Saturday morning around 9:45, our friend Bill picked us up and drove us to the airport. I felt a little bad about making someone get up so early on the weekend, but he had a new baby at home. He said he was used to it.
We got to our gate just in time for the agent to announce the flight was delayed due to “a mishmash of mechanical issues”. (If there’s any way to instill confidence in travelers, it’s not that.) A bit later, they told us that the plane had a broken windshield, so they were going to replace it at some point. With nine flights scheduled over the next week and a half, we’d expected to spend some time in airport bars, but we hadn’t been counting on that quite so soon.
Delta managed to do something right, because the new plane was delivered fairly quickly, only about an hour delayed. We boarded, and the captain said we could blame him for not wanting to fly with a broken windshield. We were totally fine with that decision; I’m more alarmed that Delta was willing to leave it at the pilots’ discretion.
We touched down at LAX around 2:30, picked up our rental car, and headed into Beverly Hills via Santa Monica Boulevard. Our plans kept adapting to the time we spent in the car: we were hungry and hoping to find an In-n-Out Burger or Del Taco, but eventually we became so tired of driving and being hungry that we were just looking for anything decent. We ended up finding Good Microbrew and Grill on Sunset Boulevard, and it turned out to be an excellent choice.
We sat out on the patio having awesome beer and really good (i.e. California) food. (I can never get over the huge difference in the quality of produce between here and there. It’s very noticeable.) There were Minnesota beers on the menu, too!
After dinner, we headed a few blocks down Sunset toward our primary destination: Tiki-Ti. I won’t bother trying to explain it, since the website says it all. It was even more spectacular than we’d hoped.
The bar sat 12 people, and there were tables for maybe 20 more at most. An old guy propping up the end of the bar scooted over and greeted us with, “Hello king, hello queen.” He’d obviously spent some time in Jamaica.
We had some tiki drinks, then I got up to use the bathroom. When I got back, Matt had made friends with the guy on the other side of him. He introduced himself as Ken, and told us that his dad was Filipino and his mom Scandinavian (hence the Minnesota connection). We spent the rest of our time there talking to him about his experience living in LA and his visit to the Philippines.
We didn’t really want to leave, but knew we’d never get out of there alive otherwise. We said bye to Ken and the bartender, and went to go check into the hotel.
We picked Stay because of its proximity to the places we wanted to visit on our short trip to LA. It’s very conveniently located right in the middle of downtown, on Main Street. The building is very strange but awesome: the rooms are updated with modern art, and everything is very clean. Half the rooms have shared bathrooms in the hallway, but we got one with a private bath. The only downside, though, was the lack of air conditioning. While it wasn’t too terribly hot, the importance of that fact wouldn’t become apparent til later.
After we became situated, I started looking up our other stops on the map on my phone, only I couldn’t make sense of anything on there. I couldn’t even figure out where we were. I finally laid down when I realized I was having a huge blood sugar crash, obviously due to the tiki drinks. It was very strange because I’d felt totally fine til right then; usually you can feel any blood sugar disturbance within half a minute. At any rate, I passed out for 20 or 30 minutes, and experienced the very unpleasant delirium of the rush of insulin. Within the hour, I felt fine again, just really exhausted.
We walked to a nearby pizza place for a slice, then moved on. We’d initially been planning to go to Caña, but it was about 2 miles roundtrip and I wasn’t sure I could make it. We added that to the ‘next time in LA’ list, and went here instead:
(We’re both graduates of the University of Minnesota, and huge Gophers hockey fans. The bouncer asked for our drivers licenses and made the connection right away, so we loved him.) The Golden Gopher is a super-classic bar, though it didn’t look too much like it on the inside. We got there around 9 and it was fairly empty, so we grabbed seats at the bar and ordered manhattans.
Around 11pm, the bar started to fill up. It wasn’t hatefully douchey or anything like we were expecting in LA, but it was still pretty different from our usual crowd; the most common drink ordered was Grey Goose and Red Bull. Seriously, you’d pay $11 for a drink involving Red Bull? At least don’t bother with the Goose. Once it became crowded to the point that people were leaning on us, we headed out.
We got back to the hotel around 12:30 and had to switch our usual places in the bed so that Matt could be nearer the open window (he’s the one who’s always way too warm). It was then that we realized the true downside to no A/C: not the heat, but the noise. It was a combination of people yelling, cars honking, music, and possibly even a brass band from 1am til sometime after 4. Needless to say, it was not the greatest sleep of our lives.