As you have already read my previous post about my first day in LA and my first impressions of it, I would like to proceed to the second day now, which has completely changed my vision and my idea about LA!
So, in my previous post, I have mentioned that the first day felt a bit demotivating and did not appear like something I have expected at all, however I wasn’t aware of how this is all going to change! That’s when the life becomes interesting, you are always able to make decisions and subtract good from bad.
Good morning Los Angeles
So, despite going to sleep quite early, the night before, I found myself not being able to sleep properly, probably because due to the different timezone. I woke up the next morning at around 6:00AM, went to the window at the hotel and just stood there watching. Luckily, our room was on the 6th floor so the Hollywood Hills could be seen from far away. I just stood there, gazing at the hills for around 5minutes, in complete silence. We were moving into an Airbnb today, so I knew I will be able to discover another side of the coin and see the LA in its true beauty.
6:20 I was already ready to hit the fasted cardio. We’re in LA right? I have to look good and cardio will help me to get my head around things!
After finishing my fasted cardio in the gym downstairs, I went upstairs to start packing my bags. Me and Simon have packed all of our bags and have decided to go to have a breakfast downstairs that was included in our stay at the hotel.
Breakfast was more of a buffet. I tried to focus on consuming enough protein, so I had to go for eggs and low-fat yoghurt. American-style pancakes were just out of this world! Having some maple syrup over them made me realise that my holiday had just begun on full speed and I will have to slow down the carbs a little bit if I still want to keep my abs showing at some point, haha. My breakfast simply consisted of Protein/Carbs and a little bit of Fat from peanut butter over a bagel.
Breakfast was finished, it was time to get our bags and leave La Palma!
We took the Uber to our Airbnb place in North Hollywood and we found ourselves at the house of a lady, called Kim. She was living there with her husband, two of her kids and her brother was staying there as well. She was very welcoming and we really appreciated her hospitality, it seemed like she was doing such business for a long time because she was very professional and easy-going with us, the conversation was flowing. She had showed us our room, handed in our keys and had welcomed us into her home.
The place was indeed nice, a big house with a massive living room, three rooms downstairs and some rooms upstairs, where most of the family would stay. They had a pool outside and were also growing their own vegetables in their backyard, which was simply impressive. For me, it seemed that we came to the right place, people actually live healthy here! I have asked Kim about the vegetables and how come they grow their own. She answered me that it is a common thing to harvest your own vegetables in your back garden as the conditions are suitable for the vegetables to grow, a lot of people do it in LA. I was really impressed, people actually care about the foods they eat in here!
After we had settled in, had a chat with Kim, we have decided to carry on with our day, it was around 1:20PM and it was time for us to explore LA. Our first stop … that’s it; The Mecca of Bodybuilding – Gold’s Gym, Venice.
Time in the Mecca
It was my vision. My dream. I remember, since I have started doing fitness and bodybuilding, I have always wanted to train in Gold’s Gym, Venice. That’s where it all began. Golden days, Golden Era and Golden Bodybuilding. I knew, that’s the first place I wanted to go whilst in LA. It’s not really about the machines or the equipment, it’s about the environment, the whole concept.
So again, Uber errwhere; we found ourselves in front of the Mecca of Bodybuilding. I took out my vlogging camera and started vlogging.
We went inside the Gold’s Gym and the atmosphere just hit me. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Pictures of Mr. Olympia and Mrs. Olympia were shining on the wall – it was something beautiful. I would normally see these pictures in Pumping Iron and now, I can witness it myself, how crazy is that! I remember watching Pumping Iron in Lithuania for the first time and had never thought, of being given the opportunity, well, rather making the opportunity happen for myself to visit Gold’s Gym sometime! Once I walked in, I knew I was somewhere I had to be, everything just felt really familiar and cosy.
It was my Chest/Back day, oldschool style! Of course, I was rocking my Gold’s Gym stinger, I had bought in London and had to bring it back to where it was first designed! We bought our daily passes, that cost us about 20$, quite pricey – eh? Well, if you would pay 20$ for a club entry, I would pay 20$ for the entry into my favourite club, Simon had also bought a locker, so we can put our stuff somewhere and The Pumping Iron began.
