The West Coast feels like home

I’m not sure if this feeling is just amplified by the fact that I have spent the past month in an extremely humid climate, but after taking another week-long trip to SoCal and Las Vegas, the West Coast makes me feel at home.

No, this doesn’t mean I’m softening up to SoCal—I still hate California and think it should be ejected from the United States of America—but the en­vi­ron­ment there feels a lot more comfortable than the East.

As for the actual feeling of home, I’m glad that I selected Las Vegas as my city of residency, and after coming back again to take care of some errands dur­ing my road trip, I know for sure that my ultimate, final destination upon the conclusion of my voluntary homelessness is going to be Las Vegas. A lot of people told me that I’m going to realize how underwhelming Las Vegas is after seeing so many other cities across the country, but I’ve experienced the opposite effect—Las Vegas looks even better after all these experiences.

I decided to drive from Charleston to Atlanta so I could take a non-stop flight from ATL to LAX, as flying out of CHS would’ve required a layover. This obviously was also productive to my road trip, as I was continuing west anyway, so if anything, making it to Atlanta now rather than later helped break up the longer drive.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

My system so far for air travel is to park my pickup truck at the airport parking lot for a week while I travel, then it will be there in walking distance of the terminal waiting for me when I return so I can continue my road trip. This has worked out great so far, as the cost of the parking is usually mostly off-set by the price I would’ve had to pay anyway to figure out an alternative parking solution and then rideshare to the airport. The extra cost ends up being negligible in exchange for the convenience of being able to take off on my own accord right upon arrival.

Now of course, this only works if there is actually affordable parking at the airport. For whatever reason, on the day I was scheduled to depart from Atlanta to Los Angeles, I drove to the south daily lot to park… and it was full. Unfazed at the minor setback, I looped around the airport to the north side to park at the north daily lot… and discovered that that was full as well.

Now slightly more concerned, I figured that the volume of cars flowing in and out of the parking garages must be massive, so if I loop back around to the south daily lot, some spaces might have opened up by then. … I was wrong. I once again looped back around to the north daily lot, and it was still full.

Now, you probably read all that in several seconds, but keep in mind that actually getting from one cardinal lot to the other takes about 5 or so minutes, considering that they’re on opposite ends of the terminal, and there’s almost always decent traffic congestion at the airport during the day. After going back and forth a few times, I realized that I couldn’t keep doing this, because I usually cut it fairly close for my flight, so wasting more time finding park­ing would put me at risk of missing my flight.

I ended up paying 50% more to park in the hourly lot instead.

Never lucky.

GMC Canyon at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

After making it to Los Angeles, I went to pick up my rental, which was a Ford F-150 XLT with the 302A package (which comes with the 12-inch screen). This is the same pickup truck that I received while I was in Oklahoma City, but it seemed like the visitors of Los Angeles didn’t treat this particular truck as nicely as those who traveled to Oklahoma City. It had a horrible, horrible transmission problem where it would lurch and jerk every time it down­shifted from sixth gear, all the way down until it got to second gear.

That was obviously incredibly annoying for city driving, especially in Los Angeles traffic, but the truck still had a very smooth ride on the highway on my trip to and from Las Vegas. I usually like to use Avis’ “mystery car” option so I can get a better deal, but in anticipation for the long drive, I spe­cif­i­cally requested a full-size pickup truck so I can be more comfortable.

Ford F-150

I spent the first few days of my week staying at the Tempo company headquarters in Long Beach.

Naples Yacht Club

Afterwards, I drove to Las Vegas to take care of some errands, like getting a haircut, going to the chiropractor, checking my PO box, and exchanging some stuff from my storage unit.

While in Las Vegas, my hotel of choice was the Residence Inn by Marriott Las Vegas South/Henderson, and the room I got was a king studio. It looked like a fairly newly constructed hotel based off the design and condition of the room. I didn’t use the kitchen at all, but everything was clean, the furniture was modern, and the hotel had everything I needed for a pleasant stay.

Residence Inn by Marriott

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper trip to Las Vegas without visiting my former roommate’s cats. I took a few photos, but for some reason, all of them except one came out blurry; here is the one that is in focus.

Pudding the Persian

For dinner the day before my return to Los Angeles, I met up with a few friends and went to an Italian restaurant at Tivoli Village called Al Solito Posto.

Apparently this was supposed to be a great, top-tier restaurant, but I must’ve just picked an unlucky dish, because I thought it was pretty under­whelm­ing. I selected Emily’s Sunday Gravy, which was spaghetti that came with braised shortrib, house meatballs, and veal breast. If you were to ask me “how did it taste,” my response would be, “I don’t know,” because it was so overwhelmingly salty that I literally couldn’t really taste anything. I’m some­what of a meat enthusiast who can distinguish the subtle different flavors of different meats and different cuts of the same type of meat, but this was so salty that all the meat tasted about the same. By the end of the meal, it felt like I had pickled the inside of my mouth.

My friends apparently love this restaurant and go there regularly, so I’m more than willing to give it another chance… but I’m definitely going to ask for something far more bland next time.


For my final activity of my trip to Las Vegas, one of my friends wanted me to accompany him to the Halloween Town Pumpkin Patch, a seasonal carnival and festival taking place at Boca Park. After a quick glimpse, it was obvious that it was a very traditional carnival with rigged carnival games, but he insisted on playing.

Now of course, for those who are not familiar with Las Vegas, it gets excruciatingly hot dur­ing the daytime over the summer, but it gets fairly cold dur­ing the nighttime as it approaches winter. This festival trip just ended up being my friend losing an astronomical amount of money failing at pretty much every single carnival game, and his girlfriend and me following him around, freezing to death, wondering why he is basically just donating money to a place that isn’t even a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) charity.

Halloween Town Pumpkin Patch

After returning to Southern California, I took a trip to Orange County for a business meeting, went back to the company headquarters in Long Beach for some more business meetings, then headed back to Atlanta after the conclusion of my week.

American Airlines

I don’t want to drive for long distances on the same day that I fly, so I’m spending a night in Lithia Springs, a census-designated area on the western side of Metro Atlanta. Tomorrow, I head off to Birmingham, Alabama to begin exploring the cluster of four southeastern states that I have yet to visit.