On a whim, we visited the Museum of Us.
We spent hours in there, ooh-ing and aweing at each exhibit, participating in every part of them that we could.
But the one we spent the longest in was the Museum of Monsters.
We sat under a bunk bed and picked a story to listen to. The story of Medusa.
Going in, we knew the ideations of the story. How after a “love affair” with Poseidon, Athena, out of pure jealousy and rage, cursed her with her head of snakes that turned people to stone.
That’s usually how that story goes.
But we decided that this was impossible. We believed another version.
When Medusa was raped by Poseidon, Athena gifted her the snakes that turned those who dared to look her way into stone, to protect her, because she could not punish Poseidon, but she could protect Medusa.
Medusa was protected the best way Athena knew how, and in becoming Medusa, she became a symbol.
For the protection of women. For female solidarity. For sisterhood.
In this way, we are women of Medusa.
This past weekend, I took a trip.
My very first trip with no adults. Well, except for my friends, who are now adults (legally, anyways).
The moment we stepped on the train, and the station passed us by, we looked at each other and started giggling maniacally. Like little girls.
That’s what the entire trip felt like. Little children running around and chasing their own tails, ocassionally faced with moments that required us to be grown ups aware of the world, instead of freely running through it.
Given, we didn’t go far. Like, at all.
We live in Los Angeles and took the train down to San Diego.
But it was far enough that we felt lightyears away from home.
Whenver I travel anywhere, I’ve found that no matter the mode- car, train, plane- traveling is all I’m willing to do that day.
If it was a roadtrip that took 6 hours, that’s all I did that day. If it’s a train that took 4, that’s all I did that day.
The same went for San Diego, and thankfully Em and Naleiah were cool with that.
We settled into the Airbnb, ordered some pizza, and only went out once, to get Gelato. After that, we called our first day being grown-ups a night.
The next day was the very opposite.
We woke up at 7 to get some breakfast right across from Balboa Park, at Café Bassam, which was incredibly delicious, by the way.
Em got herself a bagel that ended up being a cheddar and jalapeño bagel with cream cheese , as well as an iced vanilla tea. Naleiah got the same thing as Em, but for her drink got an Iced Mexican Mocha.
And I got waffles that had bananas, blueberries, strawberries, whipped butter cream, and maple syrup on them, as well as an Iced Mexican Chocolate drink!
It was delicious, and the butter cream alone was filling. As soon as we finished, we said our goodbyes and started walking toward the park, to spend time at the Japanese Friendship Garden as planned.
Around that time, Em started bringing up the idea of getting a tattoo. Not all of us. Not that I could have. (17!) Just her.
We were hyping her up about it, because we knew that it was always something that she had wanted to do. So while we were walking, she started looking into artists and shops around the area.
On our way there, we ran into the Museum of Us, formerly the Museum of Man. We weren’t going to go in, but we quickly realized that, across from the entrance, there was an exhibit named “The Museum of Cannibals,” and Naleiah and I made the executive decision that we had to go in.
And we were right.
We started in the main building, at the Museum of Monsters. We spent about an hour deciding which monsters we were and coloring pictures like little kids. We even wrote on feathers our worst fears (mine was “living without purpose and La Llorona”) and drew scales to put on the dragon’s back and tail.
I drew a strawberry instead and put it in it’s mouth. It looked like it could use a strawberry.
After that, we entered the exhibit about indigenous cultures. I didn’t really take a lot of pictures of that, because I was so invested, so most of these are from Em.
In fact, that’s the case for most of the pictures you’ll see in this post. Em took most of these pictures because she’s wonderful and beautiful and knew I would beg her for pictures that I would need for the blog. Thanks a million Em!
While we were snaking through the halls and up flights of stairs, I made multiple bathroom trips, Naleiah would get distracted and lost, and Em was looking for places taking walk-ins. We were a storm of chaos set loose. It felt like a scene out of Night at the Museum.
After a bit of fluttering, we calmed down and entered the PostSecret Art exhibit, filled with millions of anonymous confessions and secrets from all around the world. We reading people’s deepest and darkest thoughts and actions, as well as their unpopular opinions and best bad jokes.
The exhibit took over a couple hallways and three rooms, and each one felt heavy. We let ourselves feel the weight.
For about two hours, we combed through each piece, sharing with each other the most bizarre, surprising, or our favorite ones that we had found. Here are a few of the ones I took a liking or closeness to.
After that, there was a room that we could write and send our secrets from, with magazines for clipping and post cards to write them on.
We sat there for a bit and followed through. It was silent, and I found a sort of comfort in that silence. I spent a little longer than they did, but they didn’t really mind.
Because after divulging your deepest and darkest memories and thoughts, you need a second to breathe.
So we each took one.
I went to the bathroom again, Naleiah sat down by herself, and Em walked around a bit more.
After a little while, we regrouped and headed over for what we had originally bought tickets for:
The Museum of Cannibals.
This is the only picture I have of the exhibit, and it doesn’t even begin to capture the intensity of it.
There are multiple parts that talk about the history of cannibalism, cinematically and realistically.
Interactive activities like experiencing a storm while stuck at sea, finding out which cannibal health solution would fix our problems, and a test that determined whether or not we would eat each other if we had to.
We found out that we most definitely would.
After that, we went to the Japanese Friendship Garden. Again, we were rampant.
I was jumping around on the rock paths, Naleiah was turning around every second to admire something new, and Em was on the phone with a shop that said they could fit her in if she came within a couple of hours.
So we ordered a ride, got back to the Airbnb, made a quick change and ate some food, and made our way to the shop.
Naleiah and I sat in the waiting room for a couple hours and we all played Uno on iMessage.
She said getting the tattoo felt like long cat scratches from a cat that hates your fricken guts.
Afterward, we came back and got ready for dinner like nothing even happened.
We rushed to go to a place called Gossip Grill, which we had been extremely excited to go to since the beginning of the planning process for the trip. I’m pretty sure it’s the whole reason we decided to go in the first place.
But, we wouldn’t be the stars of an early 2000’s Rom-Com if everything went our way.
We didn’t know that they didn’t seat underage guests after 9pm, and so, with the pity of a nice security guard who tried everything to get us a table anyways, and the tiniest bit of sorrow, we headed over to Baja Betty’s.
The MOMENT we walked up to the host stand, whatever sorrow or negative emotions we had, evaporated.
There were pride flags everywhere, music was blasting, and American Pie was playing on Bravo from the TV above the kitchen window.
We got Shirley temples, became best friends with the waiter, and tried (and failed) to assist Naleiah in eating the BIGGEST plate of nachos I have ever seen in my entire life.
The Uber was a half an hour out, and we didn’t want to stand out on the street corner and get kidnapped, so I asked the waitress of a restaurant I had been to before if we could hang out in their patio, and she said we could!
So for the better part of an hour, we talked, laughed, took pictures, and celebrated about a million drag queens walking down the street who said it was their birthday.
Soon after we got home, we put pj’s on, and we watched Moxie. Because what is a girls night out without the vision of Nico Hiraga on his skateboard?
The next day was our last, and though we were sad to go, we were okay with that fact that we wouldn’t have to brace for the airplanes that flew right over the house and deal with the smell of absolute ass that came from the AC every time we turned it on.
We packed up and headed out for our final breakfast in San Diego.
On the train this time, we managed to get seats, and the whole two hours went by a lot quicker.
The moment we got home we got sad, and we swore to plan another trip, and soon.
Being, now, Women of Medusa; we’re bound for life.