After wedding #1 wrapped up, we were quickly on our way to LA for wedding #2. We flew in on New Year’s Eve because it was much, much cheaper and I’m just glad that we were able to land before the actual New Year kicked off. When we landed, we both desperately needed food and this pregnant mama was CRAVING some good, good hash browns and pancakes. So as soon as we got our rental car, we were on the hunt for an IHOP. I knew there were some sketchy neighborhoods around LA, so I was trying to be picky, careful about where we went, but also trying to find one that wasn’t too far out of the way. So we tried our first IHOP and we ended up leaving like a minute after pulling in. It didn’t look like too sketchy of an area, but there was a creepy/sketchy looking woman standing right outside the only entrance and then back where the parking was, there were these two other sketchy looking guys doing sketchy looking things and we both were DUT DUT OUT of there.
We found one closer to our friends house we were staying at and I prayed it was a little less sketch than the last one. Luckily it was in downtown, which I thought would be sketchy, but it was perfect with just enough normal people for us to trust. We found parking and headed right in. I guess I’m used to Provo and our IHOP and Denny’s always being hella overcrowded on any night, so I was shocked when it wasn’t super busy, but also super thankful. Because we surely didn’t get there until like 10 PM. I got my fixings that I needed and was a satisfied and overfilled lil’ ol’ pregnant woman once more, lol. Then we headed to our friend Rachel’s house.
Her street that she lives off of is pretty busy and because it was NYE, it was pretty crowded. We tried so hard to find a spot on our own, but when we failed, we gave her a call. We had attempted this one spot before, but it wasn’t quite big enough for our car and we were bummed because it was actually perfect. Turns out, her friend was one of those cars where we almost fit in and so she was nice enough to run across the street and move the car so we could fit. However, Ruben, me, and her and her friend were all on different understandings, so by the time we actually u-turned to head back to that spot, someone had already pulled in. As frustrating as it was, it was hilarious (once we finally found a spot for us to park) to hear her friend tell us about how she moved her car, helped the other car pull in and then offered to help with their bags! She thought it was us the entire time. It was hilarious after the fact, but we were so frustrated from all the parking fiasco’s that it took us a minute to cool down, lol. We then went inside and watched the ball drop. Luckily, we’re all at that point in adulthood where minutes after the ball dropped, we called it a night and went to bed! lol
The next morning, we woke up and decided to take it easy. We had breakfast with our friends and then decided to go out and do a little sight seeing. We drove down to Santa Monica pier and holy crap it was BUSY. We didn’t feel like paying $10 to park close, but parking far wasn’t my cup of tea since I’m all pregnant and stuff. We got super, super lucky tho and found a small parking lot that was limited to two hours, but was a grand total of $2 for 2 hours and it was a life saver! We parked right along the beach and got out. There was a big bowl game going on, so we found a bench along the beach and parked it and finished watching the game. Then we walked around the beach a little bit and up the board walk. We honestly hardly did anything, just walked and talked and watched the waves, but it was nice to just chill and be outside for a little (although it was freezing and I was not ready for it… s/o to Rachel for letting me borrow a coat while I was there lol). Then it was lunch time and I was craving mexican food! After a few days of nothing but poly food, this girl was craving some good good mexican! I found this super random mexican restaurant on Yelp and it did not disappoint! Not only did it have some friggin’ delicious chips and salsa and refried beans, but it was taco tuesday and all taco’s were $1, so we both ate and were satisfied for a grand total of $8! Blessssss!
After that, we went back to Rachel and her husband’s apartment and just watched more bowl games and then just rested. We were just trying to kill time before we met up with our friend Henrique and his husband Aaron. They had been travelling back from Utah all day, but they were seriously the best for taking time to visit with us while we were there. We went to this local restaurant by where they lived and I remember nothing about it except that they had the best dang lemonade I have ever had in my LIFE (I’m not even exaggerating. Most lemonade’s are too sweet or too tart, but this was PERFECT). We caught up on life and talked about their life as newly wed’s and freshly moved to California and our life as soon-to-be parents and all the in-betweens and it was great. Then, I was craving Cold Stone (I saw it on our way in) and luckily everyone was down for it! The Cold Stone was TINY though, so there was no room inside to sit and it was way too cold outside, so we went to Henrique and Aaron’s apartment. It’s so cute! Like I loved every bit of it and how much it felt like home in there. Seriously, nothing is better than seeing your friend chase his dreams and fall in love and be in love and create a life with the love of his life. Anyways, we just kept talking and everything and then it was getting kind of late, so we decided to head back to our friends apartment. *forever kicking myself in the butt for not getting a picture with Henrique and Aaron…. next time
The next day was WEDDING DAY and I was so excited. Luckily, the wedding didn’t start until later in the day, so we were able to have a slow morning to sleep in and eat breakfast and get ready. Then we drove to the Los Angeles LDS Temple and I walked around to figure out the game plan for the couple and make sure that I was in the right place when they exited the temple. We did the wedding thing and got some amazing shots. And then we ran to a local mall to grab some lunch (Shake Shack round 2 for us this trip, lol). Then I decided to check traffic for heading to the reception and thank goodness I did because it was bad traffic and would take us an hour and a half to get there! We started double timing it and basically ran to the car (we weren’t going to be late, I just wanted to be a little early so I could get some detail shots, y’know?). Traffic was bad, but at least it was steady and we were able to make it alright. The wedding reception was so much fun and smelt like heaven (they had oil diffusers around the entire cultural hall that were diffusing the smell of oranges and it was so delicious I don’t think you even understand). They left the reception decently early, so we were able to make it home at a good hour. I remember them saying they lived close to Disneyland, so I was super tempted to have us drive to Disneyland to watch the fireworks from Downtown Disney (I’m such a Disney girl at heart…. what can i say, lol), but I was so exhausted at the end of the reception, I just wanted to get home! Luckily we didn’t go to Disney though because it was so windy outside, they ended up cancelling fireworks. That would have been the WORST to drive there and not see what I came for, lol. Oh well.
The next day it was home! We were so ready to be home. We had been living out of suitcases for nearly two weeks and frankly, we just wanted our own bed and our own stuff and our own car and we just wanted to be home! So we were so relieved to be headed home. Home is Ruben, but also home is home. And sometimes (as fun as travelling is and seeing new places is and experiencing new cultures is) home is just where you want to be! We feel so blessed to have been able to travel so much, capture two weddings, and create memories ourselves, but (can I say it enough) we were ready to be home! lol