Time to pack up! Whenever going on an extended trip, the fridge has to be emptied of perishables.
2019-03-29 Fridge Cleanout

This trip is happening in the middle of Tax filing time so the days leading up to departure were filled with office tasks and last minute paper work.

I was able to get everything packed in time to play a few hours of poker on my way out.

Leaving the wildflower bloom of Texas and heading to the Southwestern desert super bloom!

 

March 30, Saturday

I was traveling with Vanessa on this trip so we had a few extra fun stops planned. The Cubs were in town playing the Rangers but we were heading out late and didn’t have time to stop for some batting practice.

We wanted to reach Tucumcari, NM by 9pm Mountain time to check in to our cute little artsy hotel on route 66.

 

March 30, Sunday

 

Sunday morning we walked the art covered route 66 over to a nice cafe for breakfast.

Diner

It was then time to research Montezuma Castle National Monument, Havasupai waterfalls and other cavern crevasses for the days exploration on the way to Mesa/Phoenix for the evening.

Havasupai was too far out of the way but we headed for some other great areas. We went through Tonto Forest over to Roosevelt Lake and the Tonto Monument for some preserved cave dwellings.

We drove through a nice brief snow on the high bluffs and then entered the lovely areas where flowers were blooming.

 

 

Tonto

It was getting dark as we entered a mountain pass that followed the Salt River into the city. It was about 20 miles to the other side but as we moved forward the pavement stopped and the road got narrow as the guard rails vanished high above the river cliff so we had to turn around. Better to be safe when there is an easier known path. It would require us to back track 40 miles but at least we would be traveling 70 mph instead of 20. Either way, we were going to arrive at our hosts place around 830pm.

Phoenix pool

April 1, Monday

Time to head for the ocean!

Patton MuseumDesert

cute mnt home

mountains

April 2, Tuesday

Started the first half the day recovering from the road trip with an extra long yoga session and workout. Did some beach prep and then worked on the blog, trip planning and taxes.

day3

The weather was too cool for the beach so I just walked around the neighborhood.

day 3 neighbor

day 3 suculants1

April 3, Wednesday

Too cool and cloudy again so I just spent the day looking for poker and darts information and studied the transit options. Got my day planned out for Thursday. I went out in the evening to check out the general neighborhood. I passed a girl in her 20’s crying and asked if I could help her. Meculah explained that her friend couldn’t make it to pick her up and she was stranded 40 miles from her house. Meculah’s phone battery was dead and she didn’t have a backup battery or power cord so she was having a panic attack. She couldn’t look up travel options and didn’t know what to do. She walked back with me to get my power cord and we talked and did some meditation exercises to calm her down while her phone charged. I refilled her water bottle while she decided to pay for a taxi home. I gave Meculah some pointers on taking the transit options and then continued on my walk as her ride drove off.

When Vanessa got home I drove us around Mulholland Drive for a mini sunset adventure. We found a trail head but it would take me about 15 minutes on a scooter to get up the canyon so I’m not sure if I will go do it or not.

 

 

April 4, Thursday

Did a quick workout and then wrote down my transit details for the day. I decided to go explore UCLA and then hang out in Santa Monica and hopefully find a poker game. The weather was crappy so I didn’t get to work on my tan but I did get on a bicycle and got a good workout in. I biked all the way down to Marina DelRay while getting reacquainted  with the Venice life.

 

As I strolled Venice I was sad to see the House of Weird never recovered. It was a great attraction that has been featured on many films. Some of the people (attractions) have found new shelter and remain in the area panhandling on the streets.

 

One of my favorite things to do when I am in Venice is to work out. There is Gold’s Gym (Muscle Beach) and the Cirque Du Soleil training area with some great options to workout.

day 5 acro

 

April 5, Friday

I did my taxes most of the day and then went exploring on the bus to the Japanese garden and the Sepulveda water basin. I jogged around that area and then got on a bus north to the dart tournament at a Lounge called Tender Glow. The Basin park is a massive area where tons of people have parties. They bring bouncy houses and setup all kinds of cool decorations! It is such a large area that there are a lot of transients camping in the woods and even the parking lots are full of RV’s. Law enforcement just asks them to move their vehicles around each day. The views are amazing.

