It goes without saying that today was a sad, sad day. It’s disembarkation day on the Majestic Princess cruise ship 🙁 I’m being dramatic, it wasn’t bad at all.
I chose the latest possible disembarkation time so that I’d have the morning to grab breakfast on the Lido and enjoy one last morning papaya and coffee on the deck. We’re back in the port of San Pedro, so I started scheming ways to get from here all the way to downtown LA.
I checked both Lyft and Uber, and guess what? The price is $60!
Way way way more than I was willing to spend, so I bought a TAP card and decided to chance it on the bus, the Silver Line to be exact. It took forever for me to find the bus stop. It is pretty close to the port, but it’s on a deserted street in kind of a weird area. I had to wait about 22 minutes at the bus stop since it was running way behind but it wasn’t so bad, and it was my only choice at this point because guess what, my phone’s cellular data is on the fritz! Perfect timing, right?
Eventually, the bus did pull up (yay!) and I paid my $2.50. Off we went.
I felt so awkward and inconvenient because I had my massive suitcase and it took up a ton of space on the bus. Thank goodness it wasn’t too terribly crowded. I wished I could just shout “I’m not high maintenance! These are all of my belongings for 3 months of work!”.
Just as I got on, the check engine light for the bus came on, and the driver pulled over to call the bus company. They literally told him to keep driving until the bus broke down, which was not reassuring but I’d already spent all my daily stress allowance trying to find the bus stop, so I was just going with the flow at this point.
The bus driver was a cool dude, pointing out various landmarks, like this bridge that’s about to be demolished.
It took well over an hour to get from San Pedro to downtown LA, but that’s just the standard here. I’m just grateful to have made it in one piece! I hopped on one more bus to get me closer to the Freehand hotel, and they just waved me through without scanning my TAP card. Nice 🙂
I was extremely sweaty and thoroughly exhausted by the time I made it to the Freehand, but honestly, just happy to be there. It was technically too early to check in, but the superstar of a concierge said that since I was staying a few days, they’d make an exception. Thanks pal!
I wasn’t originally planning to stay in LA for 3.5 days. But as it turns out, flying out today would’ve cost the same as leaving 4 days later and staying in a hostel. The choice was obvious, extra time in Los Angeles! So that’s what brought me here.
So far, I’m pretty impressed with the Freehand. The hostel room is clean and the beds seem comfy with all the standard amenities like wall outlets and desk lamps in each bunk. I do wish the bunks had privacy curtains, though.
The lockers are unsurprisingly not big enough for my huge suitcase, so I figured the luggage lock I’ve got on it would be sufficient security. I put my valuables in the locker, and then decided to do grocery shopping for the week.
I was gonna have to plan this hostel stay a little differently because they don’t have a communal fridge or kitchen. So I decided to get some non-perishables for breakfasts, snacks, and lunches, and would splurge on going out to dinner for fresh food.
Whole Foods is the closest grocery store, it’s just across the street. I’ve never been to one before, but it’s like a Trader Joe’s except everything is organic. It wasn’t difficult to find things that didn’t need to be refrigerated, but it was difficult to find things that would fit into my food budget. So I settled on mostly bananas, oranges, popcorn, and peanut butter sandwiches for the week. They also have a to-go counter with tons of vegan foods, and you can get a main dish and two sides for $10 (a pretty good deal in LA), so I picked up some sesame tofu with mushroom medley and kale salad for dinner.
When in LA, you’ve gotta try the vegan food!
After getting back, I wanted to take my food to the roof, but it turns out they don’t allow outside food or drinks up there. so I brought it down to the cafe in the lobby. It’s a really lovely space with ceramics and plants growing everywhere.
The food was really good, and I’ve decided to try as much vegan food as I can while I’m here. I’ve heard that they make vegan cheeseburgers at the food truck down the street. VEGAN… CHEESE… BURGERS. So that will definitely warrant a visit!
At the end of this long day, I realized that all I really wanted to do was relax and watch TV in my little bunk. So I indulged. Super fun, I know.
I was able to make a makeshift privacy curtain by wrapping an extra bed sheet around the bed post and tying it around the desk lamp.
Innovation that excites.
And that was my day! Mostly transit and settling in, but I’ve got 3 whole days here so I don’t feel too pressed for time. Plus, I’ve been to LA with my broadcast media group in high school, so that takes off the pressure to rush around checking off sights.
Check back in to read all about what I manage to get out and do in the city of angels. I think it’ll be a slow paced couple of days with one major stop each day, which will be a nice change from the exciting run-around I did at all the cruise ports.
Until next time, take care!