Like I said, we don't usually have weekend plans unless someone is visiting. So Saturday morning after GTL (or really just gym), we were watching "Hot Dog Paradise" on Travel Channel. Don't judge. After I nixed Shaun's idea of finding a Nathan's in San Diego, I agreed to road trip to LA for the apparently famous Pink's in Hollywood. We called our new SD friend Jared (well, old friend, new to SD) since he was born but not so much raised in LA. The three of us proceeded north, driving through some crazy man-made smog. Shaun says it's so foggy because we're hiding our military bases so no one can fly over and see what's going on. Sounds logical, but as we sat in 2.5 hours of traffic, I was thinking the smog might just be from fuel emissions.
We finally arrived at Pink's and the sun was shining. I got really stressed with the choices, plus we had to wait in line for half an hour so I changed my mind 55 times, but finally went with the Guadalajara dog, which had relish, tomatoes, sour cream, and I added cheese to replace onions. Meanwhile a pimped out Disney Mustang creepily pulled up next to the line and just sat there. It had stuffed animals out the wazoo, and tons of Disney paintings all over it. Maybe it was supposed to be make kids happy, but nothing says child molester like such a vehicle. Back at the ranch, I actually ate the whole hot dog and it might've been the most food I've eaten in one sitting in quite a long time. Worth the 2.5 hour trip? Probably.
After the feast, we drove to Venice Beach, but all of a sudden the entire city was in a giant, cold cloud. It was so foggy, I went from being in a tank top to a jacket and scarf. I can now kind of see why people like living in LA though. We drove through some very nice tree-lined hoods in Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. It's a little more city than San Diego, which I liked, but the traffic is everything people say and more. It's horrendous. We don't have that in San Diego really at all, but also Shaun and I don't have to drive in rush hour since I walk to work and he works from home. But the only traffic we've been in was after a Chargers game, when we decided to drive to Costco and took a wrong turn right past the stadium.
We walked along the Venice boardwalk, but note - it's not a good place after dark. During the day, there are lots of freaks, magicians, flea markets, and trickery, but also lots of tourists and it's sunny and happy. But after dark, the good people go home, and the freaks and magicians turn out to be homeless and angry. Cops drive along the boardwalk, people say many bad words and someone even burped in Shaun's face. So we walked back to the car and drove back to Santa Monica to go to Jared's favorite place - Urth Caffe. Seriously good green tea lattes and pumpkin cheesecake at a trendy little outdoor table next to a fountain. Felt like Europe! Or maybe that was the girl speaking with an accent next to us. All in all, LA felt like an extension of San Diego, with a little less Mexican food and a little more shopping.