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Hot Spots for California's Craziest Adventurists
We Californians are infamously a bunch of insanoes. Most of my buddies are loud, obnoxious, and blithering drunks, and much of the time I daydream about hurling live grenades in the directions of my neighbors' faces, whilst other times I find them pleasantly, surprisingly, and quite soothingly....tolerable. So yes, the people out here are a lot of fun, and I wouldn't have 'em any other way.
Of course, people are crazy everywhere, but most people who come and visit California, especially Southern California, often agree with me that many wild, outrageous, fascinating, and potentially dangerous creatures appear to be on the loose out here, and many of them are not only from the San Diego Zoo.
Many visit from out of state to experience and enjoy my fellow psychos; they want to see the flamboyant celebrities, buy the weirdest clothing, and take a stroll down our scenic beaches.
Being that I am just about as maniacal as they come, I often yearn for a change of scenery. It is weird that when it comes to my taking more than two steps up a ladder I am basically a coward but when I ascend up the glass-encased escalator at the Beverly Center or take a walk over the Colorado Street Bridge or gaze out over the chaotic lights of Hollyweird from the perch of Mount Lee that I feel an overriding, intoxicating sense of peace that puts me in a zone, as if symbolically rising above all my woes. Anyone who lives in a big hectic city like I do immediately knows what I am talking about.
One of my more long-term goals is to purchase a beach house by some gorgeous cove somewhere upstate with my guy where we could look out over the water and enjoy a rocking view of the sunset every evening; it just disconcerts me that even though he is the young whippersnapper at 25 and I am the old woman at 44 that he is the one who likes to stay home a lot while I am the one who wants to be out in the sun enjoying life. I probably have video games older than this kid, and while I respect and accept who he is, it doesn't make sense that the extent of his outdoor adventurous pastimes are warring with online trolls and Mafia City while mine are having a bonfire at the beach or taking a motorcycle ride up and down the coast leaving no inch unexplored. It's why "CrazyCakes" has become my boyfriend's current term of endearment for me.
Of course, obviously, it is best that we remain indoors during our pandemic shutdown until our CO-Vid season is more under control. I imagine there is nothing against trip planning, for the time being, while keeping a copy of Lonely Planet travel guide to leaf through a list of California's numerous attractions. Even though geezers like myself often struggle with ever-changing technology, it still bugs me a little that many of today's millennials tell me that ever since childhood, they have barely been anywhere outside of their home area. Everything is so digital nowadays that it is no wonder that everyone is becoming delusional, disillusioned, and, sometimes, self-entitled Fruit Loops.
Although 80's kids like me didn't have the convenience of Google, we were more out and about, running and playing, at the park, skateboarding sights or skating rinks. Even if we were just playing ding-dong ditch, sneaking into movies or teasing the neighbor's dog we were far more active and healthier than many of today's kids.
Not at all saying all technology is bad, of course, only the way it is often abused. While being more TV-, computer- and mobile phone-oriented might contribute to much of today's youngsters' increasing lethargy and apathy, I feel it is fair to state that my generation was also lucky in that the toys we had also encouraged us to be more active (Pogo Ball, Roller Racer, Slip 'n' Slide) and even those of us who were couch potatoes by that era's standards were provided enlightening public service messages through the cartoons we watched. I had a massive crush on Riot of Jem and Lion-O of the ThunderCats...which proves I certainly was a nerd, in retrospect. I guess it's why few are more honored than I am to now have Larry Kenney as one of my Facebook friends, as his voice truly brought my childhood hero's beauty into full life.
Today's kids' shows don't quite seem to promote these same morals and values, which might be partly why the world is so messed-up now, and why I don't really blame some youths for wanting to remain indoors and to avoid too many close social interactions, virus or not; however, I imagine that once things go back to normal, (whatever that is), many will be all gung-ho for releasing some pent-up energy. If you are a resident of California or plan on being one, the following are amongst the funnest places that I know of that will allow you to do this, especially if you have a passionate love affair with heights and panoramic views like I do.
Although I mentioned Mount Lee, the Hollywood sign has been closed to visitors for years. You can see it, and snap photos of it, surly, but you can't get too close.
However, there are other high rural places to visit, especially if you are into extreme sports, like climbing to the top of Mount Whitney; it is recorded as being the highest mountain in the lower 48 states (although not the highest in the U.S. or the highest in North America; I believe that Denali in Alaska has those records).
The altitude of Whitney's peak is known to be half of that of Everest, however, Everest is reportedly situated on fairly high ground. Whitney is less than 100 miles from the lowest point in North America (Badwater Basin in Death Valley), so in terms of elevation difference, it is inarguably more impressive.
