Adventure #3: The California Excursion Part 2

The next several days will be a blur of partying, eating, sleeping, errand running and general classic Socal debauchery. The night of my arrival we are joined by my cousin; the tri-fecta is complete.
This is relatively exciting. While we are all three very close family members, it has never really occurred that this specific combo would together under such enjoyable circumstances. No crazy family reunion, no crazy family drama, just three of the younger generation geared up to enjoy Socal in all its glory.
I wake up in the morning and start  it off in the same way I’ll be starting off each morning on my trip down south. I grab up the leash and take my brothers wonderfully insane dog, Jack, for a walk around the block.

As I haul Jack down the street, noting that he makes a point to pee on just about everything he sees, I am struck by one of my favorite things about california; the trees. California has some beautiful trees and as somewhat of a tree hugger type (maybe not literally), this is something I can appreciate.

Ah yes, and I failed to mention the most important part. My brother, a citizen of the area for many years now, has just acquired a unique and wonderfully spacious new apartment. He is also quite the social cat and has many wonderful friends in the area. On top of this, his birthday is on the horizon. If I must spell it out for you: P-A-R-T-Y.
The first half of this day is a mash-up of driving, errand running, food and booze buying. The second half is a bit of rearranging and redecorating the apartment for the revolving door of people that will be spinning soon. This involved moving tables and chairs in every possible combination (my brother is a photographer so it’s in his nature to never be quite satisfied with these arrangements) until we find something we can all agree maximizes the potential of the giant room that makes up the bulk of the apartment.

After giving everything our approval, and teasing my brother for his ridiculously awesome bull fighter tapestry, we’re ready to rock.

Now I know you would all love to hear stories of this part accompanied by images, but I am afraid I must disappoint. I was attending as a guest and what kind of guest would I be if I didn’t partake in the merrymaking? So I did and as a result the camera never really came out and memory is a bit hazey. Oh well, c’est la vie!
Suffice to say we ate, we drank, we danced, chit chatted, drank some more and eventually drove out the stragglers in the wee hours of the morning. A great party by all accounts.
The following day began in much the same way: I woke up, snatched the leash and took jack outside to help him mark his territory all over again. This time was a bit more special than the previous day as he decided to also add his opinion of a piece of art we saw sitting outside.

Afterward we begin discussions as to what we should do with the day. We have this one Sunday all to ourselves and then it’s back to reality for one of us; the cousin must trek back across the desert to Arizona and return to real life and work.
The choices before us, as suggested by my brother, are a hike to a waterfall or a visit to Venice Beach. Personally I had been to both in the past so my opinion was torn. Normally I always tend to favor any sort of outdoors activity but keep in mind this is post-party Sunday; a nice solid hangover doesn’t generally make a hike sound all that appealing.
It’s at this point that cousin decides to reveal he has never been to Venice Beach, which makes the decision for us.
After stuffing our faces with the incredible breakfast food at Home, it’s off into the California jungle to experience the local flavor of Venice Beach.

For those of you who have not been to Venice Beach I regret to inform you that I’m fresh out of good metaphors to illuminate what it’s like; in fact Venice is usually the metaphor I would use for places similar to it. It’s a hotbed of California art and culture. It is a massive beach and boardwalk where all manner of Californians come to perform their art, sell their wares, skate down the beach and just generally do whatever the hell they want. What many in the outside world might refer to as strange, the people of Venice Beach embrace as normal.
The proper descriptive words elude me at this point so I will simply finish this off with images of the journey.

And so ends part 2 of The California Excursion. Stay tuned for the epic conclusion as well as the tale of Monte Cristo!


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