So I just had one of the greatest weekends ever. Lindsey came to town!!!
And what's even more special than my best friend/sister/college roommate (saying college roommate in the past tense is really weirding me out but moving on) visiting me in my new home!
Can't lie, I was really starting to battle the climb up the tall hill trying to avoid the Texas-sick (not homesick, just a general missing familiarity kind of feel) feelings lurking at the bottom. It was beginning to get tough.
But then Linds landed on the LAX runway and made it through the 30 minute taxi to the gate (sorry, it's typical) and I got to hug my long-lost friend! Well not lost but far, far away. With both of us experiencing the new-state environment (she moved to Orlando), it was BEYOND GREAT to be able to have conversations that didn't feel like small talk for an entire weekend. The conversations dealing with Aggie football, Texas cities, and mutual friends without having to give an entire back story on any given topic as a pretense for it to make sense to the other person. I guarantee if you've ever made a move like this you'll know exactly what I mean when I say that we SERIOUSLY take it for granted when someone actually knows what you mean when you say 12th man (NO you knuckleheads, it doesn't mean the Seahawks!!!!! For the last time...) or Whataburger or even Amarillo, TX for that matter. Familiarity is the #1 greatest underrated thing in the universe.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely am head over heels with my new vida loca and all the learning curves (straight lines up) that come with it, but being able to chat about virtually nothing and it still make total sense or sit on the beach in silence goes a long way. Like 2,500 miles long. Or, the distance between her and I on a normal day.
Two full days, SO MUCH TO DO. We had a tough time at first, we physically couldn't speak because we were just laughing at how much we wanted to say; we couldn't even organize words for the first hour or two. How do you get so much out when you haven't seen each other in so long? We text most days of the week and talk a few times a month, but the little daily details fall through the cracks. And those add up quick when it's been half a year. Since April. Yet it was like we never got separated.
I pick her up at LAX on Friday night. Those of you who know LAX on a Friday night are saying "bless your hearts" right about now. Nonetheless, we braved the bumper to bumper traffic all the way home. I know I know I know 'LA traffic is the WORST how do you stand it'...I'm sick of answering this question so I'll just let it be.
That night we went out to Main Street in Santa Monica. It was a catch-up-fest. We laughed, had interesting interactions with LA locals (she learned how abrasive they can be...scratch that--are), and danced around like college kids.
Saturday we hit the beach. When I moved here people said, "you won't go to the beach as often as you think you will." I laughed at them. Then realized they're right. I've lived here since July 4th. It's October. And have made it to the beach five times. And I'm FOUR miles away. I have to admit I've been guilty of saying "it's just so far.........and the traffic!" then I immediately feel like an idiot because a) I preach all the time to people to chill out and calm down about the freaking traffic and b) ...it's four miles. I used to claim College Station was 'close' to the beach to feel cool when it's actually like four hours...
Lindsey made fun of me because my favorite thing to do at the beach is watch the planes. No exaggeration, at any given point you look up at the sky, and there's one if not two-three planes headed straight out over the Pacific. Maybe it fascinates me because I picture them all going to China/Asia and wish I was going back with them. Regardless, it's insane. There's a lot of people moving around in this world.
One thing that was particularly insane about this day was there was a "beachfront weather advisory" in action. I'm not sure about the science of it but the waves were HUGE. And not just because I'm from Texas and don't know what 'normal' waves look like. I've been all of five times remember?
These were the type of waves that were sucking little kids out into the surf, and had the lifeguards whistling at people more than around 20 yards out. It was a workout to try to stay standing up, the way the tides were pulling at the shore. A little scary. But with the temperatures nearing 100 degrees, it was worth the battle.
After, we ate on the Santa Monica Pier. Lindsey was wanting some crab, and crab we had! Well she did. I'm not the biggest fan.
Sat. Night: We started at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood. Jessica had actually introduced me the week prior. I had to show Linds, because of the awesome outlook over the city. It feels like you're inside but outside, while being poolside. After being there for about an hour, we met up with two Aggies we both coincidentally know...the world gets small. One lives in San Diego now and was an Industrial Distribution major with Linds and I at A&M, and the other I also met at A&M and is now in grad school at USC. Wild that four Aggies would randomly meet up in California. We walked West Hollywood until we decided it wasn't the absolute coolest part of LA. But it was the coolest getting to spend time with friends all from the same state.
