Part 6: And That’s A Wrap

Our final full day of vacation was spent doing the best thing we planned and it didn’t cost a cent! Hiking is such a wonderful way to connect with nature and to the self. There is something humbling and powerful in crawling just above everything else. Maybe it makes you realize just how small you are, how insignificant the little things are, how wonderful and peaceful the world can be.

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Molly and I had breakfast and lots of water before making our way towards Griffith Park where we decided to hike. I had read online where to start, but the Uber driver was not feeling like dropping us off where we asked, so we went into the hike blindly. It wasn’t life shattering ebcause you just follow the trails and the other people hiking, but we were pleased with our navigation success, even if a few minutes of the hike was spent in a darkened tunnel with traffic on both sides and no side walk.

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Once we made it up the hill to Griffith Observatory, we stopped to snap some pictures of the view, including a shot of the Hollywood Sign, before deciding to dedicate ourselves to the climb and go as far up as possible.

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When the folks online said the Griffith Park hike was easy-medium, I am going to assume that they meant just the part up to Griffith Observatory because once we continued climbing, some spots were a straight shot up.

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My legs felt fine for the duration of the trip, but the steep hike combined with sitting on a plane for 5 and a half hours the next day, left my thighs feeling in more pain than I’ve experienced with exercise. I even tried to roll them out and found they were too sore. A little time has helped.

Had we been in Boston humidity, we would have suffocated. There was no shade and it was so hot, but we weren’t suffering from it. I had lathered on the sunblock real nice and wanted my hair to brighten from the sun, so I left the hat at home and felt fine throughout. The particularly hilly spots were challenging, but it was nothing we felt that we couldn’t handle. Sometimes, I do still like to complain.

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We stopped only in moments that we felt showed the best views and there were some spectacular views. I took a ton of pictures, certain to be careful and clutch my phone so as it didn’t roll down a mountain. I can’t believe some of these photos were taken by me, mostly because I am not a photographer, but it would be hard to mess up how beautiful the sights were.

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Having made it up to the highest spot, we found ourselves to be slightly above even the Hollywood Sign and looked down into Los Angeles. California is truly breathtaking and only some of that love I’m feeling for it has to do with the fact that I was visiting and don’t live there everyday.

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What goes up, must come down and I could fully appreciate that climbing uphill is actually easier. As I mentioned, some parts were steep and I had to move slow or my knees would buckle. I would guess that the hike was about 5-6 miles, but I am terrible at predicting these things and often overestimate my accomplishments when I don’t track it.

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Once we did make it to the base, we were hungry and ready for a filling lunch.

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I remembered that there was a cheap, but tasty sushi place nearby, so we walked another 10 minutes and ordered ourselves up a feast. The most satisfying part was all of the water we downed for the half hour we were at lunch. I selected the spicy tuna roll, which is actually the first time I’ve ever eaten raw fish, and I enjoyed it. I also got a mini chicken teriyaki bowl, which I assure you, was cooked all the way through. The restaurant happened to be next door to the Improv Comedy Place that Amy Poehler co-created, so I had to snap a photo!

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We had plans that night to meet my friend, Brad, for dinner, so we headed back to the hotel to spend the late afternoon by the pool. Besides the breakfast, the pool area was the best part of the hotel. The pool itself was refreshing, but the sitting area and palm trees outlining it made it something special. The only thing that would have made it better was if we could have ordered a few Pina Coladas, but we were content with the water we got.

After, it was time to stop by the store for some wine and hair dye. For whatever reason, I was inspired to make a little change to my hair, so I decided to dye it blonde. The results turned out nicely, though not as blonde as I want. You have to make these changes at a gradual pace, I guess.

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I even lucked out in the timing so that I got to watch the season finale of the show Baby Daddy, which I’m kind of obsessed with. I was very pleased with the ending.

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Molly and I met Brad at a semi-fancy Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills. We all ordered the spaghetti with marinara sauce. It was delicious, but could have easily been made at home…and cheaper. I mean, the six dollar sushi we had for lunch came with more food, but we did get to sit outside on a beautiful night with great company, so I won’t complain further.

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For dessert, we stopped at Millions of Milkshakes, which isn’t quite as fancy, but even more delicious. I went with a Reese’s Cup and Oreo milkshake.

On Thursday, we woke up to enjoy one last breakfast at the hotel. Having a complimentary breakfast that includes so many options was such a great aspect to the trip! It helped us save a ton of money and ensured that we had a nutritious start to our days. Once we finished eating and packing, it was time to check out and make our way to the airport.

Traveling home is always hard because part of you does not want to end vacation and the other part just wants to be home. This is why apparating (Harry Potter reference) would be such a wonderful and lazy tool in our society. Think of how much traveling and exploring we could all do!

Anyways, before taking off, Molly and I had lunch at a food truck inside the airport. I went with a short rib burrito that tasted yummy at the start, but I think my stomach had had enough of the savory indulgences of the past week and decided to rebel against me. A half hour before boarding, I was certain I was going to be sick for the whole ride, but a little time and Pepto-Bismol settled everything down. Phew.

Flying home had a little more turbulence than the seamless ride there, but it was also shorter and it’s nothing I can complain about. Overall, it was a wonderful trip and I’m so glad I got to do so many fun things with my friend!

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