The California sky was clear and bright blue and it was 65 degrees out. I couldn’t contain how bubbly I felt—I wanted to skip through LAX to get outside quicker and breathe in the sunny air. There was more to my excitement than just air though…one of my dearest friends was waiting to pick me up and drive me to my aunt and uncle’s house and I hadn’t seen her since winter break.
Over break I learned quickly which of my high school friends I wanted to spend time. Friendships in high school were easy because I saw everyone, every day. But once we split apart some people were easier to remain friends with than others.
Aubrey has been one of my close friends since 3rd grade. It seems like our friendship is indestructible. We’ve both had moments where one of us was more out of reach than the other, but we always ended up meeting halfway and reestablishing our friendship. (It’s also beneficial that we live a 2-minute walk away when we’re both home.)
When she found out that I was going to be in CA for 36 hours she was determined to spend time with me and I’m so glad that she came up with a way for us to see each other. It was the perfect plan. My aunt and uncle wouldn’t get back from church and lunch until 1pm and my flight got in at 10:30am. So Aubrey picked me up from the airport and we spent the best two and a half hours together.
I easily picked out her bright red car, LMac, from the line of cars outside the baggage claim and she got out to greet me with a hug. There was a lot of laughter those first few minutes, and the rest of the time as well.
It’s in those moments that it feels like no time has passed at all. But then again I could hardly believe we were in the car together, in California. Maybe when we were younger we had dreamt about visiting the beach someday and taking a vacation together and now we were actually in the same spot together with our parents a hundred miles away.
Who cared that it was only for 2 hours?
The first stop was In N’ Out, since making a trip to California and not eating there at least once is unacceptable. I didn’t have breakfast that morning, so that burger and milkshake were some of the best fast food I’ve ever had in my life. Aubrey and I were chatting up a storm and catching up on everything we had missed in each other’s lives since we last parted.
When we had finished we hopped back into the car, stopped quickly at Whole Foods to grab some flowers for my aunt and uncle’s family, then drove toward the beach. Our internal map seemed to be pointing us there and we could sense that our feet needed to touch the sand and feel the cool, foamy, waves.
We ended up parking by Venice Beach and we wandered through the stands of a market before we ventured out onto the sand. It was as if I was filled with life the moment I walked onto the beach. I think Aubrey could feel it too because we both threw our heads back and laughed. It took a few minutes to reach the water and the salty sweet air stuck to my face as the wind blew through my hair.
The ocean is freeing, and seemingly endless. It love looking at it and being near it.
I asked Aubrey, “Do you think I’ll get in trouble if I throw all my clothes off and jump into the water?”
She gave me the don’t even think about it look and smirked.
We spent the next half an hour taking pictures, chasing seagulls, running from waves, and basking in the sun and each other’s company. It was too short and ended far too soon.
As we walked back through the Venice market we stopped by a stand with various bracelets and beach bags. At first we intended to only look, but once you try something on and you like it you end up buying it.
Both of us got a bracelet. Mine with red, yellow, and green strands and Aubrey’s with sky blue. It was fitting for both of us.
Now each of us have memories on our wrists of the day we got to spend 2 hours together during my mini trip to California. It was definitely one of the best 2 hours I’ve ever spent with Aubrey, which is saying something because we’ve spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours in each other’s company.
I can’t wait for the next time I see her.
|First: U-District with Sarah|
Second: Orange Women (my dorm floor)
Third: Venice Beach