The second I moved to Los Angeles I told my friends that they were more than welcomed to come visit me whenever they wanted to. I didn't think anyone would since everyone has their own lives to live and things to pay for. However my friend Amanda whom I have known and loved for the past 16 years had already come to visit me once in Utah and almost immediately asked if she could really come visit. I of course told her yes and within the month she had some dates set. I love this girl so much and I know whenever she comes to visit it always a fun time because she does not like to just sit around, she likes to get to know a city in a very short time. Since I barely know Los Angeles I knew it would be a blast having her here because it made me feel a little safer, two crazy women are better than one.
She came in on a Tuesday morning and we were off to explore LA so off we went to The Original Farmers market which I had heard good things about. Even Jon's aunt used to go to it when she lived in Beverly Hills and my other aunt used to come with her old boss for lunch so they told me great things about it. It was pretty interesting, I had never been to anything like it. Very cute but very pricey and I don't do pricey as of right now. Then The Grove is right next to it which is a very popular mall out here, it's where all the movie stars go and get photographed at. I didn't see any paparazzi that day so no celebrities must've been there. We ate lunch there and Bentley ate a highly priced cookie. The Christmas tree was ginormous at the mall so we had to take a picture with the huge ornaments.
From there we left for Malibu. I had been wanting to go hiking near the coast to a place that had a view of the pacific coast and most of the hikes are in Malibu. It was a beautiful drive down the coast. On the way there we got to see a scene for a movie being filmed on the coast, tons of production vans and cameras plus police stopping traffic while they filmed and the actress was covering her face with a hat so we weren't able to see who it was. We finally got to our hiking spot and made it up to the top which gave us an amazing view. Honestly I kinda wish we would have stayed to watch the sunset up there. it was so peaceful. I was proud of my little man for making up there with us.
The very next morning we woke up nice and early and left on a hike while Bentley slept with Jon. I wanted to take Amanda on a hike where we could see the Hollywood sign since you have to see the sign if you come out here, it's a must. We found this one hike spot where they found a dead body a few months ago so I was kind of scared to go but when we got there it looked so safe and not scary, not that I would ever do it by myself but lots of people on the trail. This hike was no joke though, my butt got an amazing workout that's for sure and Amanda is in amazing shape plus she has long model like legs so yeah I was probably having to work harder due to my short legs. I almost quit a few times but once we got up it fell pretty good and going down was a breeze.
The next day we drove around ALL of LA looking for souvenirs and I came to the conclusion that doing that is not for me and not for LA. Parking here is very, very expensive more than it is in Philly or anywhere I have ever been to. So I ended up doing a lot of drive-bys and coming back around. We did drive past Skid Row which I wanted to do but didn't want to do it by myself and can I just say it was heart breaking. Skid Row if you haven't heard about it is a section on a street that runs a few blocks that is packed with homeless people, prostitutes and drug dealers. I knew it wouldn't be pretty but I figured during the day it can't be bad. My heart breaks for homeless people but nothing prepared me for seeing small children in line for food outside the homeless shelter and that's when I decided I had seen enough of Skid Row. We are so lucky even on our worse day we are lucky. I'm trying to teach Bentley this concept. I then took Amanda to our favorite place in LA which is Glendale we found this cute Vietnamese restaurant that was just beautiful, they had a huge wall of greenery which made it feel like you were in the forrest. Later that night we hit up the Griffith Observatory which I went to 5 years ago the day I found out I was pregnant with Bentley so it has a special meaning to me. She loved it and we got a great view of Los Angeles. By the end of the day we were all pooped out and ready for bed because it had honestly been the longest day of my life, it felt like.
Thursday I had planned to go up the our family's lake house but it snowed up there and I don't do snow driving on a mountain. So we had to come up with something to do with our day. I chose to take her into Beverly Hills because every tourist should drive down Rodeo Drive. I wasn't sure she would like it but she loved it and loved seeing the beautiful houses. We got to see paparazzi which is always fun and interesting. From there we went to Hollywood walk of fame where they have the stars of famous people. It goes on forever and you get to see a lot of interesting people and shops. Bentley was over the moon because we got to see a transformer and Iron Man, Iron Man alone made his day. Glad I got to go with Amanda and experience that with her because it sure made it easier and made me feel safer however I'm not sure I'll be going back any time soon as the parking was out of control expensive.
Her last day with me before she headed to her other friends house was her birthday so I wanted to make sure she had a great morning. We again woke up super and headed out to the pacific as she wanted to do a hike that had a waterfall. She had found the place she wanted to go so off we went and it turned out to be in one of the nicest neighborhoods around there so I felt pretty good but the second we got on the hike itself it looked a little bit sketchy. There was graffiti everywhere and very wooded and kinda gave us a weird feeling so we turned around pretty quick. She still wanted to go on a hike and I knew of one that had a pretty view so we went and did that one which was pretty short because the farther we went the more we saw animal prints and they were not of dogs so I was getting worried as I hadn't brought anything to protect us with. After that small hike I took her to our favorite little beach just to show her and walk around but it was super windy and really cold so we didn't stay long. I wanted her to be able to find some shells and take home but for some reason this time there were none that we could see.
I truly had the best time hanging out with my friend and staying up late talking and laughing, remembering our childhood and teenage years which were both rough for us. She has turned into an amazing person and I am so proud to know her and have her in my life because I know all of her struggles and I sometimes wonder how she made it out.
Now it's time for someone else to come visit me.......I am trying to convince my brothers but so far it hasn't worked.