If you’re wondering about the title… my last post was called “Northbound” but after reflecting on what I’ve done in the last few days, I’ve realized that leaving Encinitas for LA, then going back down to Encinitas is not really the northward movement I was expecting. But that’s travel; things are always changing, and it teaches you a good lesson about going with the flow. The couch you hoped to crash on is already occupied, or weather takes a turn for the worst and redirects your path. As long as I don’t get too caught up on what could have happened and instead look forward to the new opportunities, I’m good.
So what have I been up to? I spent a few more days in Encinitas at Julie’s house (the Airbnb) and relaxed, did some homework and explored a little more of the town. It’s definitely a place I could live for a bit.
√ Good Food
However, I ventured back up to LA over the weekend to spend some more time with Ruthie and Piper. Ruthie used to live in Maine and she brought Piper to one of my children’s yoga classes a few years back when piper was 2. We got to talking and all of the sudden I was babysitting for her. Ruthie moved back to LA to step into the fashion world again.
Back in November when I was moving from Santa Cruz down to Oceanside I stopped in to visit but it was during the week and Ruthie works in a showroom in downtown LA so she only has weekends off.
We packed a whole lot of activities into two days starting with a trip to a cuban bakery where Beck (the singer/songwriter) apparently likes to get pastries. There were beautifully decorated cookies, empanadas, cakes, cuban style coffee and lots of other goodies (but no Beck). The place was packed so we grabbed a few things and then set off to the farmers market. We explored the booths and Piper and I sampled everything we could from berries, to honey to freshly grown sprouts. We picked up a few things and then made our way to the children’s area. There was a man with drums and a big assortment of other instruments that children were free to pick up and jam with. Piper went for the guitar and started strumming as the man sang familiar tunes.
Then we were off to Hollywood Boulevard to look at the useless crap (see picture below) and laugh at the reason LA is sometimes called La La Land. Every few steps someone was trying to hand you a flier for a tour up to the Hollywood sign, or people were taking photos with movie characters dressed up on the street. We walked up one side of the street, down the other, gave a homeless woman a hot dog and decided that we’d had enough of the craziness.
The issue of homelessness is something I’ve mentioned before and wanted to write about but I just can’t seem to find the right way to articulate it. Basically it just makes my heart ache when I walk down the street surrounded by an overabundance of stuff and things, yet there are people sitting on these streets with nothing. While it makes me happy that I can provide one person with a hot dog, what about the person five paces later, and the next? It’s such a sad thing, but we still avert our eyes as though ignoring it will make it go away, and continue down the street.
I wish I could end that thought on a happy note, but I just don’t know what else to say. Giving out hot dogs won’t solve the problem, it’s a deep rooted problem that needs to be addressed. Giving homeless folks food is like giving someone pharmaceuticals for a problems that’s deeper than what you can see on the surface. It just masks the symptoms. While that person may be full for a few extra hours, it will only help so much before they’re hungry again. I am in no way saying to keep hold of your hot dog, but maybe think about the deeper issues after you hand out the food. What else can we do? It’s difficult, I’m not sure myself where to start, but seeing it everyday sure fuels the fire of determination.
On Sunday Ruthie, Piper and I were supposed to all go to a Korean spa together and enjoy the saunas. But Piper was very tired from the previous day so Ruthie ended up dropping me off at the spa and taking Piper to get lunch and run a few errands. I found myself in a huge building with floors filled with salt, clay and jade stone saunas, steam saunas, jacuzzis, and a Korean woman scrubbing the sh*t out of my skin. Ruthie told me about the Korean body scrub that would take all of my dead skin off in about 30 minutes. I decided to try it out, because Ruthie had raved about how amazing it was for removing impurities, so about an hour into my spa experience I found myself facedown on a table trying not to laugh as my butt was scrubbed vigorously. I’m almost laughing about it again now; when I was planning my trip 4 months ago back in Maine, this definitely was not on the radar. But I left the spa feeling like I had been polished and was super relaxed from hanging out in the different sauna rooms.
Each room is supposed to deliver a different health benefit. The jade stone sauna is for balancing hormones and evoking a sense of calm, the salt room is for boosting minerals in your body (you lay in a pit off rock salt). The clay room is supposed to be beneficial for removing heavy metals from the body. There was also super hot, dry sauna heated to about 200 degrees that would just melt you as soon as you entered the room.
After Ruthie and Piper picked me up we headed to little Tokyo to grab some food and walk around and then I was off to the train station to head…south for Encinitas again where I am meeting my parents (Julie’s letting me crash on the couch). We’ve taken RV trips all over the country since I was a junior in high school and we are continuing the tradition, this time they’ll meet me half way!
The sun and beach down the street are calling my name.