One would think that after spending an entire weekend running around KCON like a mad-woman, I’d be exhausted enough to sleep for more than a couple of hours but no. Running two hours ahead was a curse I bore my entire time in L.A. and even on my last full day in the City of Angels, I was up by six with nothing to do but channel my inner ninja and get ready as quietly as possible (so as not to wake the comatose Tanya) before sneaking down to the lobby to check in with my family and wish my eldest a happy birthday. (Which I totally missed because I’m a bad mom who runs off to L.A. for a week instead of staying home to celebrate a birthday with my baby. At least she still loves me, even if I occasionally fail at being a mom.) Once the family was reassured I was still alive and I’d wished my baby a happy birthday, I figured it was about time for Tanya to be up so I grabbed us a couple of cups of coffee and headed back upstairs to see what plans we had for the day.
With both of us teetering on the brink of exhaustion, we decided to take it easy for the day and just chill. There were still a couple of items on my “First Trip to L.A.” Bucket List so we decided to see to those which meant another trip to K-Town and a quest to find a copy of VIXX’s Hyde and a fish-bread pan. As we headed for the car that morning, we never in a million years could have expected what happened next. We got fangirled. Right there in the parking lot of our hotel. Can you believe it? We were both shocked when we heard our names screeched and before we knew what was happening, we were being hugged by a lovely lady who was just so excited to see us! It was such an unexpected experience and yet it was so flattering, it totally made our day. (So thank you lovely lady, for making us feel so incredibly special! You know who you are and we love you!)
Once in K-Town, my quest for the elusive fish-bread pan began in earnest, as I was determined to find one before I left. After all, if my favorite Korean food blogger had found hers while she was in L.A., I knew I could find one as well. Songs of joyous rapture went up when I finally found the pan I was looking for at a kitchen supply store in the K-Town Plaza. (And I’m still doing the dance of joy because now I can make Bungeoppang whenever I want! Woohoo!) From there it was off to the K-Pop store to find a copy of Hyde (because I was determined to go home with a copy of every VIXX album in existence) and see if I couldn’t find Jung Joon Young’s latest album as well. Finding Hyde was easy but sadly, I had to do without Jung Joon Young. Turns out every K-Pop store in K-Town had underestimated how popular Jung Joon Young actually is and every. single. copy. of his albums had sold out. (Hooray for Jung Joon Young! Boo for my K-Pop collection!) Since I couldn’t find a Jung Joon Young album, I spent the money on a handful of jelly bracelets because the single VIXX bracelet Sue had given me seemed kinda lonely. (I’m happy to say that VIXX now has CNBLUE, B1A4, GOT7, BTS and B.A.P to keep it company. Hooray!)
With nothing left to buy on my K-Town bucket list, it was time to meet up with Tanya’s lovely friend Beekee (and no, that’s not her real name but it’s a nickname as adorable as she is so that’s what we call her) and head to Little Tokyo. Wandering around the shops of the Japanese Village Plaza was so much fun and I found so many things I would’ve like to have brought back with me (the super sweet dragon/tiger jacket at Hob Nob, in particular) but alas, my search for the elusive money tree has failed thus far and I was forced to admit that I’d already spent more that I probably should have during all of my L.A. adventures. Still, I couldn’t leave Little Tokyo without buying presents for my little zombies (and at least a little something for myself) so I settled on four adorable Hello Kitty ninjas and a pair of broken heart earrings from Hob Nob that spoke to my soul.
From Little Tokyo it was off to the Observatory so I could be a dorky tourist and take pictures of both the city and the Hollywood sign but not before grabbing a bite to eat (because, if you hadn’t noticed, coffee was the only thing Tanya and I had been running on all day long). I’d seen a sign for steamed buns as we wandered the Plaza and since I’d had a craving for them since Saturday, I decided it was time to indulge myself, so I did and oh, how happy I am that I did! That bun was so incredibly delicious I don’t even have the words to describe it. Just know that it was a little piece of heaven and the only thing that compared to its deliciousness was the slice of tiramisu Tanya, Beekee and I split for dessert. Oh yum!
With tummies happy, it was straight to the Griffith Observatory where I immediately fell into a strange combination of both fangirl and tourist as I reveled in the beauty of the view, squeed over actually getting to see the Hollywood sign up close (or at least close-ish) and (literally) skipped around the grounds because B.A.P had tread the exact same paths mere months before. (Oh how wondrous and crazy is the mind of a K-Pop fangirl!) As wonderful as it was to skip around the Observatory, it was a little tricky to do so without flashing the world and more than once I had to pull a Marylin Monroe and try (rather unsuccessfully) to keep my skirt from flying up over my head. (Note to self, don’t wear a flippy skirt when skipping around on the top of a mountain… Good thing shorts were part of my wardrobe that day!)
From the Observatory it was back to K-Town to meet up with Vanessa for dinner (and yes, that would be the Vanessa from KCON, one half of your “Friendly KCON Live Chat” hosterating team and the amazing lady who poured her heart and soul into making KCON the amazing weekend of fantastical awesomeness that it was). Leaving what to have for dinner up to the local, we met Vanessa at a little chicken and beer restaurant where we immediately dove into a gigantic bowl of spicy pork stew and plates and plates of delicious, crispy, spicy, sweet, sticky, amazing fried chicken. Once the chicken and stew had been devoured we met up with one of Vanessa’s friends at a little bingsu place and proceeded to devour three different types of bingsu. (And for the record, black sesame bingsu is most delicious and my absolute favorite. It’s so good!) Stuffed beyond all reason, we bid farewell to Vanessa and her friend and sadly, Beekee as well.
Down to just the two of us, Tanya and I were off to find me a suitcase because, believe it or not, I’d bought so much stuff there was no way I was going to get it all back home without one. Trying to find a store that sells luggage open at ten o’clock in the evening isn’t easy, even in L.A., but we did and I found what I needed and then it was back to the hotel to begin the sad process of packing everything up and preparing to say goodbye.
It should go without saying that Tanya and I spent a lot of time that night, chatting about our adventures, drooling over the glorious VIXX Box Tanya had bestowed upon me earlier in the week (and I totally love her face for that one! Seriously! I still can’t believe she bought that for me! She saw my struggle over the Box and she loved me enough to buy it and put me out of my fangirl misery. Oh and she also gave me a giant CNBLUE poster because she knows just how much I love them and I’ve been left speechless. Oh, what a wonderful friend I have!) and flipping/squeeing through all the albums we’d bought during our week in L.A. (and we bought so many! Oops!) Sadly, we had to eventually say goodnight and I feel asleep that night trying to find a way to make my last night in L.A. last forever.