 

It was about 3 miles north and 3 miles east of home base so not too far. It still took 1.5 hours on two buses to get there though. I passed this really nice rock garden along the way.

day 6 rock garden

At the tournament I shot great but the competition was difficult. My partner was not as accurate as my opponents so I had to make sure I hit the winning shots on my first try. Eventually I missed a couple and was eliminated in 5th place.

April 6, Saturday

We went to Topanga Canyon for breakfast. The health food options are amazing and there are so many cool little cafes. I love relaxing in the canyons.

 

I got to visit one of my favorite areas. In the past I had been active on the Topanga Chamber and Earth Day Committee which led to me spending a lot of time there with my buddy Will Pallagi. We didn’t find the road to the party ranch we used to spend the night at but we did find the park where I was in charge of the recycling for the Earth Day festival in 2010.

 

We also stopped at few market shops and took some fun pictures.

 

 

From Topanga we went back to the Sepulveda Lake park to get some spiritual celebration time. There was a Hare Krishna color festival waiting for us. It is a time to dance, chant and sing while rubbing ceremonial paint colors on those around you as a blessing. It is messy but really exciting.

 

We closed the day out by going to the Pet Cemetery Movie. It was very scary and I had a hard time watching it. I had some ear pressure that was also causing me eye pain so I had to wear sun glasses and shut the bad eye quite often but I made it through it. The film had a new ending from the previous movie and it caught everyone of guard. Let me know what you thought of it?!  🙂

Sunday, April 7

Started the day by taking the colored clothes to the laundry mat while Vanessa made us breakfast. We then headed out to her favorite Studio City farmers market. The market is always an enjoyable way to spend the morning.

day 8 farmers

From there we went downtown to the Renegade Craft fair.

day 8 market all

 

The location of the Renegade Craft Fair is in a park on the edge of China Town. It was a nice return to my past. This same park is where I enjoyed one of the funnest festivals ever. This is the site of where the Post-Burning Man L.A. decompression event is. You can read about that in my previous blog https://wordpress.com/post/freehelpinghands.wordpress.com/1227

Right next to the park was the warehouse district where there are amazing underground parties. I had another blast from the past vision in my head as we walked by the site of a High Times 420 party Will and I went to.

After the craft fair, we headed back through Topanga to watch the sunset on the beach in Malibu.

 

 

Monday, April 8

I left early with Vanessa and had her drop me off at the train station near her work so I could get down to South Bay as quickly as possible. I was going to go have lunch with one of my best buddies and former LA roomie, Sung. We have a ritual where we always hang at the Hermosa Pier and usually have drinks and lunch at this table over looking the beach.

The Long Beach train line is under construction so there is a major time delay due to a required bus detour. This construction really makes a metro visit from north L.A. to south L.A. unenjoyable. I left Woodland Hills at 9:30 and arrived at the Manhattan Beach station shortly after noon. It was so exciting being back in my old neighborhood. I walked around the soccer field on the way to Poliwog park where Sung was going to pick me up. Poliwog has a wonderful botanical garden to chill out in. I love reading and writing in this garden.

 

 

day 9 duck tanAfter lunch we went past Sung’s new house to get a tour and then he took me back to the train. I made it back to north Hollywood right on time and Vanessa picked me up to go to her birthday party at a Pizza cafe in Studio City.

Tuesday, April 9

I spent the morning doing some writing and house chores and then headed off to Runyon Canyon shortly after lunch.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, April 10

I went inland yesterday so today I am going coastal. I walked around the neighborhood on the way to the bus stop. There are beautiful gardens everywhere you look.

I got off the bus at UCLA to hike through the campus first.

As I waited at the bus stop I was approached by another wonderful adventurer.
(IG @StephanieByNature) Stephanie was trying to figure out the fastest bus or train route to the airport to catch a flight. We reviewed the transit maps together and exchanged contacts before boarding different buses. Once I was back on the bus I read about her adventures. She focuses a lot of energy on raising food and delivering it to people sleeping outdoors.

