I’ve actually never gone down to Socal in my life, so when a good friend says “You’re coming down to Socal with me next week!” You don’t say no, you just go with it. I was super excited to go down to Orange County for the first time, there were so many spots I wanted to hit up and limited time. I packed my bags with all my gear making sure that all the batteries were charged, I had space in my SD cards ( and that they were clean and formatted), and I had my one and only lens ready to go ( all I’ve been shooting with as of late is the 50mm f/1.8, and it’s a goody, but the limited range can be quite tedious). I was set and ready to go the night before, so I just waited to fall asleep and I pondered what place we were going to hit up because we only had one day: I couldn’t complain, one day in a city that you’ve never been in is better than no days. When my friend picked me up, we headed out to in-n-out to fuel ourselves, because you can’t drive for 4-5 hrs on an empty stomach; afterwards, we were on our way to Socal. On the way there I was still thinking of where to go, but nonetheless, we had to check the weather, which said that it was gonna rain, but rain in Socal in the middle of the summer? Are you kidding me! However, as we made our way down we started to see clouds, they were massive, as massive as the smell of cow that we passed on our way down highway 5.
In addition to the weather being interesting for the summer, the scenery was also one of the best parts. Seeing how freaking insane it was for a highway like this was built in-between these giant mountains was astonishing, in the back of my head I was thinking of the amount of engineering and back-breaking work it was for those that build the highway. I wasn’t just looking at the nice view during the trip, but also a book, The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau, which is all about just taking the risk in life and not looking back: one of my favorite stories so far is about a women who got laid off from GM, but instead of looking for another job she goes out and photographs people down route 66, and I hope to do something like that soon! I wanted to go down highway 1 because it is the scenic route, but I think highway 5 was just as good. We stopped by for gas and noticed that the clouds that were already huge on our way down were even bigger and it also felt humid, every time I stepped outside of the car I wanted to shower, but we’re in a drought, so you know gotta reserve that water.
After another 2 hours we finally made our way to the LA area and it was a storm, like what happened to “Sunny LA” that you see in the movies. Oh well, it was nice to finally some clouds and rain. While we were down there another friend suggested we meet up at LACMA, so we did. LACMA ( Los Angeles County Museum of Art) has actually been on my list of places to visit since my sophomore year of high school, so visiting it was off the bucket list! We hung out there for about an hour and it was crazy to see how many people come this far for these lights, which are actually made of some material that isn’t steel (or whatever these light are suppose to be made of originally ). I think that the light are a freaking masterpiece, and I wish San Jose would get something like this. The LACMA shots are some of my favorites from the trip.
The only meal that I had all day was that in-n-out, so after LACMA the question was “Where do we eat?” I thought about all the places to go, but there were too many choices, so we let good old Yelp find something in the city of Angels. Luckily, we found that Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles was just about 3-4 miles away from LACMA, so we headed up there at about 10:30pm. We went and before we entered I heard that the President had eaten here, but I think I was mixing that up with another famous place in LA, but I guess I was right, because when we got into the place there was a huge picture of the staff and President Obama on the wall: I just thought “ If I had restaruant and the president came into my place to eat I would do the same”. We signed up for a table of two and waited for about 20 minutes, but not only did they have famous chicken and waffles, they also had famous mac and cheese, which they advertised in the front of their place: when someone says that they have award winning mac and cheese you kinda wanna be the judge of it. We sat at out table and the person that sat us wasn’t very specific on ordering, but they gave us an order pad, which made us think that we had to write down our own order (???) Anyways, the waitress came over and she said “Did you do this?” and I said “Yes”, which she responded to “This must be your first time here.” So after a good laugh, we ordered our food. We got the number 1, which is the traditional chicken and waffles,mac and cheese, and an energy drink (bc dead by the end of LACMA #rip). It took a bit of time to get our order, but who could blame the restaurant, it is famous, and the wait was well worth it! I have a huge sweet tooth and I always find that places that make waffles make them in two ways: Either too sweet or they texture is just funky, but Roscoe’s did it the right way, which was a light fluff that lands on your tongue and dissolves, like a snowflake on the palm of your hand— the sweetness was on FREAKING POINT! The chicken, I couldn’t finish it, however, I never been a huge fan of chicken. The mac and cheese was, well, good, I thought that they could have made it a bit more cheese. I’m and big guy, with an even bigger stomach and my friend is a cross country/ track runner who has a huge stomach as well, so when found ourselves struggling then it should tell you a little something about the huge portions of Roscoe’s! I would give the place a 9/10.
After a long day, we headed to our hotel to catch some Z’s. We found ourselves looking at LA from a distance on the freeway, which looking astonishing during the night, with all of its lights, although it had been a murky day the city lights still stood strong. We made it to our hotel, and the room we had smelled like straight up smoke, “Is everything in LA covered in smog?” I asked myself. Before sleeping I just had to edit some of the LACMA shots, so I did. There’s always that itch with me when I take a shot on the field, like "I’m going to make it look like this! and gonna add some of that! and aww man, should I make the white balance cold or warm?” I catch myself editing in my head way too often. Although I have an idea when it comes to my shots, they never come out the way I want them to, which isn’t a bad thing because, I mean, nothing ever comes out as planned within this lifetime. I sat in my own bed for about half and hour sliding and making sure that the picture was edited and ready to upload for the next day. After looking at the computer screen for a while it was finally to lay down and just get some rest, after a successful day in the city of angels.
The next day we headed down to UCI and my friend had to go and do some stuff because he had just gotten in to the school! I had free time, so I wondered the campus for a bit, and the vibe was great: I’m not a fan of huge city’s, it’s always that thing were I want visit the city and feel the rush of the fast city, but not all the time, there has to be a time to rest, and that’s why I’m a fan of the suburbsish areas like Orange County. UCI is really beautiful and I quite, but the best part is that In-n-out is right next to the campus!!! I would probably eat there everyday. After my friend finished his stuff we headed to all you can eat Korean BBQ, the place was called Gen’s and it was awesome, who wouldn’t want all you can eat for 15$? The experience was awesome and the fact that there’s a Gen’s opening in San Jose saves the 300-400 mile drive. Of course, there’s always time for desert so we headed to After a place that combines two of the best desserts, donuts and ice cream. A 15 minute drive for the sweetness of donuts and ice cream was worth it! The amount of options was a wide range, of flavors, but I ended up going with…. I forgot, but it was really good! When I first got the donuts/ ice cream I was like “WTF! How they do this?! What is this black magic!?” I wanted more, but it was already about 4 o’clock so we had to head back up San Jose.
The drive back was astonishing as the drive down to Socal and the drive back up to San Jose was the same. The only thing I got to say is that the clouds merging with the the sunset made it look like heaves gates were opening! It was crazy and beautiful and the colors, something that isn’t given justice with my pictures sometimes. I gotta say, that this was a well worth experience and when life gives you an adventure you say "heck yea!"