Well hello, friends. I hope you are well.
I arrived back in St. Louis last evening after an amazing five days in LA with my best friend Autumn. I am currently trying to come down from a major vacation high and it is not easy. Needless to say, this vacation was everything I was hoping it would be, plus SO MUCH more.
I feel like I have about a million blog posts floating around in my brain as a result. But before all of those, I thought I’d share the list of moments I want to remember from vacation and a few photos. I wrote this list out in the airport before my flight left yesterday and honestly, I wish I had one for every vacation I’ve taken.
AH. Here goes.
The Moments I Must Not Forget: LA Vacation, October 2013
- Arriving in LA, grabbing a taxi and rolling up to Autumn’s adorable beach house in Venice. Feeling insanely jealous of her and SO excited for her all at the same time.
- Stashing my stuff in her room and feeling weirdly at home with all of her stuff around (a lot of the same stuff she had when we lived together + new stuff that was just so Autumn in all the best ways).
- Walking to Lemonade on Abbott Kinney Road alone to for lunch, taking in the cute houses, the palm trees, and the artsy little shops. Coming across a sign that advertised Fortune Tellings at a spa. Considering going in. Deciding to find food instead.
- Meeting Autumn’s roommates for the first time and thinking they were just so California cool. Like. Dude. So cool (but also so down to Earth and normal).
- Sitting in Cabo Cantina drinking GIANT margaritas and eating chips and salsa, just like we ALWAYS used to do in Des Moines. Catching up. Talking about boys. Talking about work. Talking about life.
- Lemon Drop shots at the Whaler. Dancing to Michael Jackson from the Jukebox. Sitting on the balcony talking about life and deep stuff in the chilly evening air. Laughing at Mark standing under a palm tree across the street, clearly lost.
- Sitting outside their house, smoking and chatting, getting to know Autumn’s friends. Realizing that cool Californians are just like cool people elsewhere. It’s not about where you are, it’s about who you are.
- Waking up ready for an adventure. Throwing on clothes, grabbing breakfast at Flake and seeing Venice Beach for the first time. Completely getting why Autumn moved all the way across the country for this experience.
- Walking the beach. Falling on the rocks as we tried to climb over. Dying with laughter.
- Hopping in the car, marveling at the fact that Autumn routinely drives on these crazy freeways. Could there be more lanes?! I think no.
- Playing with the art installations at LACMA, taking a bunch of silly photos and being thoroughly underwhelmed by the tar pits (haha).
- Exploring Hollywood Boulevard. Laughing at Autumn because she seemed the most interested in the cartoon stars. Who cares about real actors and actresses? Donald Duck and The Muppets, FTW.
- Ending up in Tarzana on our quest for Boba. Which, um, if you haven’t tried it, you should. Mocha Boba. Mmmmm yum.
- Deciding to check out a winery in Malibu on a whim. Tasting delicious $70/bottle wines while giggling and wandering around the winery, taking photos.
- Driving through the mountains and then along the PCH (CPH? CHP? hahah) during sunset, marveling at how much more beautiful California was than I expected (um, hello, Mountains! The beach has been overshadowing your beauty for too long. It’s your time to shine.)
- Meeting Brent and hugging the crap out of him. Sharing spicy Indian food and catching up.
- Sitting around the bonfire, talking about the challenges and triumphs of LA with Brent, trying to muster the energy to go out (and failing. Sorry, B).
- Laying on the couch Saturday morning when Autumn walks out and declares that today, we should “get morning drunk.” Ah-hem, BRILLIANT.
- Our corner table at a somewhat empty Brick & Mortar, where $16 bottomless mimosas were ordered and thoroughly enjoyed.
- Giggling, making Instagram videos, talking about outrageous things, spilling and being ridiculous with Autumn. Just like the old days. At noon. On a Saturday. Adult crush party!?
- Buzzed biking to the beach with McKenna and Autumn. Swimming in the chilly ocean, attempting to body surf and getting rocked by waves. Laying on the beach talking about boys (again, haha) and trying to figure out the score to the Cardinals game.
- Sitting in the grass under a tree watching a man slack line while eating boardwalk pizza. Salty hair, tired eyes, sunburnt cheeks. Laughing at Autumn when she dropped her pizza and without flinching, continued to eat it like a champ (what ARE germs?).
