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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The One Where I Had a Very LA Weekend

So I decided on Thursday that I wanted to have a Very LA Weekend. Inspired by another blog post I read that talked about the Los Angeles Flower Market, I mapped out my plan: take myself downtown on Saturday morning, stop at the flower market, head over to Grand Central Market for some breakfast, and top it off with a stop at The Last Bookstore since I'd never been there before.

Then, my friend Jessica posted on Facebook about how she had just taken her first SoulCycle class and it was like, and I quote (because this description is just perfection), "attending a Southern Baptist church service at night in the desert at Burning Man all while on a stationary bike." I mean, come on. If that's not enough to make you want to try it... well, then we obviously have very different ideas about what a fun exercise class sounds like. So I looked up where the closest SoulCycle studio is located. Of course it's in Pasadena and of course it opened after I moved from there, but that is actually probably a VERY good thing because otherwise I'd be [more] broke from spending all my money on SoulCycle classes. 

 So I added SoulCycle to my list of LA Things To Do.

And, like the best laid plans, it mostly worked out but of course there were some hitches. 

First, if you've never been to the Flower Market in downtown, let's just say the surrounding areas are... mmm... TERRIFYING. I'm 95% sure I saw a drug deal on the corner when I was paused at a stoplight. I DEFINITELY saw a woman with no legs crossing the street in an electric wheelchair, wearing a bright yellow hat, and yelling at someone invisible about a block from the flower market. However, I am stubborn as hell so when I decide I'm going to do something, I am going to do it, so I proceeded on to the market.

Now, the actual immediate block around the market is totally fine. Way fewer drug deals to be witnessed. So I  pull into the garage where it says "LA Flower Market Parking" (btw, the words on the sign are small and sideways so I had trouble finding it, but I eventually did) and it's probably like peak flower time at this point, around 10:00 on a Saturday morning, so there are multiple cars pulling in behind me. So I jab at the ticket machine to give me a ticket and it beeps and makes the screeching noise and the little gate goes up, but no ticket comes out. So I jab it about 8 more times since THAT will help. Again, no ticket is produced. At this point, I'm starting to sweat realizing all these people are waiting behind me and probably thinking I am mentally challenged. So I just pull into the garage because I don't know what else to do and go straight to the exit. Luckily, there was an actual man there and not just a little machine that would not have understood, no matter how many times I yelled at it, that I didn't have a ticket to give it to make it let me out. 

Well, the man standing there didn't really get what I was saying either.

Him: "Ticket."

Me: "The machine didn't give me one. I just pulled in here."
Him: "Where's your ticket?"
Me: "The machine didn't give me one, so I just pulled over here."
Him: "Why didn't you pull it out of the machine?"
Me: (deep breath) "Nothing came out of the machine. There was nothing to pull out of the machine."
Him: (staring down the garage at the machine) "You didn't get a ticket?"
Him: "So what are you doing? Are you trying to park?"
Me: (totally OVER IT) "No, I think I'd just like to leave." 
[I don't care WHAT kind of deal you're giving me on succulents; it is not worth it to me at this point!] 
Him: "Go ahead." (Gate goes up)

Okay, fine, Part I of Very LA Day did not go according to plan. Moving on. Next stop: Grand Central Market, which is basically a bunch of food stalls and mini produce markets. You can get tons of different types of food. 

And jewelry?

I was planning to get a sandwich from this place called EggSlut. Along with approximately 100 other people!
I tried to take a picture of the line without looking like a stalker.

All those people, plus about 12 more around the corner, were waiting in line for EggSlut sandwiches. No, thank you. So I found another place that would give me a breakfast sammie. And then I came across a place that sells ridiculously overpriced pressed, organic juice. So I bought some. Because when in Rome...

Pretty tasty!
 Right across from where I was sitting was this cute craft place called Little Junebugs. If I had kids, we would go there!

After eating, I walked over to The Last Bookstore. Which is not just a bookstore with a Wooly Mammoth head in it.

No, they have a bunch of weird art pieces all over...

And a REALLY cool tunnel made entirely out of books. Awesome! And creepy!

Then... upstairs... there's a huge selection of books that are all ONE DOLLAR. 



Sign me uuuuuuupppppp.

I found quite a few gems, including:

We are focusing on The Girl Who Trod On A Loaf, which is apparently a book about "opera, adultery, and murder."
If I remember correctly, University of Central Florida took the #1 spot.

And, finally...
I don't even know.

I did not purchase of the above books, but I still got a few for myself.

For the record, bring your own bag when you go there because if you ask for a bag, you will get a brown paper sack without a handle. Which is difficult to carry and not look like an idiot when you're walking back to your car. Lesson learned.

After that I had a little time to kill before SoulCycle, so I headed to Whole Foods (in keeping with the theme) to grab an iced tea. And apparently the girl from The Grudge/The Ring was trying to escape from the parking garage...

Seriously, what is this if it's not an unfortunate balsamic vinegar leak?

And then, of course, what better way to prepare for a strenuous workout than to get a little treat from the bakery? But here's what I find funny. I ordered one cake ball and the amount of packaging/labeling they're required to put on it is absurd, especially for a place that preaches recycling and not wasting resources.

I know, can you even find my treat??
But then... 

SoulCycle time. If you've never been, just go. I can't really adequately explain how awesome it was. I hadn't been to a spin class since about last September, so my... I guess sit bones (to borrow a phrase from yoga) were sore this morning, but not too bad. I was SO SWEATY afterwards. I tried to take a picture adequately capturing my sweatiness, but... it's surprisingly hard to capture sweat on an iPhone camera.

I swear, I was like dripping sweat here.

After that, I went home and tried out these cool new nail "wraps" from this company called Jamberry. My friend Jolene sells them (you can check out the website here) and they're like nail stickers. Same concept as Sally Hansen nail polish strips, but Jamberry has a ton more color/pattern options and so far they seem to stick to my nails better than the Sally Hansen ones, especially around the edges. Plus, I found them super easy to apply.

I had a Sephora gift card burning a hole in my pocket so I headed out last night to get me some treats.

The product in the middle is the Sephora Collection CC cream. Tried it today. So far, big thumbs up.

Today, I decided what the heck... I'll just go whole hog with this Very LA theme and I hit up the farmer's market for some flowers (and hummus...) and then went to a yoga class at a new (to me) studio.

This is usually the image I try to channel when I'm in yoga.

And I just got home from a baby shower for one of the women in my choir! She's due August 1 and looking just beautiful. Check out this adorable outfit one of the women got for her!

Baby overalls... adorable.

And the woman who hosted hand cut these cool animal silhouettes and put them around big candles. How cool is that?!

And tonight I will be reading for school... Moral Leadership: Shifting the Management Paradigm. Are you asleep yet? 

I hope you all had a great weekend! Only 6 days until I can start finalizing things with my car. :-)

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