Thursday, October 1, 2009

Recent Visits


You have been so patient! I am grateful for it. I just looked back and noticed that I hadn't posted about my friend Laura's visit yet, either!

So Laura is one of my best friends. Her husband, Andy, was on staff at Greenville Football when I was. And though I had met them briefly once at one of Andy's Arena Football games, our first real meeting was at my 30th birthday party! We had invited them to come to Greenville and get to know all of us, and it happened to be my birthday party. :)

Well, since then, the Lord has been so faithful to knit Laura and I together. We became dear friends and have supported each other through a number of joys and sorrows. She came to visit in early September (over labor day), but before that we had not seen each other for three years! We were so excited about this visit - we had been anticipating it for literally months!

Laura had never been to California, and never seen the Pacific Ocean, so going to the beach was high on the list, as was a trip to Hollywood and Beverly Hills, some shopping (I needed her to help me buy pants!) and Disneyland. We also anticipated a lot of walks and naps as a part of the trip.

After picking her up, we went straight to the beach, so that she could get her toes into the ocean as soon as possible. We drove to Santa Monica, parked and walked. The sand was so hot that day we about burned our tootsies off, but getting to the water was worth it. We also walked along the pier before heading back to the car. The best part is that there was a pack of seals off the end of the pier that were having fun together jumping in and out of the water! They ended up swimming pretty close to the dock (50 feet-ish) so we got a nice close view of them. That was a special treat!(Laura posing at Santa Monica beach - the original home of Muscle Beach)

The next day, we slept in, then packed lunches and headed to Hermosa Beach (my favorite beach). It was the perfect beach day - it was nice and warm, and the breeze wasn't too cool. We ended up swimming a little bit in the ocean (it was actually not cold, which was wonderful), reading, napping, walking, and talking. After we had gotten our fill of sun (and a little sunburn), we headed into Redondo for mexican food and then a cheap movie. All in all, it was a great day!

Saturday, we headed to Hollywood and enjoyed delicious pretzels and a tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Then we went shopping out in the valley (this was a highlight for me - because I really needed Laura's opinion and help!).
(Laura with Samuel L. Jackson... at Mme Toussaud's Wax Museum in Hollywood)

Sunday, Laura came with me to church and helped with the kiddos. It was really fun to have her there! Afterward, we ate some lunch and toured the UCLA campus. That night we met up with my friend Jessica and a friend of hers, and the four of us went to the Hollywood Bowl. We packed food and ate in our seats before the show began. The show itself was amazing. Each year they do a "Night at the Movies" and this year it was a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein - so the symphony orchestra played parts of the scores to R&H movies while they showed the movies on screens throughout the ampitheater. We got to watch the scenes and listen to the vocals from the movie while the score was performed live. It was really incredible!! What a great night!
(Laura and I at the Hollywood Bowl before the show)

On Monday we headed to Disneyland, which was another fun day. We rode some rides, tried to stay out of the heat, and I loved seeing Laura experience it all. It was Laura's first time, and we are excited to go back again someday with Andy and their kids as well!
(We got Laura a "1st Visit" pin at Disneyland!)

Laura left on Tuesday, bringing our great reunion to an end. We had a great time and can't wait to get together again!