The great thing about Los Angeles is that it has a little bit of everything. LA has its beaches, mountains and cities. You will never get bored in LA – never. I found out for myself that there is always something to do. I will never have an excuse as to why I am bored on my day off from work.
I recently went on a hike to the Hollywood sign. Everything about the Hollywood sign experience was thrilling, except for the fact that I got very sunburnt on my shoulders (oops)! I met some Brazilian friends along the way. They were both extremely friendly. So, here is how that hike went.
I walked from the bottom of Griffith Park to the top; to the “Griffith Observatory.” I so badly wanted to go the the Hollywood Sign alone, but I was a little fearful to go all by myself. However, that didn’t stop me. I still decided to go because that’s just the kind of girl I am. As I reached the top of the Griffith observatory, I silently told myself that if I don’t do this now, I will highly regret it later. I know myself too well. I had made an executive decision to go by myself that day. I was going to go alone and nobody was going to stop me. When I reached the sign for the “Hollywood Sign” my nerves quickly built. The sign said, “Want to see the Hollywood Sign? Be prepared. Bring plenty of water. The sign is nearly 4 miles away. Take W Observatory Rd (behind you to the left) down the base of Mt Hollywood Drive. Follow the sigs from there.” After reading this sign, I took a deep breath and quietly muttered “oh shit.” I was not nearly prepared for this hike, as I had already drank half of my bottle from just going halfway up the mountain, towards the griffith observatory. I had a limited amount of sunscreen, but enough to get by. When I walked away from the sign, I glanced to my right and saw a nice couple who I quickly realized did not speak English. They were pointing to the Hollywood Sign and so I stopped dead in my tracks. I didn’t say anything and just watched them for a second or two. Then, as they were about to walk away, I stopped them and said “Excuse me. Hi there, are you looking to hike to the Hollywood Sign?” I was desperately hoping they would say yes and was also hoping they spoke a little bit of English. The girl turned to me and said “Yes, we are. Are you?” I said yes as well. I then introduced myself and she introduced herself as Caroline. She also introduced her husband, Rodrigo. Right from the getgo, I could tell they were both very outgoing and friendly. I knew what I wanted to ask, and I hesitated for a moment, but then got the courage to ask if I could join them. The time frame between my question and their answer was oh so painful. To my surprise, they said “Well, of course, we would be lost without you.” I was in complete shock after that, but was overjoyed. A huge grin spread across my face and onward we marched.
When I normally meet new people, it is usually a little bit awkward in the beginning because I feel as if I am always trying to break an awkward silence. However, for some reason, this was not the case. Caroline, Rodrigo and I just clicked. Perhaps this is because I am more outgoing and confident these days. I felt comfortable with them, just as they did with me. My first question to them was, “where are you from?” They said they were both from Brazil and they were just here for vacation. I was excited to hear this. We walked further away from the city and deeper into the mountains. There was an increase in altitude. Luckily, we chatted nonstop the entire way.
Caroline’s English was not that good, but it was good enough to where we could have an intelligent conversation. Whenever she thought she said something incorrectly in English, she would kindly ask me to correct her…and I did, in a nice way of course. I giggled simply because her sudden remarks brought me great joy and I found them somewhat funny in a way. It felt good to help someone out who didn’t speak great English.
At a certain point, we hit a dead end. We could have either gone to the right or to the left. If we were to turn left, it would have taken us in front of the sign and if we were to turn right, it would have taken us farther up the mountain and to the back of the sign. My immediate thought was to go to the right. However, Caroline wanted to go to the left because she wanted to get pictures in front of the sign. I convinced her that we should go to the right first. I told her that she will have wanted to get the entire mountain/city view behind her. She admittedly agreed with me and onward we went. By then, I was getting tired and I had no water left. Yes, how stupid of me for drinking my entire bottle before I knew what I was getting myself into. I loudly announced that I was thirsty, which I highly regret. As friendly as Caroline and her husband were, they offered me their water. I politely declined, as usual. I didn’t want to take their water, so I just suffered in silence. As bad as that sounds, I was okay. I was going to live. I told myself that I have suffered in silence before when I was on my travel soccer team and so badly wanted to be benched due to pure exhaustion. Again, I was going to live.
There came a point during our hike where we hit a beautiful scenic view on the backside of the hollywood sign. We stopped to take pictures. She took one of me and I took one of her and Rodrigo. Up the mountain we went.
We finally hit the hollywood sign! I was so excited. I plopped my butt down due to being tired and the thought of having to hike back taunted me. I convinced myself that I wasn’t going to be able to do it – lies! As we approached the top, we took many pictures and I almost fell flat on my face. My shoes are meant for running, not hiking. They do not have the proper grip at the bottom. As I slipped, Caroline silently chuckled (if this isn’t a sign that we clicked right away, then I don’t know what is). Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
We went from the front of the Hollywood sign to the back. As we were walking, we started to smell horse poop. It was disgusting. Yes, I gagged a few times and Caroline asked me if I was okay. I laughed hard for a split second and told her I was fine.
As we continued to walk and talked, I nonchalantly asked her what type of music she likes. She mentioned that she liked the type of music that’s from her country. She played me one of her favorite songs and I actually really liked it. It had a wonderful beat to it. I can’t recall the name of the song, but it was beautifully constructed. We sang, danced and walked. All of a sudden, I had a boost of energy. As were were walking, the front of the Hollywood Sign appeared right in our faces. Unknowingly, we both squealed with delight.