I love to spend time with my girlfriends. We don’t try to impress one another, we have long, honest conversations, laugh until we pee, and stay up half the night talking about our hopes and dreams.
I have recently enjoyed a couple of girl-time weekends without my husband. First I went with a great friend to Jerome, a quaint, artsy town in Northern Arizona. We signed up for an art class to make a kaleidoscope, we spent seven hours cutting glass, chipping plastic, and arranging polarized film to create absolutely beautiful works of art.
Spending time with my friend is always a pleasure. We know that we can do something creative together and laugh at ourselves while we do it. The following day we hiked in Sedona, a magical red rock paradise that I don’t get to visit often enough. My friend is very fit and hiking together is always a bit of a challlenge for me to try to keep up with her, but I did my best. We hiked about seven miles and I forgot to take water. That’s never a goood idea in the Arizona desert. She shared her water with me, because that’s what good friends do.
Capturing some fall colors in Sedona, Arizona
Another very good friend invited me to come to Los Angeles with her for a long weekend. The first night we walked around her neighborhood picking up magnolia pods. These were really interesting shaped pods, we were sure that we could create something beautiful with them. Our only mistake might have been picking them up at night, in strangers’ yards. Neighborhood dogs barked uncontrollably as we searched with flashlights for these pods. Luckily, no one called the police on us and we now have a large bag of pods that will undoubtedly be created into a piece of art.
The next day we shopped in the LA fashion district, and Santee Alley. We would be brutally honest as we tried on clothes. “No, forget that one it makes your ass look huge.” We love to bargain shop and took in all the ethnic flavor LA has to offer. We walked EVERYWHERE. On my last full day in California we made the decision to go back to the fashion district. We didn’t care that it was raining, so we headed out to take the train to Union Station. We didn’t expect the rain to continue, which is probably why didn’t bring an umbrella. It’s a little over two miles to the area we wanted to visit again. At one point the rain was coming down in sheets, couldn’t even see in front of ourselves. Surely a street vendor would be selling umbrellas. Nope, not on this day. We walked at a quick pace and were occasionally approached by the homeless. I would just yell “NO!” And we would keep walking. As we walked down one unfamiliar street after another we both realized Google Maps was not being helpful. Finally we found an open store and the shopkeeper sold us an umbrella. Standing on the street corner, as we looked around it was painfully obvious to us both that we needed to get the hell out. The streets were basically tent cities filled with homeless men. We called Uber and waited in the rain. He was only two minutes away, but we could see that he passed our block and would be a few more minutes. Perhaps it was the appearance of two lost, middle aged white ladies but yet another homeless man approached us. He asked for money, I told him we had none, our friends had our money, he said he was homeless and needed money to buy an umbrella. He was a large and intimidating fellow. I grabbed the umbrella out of my friend’s hand and said “Here’s an umbrella, go!” He walked away with our umbrella and the Uber driver pulled up. I was never so happy to get into an Uber in my life.
We were taken Santee Alley, aka Mecca for the shoppers. We found more bargains we could not live without and decided it would be best to take Uber back to Union Station. That evening we laughed about our adventure. When we stopped into a Starbucks for a late night cappuccino my friend noticed someone familiar sitting in the window, he had Dr Dre headphones, two Ipad screens and was noshing on a biscuit and a venti Americano. Could this be the “homeless guy” who hustled us? He sure did look like him. Parked outside the Starbucks was our answer.