Have you ever traveled for work before? I officially have now! Hence, my absence here on LAfamily.com over the last couple weeks. I just spent a week in Los Angeles for a nursing conference and then stayed a few extra days to spend time with family. It was quite the experience, one that I feel like I should share with all the other small town girls who might travel to a big city. Maybe they can learn from my adventure.
Be smarter than the parking meter. Oh, those pesky parking meters. We pulled in and for some reason it would only set for 10 minutes, regardless of the fact we kept feeding it quarters. We backed the car up and tried another meter. This time, it would only give us 6 minutes, even though I had fed it enough change to last 2 hours! Finally, we asked a nice construction worker nearby what the deal was. Apparently, our parking spots were going to turn into a bus lane at 3pm and the meter would only go that far. Oh. I'm not planning on making that mistake again.
There's an app for that. During that trip, I used my phone and its apps for just about everything. About 98% of the time, my Maps app was pulled up so I could be the navigator, which was much more preferable than being the driver! I used a couple different apps to find local restaurants. We found Joe's Falafel this way. Not only did it receive 5 stars, but the reviews gave us an idea of what food we should try. My little Idaho town has nothing like it and I've been craving lafa bread ever since! If you're using apps while traveling, just make sure to keep an eye on your battery, it can suck the life from it!
Sometimes you shouldn't trust the locals. One of the nights I was in LA it rained. Since our phones were alerting us of flash flood warnings, my co-workers and I decided to cancel our beach trip and do something different. We asked the concierge what to do in LA on a rainy night and she recommended something indoors, like bowling or a movie. Really? We can do that in Idaho! Besides, their rain is our sprinkle. Instead we drove around, looked at pretty shops and houses, and then did what all tourists do and eat at Hard Rock Café.
Sometimes you should trust the locals. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the locals (when you're off the freeway) were incredibly helpful. Whenever I had a question about directions, where the cheapest parking was, or even that fiasco with the parking meter, I was steered in the right direction. Thank you LA! Overall, you were an enjoyable experience.
Oh. And one final piece of advice. Just because something is 5 miles away doesn't mean it takes 5 minutes to get there. More like 2 hours.