After we spent some time hiking in the desert, we quickly entered into the second largest metropolitan area in the country. Starting with a small reunion of friends from Michigan (many of our friends were in the area for spring break), we were certainly filled with joy. We met up with them in Fullerton the first night. We stayed till the last call at the burger joint we were at where laughter prevailed above all. It was a treat to finally spend time with these dear friends again.
The next day we all headed to the beach to relax in the sun. Everyone piled into the sprinter so that we could save on parking. The van can officially hold seven, but nine is doable if you are not traveling far. Lunch at a taco shop was unique. A giant subwoofer pounded out beats while we sucked down delicious tiny tacos. We played games and caught up on life with our feet squirming in the hot sand. I pulled out the kite and had a quick run in the afternoon. We packed up and tried out a brewery just off the beach. It was a great start to our Southern California stint.
Tim was still staying with us and did not feel so great after spending the whole day in the sun. He hoped it was just going to pass. Unfortunately it did not and at two in the morning we headed to the Emergency Room. At this point he was extremely delusional and does not remember much of what happened. After receiving some tests and lots of liquid he was released at 7AM. The doctor asked what we were going to do since at this point he knew we were staying in our van. Annie called up her relatives to see if we could get a bed for Tim. They happily welcomed us in and he was able to sleep the rest of the day. We are glad we had family in the area to help out. The next day Tim started feeling better and we continued on our journey together.
We headed to Venice and Santa Monica beaches for a second beach day, this time on bikes. Starting at the Santa Monica pier we peddled our way down past Muscle Beach and all the street vendors around Venice. We were captivated by the Cry Wheel dancing and the skatepark.
Our last day was spent checking out the Downtown L.A. area. We went to the Echo Park neighborhood to climb some stairs. It is amazing to see pre-car neighborhoods. Lastly, we drove to Olivera Street to eat up some good Hispanic food and indulge ourselves in some West Coast history at El Pueblo. We happened to run into a street performance and checked out the Avila Adobe house (circa 1818). Check out the rest of the photos here.