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Day 3, 4 & 5 (California Road Trip ’12)

July 26, 2012 by Kiersi

Day 3: Santa Rosa to Los Angeles

I thought about stopping for another night to camp on my way south, but I had a few freelance articles due soon and needed a layover day to get caught up. After three days of straight driving, I was ready to get off the road for a while. My friend lives in Westwood (see this article and this other article about my research trip last March), not a stone’s throw from UCLA and Hollywood; overall, a great place to hunker down in a cute little coffee shop and relax.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

And by relax I mean, rewrite my novel that is not yet finished but needs to be finished and edited and pitched by August 3rd.

Yeah. That’ll happen.

Anyway, I threw on Marissa Meyer’s Cinder for the seven-hour drive, an excellent YA novel hovering somewhere between sci-fi and dystopian. In essence: it’s a cyborg retelling of Cinderella. Quite the premise, no? And Meyer pulls it off with style. It was hard to get Cinder out of my head while I was in the middle of it, but it did begin to lose me at the end.

Day 4: Work

Marketing mumbo jumbo, blah blah, contracting, blah blah, new introduction to The Aeronauts, etc. etc.

That evening, I hit the sushi bar with some friends. It was a typical summer night in LA: loud, sweltering, but somehow still chilly. My friend nearly got in a brawl with a server at the hookah bar and the night ended with me shouting, and I quote, “BE COOL. BE COOL!”

So, I’m rethinking my original desire to move to Los Angeles. I’m all for fast driving, but I just don’t have the energy to put full-grown men in a headlock. I ain’t twenty-one anymore.

Day 5: The Beach

Ah, yes, finally.

Santa Monica was overcast, as usual, though still warm. Overcast-sunny is pretty much the easiest way to get a paralyzing sunburn, because the thin layer of clouds lull the unaware into a false sense of security. Sun screen’s not required when the sun’s not shining, right? Wrong.

Acrobatics at Venice Beach

Venice Beach always treats me right. Of all the ridiculous saps I passed along the boardwalk, a hip-hop artist peddling unmarked CDs in multicolored plastic wrap really took the cake. When I declined to purchase his CD, he shrugged, turned, and called to his friend over my head, “Shorty can’t eat books! Shorty can’t eat books!

As if we were all wondering.

Venice Beach is probably my favorite beach in LA: there’s always something going on there, even if the water smells like somebody’s leftover sushi dinner left out in the sun for too long. The day I stopped in, Red Bull was hosting a basketball tournament and handing out free drinks off the backs of sexy beach bunnies.

Down at the skate park, I perched on the rim with my iPhone and snapped some action shots. Now, I’m not much of a photographer, but take a few hundred pictures of something and you’re bound to get a gem. Check out these skilled skateboarders!

Culver beach had absolutely perfect weather. I didn’t make it down to Manhattan Beach, as had been my original plan, but Culver was so deserted and idyllic I decided to settle there for some sunbathing. The water was cold and stinky and an interesting shade of teal-brown-black, but I doubt anyone who knows LA beaches would be surprised.

Tomorrow: On to San Diego!


  1. I’ve heard great things about Cinder. I’m a little tentative because dystopian isn’t really my thing, but I might break down and read this.

    Looks like you are enjoying yourself. 🙂

    • Kiersi says:

      It was a pretty good book, overall. I liked the style, and it turns out that CYBORGS are TOTALLY my thing. Haha! It’s the first in a series, though, so I was kind of disappointed that the book ended without the storyline being resolved.

  2. Jon says:

    Aaand, we still need to pod about this. I better run through it so I can remember what happened!

  3. My son’s moving out there soon, so I’m taking in the vibe. The sun really comes through. Great skate shots!! Once upon a day, Venice was a nude beach. I made a trip there from Long Beach with friends in 19xx (privileged info) but I actually turned around and let them go on without me because…I had no sunblock…and…let’s just say the tanned parts of me are pale! Looks like you’re having a great time. Good luck with the novel!!

    • Kiersi says:

      Good for him! I’d be interested in moving there, too–maybe further south. I’m not surprised Venice was a nude beach, it’s a pretty colorful place, even today!

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