Waking up at 3 in the morning is usually something I try to avoid but when six gloriously Hallyu-filled days lie before me, I find the task surprisingly easy. (Even when I’ve only slept for about 2 hours… Oddly enough.) Too full of excited anticipation to bother with things like exhaustion, I poured myself a thermos full of coffee, grabbed my bag and bounced out the door, ready to begin my adventures in LA.
Arriving at the airport at ridiculous hours ensures you get through check-in and security with relative ease, which is awesome. However, it makes finding coffee at such ungodly hours a bit of a challenge. Lucky for me, I found a Starbucks at the airport that was open and one venti iced americano later, I was feeling a bit more like myself. (Because, you know, one little thermos of coffee just isn’t enough when you’re traveling cross-country.) With coffee in-hand, I headed for my gate only to suddenly realize that I’d forgotten to pack a book! I’d been debating all day on Tuesday, over which book to bring, and having never decided, I’d forgotten to stick something into my bag. Horrified by the idea of being stuck on a plane for 4 hours, with nothing to do but stare at my useless phone, I headed to the nearest newsstand, determined to find something to keep me entertained.
Perusing the shelves of magazines and books, I wasted quite a bit of time just aimlessly wandering but really, what else is there to do in an airport? Eventually I made my way to the wall of best-selling novels and picked up a copy of Me Before You. (A decision I would later come to regret… But that’s another story.) Now sufficiently supplied with entertainment, I spent what little time I had left before boarding, taking pictures of the planes parked outside the massive windows while trying avoid the blinding rays of the swiftly rising sun. Lucky for me, it wasn’t long after the sun made its appearance that boarding began and before I knew it, I was winging my way to the sunny California coast!
Stepping off the plane in Los Angeles, I was more than a little excited as it meant I was only moments away from seeing two of my most precious friends. Words can’t really express how amazing it is to be reunited with friends you love more than life itself. All I can say is that after almost a year apart, this reunion brought about an incredible number of smiles, hugs and laughter. *sigh* In some ways, it felt like coming home.
With the initial squeals out of our systems, it was time to get down to the business of fangirling. A task none of us found difficult, in the least. We had biases to squee over, groups to swoon over, KCON dreams to share, and life to catch up on, all of which we did while waiting for I.O.I to arrive at LAX. Which wasn’t something I really needed to do but since my friend’s daughter really wanted to see them, I had no problem waiting around the airport for a couple of hours. Like I said, it gave us all a chance to catch up on life, which was more than okay with me. At least until my stomach started growling at me for not giving it anything more than coffee. Coincidentally, everyone else was just as hungry as I so we agreed to give up on our chance to see I.O.I and go get food instead.
One quick-ish drive later (because no drive in LA is ever really quick), we found ourselves sitting around a table full of delicious Korean BBQ. With 반찬 aplenty and a smoking grill overflowing with all sorts of meat, we dove into our meal, the conversation as plentiful and satisfying as the food before us. (Could you ask for anything better?)
The rest of the day was spent running around the suburbs of LA. We went and got our nails done, we grabbed some ridiculously delicious honey green tea, and we ate 팥빙수 for dinner. Because why not? (Not gonna lie, I felt like such a rebel, eating dessert for supper… lol) After dinner we headed for home (well, okay, my friend’s home) and spent the evening chatting for as long as I could keep my eyes open. Which, honestly, wasn’t that long. Between the exhaustion of travel, a lack of sleep the night before and the initial rush of excitement finally dissipating, sleep quickly crept up on me. Giving up the fight far earlier than I would have liked, I collapsed into bed and was out before my head hit the pillow.