My 1st Visit to Los Angeles: The Manly Vegan Takes on the Sheraton Gateway Hotel (Near LAX)

My 1st Visit to Los Angeles: The Manly Vegan Takes on the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel

Though I’ve traveled the world, I’ve never been to New York City; and until a few days ago, I had never visited Los Angeles… unless you count a 30 minute layover at the airport on my way to Bangkok, Thailand back in 2004.

In the year 2018, I’ll be able to explain why exactly I was in Los Angeles this past week and how it all came down to a blog post I did back in the summer. But for now, I suppose all I can really say is I have now officially been shuttled through Los Angeles and visited an actual Hollywood set…

And when I wasn’t on set, I was at my hotel- the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel. It was undeniably strange being in California without my wife and children. After all, we were just in San Diego back in September; as my wife’s family is from California.

You might expect that I spent a good amount of my time in the pool, or the hot tub, or the gym… or at least hanging out upstairs in my room catching up on TV shows that I never have time for anymore.

But, nope.

I slept 10 hours my first night there and 9 hours my second night. As an actively involved husband and father, who not only has a full-time job but also this blog and my YouTube Channel, it is quite uncommon that I get the privilege of falling asleep at 8 or 9 PM, for two nights in a row.

Clearly, I took advantage of the situation. The room was like a sleep chamber for me.

At this point in my life, uninterrupted sleep has a much greater value than entertainment or leisure time.

I didn’t use my phone while I was there. I didn’t even bring my laptop. I just slipped into peaceful oblivion.

My 1st Visit to Los Angeles: The Manly Vegan Takes on the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel

Granted, I did have to eat. And as you know, I am a vegan. A manly vegan, to be exact- which is an exceptionally rare demographic.

For breakfast, I headed downstairs to Starbucks. I began the day with a fruit cup and some Evolution Sweet Greens cold-pressed juice; along with a Core Meal bar (made of oats and nuts) which I brought with me from Whole Foods back in Nashville.

For dinner, there were two stand-out vegan options on the menu at Costero California Bar + Bistro; which is located near the lobby of the hotel.

My 1st Visit to Los Angeles: The Manly Vegan Takes on the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel

For just $16, I was able to enjoy a luscious roasted vegetable pizza. (Of course, I specifically ordered it without the cheese.) I was perfectly pleased. In fact, I could totally consume another gourmet pizza like that right now.

Or if one might be in the mood for something a little more “beefy”, there is also the veggie burger served with fries.

My 1st Visit to Los Angeles: The Manly Vegan Takes on the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel

Honestly, between those two options, I’d be good every night of the week: I wouldn’t need any other options at the hotel for dinner.

I will likely be staying at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel a year from now as well. So it’s good to have a plan and know what to expect when I go back.

After a few nights in Los Angeles, I was shuttled back to LAX, where I stopped by Real Food Daily (Organic Plant-Based Food) for lunch for noodles, sea vegetables, and seitan.

Thanks to American Airlines, where you actually get to watch movies for free on the flight, the 5 hour flight back to Nashville went by so quickly I didn’t even have to get up to use the restroom.

The next morning back at the cul-de-sac, my wife let me sleep in until 7 AM… which is when she allowed our 6 year-old son to start shooting me with his brand new fart-sound gun; to be followed by my wife lowering our 6 month-old daughter onto my chest, as our baby girl both smiled and drooled with the same intensity.

Clearly, I was missed.

My 1st Visit to Los Angeles: The Manly Vegan Takes on the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel

@SheratonLAX @corefoods @RealFoodDaily @AmericanAir #vegan #LAX

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 1- “LA X”

“When I die, what do you think will happen to me?” -Sayid

The anticipation… Such a big deal! Like being a kid… So exciting!

Yet now that the 23 millions of us have seen the first two hours of the final season of our favorite show ever, we’ve got our homework cut out for us. Watching LOST is a serious event. The whole time I’m taking notes, scene by scene.

Our predictions about the two different Last Supper promotional photos featuring the LOST cast were accurate: There are two main different timelines going on. No more flash forwards or flashbacks. It’s like those Choose Your Own Adventure books.  We are now dealing with the narrative device referred to as “flash-sideways”.

But by the finale, does only one of these destinies become the real one?  The writers of the show aren’t saying.  They don’t want to acknowlege either of the realities as the alternate one.  Until the finale episode, all we can do is just enjoy seeing what would have happened had the plane never crashed.  Because we’ve always been curious anyway about that.

There are two main parts from the episode that keep bouncing around in my mind.

The first: Who is in Sayid’s body now? Jacob. He told Hurley (in the new unknown year with the temple and the new Asian dude with long hair) to take Sayid to the temple (even though Jacob died an hour before in 1977). Sayid died at the temple (or was murdered by the men that were supposed to save him), then soon after comes back to life. That’s no coincidence.

In one of The Lord’s Supper parodies, Sayid assumes the role of Judas and John Locke represents Christ. Prediction: The new Sayid will betray the new Locke. In other words, Jacob will deceive Esau by making him think Sayid is still alive.

There is much irony in Sayid’s asking of what will happen to him when he dies. He was assuming and referring to his soul’s judgment to hell. But for us viewers, we now see this was a foreshadowing that the thing that would happen to him when he died is that Jacob would take over his body.

Going back to the fact that Jacob told Hurley to take Sayid to the temple in 1977, this solidifies a theory and anwers a mystery that we’ve been wondering since the 2nd season.  After a person has died on the island, and after Esau (or Jacob) takes the form of their body, they can appear as that person at any point in the past, but not in the future. Dying as that person prevents them from living on in present day.

When Jacob appears to Hurley and he had already been dead for an hour, remember that he was killed by Ben in the future.  Therefore he was able to go back in time and instruct Hurley to set up the takeover of Sayid’s body.

Pretty clever, yes?

The second thing bouncing around in my head is this: What year are Jack and Co. stuck in on the island? Based on the temple’s structure and the clothing, I assume sometime in the 1500’s, at the latest. I call this timeline “The Turban Times” because of the burgundy turbans worn by some of the temple mongers.

We’ve been introduced to two new bad guys. I think they’re bad guys. The Japanese dude with long hair. Until I learn his name and until I learn his actual ethnic background, I will call name him Emperor Miyagi. And his weird looking scientist friend, Dr. Hooknose. Both of them appear to be up to no good. But right now we’re still trying to sort out who’s good and who’s bad.

I hold true to my predictions that somehow in the end Ben Linus will end up being a good guy. Based on the fact that Benjamin in the Bible was righteous. Even the good guys are at least a little bad on LOST.

In closing, I have a feeling that the Egyptian cross, the ankh, will continue to have a major symbolic meaning for this final season. It is the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life” and represents the deities of the afterlife. The ankh was believed by the Egyptians to protect them against sickness, infertility, and a loss of psychic powers.

When it’s all said and done, the struggle on the island will all come down to Jacob and Esau’s struggle for eternal life, which they attempt to maintain through the appearance of the bodies of those who have died on the island. Sort of like on the movie The Skeleton Key.

And those who for whatever reason made their way to the island are forever exposed to the game of Jacob vs. Esau. That is, unless the alternative timeline proves to be solid. I have a feeling it won’t.

Read my recap from last night’s episode:

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 14- “Across the Sea”