Before spring break, my boss asked for some recommendations for what to do in LA. She knows I have friends in the city and how often I’ve been there. The first time I went to LA was just driving through on the way to Disneyland when I was 12, but I’ve been going to visit internet friends who live in the city for almost ten years (NYE 2008!). The last time was for Megan’s 35 birthday in November 2015.

For my boss and her family, I recommended:

  1. Santa Monica Pier, for the amusement park
  2. Griffith Observatory, for the best view of the city
  3. La Brea Tar Pits and LACMA, conveniently next door neighbours
  4. Brite Spot, for the huge pancakes

and today, back from their trip, she reported they went to Griffith Park and Santa Monica, and it wasn’t just their 10yo son who loved the amusement park.

I’ve been to LA four times now. (I think? Off the top of my head?) I usually go for more than a week, and though I stay with friends, I’m on my own for a lot of that time, due to work schedules. Every trip is different. That list up there reflects some faves and regular stops. But the view in winter is different than in summer. The exhibits at LACMA change. I walk down a different alley. I take a different bus to see a different part of the city. LA is so big; I could live there and not see it all in ten years.

And I change, too. I want to see new things, and I want to see the old things with my new eyes. I’m always up for a museum, a diner, but now that I’ve hit the highlights, my favourite trips are the ones where I just wander. You see a lot at street level.

Ten years ago, I spent my 27th birthday with a road trip up to the town of Solvang, and then we got back to the city in time for a New Year’s Eve party. It’s much more common for me to spend my birthday alone. It’s a weird day, I know. Most people have better plans. And I like to do what I want to do. But there’s something tempting about spending my 37th in LA.