If you want to climb it, I suggest you start planning at least a year in advance. You might need a permit to climb at any time of year, and the amount of availability might be limited to the time of year that you can realistically climb (meaning that the snow won't stop you).
If you are a nut like me and you want to give it a try, apply now for a permit from the Forest Service and start getting the supplies you need.
My fellow daredevils also might like the OUE SkySpace in Downtown L.A. It includes a transparent slide hung a thousand feet on the side of a building.
Night is my favorite time to be at this popular tourist site because the observation deck offers both couples and families a fabulous view of the sunset, the surrounding sprawl of city lights and even some of my fave landmarks, including the Dodgers Stadium, the Santa Monica Pier, and yup, the Hollywood Sign.
Skyspace is currently closed due to our epidemic restrictions but I can't seem to pay any of my friends enough to ride down that slide with me anyway so when and if it one day reopens go enjoy:
I busted my left great toe sliding down one of the water slides the last time I visited this water theme park and to this day can't fully bend it like I used to, but then again, I was 18 and knew just about as much about safety at water parks as the average psychotic 3-year-old; however, the velocity at which I slid down the slide I was on brought me a far more sensational rush than any Slip 'n' Slide ever could which made my idiotically injuring myself worth it. So if you're prepared to get soaked and for getting a major wedgie, knock yourself out, (not literally).
Batman is one of my most favorite rides at this theme park because of how smooth and flowy it is; riding this suspended coaster is the closest to flying one might ever feel. The wait in line usually lasts for several years, in my calculation, but the wait is always well worth it. I believe that the riders' terrified reactions at this park are filmed though, so just be prepared for your friends making fun of you when they see you in the monitors.
This is the most family-friendly, yet exciting, even (wink, wink), romantic venue in Los Angeles that comes to mind for me. It has been recently renovated so I can't wait to see the new upgrades. I especially enjoy watching hardcore fans make fools of themselves by doing things like jump into the playing field to steal an errant baseball as a souvenir, (this is in SoCal, remember), so the spectators can often be even more entertaining than the players.
My bf and I like to wait until long after the game is over when all the seats are empty so we can make out as the sun comes down just like in the movies. We always get immediately kicked out of course (good old times) but even during the pandemic it is still pretty fun to watch future games from the surrounding hills on beach towels, blankets, beach chairs or from our vehicle, where we can then tune in to the game's radiocast and chill (until we get kicked out from there too).
In a weird way, the inconvenience of it is even more romantic, as if the very soul of the arena somehow still trickles out to electrify between me and the guy of my dreams; the challenge of not being able to physically be inside of the stadium gives us an idea of how Adam and Eve may have felt when they got locked out of Eden, making us appreciate how good we used to have it, which then kinda pleasantly forces us to improvise and to use our imaginations (no racy innuendoes intended). At least we are no longer surrounded by the excessive obnoxiousness of some overzealous fans. Fireworks can make it even more awesome.
The last time I was at this theme park, I was walking with a group of my friends looking forward to The Simpsons Ride; I was swinging my hands back and forth and making big gestures in my usual histrionics when I suddenly, accidentally smacked the butt of a random guy in front of me. He looked at me and frowned. "Sorry!" I said repeatedly, blushing.
Although it was one of the most embarrassing moments in my life, the rides were fun enough to make me forget it; the moral of the story is that if you tend to be a demonstrative drama queen like myself, remember to be careful and more watchful in fairly crowded public places.
Enjoy Life On the Edge
So if you decide to pay our crazy state a visit, I hope you enjoy it. Just remember to have all your medical insurance information and plenty of stress balls handy. And if you plan to bring your children with you, what in the world, may I ask, are you thinking? But if you choose to eventually enroll them in one of our most prestigious colleges, I suggest that you visit a doctor very different from the one I just recommended. If, nonetheless, despite all I just told you, you decide to one day retire in the Golden State, I highly advise that you find a voraciously hungry, slightly pissed off lion, and then stick your head inside of its mouth. It will be just like being a long-standing California resident, only comparatively much more enjoyable; and no matter what you decide, please, at all costs, leave your favorite kids at home. Should you ever make up your mind to eventually live here, I am quite sure that they are the ones who will contribute a great deal to guaranteeing your spot in one of our most picturesque and reputable nursing homes.
Matthew B. on July 24, 2020:
It's just a comedic rejoinder Rose. No need to get your panties and/or bikini thong all in a knot.
Rosana Clarkson (author) from Los Angeles on July 24, 2020:
It's just some self-effacing levity Matt...no need to get your boxers and/or briefs all in a twist.
Matthew B. on July 24, 2020:
You are indeed crazy if you think you are "an old woman" at 44.
I am 58, what does that make ME then?!