Thumbthing about LA

Thumbs up: I love LA.  Well, I like it just fine.  Love would be too strong a word but I didn’t know any song lyrics for my more tepid liking.

Thumbs up: Flights went well.  Southwest held together:)  Thumbs down for uncomfortable airplane seats.

Thumbs down: Our GPS apparently does NOT love LA.   I’ve never encountered so many navigation issues before.  Thumbs way up for my husband who drove and handled things admirably, getting us where we needed to be with only a few cars honking at us.  Thumbs up that the GPS came through in the end and took us a back route to the airport, avoiding the jam-packed highway, and sailing through both sketchy and lovely neighborhoods.

Thumbs up: In-n-Out Burger.  Number one rated restaurant, right near the airport when we arrived with our tummies telling us it was two hours past lunch time, had to check it out.  They sell burgers.  And cheeseburgers.  And double burgers.  So, yeah, it was gonna be burgers for lunch.  And, thumbs up, or down, depending on how you look at it, that the calorie count was on the menu!  I got the 480 calorie cheeseburger and my concession to my healthier eating goals was to take off the top bun.  It was yummy.  For me, it lived up to the hype.  I tried two of my son’s and husband’s fries which did not live up to any hype at all.  The drive-through line wrapped around the block but, thumbs up, we found a lone parking spot so ordered inside and ate outside in the California sun.  Thumbs up for sunscreen that fits in the security-sized travel baggie.

Thumbs down: Post-prom, sleep deprived teen.  He kept it together most of the first day despite running on only a couple hours of sleep and having sore feet from ill-fitting tuxedo-rental shoes.  The worst moments came when he wanted to nap and his hungry parents wanted to eat dinner.  Tired teen met hungry parents in an epic battle of wills, and I just kept telling myself to be patient.  The evening ended win-win.  Teen was reluctantly dragged to a restaurant near campus so navigationally-challenged parents could reconnoiter for the next day and luckily we spotted a burrito place nearby so teen could eat something fast and more to his liking.

Thumbs up: For our after-dinner drive around the campus perimeter.  Which direction should a mother raise her thumbs in response to the campus being gated all the way around?

Thumbs high: “High” as in “altered mental state.”  Venice Beach, where we played tourist, featured a plethora of “head shops” and medical marijuana doctors on call for walk-ins.  And lots of cheap sunglasses, hats, and suggestively sloganed T-shirts for sale.  My teen wanted some time to wander without his parents; thumbs up he did not return with a tattoo or a purchase that wouldn’t make it through airport security.

Thumbs up: I’ve never packed so light in my life!  Not even an extra book with me in case I didn’t like the first one.  And only the one pair of shoes on my feet, much as I hate to wear them through airport security and on the plane.  No workout clothes:(  I even made my shirt do double duty and wore it to bed.  My one concession – an extra pair of underwear, which I never travel without.  Murphy’s Law says if you have it you won’t need it.

Thumbs down: Paying for internet at out hotel.  Hello Hilton!!!

Thumbs down: The two-hour time difference.  Hard for my rumbling belly (although I packed lots of snacks in anticipation) and hard for this morning person.  So here I sit on the floor in the dark, typing, while my husband and son sleep.  I take that back; hubby is laying in bed watching a move on his smart phone with headphones in.  Thumbs up for typing class back in the dark ages so my fingers can fly across the keyboard in the dark hotel room:)

Thumbs down: Drinking water.  Any one else limit water intake when traveling because of the hassles of airplane and public restrooms?

Thumbs up: USC.  Hubby and I both liked it.  Thumbs down for our recalcitrant teen who frustrated me no end with his unwillingness to talk about his own impressions.  I’m practicing more maternal patience as I remind myself that it is all about him right now.

Thumbs down: The tasty meal we were served for lunch on campus.  Yes, there was salad.  Yes, there were veggies.  I ate plenty of both.  But the only protein was some Chinese-style chicken – yummy but breaded and maybe fried.  Thumbs up that I had no problem skipping the decadent desserts offered.  Thumbs neutral, IMO, that I went off plan with my airport dinner.  Nothing horrible but not on plan.  And thumbs down that I most definitely snacked more than my physical hunger demanded on the flights.  What it is about flying that makes me want to eat?  The boredom, maybe?  The frustration?

Thumbs up: Home sweet home.  Dorothy was right.

 

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35 Comments

Filed under thumbs, vacation

35 responses to “Thumbthing about LA

  1. Miz

    AHHHH as always you and I are so alike (though that nav thing and LA is my fear. I dont trust the navs :)).

    flights? airports? my snackage goes through the roof…not sure why either.
    you back safely? THUMBS UP.

  2. I loved LA, Venice, and In and Out Burgers! (I ate the fries, and mine were tasty, but there were way too many.)
    Glad you had a safe trip!

  3. USC is a beautiful and great school! Some of my friends went there 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed your trip to LA. I LOVE LA! I was just there in February. Glad to hear your trip went well. Mastering light packing is an artform so great job.