During my workout, I would sometimes be approached by different people, asking me where I was from. Everyone seemed really friendly. I saw Sergi Constance walking around, with some of his ‘Be Legend’ team. I met this guy – Nick, who I had a small chat with. Nick offered to help me out to film some shots for my vlog as well, we exchanged social media and have decided to workout together for a bit. I would push him on his supersets, re-rack the plates and he would do the same for me. The workout was intense and I was already around 2 hours into my workout. I just kept doing exercises and couldn’t stop, there were so many machines and exercises to perform!
We went outside and some guys were doing calisthenics, some were kicking and punching the bags, some were squatting. I have decided to do some flies and took my vest off, had to blend into the crowd, it was Gold’s Gym after all, gotta go shirtless under the LA sun!
So we’re about 3 hours into the workout, non-stop and we finished it off with some farmer’s walk with 100lbs kettlebells. The workout was over! 3 hours, I didn’t even notice how quick that went by!
Time for the beach
So we tried to replicate the Golden Days and went to the beach straight after the gym (I only had one meal and that was breakfast in the morning). Venice beach was just perfect! So many artists and tourists, souvenir shops… Just a big bloom of life coming directly into my eyes. Everyone is happy, enjoying the vibes and living the present moment. That’s what I have envisioned about LA. I was living my vision, things seemed to be falling into place!
We walked around the beach and have decided to play basketball with the locals. There were four guys shooting at the basket and I thought it would be a great idea of me and Simon to join them and have a game with the locals. Being 6’7ft, I didn’t really find it hard to play, hence I had been playing basketball for about 5 years when I was 16, but I had to remember how to shoot by adjusting enough strength. Since, I have been lifting for quite a while, my technique was out of hand so I needed some time to get used to it. However, that didn’t take long and we started playing.
Soon, the sun started setting and it was our time to go, everyone slowly started leaving. We had a good game and the locals seemed pretty friendly as well.
Santa Monica pier
We have decided to go to Santa Monica pier after playing some ball. The pier was spectacular, nothing I have visited before! We have a Brighton Pier in Brighton and this one was somewhat similar, but definitely more exciting and seemed a bit more fun, maybe because of the street performers, entertaining the people passing by and a random local hustler, trying to sell bottles of water for $1.
If any of you guys have every played GTA V, that would be a good replica of the pier in Santa Monica. We spent some time around there but since we didn’t even have a post-workout meal, we have decided to go deeper into Santa Monica and find a place to eat. We saw a Bubba Gump Shrimp place on our way out, but the queues were too long, we couldn’t be bothered to wait that long.
After searching for some time, we found a place called ‘Johnny Rockets‘, where they served mainly burgers. I have ordered a beef burger with unlimited fries and zero calorie ice cold tea, Simon ordered probably the greasiest burger I have ever seen, it had everything in it, from bacon and beef to onion rings. It was so greasy, even the bun underneath seemed a bit soggy, oh well, American food.
After we had our meal, we had left the place. If I had to rate it, I would give it 5/5, the burgers were truly tasty, fries (chips) were also fresh!
Unexpected plot twist
After we had left the place, we tried to catch an Uber and whilst doing so, we spotted a celebrity! It was a UFC champion Nate Diaz @natediaz209 ! He turned out to be a really cool guy and really friendly. Since, Simon did some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, they had some mutual links as Nate knew Simon’s coach. He showed us his dogs and we took pictures with him as well. The day turned out really great and the unexpected plot twist just made it even better!
I had to remind myself that we are actually in Los Angeles, where famous celebrities live! We have a high chance of spotting a celebrity any time, so we have to keep our heads up! The second day of LA was a complete opposite from our first day. Feeling demotivated and a bit blue, during our first day, it has all reversed and I was feeling amazing during our second day! I had literally seen the LA I had envisioned, simply because we had an opportunity to experience the Golden Days and blend in with the whole LA vibe!
I will be writing more blog posts and posting videos about my trip, stay tuned – it will be interesting!
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‘Train Like An Artist’