Places to Visit in LA

4 Earthly Paradises You Can Visit This Summer If You Live In LA

You can also go to them if you are planning to visit the city; just get a car and drive on!

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I love going on adventures and finding new places. I like breathing in new scents and painting new sights. I'm a huge fan of that which is breathtaking and marvelous.

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Getting on a car and setting off to new destinations is one of the few things I can never really get tired of. However, I feel like I am the luckiest person when I land on new territory. I feel like I've found a promised land, one promised for the hungry for adventure and sightseeing.

That's why I want to recommend you some of the amazing places I have been to lately.

1. Point Dumme

Jared Godoy

Take a drive through PCH, following the GPS and you'll reach this paradise land that faces the ocean. The drive is relaxing, especially if you have the perfect playlist for it. The hills and turns make it even more of a fun drive.

Once you reach the place, there's a trail that guides through this small garden where even bunnies can be found. This trail leads to some sketchy stairs that will eventually take you to the beach. In this twitter thread, I tell more of my adventure there.

2. Palos Verdes

Just imagine the sun setting over that coastline. Just picture it.

Jared Godoy

Palos Verdes is right after Redondo Beach. The drive on the PCH after LAX is quite a precious one. The lining PCH are small. yet dreamy. Despite the long ride awaiting you, the view is something you won't be able to prepare yourself.

Standing from atop a cliff, you can see the gaping ocean spreading before you, the rolling clouds disappearing in the horizon, and birds dashing through the sky. Just try to close your eyes, and imagine the soothing lull of the rolling waves, the singing wind caressing your face.

There's also a trail that leads to a rocky beach where you can sit down and enjoy the view from up close.

3. Will Rogers State Historic Park

Jared Godoy

Now this one is for those who love going hiking. To get to this place, you can either go through a fun ride through Sunset Blvd. or along PCH, either is promised to please your viewing eyes.

There are two hiking trails: one that's 5 km long and another one that's 2 km. The 5 km trail takes you up through the mountains, offering a gracious view of the City of Angels, and through a bridge that makes you feel on top of the world. For lovers of nature, this is one wonderful place.

4. Descanso Garden

Jared Godoy

Descanso Garden is what the name implies: a garden. No, to be more precise: a floral maze in which I wouldn't mind getting lost in.

Just think of every flower you can, and you might find in there. The entrance isn't free, but if you are a student, you only pay $6, which is totally worth it.

This would be more appealing to the lovers of nature, but trust me. Each of these places is unique in its own magical way, and you're bound to create some new, unforgettable memories.

Cover Image Credit:

Jared Godoy

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.

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The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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