Sunday was bitter-sweet. It was her last full day! Both of us were catching the nostalgic and emotions all weekend long. We had brunch at my favorite breakfast spot, BLD (breakfast, lunch, dinner. Creative) in West Hollywood. Their blueberry ricotta (don't be freaked by the ricotta factor...it makes them like heaven--trust me this is coming from someone who hates ricotta even in lasagna) pancakes are TO DIE FOR.
It killed us, because there was a walk for AIDS going on at the same time that we were sitting outside trying to enjoy the lovely California afternoon. And these walkers were hot. Temperature-wise. It was 90+ degrees, nearing noon. So they were being totally logical and ignoring the race perimeters and walking on the sidewalks near the buildings to get in the shade when they could. Which was totally illogical because of how close they were getting to our table. They'd lean in **mesmerized** by our fanatical looking brunch (can't blame 'em), and get so close I was like back up you're sweating/drooling on my plate... BUT despite the sweating audience watching us like zoo animals, it was the best people watching positioning I've ever experienced, i.e. we could watch them right back. Plus a walk for a good cause...can't exactly get too upset about it.
After brunch we needed to walk it off. Pancakes are great but they have some serious side effects. We took it to the other side of LA to Venice. Abbott Kinney. I could live on that street. I'd be broke...but what's the difference anyway?
My roommate Jess once described it as the stores that people shop at to intentionally look homeless. You know the type, where you can tell the clothes cost an arm and a leg, yet look perfectly worn and torn. Too perfectly almost......
It's the softest, easiest to mix & match, most livable clothes. They fit the LA lifestyle is the only way to put it. We went store to store, got organic juice in crushed ice at one of the trucks on the side, then hit the beach one last time. To tie the day to an end, we took a roadtrip around so she could see downtown LA. I know I've said before that I stay on the westside during the weekends. That's the truth even with friends in town. I realized Sunday night that every activity we did was in West LA. The city is so huge that I've barely got my surroundings down, and the only things I knew to do were in my little zone. So, I wanted her to experience half my commute to work and get to see the skyline at night.
[Commute to work sounds so lame, but that was actually my favorite part about the weekend: getting to share your everyday life with someone who really cares and gets excited and makes you feel like you're not the tourist. I live every day hearing "go that way," "you should eat here," "you should do this and this and this and this and this and this, this weekend and next weekend and the weekend after that"...It felt great feeling like the pro. It makes it feel more tangible and real, and helped me gravitate the idea that I actually live here now. And now when I tell her "man the 10 was a total parking lot today for a bit" she'll know exactly what I'm saying. It's the little things.]
Anyway...It's the best time to see it--i.e. when the air is clearer and you can see further. We drove around, checked out the huge skyrises, looped up to Hollywood to laugh at tourist central with the Avenue of the Stars. Didn't leave the car, observing was enough. Then in a blink of an eye, the weekend was over and she was back on a plane to sunny Florida (sunny California's cousin).
There's something to be said about friendships that transcend time, distance, borders. When you put new life events in between the memories once shared, it can drive some huge wedges. I've unfortunately had the opportunity to experience several of said wedges. But with Lindsey I know I don't ever have to worry about this. She was my first and closest friend throughout college, and that isn't going anywhere. We've been to China together, sweat through many terrible exams and projects together, "studied" for three years together, and hit Northgate on every Monday-Thursday senior year (weekends are for amateurs) together. We've cried over many (stupid) boys, coached each other through all kinds of life experiences, and gone to Target to buy new fire-alarm batteries so the dumb thing will stop beeping at a deafening decibel every five seconds at three AM together. Once, this spring when I flew down from Minneapolis for an April visit, we even rode with a super-sketch tow-truck driver all the way to College Station from Houston when we broke down at the airport. And despite the long day of flying and sitting at the airport waiting for three hours in the Houston heat, I didn't even care that our plans were delayed and we laughed the entire time. Even thousands of miles apart, she listens to my issues and I listen to hers. We are the best team! I love her to death. Thank you, Lindsey for your incredible timeless friendship. Here's to many more years, and many more foreign and domestic escapades. ;)