I am anticipating a grand adventure, seeing sights I’ve never seen and finding cool places I can visit. I was so anxious to get started that I was unable to take my planned nap.
We loaded up on carbs in anticipation for all the fun activities we would have later. An hour later, we packed up our leftovers and headed out.
There were a lot of options I had written down for this time where most things were starting to close. These things included going to an outdoor cinema, donuts, or an arcade. Unfortunately, I was not 21 years old yet so I could not partake in the typical Los Angeles nightlife, so we ended up going to the Dave and Busters in Hollywood. It was my first time and of course, it was loads of fun! Dumb games, parties going on in the background, prizes you can strive to win, what more could I ask for? This adult version of Chuck E. Cheese got me energized for the rest of the night. We left with 3 kazoos, a sticky hand and a squishy llama.
We first went to Griffith Park. As we were pulling into the entrance, Julian and I got horror movie vibes and to our surprise, the park was actually closed! It was a blessing in disguise because it would have been preferable that we not end up murdered only 3 and a half hours into our adventure.
I'm actually glad there were people at the LACMA. We spent 40 minutes just sitting around, getting touristy pictures and making a montage. It was a nice thing to experience after everyone else left. Seeing Los Angeles so quiet and peaceful got me excited for the rest of the adventure.
Our energy levels had almost completely depleted. We needed a place to get some food and hang out for a bit. We headed to Canter’s Restaurant, a diner with old Jewish origins and a deli. Julian ordered an eggs benedict - I’ve never seen someone so happy over their food yet too tired to properly show it. His words slurred as he complimented his meal and before I knew it, he was completely knocked out in the restaurant.
On the drive to LA Cafe, I had noticed what true middle of the night Los Angeles looked like. We were driving through the nicest neighborhoods with the tallest buildings, yet there were homeless people everywhere. We didn’t have much of a choice left for places to go to, so we went through with going to LA Cafe. I had ordered a tea and intended to sit down for a bit. I had an uneasy feeling about being there.I sat down at a table outside, where I witnessed a homeless man yell racial slurs at the barista and asking him to “square up.” Julian and I shared a look, both agreeing it was better to find a new place to go.
We drove out to Santa Monica to catch the sunrise. Julian seemed to have turned into a complete zombie. He needed a nap and it was probably the best call to just let him take a snooze while I try to plan out the rest of our adventure.
People out for their morning jogs or surf started filling up the beach. The sun pushing its way through the darkness rejuvenated me, giving me hope for the last couple hours we had ahead of us. The vibes of life surging its way back into the city captivated me. This was the Los Angeles everyone
loves. In fact, I think I’d want to try to come back to the beach this early on my own time. The vibe is more peaceful than regular hours Santa Monica.
It was time to start heading back closer to home. Most places were starting to open and the people started filling up the empty streets. It no longer felt lonely, and I no longer felt lost.
We decided to end the adventure with a hike, the most Angelino thing I could think of. It was a stupid idea - I barely had enough energy to open my eyes, let alone hike uphill. I had been awake for 22 hours at this point. All I saw was stupid Los Angeles desert. I love walking as much as the next guy, but is this supposed to be fun? I walked for about 15 minutes before deciding it was not worth it to walk for no reason.
I had arrived back in my room. Maybe I should’ve tried to stay away for half an hour more to make it a true 12 hours, but my bed was calling my name. I would go on to sleep until 4pm, completely ruining my sleep schedule.
I couldn’t sleep. I made the foolish mistake of playing video games instead of trying to take a nap. It would’ve been smart, as at this point, I had already been awake for 14 ½ hours. It was a mistake I would soon pay for. I was messaged by my partner in this adventure, Tiffany Ng, for she also couldn’t sleep, and decided we might as well start early. Oh, such fools we were.
Denny’s always had this strange air to it, as if it was in its own plane of existence, devoid of time. There was some sort of retro car gathering going on outside the restaurant, while inside was a mixed bag of random strangers eating breakfast for dinner, which included us to be fair.
We killed a lot of time at Dave & Busters, and it was fun to be there for Tiffany’s first experience at the adult version of Chuck E. Cheese, though sadly there was no ball pit. I was lost in the nostalgia of playing Dance Dance Revolution, that I didn’t take into the repercussions of playing the dance simulator. I soon realized how my legs started to hurt. Tiffany got a big kazoo that would go on to help us survive the night, and I got a squishy llama that now sits on my desk, content that we saved him from the pain of not being picked.
The road leading up to Griffith was lit only by street lamps that were barely doing their jobs. The suburbs had a vibe that slasher movies were going on in the backyard, or more specifically, it felt like we were driving through Jordan Peele’s Us just before
the tethered started killing everyone, or maybe like Jordan Peele’s Get Out where the neighborhood was planning to kidnap us. You know, La La Land had painted the area as a wonderful place to experience the stars, but honestly, we were more likely to be killed by the Terminator before we experienced anything nice like that.
Why were there people at the LACMA at this hour? We had a school project to complete, but what was their excuse? Pretty sure there were three separate photoshoots taking place, with a
couple guerilla filmmaking going on as I was positive that they didn’t have the permits to film whatever poorly made music video they were making.
Eggs benedict. It was so perfect. I was so hungry. I tried my best to enjoy my meal, but I could feel myself losing energy with each bite. I was one blink away from sleeping right there in the
booth. For a late-night deli, this place didn’t seem to want customers there.
We were in Downtown LA at that special time frame when the weirdos are awake. The city itself was populated by homeless, and the LA Café we went to didn’t feel as quaint as we would have preferred. The last thing we heard before we decided to leave early was a racial slur and the phrase “SQUARE UP!”
We got to Santa Monica early. So…I took a nap in my car. I needed it. I snuggled under the blanket I had packed as Tiffany patiently waited till it was time to walk the pier. Never had my front seat been so comfy until that moment. I felt my body turn off for a bit, a feeling I hadn’t felt for a very long time.
Tiffany set up a time lapse while we waited for the sun to rise. It was cold, and every inch of the pier was covered in dew. I was so tired that I considered lying down on the ground and going
back to sleep. All these early morning risers jogging and starting their day at the beach populated the pier. I couldn’t relate, considering my bed will always beat the beach any day.
I had been awake for over 24 hours now. My eyelids were my greatest enemy. Tiffany had passed out in the passenger’s seat as I drove us through the freeway. Every second was a battle to
stay awake. Honestly it was a dangerous task.
What were we thinking?! Why did we think hiking was ever going to be a good idea? It was hot. My legs were still punishing me for Dave & Busters. I could barely form a coherent
I drove Tiffany back to Woodbury before I went back to my own apartment. Once I was home, I shed every piece of clothing on me and dove into my bed, not waking until 2pm, feeling as if it was a completely different day.