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Sometimes, we all need a little escape from reality – what’s better than fleeing to La La Land?! With my roommate’s family in town, I thought it might be best to make myself scarce for the weekend… besides I hate to subject anyone to my snoring. Los Angeles is just a hop, skip, 6 hour drive away from Phoenix and seemed like a good place to get out of town and enjoy a little bit of me time – see some friends – some sites – maybe even the beach.

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As ideal as it would be to leave town as early as possibly, my office hours permits me to stay to 5:00pm and since rush hour doesn’t end till the sun goes down. I opted to do dinner with my roommate’s family to help kill some time and enjoy some good company – even though Los Dos Molino’s is some of the best Mexican Food Phoenix has to offer, probably not the greatest idea before a 6-hour drive. The clock struck 7 o’clock and we said our goodbyes and before you know I was Cali-bound with the navigation set in the 2017 Mazda 3 I had on test that week, Netflix up on my iPhone and 350 miles of fuel in the tank.

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I’ve crossed the California state line many of times in the past but never actually stopped to take a state line picture – traffic was minimal and found it to be a good opportunity. Headed towards Palm Springs, my friend Jack was staying in a cabin up in the Joshua Tree National Forest, I detoured through a little abandoned town, Desert Center – I tried to stop for some quick photos, but night shots are tough and require time and this abandoned town is where ghost stories are formed… I didn’t stay long.

Map to Jack

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My arrival into L.A. was a late one – the car wasn’t the only one running low on fuel. I booked an Airbnb in West Hollywood since hotels are outrageous up there. It was a quaint little duplex tucked between multi-million dollar cottages. It was a studio type layout big enough for just one.

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Waking up, it was unusually cold, it was 60-degrees outside, definitely not beach weather. A friend of my passed around the idea of visiting a Korean Spa – I was impartial to the idea, but a spa day seemed like a good idea. We found this place called Spa Palace in downtown L.A. and to my surprise it was a very nice establishment – two massages, a nice steam and a body scrub later, four hours had nearly passed by. It was a little piece of heaven. As much as I wanted to stay longer and enjoy the clay room – I had dinner plans with friends and wanted to get a nap considering I got into L.A. at 3 o’clock in the morning.

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I’ll keep the night life details to a minimum – you don’t need to hear all of the gritty details after my third alcoholic beverage. We ate this place called PUMP – apparently it’s owned by one of the Housewives of Beverly Hills? Am I going to be on TV? Make me insta-famous!

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Sunday was a sad day to arrive, I wasn’t ready to call this mini-vaca quits. Luckily I had brunch plans before I was to leave town with a couple of other automotive journalist and Honda’s PR Manager at this little odd Mexican restaurant Toca Madera – it had unique architecture and an amazing courtyard – and naturally my chicken and waffle was divine! It was hard to say goodbye, but I had to leave L.A. behind.

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