Travelling to LA... need advice and also to rant a bit

  1. Hi I'm VERY HIGH STRUNG RIGHT NOW! I'm a university student near my midterms right now and on my period and I will be going to LA right after my mts end. This trip is kinda like the last thing I need right now since its blowing up in my face. I planned it back in Dec, thinking that I could use a reward after having such a hard semester and so I thought after Mts I can go away and enjoy some sun (I live in Canada so its REALLY REALLY miserable right now).

    Anyway, my friend and I are going to LA to visit this other friend of ours who lives in Irvine, anyway, the friend I'm leaving Canada with told me to NOT buy these super cheap tickets I saw back in Dec for only 200$ because she says the prices will drop closer ot my departure date, and trust me it did not so we're both shedding out 400$ each for our airfare. I wanted to buy a package with hotels and what not but she said we shoudl just live with our friend in Irvine so I listened to her, but... our friend in Irvine is now telling us to rent a car when we are there because we wouldn't be able to get around etc w/o one and i thought that the frd in Irvine would take us around and put us up and whatever but basically for the sound of it, she's just letting us stay w/ her but she won't be spending alot of time w/ us or telling us how to get around.

    :hysteric:

    I have my mts and I really do not have time to plan things and my Canadian friend is doing nothing... All she does is tells ME to email my friend in Irvine, tell me to find the cheap tickets and she basically commands me to do everything. My dad worked for a travel agency but now he's semi retired so I asked him for help (god I hate that) and he's basically being such a jerk about it and saying how I'm in my 20s and I can't take care of anything myself etc etc and how I act all mature and how I have everything in control but in the end all I do is make mistakes and expects my parents to clean up after me.

    SO I guess I just need some help planning this trip. Should I rent a car or not? I'm really not up for driving and looking for directions, is LA hard to navigate? I know that my friend will be no help in the map department and I know that I will end up having to plan all the routes and stuff.

    I've looked around and a week's rental is around 150$ but there's also gas and parking. Parking in Hollywood will be killer wouldn't it?

    And is there any special shopping and sight seeing areas or good clubs or eating places??

    I'll be arriving on Feb. 15th afternoon and leaving on the 20th

    If anyone can make up some sort of trip suggestion, plans for me that would be simply wonderful.

    I just can't be dealing w/ my MTs and this stupid advanced astronomy assignment and having my friend from Canada breathe down my neck about trip planning and then having my friend in LA telling me how she's uncertain about everything and then my dad saying how im useless and I am a poor planner.

    Ahhhhhhhhh! I really really really really did not bargain for this when I initially decided to go on this trip (my honey got super mad at me also for leaving during the break, its one of thsoe little things that got blown outta porportions and he threatened to break up w/ me)

    I'm sorry for making a trip sound like the end of the world just so stressed out and nothing is working out!

    I just got an email from my friend from LA saying
    "i think its necessary to rent a car since i dun hav a carrrr >< but ill try to get a car before u guys comeee...i'm still looking for one.. Or i mite juss tell my friends to pik u guys up from airport or is it possible if u guys can rent a car at airport?"

    what is she saying what are we supposed to do, are we getting picked up or do we have to rent our own cars and get our asses to her apt? Or is she renting a car? I've sent her emails asking very specific questions but she always tells me "maybe this or that" and its like is it this or that pick one!
     
  2. Ok, deep breaths.

    One of my parents live near Irvine, the other lives in LA. You will definitely need to rent a car to get around Orange County and LA. I'm sorry, I don't have any suggestions for rental cars, but hopefully someone else on the board will have some info on this.

    If you want advice on places to go while in LA, please PM me with your budget and I would love to share some with you.
     
  3. I agree that you will definately need a car and map everything out before hand as LA isn't on a grid system.

    If you can get a package deal (probably not what you want to hear) I would do that as well since Irvine can be quite the drive from LA depending on the time of day. Besides, your friend in Irvine doesn't sound like she's exactly looking forward to your visit, so staying with her will likely not only be not fun, but unpleasant as well.

    Parking in Hollywood isn't too bad (5-10 bucks at night), but I don't know much about day time parking. Actually, parking all around really isn't very bad in LA, just pay attention to the signs and remember to park within the markers, especially in Santa Monica as they do ticket for that.

