I flew to the United conference in California with two lovely ladies, Rachel & Valerie, and our adventurous spirits were so in check that, despite the fact that we were relatively new friends, we were really in sync with what we wanted to do or not do. This is the first part of our trip: our Los Angeles adventures. I’ll be posting more from our trip over the next couple of weeks.
Since we were flying out of Des Moines early Saturday morning (Feb 22nd), both Rachel and I crashed at Valerie’s house overnight on Friday night. I had met Valerie before on a few separate occasions and I was truly looking forward to getting to know her better. It was my first time meeting Rachel; I was in for a real treat! These two ladies are so sweet, kind, and thoughtful. I couldn’t have picked better travel companions if I had tried. We were all tired, but also nervous, giddy, and afraid we’d miss our alarms so none of slept great for the whopping 3 hours we had to camp down on the couch before our 3:00 AM alarms.
Valerie’s husband, Mark, drove us to the airport in the
middle of the night early morning and throughout our flights (Des Moines to Denver, Denver to L.A.), each of us in turn felt sick from lack of sleep. We dozed a bit on the flights, but nothing could compare to a bed. Multiple times, I said, “I just can’t wait for our hotel tonight.”
We landed in L.A. around 10:30 local time and had a large chunk of the day to adventure. After waiting in line for 45 minutes to get our rental car, we rolled down the windows (“The sun! The palm trees! Look at the sun! Ah, palm trees! This is amazing! Is this real?!”), pumped up our theme song (“Happy” by Pharrell Williams) and car danced, and then navigated ourselves promptly to Hollywood Boulevard.
We were starving by this time so we found a parking spot along the boulevard and grabbed burgers at a corner cafe. Then we were hot because we had come from 10 degree weather to 60 degree weather so, right along the boulevard, we changed. (I changed into a skirt which was easy enough to slip up over my pants before disrobing.) Next stop was much-needed coffee and that truly made a difference in my head & stomach aches. We roamed along the boulevard for a bit more, each of us unabashedly being tourists with our professional cameras. Also, I totallyaccidentallywithouteventrying landed on Vladimir Horowitz’s star! (You probably have to be a pianist or classical lover to understand why this was such a big deal.)
Selfie in a window.
Valerie & Rachel, my traveling partners. They’re as sweet as they are cute.
From Hollywood Boulevard, we drove to Griffith Observatory. Siri got us lost a few times, but we got to go up the mountain and back down proclaiming our love for every single house nestled into the mountain. Seriously, we saw some of the most beautiful homes! It was a Saturday so, though the streets weren’t nearly as bad as I had expected, the park was packed. It felt good to stretch our legs though so we enjoyed the little hike up to the observatory. I was in heaven with all the stucco!
I understand in my brain that this is smog, but my eyes just love the layers of blue and haze.
Up next will be our adventures in Santa Monica and the beach! Oh, the sand between my toes…