Valentine’s Day might just be the most polarizing holiday of all. People tend to love it or absolutely hate it. But me, I have absolutely no opinion on it, so I figured, for Valentine’s Day, I might as well get on a mystery bus with mystery strangers and do mystery things. It’s called a Mystery Trip, and it’s by far one of the most creative ideas I’ve ever participated in in LA.
What's a Mystery Trip?
Essentially, a Mystery Trip is a fully planned out day that you know nothing about. You buy your ticket, you receive your meeting place, and you show up. Every Mystery Trip is like a snowflake -- a unique experience that never repeats the same activity. All you have to do is show up, and prepare for mysteriousness. Too mysterious for you? Sorry to hear that. Your loss.
Our starting point came from an email we received the day before, in which we were instructed to meet at the Daily Dose Cafe at 11AM armed with the following things: a silly hat, three amazing facts about ourselves, our favorite snack, and a DVD we’d be OK never seeing again.
My Mystery Trip began when I found my way into a warehouse-type space across from the Daily Dose filled with 30-40 people who all looked as confused as I did. It’s definitely a weird thing to step into a situation of absolutely no control, especially when you’re surrounded by strangers. As we exchanged some awkward hellos, we tried to speculate where on Earth we’d be going and what we’d be doing. Medieval Times? Dave & Buster’s? The Moon? Nobody had any clue, and the stuff we were told to bring didn’t make it any easier to figure out.
Soon enough, we met Mysterious Dave, our fearless leader, who started Mystery Tripping as an idea to throw a cool birthday party for his friends eventually turned into his career -- five years later, he’s led more than 150 Mystery Trips. He explained that we’d be setting out for a day full of adventure, surprises, and yep, he definitely used the word mystery. Then, we walked with Dave down the street towards Pour Haus (a wine bar with solid food and an even more solid beer list), and it was time to commence with the mysteries at hand. And from that moment on, we were powerless.
Phase one: wine
We walked into Pour Haus where we were given a pretttttttty hard wine quiz. You’re probably thinking, “You write stuff on Thrillist so you probably know your wine!” That’s nice of you. I’ll keep letting you think that. We were riddled with questions about specific grapes, the exact notes that could be found in each wine, and what countries they came from. Though the quiz was hard, the pours were generous, and, three wines later, the ice between my mysterious cohorts had been broken. To close out our first stop, we each shared three amazing facts about ourselves. This part sure wasn’t boring -- like, who would have assumed some of us had been to 39 countries? Or were experts in 14th century weapons? Or once traveled across the country on a karaoke RV? (Spoiler alert: that last one is me.)