Friday, July 31, 2009

Days 8 & 9: Our Weekend in LA.

After several days camping and driving through Colorado and Utah's beautiful mountains and canyons, our time in Las Vegas was a definite change of pace and prepared us for a weekend in the City of Angels. Instead of being hurried and busy, though, we actually spent a great deal of time simply relaxing in a lovely apartment.

LA was sort of the crown jewel of our trip; when people asked where were traveling, we'd answer with shining faces: “Los Angeles!” And it was all because of a conversation one early summer evening less than a month ago.

Mike and I were on a walk, chatting about the rest of the summer and our tentative plans to go on a trip down to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. We sat on a stone bench, and I said wistfully, “Some day, I'd like to go on a road trip to California and back.”

Mike paused. “It's funny how we limit ourselves,” he said, “because there's no reason we couldn't go to California right now.”

Ever the “No!” one in our marriage, I quickly countered that I had a job and he had classes. It was easier to come up with reasons why we couldn't go than why we could. After a bit more conversation, I excitedly agreed that we could go once our obligations were over.

And thus the planning began – a few short weeks before the trip.

I emailed my blogger friends in LA, absolutely on giddy that we could finally meet. Crystal generously offered her gorgeous apartment for our use as she would be gone (sadly!). When my grandma asked me where were staying in LA, I was certain not to mention anything like, “internet friend” or “never met her.” Seriously, though, how sweet is Crystal to trust someone she's never actually met to stay in her beautiful apartment? It was absolutely glorious to unwind for once on the road. No tent, no seedy motel, and wi-fi! What more could you want? (Oh, a freaking huge television? Check. She has it.)

We spent some time in Malibu Beach – trying a raw restaurant for the first time, checking out their awesome farmer's market, and staring at the ocean. (Mmm, ocean. I sure miss the days I lived in Hawaii.)

We checked out Beverly Hills, drove Sunset Avenue, and did the totally touristy Walk of Fame, Kodak Theater, and Chinese Theater. It was a bit overwhelming, so we opted for a quiet dinner at an adorable little restaurant...

Where we had a celebrity spotting. Yep. We were stuffing our faces with black bean nachos at A Votre Sante when I was a bit bothered by the PDA-crazy couple at the table next to us. I looked at them, slightly annoyed. I looked that?...and it was totally Oscar from The Office

Grinning, I mouthed my discovery to Mike. We both grinned like idiots throughout the rest of dinner, stealing furtive glances in his direction. The first thing I whispered to Mike was, “Well, I guess he's not gay for real!” Did I mention how giddy we were? He and his wife were adorable, they were cuddling and obviously enjoying their night out together. There was no way I was going to bother him. (Plus, I am a total chicken. Total.)

Despite our being very lame and not doing tons of cool stuff in LA, we managed to see a celebrity. And what's more, an actor from a show we totally love!

On Sunday, we spent nearly the entire day with a delightful group of girls (and Jonathon) from around LA and Cali. When I first met them, I wanted to yelp, “Finally!” I can't put into words how very, very wonderful it was. Conversation flowed easily, they were ridiculously sweet, and as Jimaie said, “I haven't stopped smiling; my face hurts!”

Lovely Bloggers

Saying goodbye to them was no fun, and even now as I remember, I'm smiling now as I recall the many hugs I gave each of them - in disbelief, in pure happiness, and in reluctance to let them leave. Any time you girls find yourself in the midwest, I'm driving to see you. And that's a promise. (You can also find yourself in Cleveland and I'll show you a good time.)

It was so wonderful to have Mike there with me – honestly, I wasn't sure if I'd rather have it just be girls – but it was nice to have him meet them and fall in love with them as well. (I believe his exact words were, “I feel like I'm a mom who just met her daughter's friends and is very, very happy with how sweet and kind they are.” Ha.)

Who knew that this whole blogging thing could bring you true, real friends? Friends who would drive across the state or find a substitute for work or come after a long day of work to say hello? I am blessed.

PS: I may have fallen in love with these while in LA, too:

Animal Style Deliciousness.

Thanks for the recommendation, ladies. (Steph actually wrote down our entire order for us, so I could be sure to get yumminess my first time at In -n- Out.)


  1. that picture of all you lovely ladies is classic! triple love it.

    and those fries? oh my.


    and animal style fries. but you definitely win in that match up.

  3. Animal Style burgers are the best. seriously. I didn't love the fries- but the burger was to die for.

  4. i'm so bummed i wasn't there for the brunch meet up, looks like you guys had so much fun! and woo for in-n-out animal style fries, so delicious! :)

  5. Oscar from The Office! Amazing!

  6. Sounds like the perfect welcoming on the West Coast! I am glad that you were able to meet so many fabulous ladies.

  7. What a fun picture! And I have never seen fries like those before in my life. Wow.

  8. I love (or loathe!) your ability to make me crave whatever it is you're writing about. Now I really want to go on a road trip! Gonna have to come state-side soon...

  9. I love your blog. I can't wait to read more. I have a blog myself that attempts to inspire people. I would like to exchange links with you. Let me know if this is possible.

  10. That was your first time at In & Out?!! Oh my god! How did you like it?

    & I love you Ashley. You & Mike are the sweetest, cutest, most loving couple ever. I am so glad that I met you both. I wish you lived closer. :[

  11. sounds like you had an amazing trip. I'll be in LA for about 5 days at the end of September. I can't wait.

  12. My favorite part of this post? The part where you decide NOT to put something off and just DO it because you can. I can't wait for the day when I get to meet you! :)

  13. In & out burger is amazing. My husband is from the west coast and people ALWAYS comment when he wears his T-shirt.

    I want to lick those fries so bad right now!

    Also, the fact that Oscar isn't gay is a TOTAL LET DOWN. Next thing you're going to tell me is that Pam ISN'T PREGNANT!

  14. SO, so glad I got to meet you in person! Ashley Marie aka Ashley Veggie, I love you! You are just like your bloggy personality - sweet and funny and cute and quirky and just wonderful! I wish you lived in California, woman! Or better yet, that you and Mike lived next door! How perfect would that be?! Board game nights and veggie cookouts! Haha, I think I've told you that before. But it's oh so true! You and Mike are SO adorable together! He was SUCH a good sport to hang out with us crazy girlies all day long! Such a sweetie! SO happy you made the decision to take this crazy road trip! YAY! That Sunday was such a fun day! And I'm glad you also got to try In N Out!


  15. We reviewed your blog and found it very interesting and informational.

  16. oh goodness, words cannot explain how excited and HAPPY I was to meet you!!! Yay! You and Mike are one of the cutest, sweetest, most adorable couple ever!!!
    I so wish you guys lived out here so us California girls could have you to ourselves but alas, this is just more incentive to take my OWN roadtrip! :D



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