My trip to LA was only supposed to last just over a week… Get into my Moving Journal posts to read more about how my vacation turned into a permanent move, and to learn about the setbacks and successes I encounter during my transition from DC to LA.
Tamika’s birthday followed exactly one week after mine, the day I arrived to LA. I was elated to step out of the plane and into the 70-something degree warm weather, with the sun’s golden rays cascading so freely upon me. I was more than ready to escape my hot leather jacket, scarf, and hat that the East Coast’s unbearable winter held me hostage in.
Ahh, I made it to California. Celebrations were indeed in order. That evening, we went out for dinner with our friend Brea in Beverly Hills. La Dolce Vita, the same Italian restaurant Tamika and I had dined on her birthday two years prior, was her choice for this go around as well. Afterwards, we went to Saddle Ranch Chop House for a fun nightcap, as it was a Tuesday night and karaoke central.
Saddle Ranch was hilarious! Even though it wasn’t as crowded as their normal Tuesdays are, the karaoke stage and mechanical bull alike were far from neglected. Mika, Brea, and I even decided to bless the audience with a rendition of TLC’s ‘Creep.’
I never intended to get tipsy/just past tipsy that night because I planned on waking up early the next morning. But see, what had happened was… We all ordered a cocktail and got free shots along with it, in honor of Tamika’s birthday. Then, our waitress brought us a huge watermelon-flavored vodka drink by accident. No one at our table ordered it, but she told us to keep it anyway. I don’t like watermelon flavored anything, nor do I prefer vodka at all, but what the hey? Hard to turn down free. So, I found myself drinking 'watuh-melon' ironically at the exact moment one girl had taken over the stage performing Queen Bey’s “Drunk in Love,” which I got a little chuckle out of.
Then, this white guy came and sat at our table, gushing over how great he thought we did singing TLC. (We totally need to go back and bless the people one mo' gin if that's the case.) He was so goofy! I couldn’t help but laugh when he spilled his drink on his pants and complained about his butt being wet. But I can't be mad at someone who can maintain entertaining conversation-- and he also bought drinks. Meanwhile, yet another Caucasian gentleman appeared and took the liberty of joining us. He was a little older, and I couldn’t tell whose sugar daddy he was attempting to be between Tamika or Brea. Nonetheless, another drink for us! Before we knew it, we were all borderline tipsy. No, I’m lying, we were past tipsy. Neither guy made it further than a little table conversation, but they were cool to chat with. Twas a fun night!
The next morning, though? Not so fun. I planned on being bright and early to a job fair, but when my alarm went off, my head was spinning and my body was just east of hungover. My body would have disliked me if I didn’t snooze that off a bit. I got up and got myself together a little while later, put on my business woman suit, gathered my resume portfolio, and made my way to the job fair.
I wanted -- no, needed -- to be on a strict budget during my stay in California. I knew I was saving up to live there and there was no telling how long it would be before I found a job. I did as much as I could to keep money in my pockets and spend as little as possible. Instead of renting a car, or taking the Uber or Lyft driver service everywhere, I opted for cheaper methods of transportation.
The job fair was at the Embassy Suites near LAX, so my quickest yet cheapest option to get there from downtown was to take the Fly-Away bus from Union Station to LAX, which is only a $7 straight shot. I walked to Union Station (free) and then from LAX took the airport-hotel shuttle to the Embassy Suites (free). But when I got to the Embassy Suites, I saw absolutely no sign of an employment fair.
Wayment, holllup, what? I knew for a fact that the job fair's website said EMBASSY SUITES LAX. It wasn’t until after I asked at the reception desk that I learned there were two LAX Embassy Suites, and that I was at the wrong damn one. Wonderful. Since the other location was only about 5 minutes away, I hopped in a taxi to get there quickly since I was already later than I wanted to be.
Due to the fact that I was not driving, I’d just gone through the most of going from point A to B to C and then some. Then I finally get to this job fair and it’s COMPLETELY “meh.” There weren’t that many participating employers, mostly off brand universities recruiting adult students and jobs I’d never be interested in. There was one staffing agency I learned about and maybe one uninspiring job I actually applied to, and that wasn't because I wanted to work there, but only because I was open to a range of opportunities that could have just gotten my foot in the door and have been my gateway into California life. Other than that, nada.
Anyway, even though the job fair was a fail for me, it was still important that I went. I knew that if I wanted to find a job, I needed to make a constant effort in seeking out ways to land one, and to always be willing to get out there and get my resume circulating. Cali was the mission -- I had to make it happen. Not succeeding in my goal to make my move official was not an option.
My LA job search had officially kicked into overtime…