It seems that, from our campus, we can reach some major places like Disneyland, Downtown LA, Newport Beach, or Lake Arrowhead in about 45 minutes. I know, I know – who could possibly want to go outside of this all-inclusive CBU resort? – but on a weekend when feeling adventurous, these places are at our fingertips. It’s okay, escaping to a new land can be extremely exciting and liberating, full of craziness, happiness, and/or absolute confusion. As long as someone has Siri, we are our own tour guides (I’m convinced she is my fairy godmother: “Here’s the traffic for the 405,” “I found 14 Starbucks fairly close to you,” “Rerouting…”).

Fortunately enough for me, my sister and her husband live in a cozy, 1920s, old Hollywood apartment building about five minutes from downtown LA. This past Easter weekend, my best friend Kylie and I made the trek over the 60 and 101 to LA for a relaxing, (maybe, possibly, if we’re not too tired) adventurous, and cultured weekend with my favorite sister, Alison, and brother-in-law, Manny. As they worked Thursday, Friday, and Monday, we knew we would be at our leisure in their lovely apartment. Apart from a scheduled Downton Abbey marathon, a movie Saturday morning, and church Easter Sunday, we were left to our own muses (aka food, drink, and culture).

Naturally, everyone must do a little bit of exploring on a trip to a “foreign” place. Kylie and I became connoisseurs for a couple of days, trying Thai dishes, Korean barbecued meat skewers, Mexican favorites, and Italian paninis, as well as Boba (my first time… I was feeling adventurous!) and a local and well-known donut shop. All are within a 15-minute radius of our “weekend home,” might I add.

Our very own North Colony residence director, Becca Magnuson, recommended a retro, enormous, artsy bookshop called The Last Book Store to quench our thirst for literary entertainment for the weekend, so after Siri directed us (and rerouted us because of my driving challenges) to this place, we walked in utterly overwhelmed. A two-story bookstore, complete with book, loose-leaf page, and book binding wall art, with more than 100,000 books upstairs alone (all books upstairs $1… I kid you not). We were lost in paradise! In the downtown area alone, the blocks are bursting with life and opportunities for our imaginations. With major cities so close to us, as well as places saturated with culture, history, and wonderfully different people, create an interestingly curious area that we students should definitely take advantage of.

Take your Saturday and explore.

Here are the websites to our adventures this weekend:

http://www.itsthainoodle.com/
(Me: Kung Pao chicken; Kylie: Orange Chicken)

http://www.yelp.com/biz/toe-bang-los-angeles
(Both: Chicken and Beef Barbecued Skewers)

http://www.elcoyotecafe.com/
(Me: Tortilla Soup; Kylie: Shredded Beef Burrito)

http://visitkoreatown.org/the-boba-time-6th-street/
(Me: Strawberry Watermelon Slush, Strawberry Peach Smoothie with Boba; Kylie: Strawberry Banana Smoothie with Boba, Strawberry Peach Smoothie with Boba)

http://randys-donuts.com/
(Both: Maple and Chocolate Bars, Glazed and Sprinkled Donuts)

http://lastbookstorela.com/
(Both: More books than we should have)