We survived our first week in LA and I am so proud of myself. I was a little depressed and sad at the beginning since I was feeling overwhelmed and lost in this huge city. Even though I grow up in Philly I have been living in Utah for the last 7 years and that had made me too nice of a person. You can't do nice here.
While walking around I have seen a few things that seem weird to me. The first thing was while we were walking around the neighborhood I kept on seeing public pay phones which I have not seen in years. I thought these things no longer existed but I was proven wrong they sure do and some even work and have the directory book hanging off of it. Pretty awesome stuff. The other different thing I have seen is amount of trash just in general everywhere however the one thing that made me the saddest seeing tons of trash on the playground where children play. Broke my heart that people are so careless and ungrateful for the things that have been provided to us citizens and that people would treat it so crappy just goes to show the kind of people living around here. I have been driving around and seen people throw bags of trash out of their window car are they are driving. It's quite shocking but I guess normal for here.
Our first official day in LA our aunt and uncle took us out to Korean BBQ which is our favorite thing about living here. It was delicious. Our second day here we decided we needed to find a Mcdonalds since that was always my savior in Utah on a rough day. We walked about 10 blocks in order to get to one and it was a cute place but very different from any Mcdonalds I have ever been to and to top it off it had no playground, booo. There is another Mcdonalds closer that I have found and has a playground however I checked out reviews as I have figured out that's how I will survive living here and this Mcdonals is a big no no.
By Monday morning Bentley was going crazy being stuck indoors and with no plans of going out. The night before I had read a few reviews for the parks near us. MacArthur Park was a big fat no. If you want to be entertained for a few hours just look up the reviews. Those reviews are for reals about this park. I checked out another park and that one didn't seem as bad, it had some okay reviews and some bad, I had decided I would visit as a last resort type of thing. By Monday morning Bentley had gone into full on whining mood and I figured "dodging bullets" as the reviews had put it sounded better than sitting at home. Of we went, from far away it looked nice and so I was hopeful. We get in and there was a skate park which was nice, it had basketball courts and a playground. As we made our way to the playground I noticed I was the only woman in this park and Bentley was the only child but I didn't think much about it. Then I see an older homeless man and I smile at him and said good morning. Big mistake! That was enough for this homeless man to follow me, he started having a deep conversation with me about raising children. He was so close to me I could smell alcohol on his breath, then he showed me he had no teeth. I kept on trying to get away but he followed. At first he told me he wasn't a homeless and just came to the park to lift up the homeless and I believed him. However when I asked him his name he told me it was Testament "like the final testament" and that he had been send here by God as the final testament to preach. That's when I realized there was some type of mental illness going on. Thank goodness right then Bentley told me he needed to go pee so we left the playground and this old man left us alone but by then I was just wanting to get out of this park. The playground was so beautiful however so amount of trash was shocking and quite frankly I was scared of finding used needles or used condoms there so as soon as I saw the old man get far enough away I left the park as fast as I could. I got home and felt down the rest of the day.
On Tuesday I had to go to the office to get something and I told them how I was looking for a playground nearby. They immediately told me not to go to any park around here and that I shouldn't even walk outside by myself because this is not a great area. Then I see my neighbor and he tells me the same thing. Well that was enough for me to have a self pity party. If you know me you know I do not do well staying indoors, I need to be outdoors and have something to do every day. I called my aunt and talked to her and she made me feel a whole lot better.
The next few days we just had some lazy days where I just let Bentley watch way too much TV as I tried to keep busy cleaning or looking up things to do in LA. We watched tons of movie on our bed while eating popcorn, made pizza for lunch, jumped around, played with puzzles and legos. On Thursday we went outside for about an hour to play catch but that was on school grounds where there are security guards walking around everywhere.
By Friday I decided it was time to brave the outdoors again for the sake of our sanity. We walked a few blocks to a frozen yogurt place which was heavenly. The people were so nice they all smiled at us, it was a very much needed smile. Bentley and I sat there for like an hour eating our frozen yogurt while talking and watching people go by. After that I got enough courage to go check out another park about 6 miles from us that a lady had told me about. From far away all I could see were tennis courts but once you got up into the park it was the most beautiful scene I had seen in days. I was so happy I jumped on that bouncy floor for a good 2 minutes. Bentley ran and jumped and played and we swung on the swings it was the best feeling ever. We only stayed for an hour since we needed to get back home to back for the weekend.
We survived our first week and even found a nice park nearby, hallelujah!!