Pictures on Flickr.
We started off the day by grabbing a few pastries at Porto's, and then heading downtown to Jan's church, which is held in an old movie theatre. As I said to serious movie-lover Jan, "Leave it to you to go to church in a movie theatre." It was a great service though and a good start to the day.
Next was a bit of shopping and enjoying the lovely sights in the Los Feliz area. We each got a few cute things and had fun trying on clothes and just walking around. I also got to cross yet another item off my list, which was eat at Pinkberry. For some reason I saw this as very L.A. in my head, and it was quite good.
Beverly Hills and Bel Air
After the shopping we did a drive through of Beverly Hills and Bel Air. No need to stop. I've seen "Pretty Woman" too many times and have no desire to be talked down to by snooty shop assistants. Speaking of that film, we did drive by the Regent Beverly Wilshire, but no sign of Vivian, as far as I could tell. We then drove through Bel Air, which I didn't realize really is little more than a neighborhood. As we drove through, we did what any good children of the 90s would do, and rapped a little "West Philadelphia born and raised..." Because that's just how we roll.
It was then on to Santa Monica to take a stroll to the beach so I could dip my toes in the Pacific for the first time. They've now been dipped on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the United States. The verdict? Cold and wet. Just like the others. But amazing nonetheless.
I saw Malibu from a distance and walked above the PCH; saw the Santa Monica pier and a "Baywatch"-esque lifeguard tower; went in a California surf shop and tried to shop at Jonathan Adler.
After our busy day, it was back to Jan's for some yummy take-out Italian, Jan's patented St. Valentine's Day massacre drink, and the terribly romantic "Zombieland." And then I had lots of shoving, I mean packing, and early to bed since my time in L.A. was coming to an end.
Day 4: Breakfast, Mulholland, and LAX
My last day was President's Day. We had a great and hearty breakfast at another of Jan's favorites, the Aroma Cafe. Which we got to by taking the scenic and winding Mulholland Drive. I am notoriously bad with directions and knowing where I am, and by the end of the weekend L.A. seemed a little bit smaller than it was at the beginning, but still wholly confusing and overwhelming to me. Thankfully, Jan did all the navigating and did it well.
With a little time to kill before my flight, we went by Jan's office. For the past several years, most of the time we Gchat or email, she's at work, so it's nice to have a visual to go along with our chats.
Finally, we put it off as long as we could, but in the end I did have to leave. As I've said, Jan is one of my closest friends and I am so blessed to have someone in my life who understands and knows me so well. (And still loves me anyway.) And I don't know how she did it, but she took this die hard East Coaster, and turned her into someone who could maybe sort of someday want to live out West. But that's a post for another day.