The Soorleys



Ah, California. The place where dreams come true. Seth meets Summer. Sandy Cohen enjoys the perfect bagel. Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg collaborate. What more could you wish for?

So, just some background info; whenever Laura and I travel together – whether it’s a two hour drive to Sydney or a holiday to Bali – we always manage to find ourselves in sticky situations. We attract disaster and disaster certainly seems to enjoy our company. From getting lost (Laura is convinced I’m technologically challenged, even though I know that woman from Google Maps is a filthy liar), to getting stung by sea urchins, to getting third degree burns on motorcycles, we just can’t seem to get this travel thing right. Regardless of our history, Laura and I were determined to make sure nothing of the sort happened this time around.

Three days in and I already have so much to tell you.

Our first night in LA, before we’d even left the airport, we’d lost the mandolin. It never appeared on our baggage carousel, so after waiting for about an hour, then going from LAX staff member to staff member we finally found out what had happened to this teeny tiny instrument. It was put on another plane. The kind lady at baggage reclaim got an address for it to be shipped to and all was well. Then, we got to our accommodation. Not realizing this AirBnB apartment, was really more a hostel than anything else, we arrived to a rather rude shock. Picture this:

Hot pink walls.

Strobe lights.

Disco Balls.

Several photos of Kendall Jenner around the house in frames that say “I Love Mum”.

We were off to a good start.



After that, our first night out, our host called us an Uber. Laura, the ever friendly lass was trying to make small talk with our driver. This is how the conversation went:

Laura: “Is this your full-time job?”

Driver: “Yes.”

Laura: “Oh, that’s good.”

Driver: “It’s good?”

Laura: “Yeah…?”

Driver: “How do you know it’s good? It’s not good job. It’s bad job.”

Laura: “Oh really? I just—“

Driver: “You say it’s good job, but how do you know? It’s very bad job.”

Laura: “….”

Driver: “Why you think it’s good job? Its really not good job.”

Laura: “Do you want to work somewhere else then?”

Driver: “No. But it’s very bad job.”

Oh. My. Goodness.


And then we got to San Fran. We arrived at another AirBnB apartment after 8 hours of travel on a bus. So, naturally, we were desperate to use the bathroom. Only the door was locked. And we didn’t have a key. And our host wasn’t answering his phone. After about an hour of trying to jimmy this door open with no success and realizing there was no late night diner within a five-mile radius, we had to do the unthinkable. Yes. We had to alleviate ourselves in the backyard. I know. So wrong. But when nature calls, you gotta answer right? RIGHT?!


This incident was almost as traumatizing as having to alleviate myself on Laura’s hand after she was stung by a sea urchin in Bali. (I wasn’t going to share this info, but this forum has really liberated me.) At least we got a discount on the price of the apartment! (is it wrong that we didn’t tell our host that we urinated in his backyard? Nah. It’s what he deserves for locking us out of the toilet)


But this incident isn’t even the funniest part of the trip thus far. The highlight was yesterday afternoon. Laura had suggested that we go for a leisurely bike ride to the Golden Gate Bridge, forgetting that she has an innate fear of bikes since the traumatic incident at her 8th grade Bike Camp (WTF?). So we start our forty-five minute trek toward the bridge, only, about halfway through our ride to the bridge  (after moaning and groaning to herself and muttering “I hate this” every time we went up a slight hill), Lor decided to call it quits. I tried to encourage her to press on, but she wouldn’t. So I left her. Anyone who knows Lor, knows that this is perfectly normal behavior for her.


There I was, riding alone. Me…by myself, laughing hysterically from the marina to the bridge. Not even getting lost in a construction site trying to find the bridge could bring me down. This was too good. I saw the Golden Gate Bridge. It was nice. Then I rode back, still laughing like a maniac to meet Lor in the same spot I left her, with her helmet still on, looking more disheveled than someone who has been sitting down for half an hour should. This is going to be a wonderful six weeks.