ARLT 100g Professor Freeman 4-1-07 Los Angeles in a Day I just left the ZBT fraternity house on a traditional, sunny, early fall Saturday morning in Los Angeles and cruised down the 5 freeway on towards Disneyland. Driving along with a few pledge bros in the Toyota 4Runner, we began our pledge class scavenger hunt for the day with Disneyland being the first destination.
On our way, we did not encounter the typical, drive you insane, never ending, Los Angeles traffic constantly on the 5 freeway and were able to breeze their within a half-hour. Born and raised in St.Louis all my life, I was especially anxious for this day, being it was my first time exploring different tourist attractions in Los Angles and I did not know what to anticipate. Once we arrived, I expected Disneyland to be like the theme park that’s at home, Six Flags. From the parking lot, the parks seemed similar where the roller coasters, ferris wheel, and other tall attractions were visible from a couple miles away, the smell of the usual theme park foods like cotton-candy, popcorn, and funnel cakes was in the air, and there were countless of amounts of young families visible everywhere.However, once we all got closer to the park I acknowledged certain things that I did not expect. Although there were a lot of families which I expected, I noticed a different type of crowd.
Unlike at home where Six Flags is swarming with many rednecks that live outside of St. Louis, this crowd was totally diverse with a mix of different types of people, composed of either the local upper class families from around the Orange County area, or tourists, primarily foreign, with many from China.I was surprised at the lack of teenagers, specifically college and high students roaming around the park goofing off and having a good time. Once we started to perform our tasks for the scavenger hunt, I quickly realized why. We started to form a pyramid near the entrance of the park with all the guys in my pledge class for a picture and before we were able to snap the picture, two security guards were breathing down our necks asking what we were doing. After being told to act properly and not create a scene, we quickly finished our tasks and departed from Disneyland on to our next adventure.
Next, we headed back up the 5 freeway North on our way to our next stop, Venice beach, but our stomachs were growling so we decided to head to the famous burger joint in California, In-n-Out Burger. As we destined toward In-n-Out, the one thought that came to my mind is could they possibly be as good as the place famous for steakburgers back in the Midwest, Steak n’ Shake? All I could think of on the way was those mouth watering steak cut burgers with melted American cheese on top, along with lettuce and tomato, cheese fries, and a hand-dipped chocolate shake.With the rave reviews In-n-Out has gotten from just about every Californian, along with the high crowds of people, and based on my past experiences of great burgers at Steak n’ Shake, I came with high expectations. We arrived right at the heart of lunch time so the line seemed never ending and I almost decided to get Taco Bell right next store, but my bros convinced me the burger would be worth the wait, so I stuck it out.
After the long awaited arrival of my “double-double”, french fries, and chocolate shake, I sat down and gobbled down the ood in a heart beat and boy were my expectations met. The “double-double” had to be one of the best burgers I have ever tasted in my life, possibly even better than Steak n’ Shake. I could finally understand all the hype from people all over California saying it’s the best burger they have ever tasted in their lives. Once I inhaled that burger and quickly polished off the fries and shake, I only prayed that perhaps one day that an In-n-Out franchise would come to St. Louis. Sadly, my pledge bros informed me that In-n-Out is a privately owned company, which really disappointed me.After everyone finished ingesting all the burgers we got back in the Toyota 4Runner and continued on our way to our next stop, Venice Beach.
Unfortunately, our luck of cruising down the freeways ended once we got on the 10 freeway towards Venice Beach. We hit late Saturday afternoon traffic which delayed our scavenger hunt for quite awhile. On our way to Venice Beach I could only picture what it would be like since it was my first time not only at Venice beach, but at a Los Angles beach period. The only esemblance, if any, I had back home in St. Louis was the Mississippi River, where the only activities that could be done was fishing, cruise down the river (how boring), or if insane enough, people would actually swim in the river.
So I just expected what people did were the obvious beach activities from I witnessed at other beaches around the country: sun bathe, surf, volleyball, or just mess around in the ocean. However, once we arrived the scene at Venice Beach took me somewhat by surprise.It was not the typical families around enjoying the beach; instead it was mainly teenagers and young adults with piercing and tattoos literally all over their body.
There were even some people where I could not even find just plain skin anywhere on their body. Another thing that took me by surprise was a part of the beach known as, Muscle beach, where there was a gym right on the beach. What shocked me even more was that the gym was actually crowded with many bodybuilders lifting a ton of weight while other people watched. It was probably one of the most interesting sights I have ever witnessed at a beach before.Other activities I observed that were expected were people eating at numerous restaurants, exercising on the boardwalk, and shopping at the small shops along the beach.
The people there were shockingly, for the most part, friendly and assisted us with our tasks for our scavenger hunt. Once our task at Venice Beach was accomplished we proceeded on to our next destination, another theme park, Universal Studios. As expected, we encountered our worst traffic of the day on are way to Studio City, where Universal Studios was located.This time it was on the 405 freeway on an early Saturday evening, and of course, it’s Los Angeles, so everyone was out and about on their way to their big events.
After having been to Six Flags St. Louis multiple times and just been to Disneyland early this afternoon I really did not know what to expect at Universal Studios. Based on Disneyland I can only assume there would be a lot of tourists. When we arrived their I could tell the place was jumping based on waiting behind all cars lined up down the hill waiting to park and it was also Halloween Horror Nights, which made it more crowded than usual.
Finally, after parking we stood right outside the park at an area know as, Universal CityWalk. The scene at CityWalk was exciting and tense, unlike Disneyland which seemed dull and boring. The crowd there was young and energetic, made mainly of people from local high schools or colleges from around the Los Angeles area. Most of them at the time were eating and getting intoxicated at all of packed restaurants and bars or shopping at many of the expensive stores around CityWalk.
To my surprise, there did not seem like there were many tourists and families around. They were minimal at best most likely because it was late at night and because of Halloween Nights at Universal, so there would not be many children there. It was the exact opposite scene of Disneyland. Also, I observed that security was lot more liberal at Universal then at Disneyland because as the night progressed a lot of the crowd was getting out of control and we were able to do all of our tasks at hand without any resistance.The tasks took us awhile due to the large crowd, but we finally completed the hunt and made our way back to campus. As we headed back towards campus I sat in the backseat and thought about all I just did that day and the time of my life I had.
I never would have thought that I would be at Disneyland, Venice Beach, and Universal studios all in day’s time, and additionally, enjoying one of the best burgers I have ever eaten.After going over the whole day in my mind it made me think of the question, why would I ever want to go back to St. Louis when a day like today just occurred? Everything anybody would want to do is in or around Los Angeles, unlike St. Louis, where all that can be done is pretty much nothing, except possibly fish or maybe farm. When I finally arrived back in my dorm, too tired to even change my clothes or brush my teeth, I fell right to sleep dreaming about my day all over Los Angeles. .