- Bicycling back to the bungalow and deciding to stop at the triple decker English bus that had been parked on Autumn’s street for the past few days. Meeting Joe and David, two British guys on the bus, and inviting them to join us out for Autumn’s birthday celebrations that night.
- Making summer brew (beer + vodka + lemonade concentrate = summer in a cup!) and having ALL the nostalgia for college, but deciding that we’re SO HAPPY to be adults, not college kids.
- Checking out a cool bar with a live band, swaying to the music, sipping $8 drinks and trying to find everyone. Saying lots of times, “It’s her birthday!”
- Eating late night tacos. There sure are ample opportunities to find tacos in LA. At any time of day. Again, it’s becoming easier and easier to understand why Autumn likes it here so much.
- Late night partying on the bus. Shooting funny videos, listening to loud music, standing on the top deck enjoying the chilly night air. Hearing stories from Cap’n Joe, who has been traveling the US for almost a year living aboard the bus. Crazy stories, crazy times.
- Riding bikes to Marina del Ray, meeting a friendly firefighter and strolling through the Venice Canals.
- Driving to hike the Hollywood sign and declaring Wake Me Up to be the song of the weekend. Listening to it on repeat, which is, in Autumn’s words, “a great way to kill a song.” Alas, I still have it on repeat today, so it is not dead… yet.
- Starting the climb up to the Hollywood sign and thinking, “Oh boy, this might kick my butt.” Forgetting about my burning thighs with every step as the views were spectacular. Again, LA. Promote your mountains. They’re beautiful.
- Changing in the car after our hike. Bonding at it’s finest. Eating Korean Barbecue in Koreatown. Realizing our eyes are much bigger than our stomachs. So. Much. Meat.
- Mocha Boba #2. Lamenting over the fact that there was just too much Boba. Too lazy to chew it all. But still delicious and refreshing.
- Playing Cards Against Humanity and Telephone Pictionary with Autumns’ roommates and friends. Feeling great about the fact that she’s met so many nice, fun, adventurous people. She deserves to be happy here.
- Drinking tea and falling asleep watching Life of Pi, too tired to go out after a long day of exploring.
- Taking a Monday morning walk to Starbucks and to the Santa Monica Pier. Trying to remember scenes from the OC that I’m pretty sure had to have been filmed on the Pier. Walking back in the water, talking about everything and nothing.
- Saying farewell to Joe, David and the triple decker bus. Poor guys got a ticket! Snapping a few photos and following one another on Instagram. Thinking about how crazy life is and why being friendly brings cool new experiences and people into your life.
- Driving to the Valley to see the filming of Chelsea Lately. Being surprised at how stinkin’ hot it was there, compared to in Venice. Waiting in lots of lines, laughing at the “Audience Fluffer” Jessie Shapiro and seeing the show live. Laughing at the fact that the celebrity on the show was Nelly, who happens to live in St. Louis. Of course.
- Meeting Chuey Bravo after the show. Snapping this picture and making fun of Autumn for being so far away from him.
- Grabbing sushi at Chaya Venice with Katelyn, Amy and Mark. Delicious Red Sangria, a Rainbow roll and a celebrity sighting (Amber Tamblin from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!).
- Making the spontaneous decision to get friendship piercings. Ending up at House of Ink, just off the boardwalk. Being goofy and taking videos. (I got my cartilage, Autumn got her nose!)
- Hugging Autumn good-bye before she left for work. Trying not to cry. Shedding a few tears in the shower. Feeling blue. Being separated from friends is just not fun.
- A little solo bike ride around Venice on a beautifully clear day before getting an Uber to the airport (a bit too early, so as to be able to write this while it was still fresh in my mind).
- Calling my mom from the airport, trying to articulate what a great vacation this was. No real words.
Well, if you made it to the end of this monstrous list, you’re a gem. This is one of those posts that I wrote mostly for myself (and for Autumn!) but love to share with whomever might be reading along.
I’m sure more posts will follow. It was a pretty epic couple of days. I have loads more photos and actually shot some video footage that I might attempt to make into my first vlog! Woot, woot.
Alas, back to work and reality today. I’ve got a ridiculous head cold and am tired. But there is lots of work to be done! Hoping to spend a lot more time blogging this weekend. SO MUCH TO SHARE.
Love to you guys, and to Autumn & all of the new friends I met in LA: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.