If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ~Matthew 17:20

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Week of Fun with Friends

Fourteen years ago, Brad's job transferred him to Shreveport, LA.  Spencer was a busy two-year-old and I was pregnant with Cole.  I was convinced that Shreveport was not where God wanted us to be but I had no desire to live in a different state than my husband nor raise my children as a single mom, so when Cole was 3 weeks old, we made the move.  It was one of the best decisions we ever made.  Why?  Because on our very first day there, I was standing in the front yard, in my pajamas (redneck mama), and I met my next door neighbor, Tracy.  God blessed me with one of my best friends when he made our paths cross.

Fourteen years later Tracy and I are having more fun than ever.  She and her son Grey, who is 15, flew out Monday to stay the week with Cole and I.  We picked them up from the airport at 10:00 a.m. and hit the ground running so we could pack every second of their stay with touristy activities.

First, we headed to Hollywood Boulevard because who doesn't want to start their LA visit with a freak show.  Of course, Hollywood did not fail to produce.  They were gearing up for a red-carpet event for the grand re-opening of the Dolby Theater (formerly the Kodak Theater) and the streets were packed.  We had so much fun walking around and staring looking at the people.

Of course, all the people in costume want you to take a picture with them so you will give them a tip.
I'm not sure if I was laughing at his suggestion for a tip or what but, of course, my mouth was wide open.

And then Mr. Creepy had to jump in the picture.

We hopped aboard the Star Line Tour and took a two hour ride through beautiful Beverly Hills and the surrounding area to look at all the sights.  It was great.

After the tour, Cole went to his acting class while we did some window shopping.  I think we all fell in bed around 11:00.

Tuesday, we got up bright and early and headed to hike Lake Hollywood to enjoy the beautiful weather and get some good pictures of the Hollywood sign.  We walked up the mountain and got some great shots.

After our hike, everyone wanted me to drive up the mountain and try to get closer to the sign.  There is a neighborhood there so we wound our way through the streets until we got to a dead end.  The boys jumped out of the car and took off on foot up the mountain while Tracy and I waited in the car and watched them.  We were marveling at how well they scaled the slope and were waiting to see them at the sign when all of a sudden, we see them both running back down the hill.  When they get close enough, Cole tells us that they were about 50 feet from the sign when an alarm starts going off and a voice says, "Stop!  You are trespassing on private property!  Do not go any further!"  As they were getting in our car, Tracy noticed this sign...

Oh boy.  They hopped in the car and we drove a little ways down the mountain and pulled over at a lookout point to get a picture.  All of a sudden, guess what appears in the sky?  Yep, the police helicopter.  It is hovering around the Hollywood sign looking for those trespassers.  Can you guess how fast we all jumped in my car and took off?  Let's just say the Dukes of Hazard ain't got nothin on us.  There were tires squealing and dirt flying.  How do we get ourselves into these hilarious situations?  Just lucky I guess.

We cleaned up and then headed back down to Hollywood Blvd. because we had tickets to go through Maddame Toussard's Wax Museum that we were not able to use on Monday.  This place is cool and creepy all rolled into one.
Tracy and Lucille Ball.

Me and Justin Timberlake.

Cole and Kobe Bryant.

Cole's expression cracks me up when he is looking at Beyonce!

We finished the day with dinner outside at Aroma Cafe where we saw no movie stars but had a great dinner, followed by a great night's sleep.

Wednesday morning, we headed to Santa Monica beach.  Our plan was to spend the entire day there.  

We decided to rent bikes first and ride to Venice Beach.  The boys rented single bikes but Tracy and I thought it would be fun to rent a tandem bike.  And what fun it was if you count having a wreck, almost hitting a pedestrian and running off the road, fun?!  Of course we do!!!!!
This was before our bike ride because we aren't covered with sand, we aren't doubled over from laughing so hard and my hair isn't sticking straight up.

I have not laughed that hard or that long in all my life.  My abs are still sore from laughing.

As soon as we got off the bike, I got an e-mail letting me know that Cole had an audition for a Burger King commercial.  We ran home (well, it took an hour so it's not like it was a quick trip), Cole showered and then we headed back to Santa Monica for his audition.  I now have a bag in my car with a full change of clothes.

After the audition, we headed back to the beach and the boys and I rode the roller coaster at the pier and then we headed to the water.  The ocean was freezing and Tracy and I did not get close but the cold water did not stop the boys.
They loved it.

We stayed until the sun started going down and the chill set in and then headed to eat Mexican food and home to pack.

Tracy and Grey left this morning at 10:00 a.m. and I got a text from her an hour ago that they made it home safely.

Whew, what a week.  It was just what we needed.

This is how Cole and I spent our afternoon...
chillaxin at the pool.  I guarantee you we will both be asleep early.

Every muscle in my body aches, my booty is sore from the bike ride, my abs hurt from all the laughter and my heart is so full of gratefulness to my friend for spending four days of her vacation with me.  I am so blessed. 

Cole has a HUGE audition tomorrow.  All prayers appreciated.

"I pray that the faith you share with us may deepen your understanding of every blessing that belongs to you in Christ."
~Philemon 1:6

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