I visited Los Angeles last weekend for the JET Program’s pre-orientation informational seminar thing, which I consider the “business” part of my trip. But it was fun business (it’s always nice when that happens), which included mostly meeting my fellow JETs, all from the same USA region as myself. It also included a few seminars about life in Japan — which, despite going to as many as I could, I still feel like I’m not really going to know what it’s like to live in another country until I actually do it. But, I made a lot of new connections, put some faces to names, and generally had a good time.
Once the Saturday seminar was over, I had decided to stay Sunday and leave Monday. This was the “sight seeing” part of my trip. I hadn’t been to LA in about…six years, I think. I decided to make the most of this trip. Before I left, I knew the two things I wanted to do: the Getty Museum and the beach.
The Getty Museum has beautiful art, and lots of it, and perhaps even more spectacular is the Getty building itself and the surrounding area. The weather was so nice! Compared to the 110 degrees Fahrenheit I was coming from, 75 degrees seemed like paradise. I looked at art, I walked around the gardens, I stared at LA which was laid out before me like a carpet, and I enjoyed myself.
I visited Hollywood, too. Walked along the streets, looking at sights, watching the street performers (there were a surprising number of Michael Jacksons), placing my feet in the footprints of famous celebrities (lots of actresses had ridiculously tiny feet), and generally being a tourist.
But the beach…I love the beach. Anything that has a large body of water which disappears over the horizon, I love. I’ve lived near Lake Michigan, and I loved that too (but you couldn’t swim in it all the time. Brr). Something about standing on the shore, looking out at water that goes as far as the eye can see, fills me with a sense of peace and simple happiness.
So, of course, I live in a landlocked, desert state where I hesitate to go into any large body of water due to brain-eating amoebas.
Anyway, this was a real treat. I spent all of Monday afternoon at the beach — 2 hours in the ocean and another 1.5 hours on my towel lounging and watching the ocean. Then I had to get ready and hop on my plane back to my landlocked, desert state.
I hope that wherever I am in Japan, it’s near a beach…