2013-05-12, 10:00 p.m.
I didn't sleep too well last night, which is a shame because this bed is awesome. Despite waking up too early, I didn't get around to leaving the motel until about 9:45. My motel is a four block walk from Exposition Park. Surprisingly, I did see people walking around on the streets of LA, so it does happen. I didn't run into any creepy/weird/freaky people on the streets, which was MARVELOUS.
So far (other than seeing more cops out in public than I'm used to) I have been less wigged out on the street here than I am in SF, which is....interesting. I did notice that LA drivers have a charming way of trying to drive into/make turns at high speed while you are in the intersection though. Mom always yells at me for running across the street, but man, it's needed here. One random dude on the street cheered me on after crossing one particularly long one.
And....I made it to the Exposition Park Rose Garden. And it was glorious. Beautiful. I first cased the edges of it--I walked all around it a few times, taking pictures and scouting what I'd been looking for...I found the area, at least.
I took pictures all over the place to immortalize it--I was finally here after all of these years. It's gorgeous. And the weather is very much my thing--like home right now.
I pretty much just hiked the place several times, took a lot of shots, and hung out in the park. I sat in the gazebos and brought my lunch, then around 12:30 when it was starting to get really hot (there's lots of shade on the edges, but in the middle it is very hot), I went to the California Science Center. Which is free, so yay there.
I briefly tooled around the various exhibits in the main building, but wasn't super into those. Though I did notice that the two driving simulators I tried were totally freaking unmanageable to drive. Since my cousin Matt works on stuff like this, I need to remember to ask him about it.
Now, back when I couldn't drive for shit, I always wished I could learn on a simulator. I would say this despite not doing terribly well at Autopia at Disneyland and doing incredibly badly at driving video games. But...you know what? I can actually drive a real car just fine now. But I couldn't in the damn simulator! I tried one in which you'd drive sober and then "drunk" on the same super crazy windy road, and I had SUCH A HARD TIME just working the wheel! According to the game's statistics, I drove just as badly sober (i.e. weaving all over the road, going off the road, and driving into a tree) as I did "drunk." Oh, and their "drunk" boiled down to the camera closing it's "eyes" briefly and randomly while you drove. Weaksauce.
I did buy a ticket to go see Endeavour...which is what I'd come for in the first place. Unlike all other Californians who got to see it fly over them, I was on the freaking East Coast at the time and did not see it! So I went through their museum exhibit on it. The most memorable exhibits were the "eating in space" videos--in which astronauts do silly food tricks--and of course, The Space Potty. OH MY, THE SPACE POTTY.
While on my way to actually go see Endeavour...in its own building.... I noticed they had a bunch more exhibits--kelp forest, scuba divers in it, a desert, stuff like that...so I wandered through some of that before seeing Endeavour.
Endeavour was awesome. Huge. Every single individual tile on the bottom has something different written on it and they're attached in an interesting way to account for the stresses on the shuttle...I can't really explain them, alas, but it's somewhere in my photography. But I want to post this as soon as I can rather than waiting to upload 1300 photos, so... It was really cool. I also loved seeing the videos of Endeavour's flight, and the photograph exhibit was amazing. I wish they'd sold those pictures on postcards, because the Endeavour flying over the Capital and the Hollywood sign and all the other landmarks were gorgeous and practically unreal. I am such a space dork.
I got myself a pin that says "Endeavour LA," because that's what I'm doing here. I also got some souvenir pens and pins for other folks, and a ah...blue morpho-painted umbrella because I am obsessed with blue morpho butterflies. I got the last one there, but there's a few left on Amazon.
I went through some more exhibits, including an LA-themed one and "The Rot Room." Yup, that was creepy. Around 4 p.m., I finished up and went back to the rose garden again. It was much more crowded by now, so it was good for people watching. Since my feet hurt like hell from all the walking, the people watching was good. There were photographers taking pictures of two little girls in bridal outfits--I think that was First Communion or something. I'd also seen USC graduates earlier in the day posing.
There were tons of kids playing in the giant fountain, which was shooting up rainbows if you stood in the right spots. There were the most ice cream cart vendors I've ever seen in one area before, as well as some other food stuff, balloons, and some random woman selling your picture taken in the rose garden with Endeavour flying right over your head...okay, I don't know about that one.
Eventually an Exposition Park cop literally drove very slowly through the roundabout area surrounding the fountain...which made half the crowd disperse immediately and all the kids were out of the pool. He just nodded at me, thank goodness.
I eventually left there around 6:15, wandered around the back of the park area to see what else there was to photograph (a few things), and at one point tripped over my own damn new fancy shoes and lost my umbrella, hat, and glasses all at once. Embarrassing. But other than ow-ing my knee, I was otherwise fine and got back without incident.
I picked up a few postcards at the CVS--there is seriously SO MUCH STUFF around this area that's walkable that I was impressed. Designed for college living! I got some delicious cannelloni at the Italian place I'd spotted yesterday to go--would have eaten it by the pool again, but people were using the table. So I ended up on Skype with Mauricio and his wife and Mom--so far Mom seems okay and not all ABANDONED, amazingly enough.
And that's it for now. Tomorrow is D-Day....and to be honest with you, I bet nothing will happen. What I should do, and probably will, is go to the Natural History Museum. Which should take all fucking day because it sounds as big at the version of it at the Smithsonian, so really I should just leave early....
And really, I need to get over myself. The dream is just a dream and I should just take it as a good time with no miracle and no deliverance and no key to finding out what I'm going to do with my life. I keep hoping for divine intervention, but that shit doesn't happen--or if it does, it doesn't happen when you expect it on command. After three-ish years of antici........pation and wondering about this, it has to end in a fizzle because that's how boring Real Life goes. And I need to accept that and just have a good time.
I hope I can be okay with that. I'm okay right now, but then again, today wasn't the day. What will I do tomorrow night? Feel weird, I bet.