Today Mitch and I reached the final destination, Los Angeles California!. Or at least I did, tomorrow Mitch will likely be flying north to Portland, Oregon to live with his father and do comedy in the gem of the Northwest. Either way, the road trip has ended. We have traveled over 3,000 miles in two days, seen two of the natural wonders of the world, seen what I would consider some of the most amazing man-made wonders of the world, and put one little 1997 Honda Civic through more in one week then its makers ever planned for.
Last night we stayed at the Monte Carlo on the Las Vegas strip which was a step above the motels that we had been getting accustomed to on our trip. The trick was to visit the Nevada tourist welcome center the moment you cross the border and see what hotels are having deals that night and not having a set idea of where you want to stay. As far as gambling I had fun. I was able to find a low-stakes Poker table and spent the better part of 5 hours there. One thing I've learned about my gambling is that I get far too greedy and don't have the common sense to walk away from a game. Earlier I had played slots and was up 40 dollars but ended up leaving only 5 up, and I was up at least 80 dollars on the table and left 40 dollars poorer. That said, I had a great time just sitting at the table and talking to the other gamblers, plus the drinks were free which is always a plus. If I could give any recommendation about Vegas it would be that you can't go and not be willing to lose at least a little bit of money. It is not a city for those on a budget unless you simply want to chill by the pool and people watch.
Today we left in the morning to finish the final leg of our journey through the great American wilderness to Los Angeles. Remember when I said that Texas and Arizona were desolate? Forget what I said because the road from Vegas to LA has got to be one of the most miserable stretches of road on this Earth. When you see a sign that literally gives you directions to Death Valley and then an exit for Zzyzx road (I'm not kidding) you get to question the wisdom of building a city for gambling in the middle of no where. Did I mention that the temperature in this desert was 115 degrees today?
Anyway we got into LA and for one thing there is just no way to appreciate how vast this city is unless you are first entering. It took us the better part of 45 minutes between getting on our first LA freeway and getting to the front door of my apartment in Studio City. My landlady Dara is very nice and very helpful, I feel like this will wind up being a very good fit for me, for at least the first couple months until I make a decision further into my future.
It just so happened that Mitch and I arrived in time to rush down to Hollywood and sign up for the weekly open mic at the Improv theater. For those unfamiliar with the comedy world, the Improv is one of the three major comedy clubs in LA, if not the country (the other two being the Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory). This club has seen every major comedian of the past 40 years on that stage and every week they let 20 people try a 3 minute routine, and every week 50 people show up which they have to whittle down the numbers. Mitch and I were both lucky enough to have our names get drawn. So within 2 hours of arriving in LA we both got to try out our routines at the best theater in town. It was an awesome experience. Then we got stuck in traffic coming back into the Valley. Ah LA.
So that pretty much ends the road trip section of the blog. I'm putting up some pictures to Facebook in the next few days and I think I remember having a Flickr account which I'll try to find and put some pictures up. Some readers are using the blog as a way to keep in touch, so I'll still be updating somewhat frequently with updates and ongoing work in comedy (hopefully). I'm having an audition with the Groundlings improv group on Thursday which I'll certainly be letting you all know about. I'll do what I can to make sure that the blog doesn't become boring now that the scenery isn't changing as frequently. Please everyone stay in touch, it means a lot to me and really makes my day.
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