Hello from Hollywood and Highland!
Today was another long travelling day -- I was at the Spokane airport before 7am. After hastily stuffing some jeans from my suitcase into my carryon (I was 6 lbs over on my checked bag!) I was off! It's been a long time since I rode in a propeller plane, and I forgot how loud the engines are on those things. I had enough time to grab an orzo pasta salad and a bottle of water in Portland before boarding my second flight to LA.
It was interesting approaching LA and seeing all the palm trees, the huge warehouses, and the multitude of backyard swimming pools. The airport was surprisingly quiet when I arrived (as in it was nearly not so busy as to make my head explode), as remarked by someone who apparently actually lives here. I foolishly followed Google's advice and lugged myself and my luggage all the way from Terminal 6 to Terminal 1, missing the flyaway bus to Hollywood by about five minutes. After using a washroom and regrouping a bit, I learned that the bus does indeed stop at all the other terminals. Sigh. Now I know where to go to get my bus back to the airport in two weeks, though! It's just off Hollywood and Vine (at which intersection I was too busy figuring out where to go that I forgot to stop and take a selfie). The first star I noticed on the walk of fame was the one that says Frank Sinatra; my family will think that's hilarious even if no one else does.
I opted to pay the $1.75 bus fare to ride up Hollywood to Highlands, rather than attempt to make the 15-minute walk whilst lugging my 49.9-pound suitcase. The entrance to the hostel is secured, and you have to ring the doorbell and wait for the desk attendant to buzz you in -- then you have to climb a full flight of stairs! My room is on the second floor, making me appreciate having packed "light" for 2 and a half weeks away (I will take advantage of my sister-in-law's non-coin-operated laundry facilities when I visit there "on the way home" in a couple of weeks).
To get a feel for where I'm staying, here's the hostel's website: http://walkoffamehostel.com/
Tonight is "games night" which this time means beer pong with free beer (as long as you're playing). The common area also has a number of board games and such. There's a kitchen, and free breakfast. I plan to use the free hostel breakfast to make myself immune to the fact that McDonald's is literally down the road. I spent my evening with my 4-person dorm room to myself unpacking a bit into my locker, reorganizing my bags, and exploring the hostel, rather than walking down to the place where my training will be, since I was an hour later than I intended to be arriving. I popped back in to get my makeshift lap desk when the common room was taken over by beer pong so that I can use my laptop on my lap, and my one roommate was in the room, apparently facetiming with her significant other based on the snipped ot conversation I overheard after we exchanged "hi"s -- hers was a little frosty, but maybe that's because she thought she had the room to herself tonight, or because I was interrupting her call. Hopefully it was just a false start! I'm trying to make a point of being in the common areas and actually talking to people (or at least being approachable), because I will NOT be participating in many (or possibly any) of the planned activities, and I hear it's bad hostel etiquette to be a complete hermit.
In the morning, I will venture out to the RIE Center for Day 1 of the Foundations course. I'm so excited!