I remember one of the very first times I hung out with my friend Lara. We were freshmen in college, and she being cool enough to have a car and was gracious enough to drive me home so that I didn’t have to take the bus after track practice (well, I think it was track practice). See, we knew each other around the locker room as we both ran, and I believe we had a math class together where we discussed pies and word problems and not numbers (that was my kind of math class) But, I remember sitting in the parking lot of my apartment just talking, and talking, and talking. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I do remember how cool this girl was.
Since then we had fake ID’s (which mine was swiped only a few short months later!), made wine (badly) in Biology class, danced all night at a club in Madrid, celebrated 21st birthdays, bachelorette parties, weddings and more. In fact, I just realized that we’ve been friends for ten years. You know those friends you had when you were single, and then they got married...and well, you know where I’m going. Luckily, her husband and J can sit and talk sports, sports, and more sports (did I mention sports?) for hours, which is perfect and gives us time to swap makeup tips, gossip and solve each other’s latest dramas. And, a few weekends ago, they decided to come down to LA for a visit, and since Mike is a cheesehead (because he’s from Wisconsin, not because he has a head of cheese) we decided to hit up the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, those Highly Touristy Tourist Activity Favored Almost Exclusively By Tourists.
Now, for all my talk of being a native Californian and despising Los Angeles, there’s something nice, it must be said, about being a tourist in your own town – after you’ve lived somewhere for a while, you find that you’ve sort of passed the window for doing the things you never did before you lived here, and every time you think “hey perhaps we should check out Venice Beach,” you immediately follow it up with “oh, but it’ll be packed with tourists,” and some perverse sort of snobbery sets in.
Look at that fresh, clean air I breathe every day. Yum.
Well, down with the snobbery! I say, and let’s all embrace our inner fannypack-wearing, camera-wielding, guidebook-carrying day trippers, shall we? Nobody says you have to buy the commemorative mouse pad, though. I mean, that's what the real tourists are for.