It has probably been over 20 years since the last time I was in L.A., and it was not the place I remembered, probably due in large part to the fact that my earlier visits were with family, and revolved around hanging out at my uncle's house and going on long road trips in the minivan to various national parks.
That is not what L.A. is like. At all.
We flew into Long Beach instead of LAX, which was an amusing mistake. Long Beach is basically a small trailer park with runways. The airport employees don't seem to be aware that they are working at the airport, which can be problematic when you're trying to check a bag or get through security.
From what we could tell at the hotel and when we went out in the city, L.A. is kind of like Vegas, but with no gambling and more plastic surgery. We saw a girl in thigh high boots who apparently decided that the height of her boots negated the need for pants. We saw a middle-aged gentleman in a sequined shirt who has had so much done to his face that we were afraid it would fall off at any moment. We saw enough SUVs to use up all the oil in Kuwait.
On the other hand, we also saw dolphins and whales swimming around right next to our hotel. That was pretty awesome.
Oh, and they also hired a falconer and his falcons to keep the seagulls away. Only in L.A. could a dude with a leather glove and a bird find full-time employment at a fancy resort.