January 30, 2024

The Most Fun I've Had in California

I've just passed my "lucky" 13-year anniversary of moving to Los Angeles in January 2011—and when people hear where I'm from, they most commonly ask two questions:

  1. Do I miss New York?
  2. Which do I like better, New York City or LA?
Truth is, the two cities are so different, they're hard to compare. But in terms of where I'm at in my life right now, I find LA much better to live in.

But still, I had a lot of fun during my 14 years of 5 a.m. nights and boozy brunches in New York City. It was a different kind of fun than Southern California typically has to offer. 

When I have a good time nowadays, it feels more like the kind of fun I missed out on having as a little kid—before adult beverages would've come into play. 

So maybe my time in NYC was more about making up for a crazy adolescence I never had; and my time in Los Angeles is more about making up for a childhood I was never given, one that was bereft of playdates and playgrounds and playing in the mud. 

You'll see what I mean when you see my Top 13 list of the most fun I've had in California so far (in no particular order):
  1. Swimming with otters
  2. Riding a Jeepney
  3. Riding the Warner-Carrillo Ranch Stagecoach
  4. Riding the Ghost Train of Griffith Park
  5. Going to Disneyland
  6. Going to Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights
  7. Goat yoga (especially with baby goats in Halloween costumes)
  8. Climbing onto the Wienermobile
  9. Attending Bob Baker Marionette Theatre puppet shows (especially Halloween)
  10. Attending Rose Parade-related events
  11. Singing with the Magical Holiday Parade in Toluca Lake
  12. Touring Garner Holt Productions' animatronic factory
  13. Anything having to do with Krampus.
Honorable mention goes to paragliding at Torrey Pines, which I did in 2009—almost a couple of years before I moved here. 

And this doesn't, of course, include any trips I've taken out of state (like to Vegas, which is pretty fun for me).

So happy anniversary to me, no matter how long I may stay in this city, or in this state. I have no plans to leave—but life can change pretty quickly. 

After all, after 10 years in NYC I thought I'd be there the rest of my life. By the 12th year, I couldn't wait to leave. And by the 14th year, I ran screaming... all the way to LA.

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