Coconut Curry was delicious. I usually make red curry at home. Actually I just made a huge pot this weekend because I had to have so more curry. I love Asian food.
After lunch I decided to walk back around the long way back to the hotel to walk off some of the food and see what else was in the area. As I was walking back to the hotel Gaby tweeted about going to a John Legend concert that was near by Saturday evening and was looking for someone to accompany her. I told her I'd check my budget and let her know. Turns out I had over budgeted for food and had some extra spending money so as soon as I got back to the hotel I purchased a ticket and it was on. This would be my 3rd time seeing John Legend in concert.
I spent the rest of the day hanging out at the hotel checking schedules for Saturday and what not. I'd wanted to go into LA on Friday, but it wasn't cost effective. The weekend pass for the train is $10, but it didn't start until Friday evening so I decided a super quick trip on Saturday morning would have to do.
Dinner was from the hotel cafe and it sucked balls. It was basically microwave appetizers and some of my food was cold. I was kinda shitty about it. I really wanted a burger and the one place I had a delivery menu for didn't have burgers. Just my luck the next morning I found another delivery menu in my room that had burgers on it.
I woke up early again and worked out and then got ready to head into the city. The train was due to leave the station at 1015. I headed to the front desk at 930 to grab the shuttle to the train station and the front desk guy said he'd be there at 1000. Ten rolled around and the shuttle was no where to be found. He wasn't going to get back to the hotel until 1015. I was pissed and rescheduled to catch it at 1115 so I'd have plenty of time to catch the 1150 train. That cut down my time in the city by A LOT. But I really wanted to get into the city.
Guess who showed up at 1110 and then disappeared but said he'd be back in time. Ha! The shuttle driver was late again and then drove to the station like a maniac. I wanted to cuss his ass out. I felt like it might be a sign that I shouldn't head into the city, but I went anyway.
Since the shuttle driver was late it really changed what I'd be able to do in the city. I basically only had time to grab something to eat and then head back to the train station so I could head to San Bernadino to meet up with Gaby. I really wanted to walk around Little Tokyo and find some cute little kawaii/hello kitty things and some beauty masks.
I had lunch at Daikokuya in Little Tokyo. A small little hole in the wall place that Gaby suggested. She and Rima had eaten here after they'd gone to see The Ellen Degeneres show the first time. It was packed! I was probably 12th in line for this little spot and people kept signing in to eat there. I told myself I'd only wait so long before I'd have to find somewhere else to eat if I wanted to make it back to the train on time. Thankfully right as I was about to get to my cutoff time they called my name and I took a seat at the bar.
I opted for the Daikoku Ramen with a pork cutlet bowl. I don't normally eat pork unless it's pepperoni or bacon. I think what happened later was my punishment for eating the pork. It was DELICIOUS though! The line might be long to get a spot to eat, but it's definitely worth it. I'd for sure stop in there again for lunch or dinner.
Afterwards I high tailed it Big Man Bakes for a cupcake. I really wanted some macarons, but couldn't find any place near by, but was later told there was a place. *shrugs* I judge cupcake shops by their Red Velvet cupcakes. Theirs were delicious. Nice and moist and it didn't crumble and fall apart all over the place.
As I was making my way back to the train station I thought I was being smart and tucked the leftover container snuggly in my bag and speed walked back to the station. All of a sudden my butt started to feel a little warm. I looked and the top of the container and opened and was spilling out into the plastic bag and my bag. I had on WHITE shorts! Thankfully my dress was longer enough to cover the nice tan spot on my butt caused by the ramen juice. I ended up chucking my leftovers and attempting to clean up in the bathroom since I wouldn't be able to head back to the hotel to change. I got most of it cleaned up and didn't smell too much like ramen.
I met up with Gaby at the San Bernadino train station and we hit the road to Indio to see John Legend...but not without a little hiccup. Gaby's friend Edwin couldn't find his wallet when we stopped to get gas so we had to drive back to his car to see if it was there. It wasn't. Thankfully he was still able to get into the concert without it. Funny thing is, his wallet was in Gaby's car the ENTIRE time. Ha!
The concert was great. I was all the way in the back, but that was okay. I love listening to John Legend live. Music was making me emotional. (I'd cried on the train to meet up with Gaby when a song came on my iPod.) And I nearly cried at the concert. I kept thinking who goes on vacation and randomly buys a last minute concert ticket. (This girl apparently, but it was fun.) Afterwards we walked around the casino/resort for a bit and I grabbed a slice of pizza before we hit the road.
Even though the day started out not as I planned, it ended well. I was thankful for that. I had a great time, ate good food and got to hang out with new friends.
This post was much longer than I expected it to be. Oops! I might be a little too wordy, but hey, this is like my journal too. Two more posts to go.
I miss California. I wish I were still there. I definitely have to get back ASAP!