    Shopping - Third St Promenade, Century City, Beverly Center, Melrose Ave, The Grove, Montana St out in Brentwood area, Rodeo area, South Coast Plaza, Camarillo Outlets...more that I don't recall

    Sites - I can only think of the Getty Museum. I think admission is free? Parking is something like 7 or 10 dollars though. Universal Studios?

    Eating - oh gosh....just go wild. I don't even know where to start...sorry I'm no help!!!

    Well thats just off the top of my head. I'm sure the ladies here will def. have much more to add! Good luck and sorry about your crappy travelling buddy!
     
  4. Okay, first, sit down, have a drink and relax.

    If I were you, and my Canadian friend is not doing her share of the work on planning this trip, and everything falls on me, I would make an excuse and not go. Your friend in Irvine doesn't sound like she really wants you to stay with her otherwise she would make an effort on making sure she picks you up and shows you around while you're there. You're only going to be there for 5 days, it's not like it's a month. If you were my friend, I would take the time and show you around LA. After all, you're there to "visit" your friend right?

    Now, if you're adamant about going, then rent a car. Google all the rental car companies and do some comparative shopping before you book anything. And yes, please book ahead so that way you know which rental bus to get on after you exit LAX. (Take the 405 to Irvine) Don't forget to buy some type of rental insurance. Oh, and don't forget to buy travel medical insurance, just in case. You can buy this at your bank or at the airport.

    Don't forget your passport, you need your passport to fly now.

    Also, plan your route with mapquest.com or some other map website before you go, that way you won't get lost. Most rental car companies have some great maps but it's only good for freeways and not for specific streets.

    Ooooh, I almost forgot, you can check in online with Air Canada or WestJet (or whatever airline) 24 hours before you are scheduled to leave. That way you can avoid the lineups.

    Good luck, and don't forget to go to South Coast Plaza, it's very close to Irvine. (Take 405 North from Irvine) Or Fashion Island, it's even closer! Have fun!
     
  5. hey sc4040, i replied to your email
     
  6. Your friend probably has a day job, that's why she wouldn't be able to drive you around and show you places.

    Yes, you need a car to get around L.A. or Orange County, but if you are a tourist, you don't need to. You can always take the trains and buses. I think it's better to take buses, sitting on the bus is also another way of sight seeings.

    From Orange County: Take the Metrolink train to Union Station(downtown L.A.) or to San Diego.

    From Union Station, you can walk to Olvera street, Chinatown, and then walk your way to Disney Concert Hall, MOCA museum, Jewelry district(downtown L.A.)

    From Downtown L.A., you can take a bus to The Grove, and then continue to Beverly Center, and then Robertson Blvd(Shop Kitson, the Ivy(the restaurant). Rodeo Dr. is also very near by.

    Can also take the bus to Third St. Promenada in Santa Monica(beach).

    From Downtown L.A. you can also take the Red Line train to Hollywood/Highland (Kodak Theather, Chinese Main Theather, Walk of Fames), and to Universal Studio Hollywood.

    From Downtown L.A(Union Station), you can take the Gold Line train to Old Town Pasadena.

    You and your Canadian friend can do this while your other friend is at work. It's much more fun and adventurous.
     
  7. Thanks guys I reread my post and saw how crazy I was... I was up for a long time and doing crazy calculations regarding sunspots... so ya it was a pretty frustrating night

    Thank you so much for being really sweet and supportive... My friend in LA is actually in school so I understand why she might not spend her whole time with us, but its just I "thought" she said she will have a car by the time we're coming but no.... and I "thought" she says she'll spend time w/ us during the long weekend but no...

    It's just kind of frustrating because when she went to visit my Canadian friend in Korea, my friend was really nice and did everything with her and paid for all her expenses in the country. And my Canadian friend is kind of expecting the same treatment now that we are going to her turf... but I guess life doesn't always work that way?

    And when my friend who's in LA now was in between houses, I let her crash in my house until things are settled, I was expecting her to be here for a week but she stayed for a month and I didn't even ask her to help me w/ the bills.

    Anyway thanks for being so sweet girls, I'm really happy to be a part of tPF =) and all the suggestions have got me psyched about the trip again.

    -I will make it through my midterms!
    -Then I'll have an awesome trip
    Perhaps buy a new bag & get a tan... Is it hot enough to tan at the beaches of LA? Right now its constantly below 0 at home....