My next stop was the ocean to get some tanning in.

Day 11 beach

After my ocean fun, I headed back to Hollywood to meet Vanessa for a fun night at the Hollywood Improv for a ladies night special set. When we got out of the car I noticed we were in front of a store owned by one of my followers who actively comments on my adventures. (IG @Jannikolander)

Comedy Clubs are one of my favorite places to spend an evening.

Thursday, April 11

Today I followed the same path as yesterday but with a different ending. I moved past UCLA quicker so I could have more time at the mediation gardens.

I left the beach at 3pm so I could spend at least an hour at the meditation gardens before they closed at 4:30. This is one of my favorite garden parks in the world. https://lakeshrine.org/

Day 12 garden

After the gardens closed I headed over to Temescal Canyon for a sunset hike. This Canyon is one of my favorite hikes in LA because it has the least amount of people yet you get some nice ocean views and a stream trail as well. Head over to my youtube channel to view some of it.

day 13 temescal history

After sunset, I headed back by bus. It takes over 2 hours to complete the route going east to Sepulveda then north to Ventura and back west to Topanga north of the Mountain ridge.

 

Friday, April 12

I enjoy the Sunset/Beverly Hills/Temescal area so much that I wanted to spend one last day there with more time to go hiking. I had Vanessa drop me off at Sepulveda on the way to work and then I took the bus straight to Temsecal Canyon.

This time I hiked the east ridge to the boarder of Will Roger’s State Park until Vanessa was able to come join me.

We hiked the river trail for awhile and then it was time to head to my evening poker tournament. I won again and finished with a $250 profit. It was my last night to make some money and I finished below my goal for the week but I was ending the trip with more than I arrived with.

Saturday, April 13

South Bay is one of my favorite areas of LA and I have only been able to make it over there 1 time so far on this visit so today we are spending most of the day there.

It takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to go from Topanga down the PCH to Hermosa so you can not really do much else unless it is along the way.

We went to a Greatful Dead cover concert with the band called Cubensis. I try to catch one of their shows every visit.

Day 14 Cubensis

After the show we went for a little stroll and sunset on the beach.

Day 14 sunset

We closed the night out with a spiritual Kirtan and the Bhakti Yoga Shala. http://bhaktiyogashala.com/ 

Day 14 kirtan

 

Sunday, April 14

Sunday is a great day to be in LA. Some of my favorite things to do in LA happen on Sundays. I like to start the morning at the LA market on the way to the Agape Spiritual Center.

There is a center for day to day gatherings but on Sunday the celebrations are at the Saban Theatre. The theatre is amazing and the energy is so eclectic. Check out this video clip on my youtube channel. There is always several successful/famous people sitting around you or performing on the stage at Agape.

For lunch, I love going over to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Culver City.  This Hindu temple provides the most amazing vegetarian dishes for a very low price. ($6.95 entree’s and $2.95 sides!)

After lunch, we meditated in the temple as they prepared for Owner of the Ford Motor Company Foundation to arrive for a speech. Alfred Ford is an amazing inspiration and philanthropist. He has given a lot of his families fortune to spiritual causes.

Day 15 ISKON lineup

Then we went into the structure next to the temple which houses the Museum full of animated Vedic Diorama’s. It is only $10 for an amazing 45 minute tour through Hindu & Krishna history. Please check it out when you are in the area and make sure you give them some reviews on their yelp to help encourage more people to visit!

We finished our visit by participating in a fire prayer ceremony. This is a series of purification chants mixed with the burning of sacrifices like rice, sage, cedar, flowers, oils and other items. Check out the video on my youTube channel.

Day 15 ISKON fire

After we left ISKCON we went on our own little spiritual quest to harvest and bundle some sage. We know this amazing hike that is covered with white sage.

After such a full day, the time had finally arrived for me to depart back to Texas. I had to wait an extra hour and 30 minutes to leave because the flight crew was delayed. I barely made my connecting flight in DFW with just minutes to spare.

 

 

 

 

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