  4. anne h

    L.A!
    I love love love it
    but probably won’t be going back for a while.
    They are building an In and Out right here in the Dallas area,
    so I don’t have to take my yearly visit to L.A. any more!

  5. Ewa

    Teen not talking? So what else is new. Mine says that he is talking in his head as if that was ever a good excuse for not sharing his thoughts.
    CA local speaking here, SF is much nicer than LA – there, I said it. 😉
    Glad you had a good time.
    Hilton charges for internet? How cheap can they get?

    • Karen

      I wish I could remember the word he used to describe his unforthcoming nature. I don’t remember my older son being quite so into privacy and all that at this age but maybe he was. But last night we had a great long talk about the whole college thing:)

  6. I agree with Ewa.. SF well northern CA as a whole is much nicer than the southern part.

    Glad you enjoyed your trip!

  7. Don’t even get me started on teens and looking at colleges! My 17 year old is the poster child for stubborn. I think we are just going to pick one and go with it!

    • Karen

      I have tried hard to just ask questions and let him work it out without giving away my opinion and then last night he actually asked. Kinda floored me.

  8. Oh, nice post. And yes, Dorothy is so right. I have a poster about how all I ever needed to know about life I learned from the W of Oz. Makes me homesick for Ohio just to say it… There’s no place like home. Oh so true!

    Glad you had a safe trip. Water while traveling… I’m not so sure I purposely limit it, but I seem to forget to drink it.

  9. sounds like and exhausting but wonderful trip. glad you’re home safe.

  10. sunnydaze

    Sounds like a wonderful and exciting trip. Your DS is lucky to have parents such as you two.

    Speaking of lucky – I would LOVE to visit LA! LUCKY YOU! 😀

  11. JourneyBeyondSurvival

    How fun! I’m hoping that jet-lag left you alone, and that your teen has decided to share a word or two more on his impressions.

    YUM. to the whole thing.

  12. Lisa T

    Yeah, another CA local weighing in to say that SF/Northern CA is far superior to LA/Southern. I went to USC (many, many, many years ago) for one year and did not like it. I finished college in Northern California. Not having a car and being stuck in the area that surrounds USC was a big issue for me. We’re pretty wedded to our cars out here in CA, but most especially in LA. If youngest son will have a car at college, perhaps it will be different for him.

  13. See, if I had advance warning you were coming here and going to In ‘n Out it, I could’ve trained you to ask for your cheeseburger animal and protein style. (sauce would’ve been a tasty concoction of onions grilled in special mustard-MUCH better than it sounds!), and protein style means lettuce wrapped with no bun. 🙂

  14. One’s own bed is always best. 🙂 Glad you’re home safe and souind! Deb

  15. Roz

    Karen, I LOVE your writing style. So fun!!!

  16. Always good to get home. right! People love their In&Out & actually people order the burger wrapped in lettuce! One of those not on the menu things people know about. My hubby orders it animal style which we found out about on a show about In & Out & what is not on the menu but “the in” people know… 🙂

  17. Oh my gosh, I LOVE In n Out!! I used to live in CA and that was one of the best places. LOVE. So good. lol

  18. Welcome home! Glad you had a successful trip. When we moved here one of the first places we visited was the infamous, In-N-Out Burger. We were not impressed and have eaten there maybe 3 times since we moved here 3 years ago. I guess that is a good thing. LOL!

    • Karen

      I actually didn’t expect all that much, thinking it was probably hype. I suspect if I lived there I’d rarely go. Then again, we have several burger places near us and I NEVER go:)

  19. Thumbs way up: Thumbing through LA! What a fun post. Teen and parents survived. Amazing!

  20. I have never been to California. Driving in LA sounds extremely nerve racking and I loathe flying.

    I am just a wealth of optimism today!! LoL!!!

    Glad it went well over all!

  21. Ann

    Love the post and I’ll just do my best not to be too negative with my anti-USC prejudice. Let’s just hope your son finds the right school and loves it where ever that happens to be. I myself am just going to suppress the feelings of fear that reading this post invoked as I realize that I am but 4 years from a similar trip. Hopefully not to nasty old USC. Ha ha!

  22. I have a deep desire to try INnOUT … glad to hear they were as good as the hype.

  23. In n Out burger, been a long time since i have dined on that goodness. Well, it tastes good but is so not good for you. I ate my share of itthough back in my CA days.

    Thanks for your well wishes on my blog re: my surgery, appreciate your kind thoughts!

  24. Glad you enjoyed it and then plane didn’t fall apart! I hate to fly but am flying next month. I’m already nervous!

  25. I know exactly that In and out Burger that you went to! I have been there many times. Actually every time I go to So Ca it is our first stop. I have eaten In and Out three times since starting this “plan” and each and every time budgeted the calories for one burger into my daily caloric total. I checked on line to find out the calories. Definitely the best Fast Food burger. Glad you went there, and first. Michele (former “Valley Girl”)

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