Orange County is just a little bit like that TV show The OC. Taking the highway exit into the cute little town of Oceanside I saw a huge OC TV poster that read “Pretty kids with Pretty big issues.” People come to Oceanside for its glorious pier which measures 2000 feet in length, surrounded by pristine beaches, hot hunky surfer men, pelicans flying above, skateboarders, fishermen a plenty and at the very end, quintessential American diner food at Ruby’s. This place reminded me of Baywatch, which I know is an uber cheesy thing to say, but just go there yourself and you’ll see what I mean.
After eating at Ruby’s I felt incredibly obese, gastronomically congested and incredibly lovely. I ordered a huge chocolate peanut butter milkshake (cherry on top). There signature item is the Hickory Burger (so I ordered it of course)! It comes with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, crispy onion rings and BBQ sauce. Dad ordered way too much. He has now come to realize that ordering two American appetizers is the equivalent of ordering two mains back in Canuk-ville. He ordered a huge basket of onion rings and fries, and a basket of chicken fingers with three sauces (ranch, honey mustard and hickory smoke).
We walked down to the beach and touched our feet in the frigid cold ocean waves. I glanced around and saw the iconographic long haired 20 something surfers on cell phones. Everyone seemed kind of placid and flaccid. I don’t think I entirely enjoy this spot, I’d certainly never live here. It’s sort of eerie feeling like you are in some sort of TV show or movie full of “try
hard perfect people.”
We took the highway up the coast to Los Angeles. I was expecting the traffic to be horrendous and it really wasn’t any worse than what I had experienced in Toronto. As we got closer to the city “core” (which I really don’t think actually exists in LA). LA has been unique for me as it is the only city I have ever visited that really feels like a dizzy conglomerate of hectic over saturation of bodies. It is a far cry from the boroughs of Toronto and New York, or the various districts in Paris or Berlin. It just feels like someone decided to throw a bunch of shops all over the place and people came and moved in to just start, living. The clouds started to release a charming dose of pitter patter on the windshield. I was exhausted and my legs were aching. I stared out the foggy window, staring at the copious number of underpasses and highway, urban sprawl and billboards a plenty, until we arrived at our hotel on Santa Monica Boulevard.