I’d planned to take it easy on my last day in Los Angeles. I’d pack, load the van, and get ready to head out the next day. That didn’t happen.
It was a nice sunny morning. Reuben wanted to go for a motorcycle ride. It took no convincing on my part to change my plans. Carolyn felt well enough to join us, and Ghazale was in, too, so we got the band back together.
Since we intended to go ride in the mountains, we planned to meet at Reuben’s, since he was closest to them, and head out from there. Halfway there, the sky opened up on Carolyn and me. Despite a 0% chance of rain in the forecast, clouds had rolled in and it started raining, again, after pouring all day New Year’s Eve. Since when does Los Angeles have New England weather?
We arrived a bit damp, but unharmed. Ghazale arrived a few minutes later. The rain wasn’t supposed to last long, but now the roads were wet, and we didn’t trust the weather not to rain again.
So we all hopped in Reuben’s mom’s car to get something to eat instead. At least this way we’d have a roof over our heads if it rained again.
The dining choices in LA are mind-boggling. Anything you want, you can get. The place Reuben wanted to go had a long line, so we moved on. We decided to try a Persian restaurant because we could. Ghazale is Iranian, so she could help us interpret the menu. When we got there, there was an hour and a half wait — much longer than the place Reuben wanted to go. We put our name in, in case we were still in the area, but wandered off.
Carolyn saw 85ºC and wanted baked goods, so we checked it out. I resisted the temptation, wanting to save my appetite for whatever yummy lunch… I mean, dinner place we would eventually end up.
While exploring the area we found a bench with Ben Franklin on it for no explained reason. Ghazale and I got friendly with him. What? We were in a silly mood and enjoying ourselves.
Despite all the gourmet dining choices in the area, we ended up going to Pinks in Hollywood for their famous hot dogs. Countless celebrities have dined here, and many of their autographed photos were on the walls. But that’s not why we were here. The hot dogs are just that good. My chili cheese dog is one of the best I’ve ever had. I paired it with a Mexican Coke, with real sugar — the only kind of Coke they had. It was yummy.
A brief tour of Hollywood Boulevard followed. The ladies went shopping. Eventually, Reuben and I brought them back to reality. We drove back to Reuben’s, then prepared to go our separate ways. The three of us left together, and Ghazale split off to head back to her place.
Ironically, it never rained again the rest of the day. But the unpredictable weather didn’t stop us from having a good time, with or without motorcycles. Bikes are how I met these people, but our friendship doesn’t stop there. I enjoy shenanigans with my LA crew. It kind of blows my mind that I even have an LA crew at this point, but there we are. I’m not much for cities, but I really like LA, and these people are a big reason why. The amazing motorcycling here is a close second, I’ll admit.
This was yet another case of rolling with the changes and finding a good time regardless. I think that’s the biggest lesson I learned in 2022. 2023 began with a reminder of how important it is to be able to do this, especially when living on the road, just to make sure I get it. I think I’ve finally gotten it through my thick skull. While I would’ve preferred to go riding as planned, the alternative was a whole lot of fun as well. I’ll miss my LA crew, but I’m looking forward to rejoining my desert tribe as well.
Happy New Year!