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Officially a Volunteer
It was official, and I was ecstatic that I’d be volunteering for the LA Film Festival! But before the actual Film Festival week, there was the orientation to think about, scheduled to be on Saturday, June 2nd. It was mandatory for all volunteers and interns, as we’d be debriefed on the whole process. The only problem was… the school quarter was not yet over and Finals were haunting me… I reconsidered for awhile, thinking if it was even worth making a long 8-hour trip to LA for a meeting that would only last two hours.
But as my friend Ella Tran kept saying, “Stop making excuses.” I’ve already been planning for the Film Festival week; why not plan for a weekend getaway for the orientation? So we booked round-trip tickets for the Greyhound. Housing: no problem. Ella had a friend we could stay with at an apartment in Mar Vista. She then planned all the places and restaurants we would check out once there. Everything was so impulsive; so last-minute. But the more we planned our weekend getaway, the more I became excited.
Flash forward to the Friday night before orientation, we’re on the Greyhound from Sac to LA. We arrive at our temporary home early the next day at Ella’s friend Steven Wong‘s apartment, where I finally crashed on the most comfortable couch I have ever slept in.
After my lovely power nap, we decide to grab some coffee at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for a much needed energy-booster and stomach-appeaser. It was lunch time and all I ate were wheat thins and a Fuji apple. (At this time, I was true ‘poor-college-student-status’ as I was not yet employed.) The coffee definitely helped with my appetite for the time-being, then it was straight to the orientation!
First walking in, I felt I was already at the film festival. There were hundreds of volunteers and interns around, many of which I could hear talking about their favorite films and tv shows. It’s always a great feeling being surrounded by people who are passionate about the same things you are.
A Taste of LA
After the orientation, it was now time to get a taste of LA! As I was going to stay a whole week here once the festival came around, I needed to familiarize myself with the area. As Ella and I hop on the next bus from orientation, I realize that this is legitimately my first time experiencing LA LA, rather than Disneyland/Anaheim LA.
Ella: “Anaheim is not LA.” Yea, it’s down there in SoCal… But as I soon realize, it is definitely not the heart and soul of LA. This called for some major exploration.
First stop: The Hollywood Walk of Fame for some tourist-y pictures and some Starbucks snacks to nibble on.
Next, Genwa Korean BBQ in Koreatown for my first and real meal of the day!
We were full, but couldn’t help but get green tea shaved ice dessert at Heyri Coffee House.
Then back to West Hollywood to check out the nightlife. (I swear, every single person there was good-looking… Aspiring actors?)
The Last Day
Steven, Ella and I woke to an early start to plan our events for that day. As Ella and I had to jet back to Davis in time for our class the next morning, there was absolutely no time to waste for such a beautiful summer day in a beautiful city.
First stop: The Getty Museum for some classic Roman art and contemporary photography exhibits. And not to mention cool gift shops.
Right outside was a great view of Downtown LA.
And a gorgeous little courtyard area.
We spent a good amount of hours here having our own mini picnic. With again, only an apple at hand. But not minding my stomach, the view was all I really cared about. It was such an overall relaxing and peaceful vibe.
Finally, back again to West Hollywood where we had a delicious Pink’s Hot Dogs dinner!
I first heard about this when watching a hot dog special on the Travel Channel. It’s a popular favorite for many celebrities. With its reputation, naturally there was a long line. But the wait was totally worth it.
I got the Guacamole Hot Dog. Compared to everything else on the menu, I guess my hot dog choice was pretty boring. But it was tasty and super filling nonetheless. And plus, I love avocados/guacamole.
Last stop: The Greyhound
It was a very eventful day indeed, and I couldn’t help but want to see more. And so I did, two weeks later.
So keep an eye out for my next post coming soon, LA Film Festival: Day 1 – Couchsurfing & LA Nightlife