Since I found myself living in Burbank, I decided to hit the streak of vintage shops on Magnolia on my last Sunday in the City of Angels. It was so nice that they were all within walking distance of each other - some were right next door - which is something I have come to never expect. I found some very inexpensive winners and took them home - but only after having dined at Porto's and run into Mira.
Cactus Darth was there to greet me. At night, Zia hauled a very tired me with her, Matt and Melvin to Avalon. I was probably too tired to enjoy it even partially, but I did enjoy spending time with those crazies. And I felt I needed to attempt a night out before leaving the city, haha.
More excitingly, Monday morning started with Hailey driving us past the first windmills I'd seen in the States. And then we passed a few hundred more on the way to our destination: Joshua Tree.
We drove into the national park around 3 o'clock. It was "only" 86 degrees, so walking about proved to be less exhausting than anticipated. We did however drink lots and lots of water.
The "park" is too massive to hike, so you drive around from parking area to road shoulder. You can stop whenever you spot something you want to take a closer look at. And they had hiking trails. So we hiked for a bit, climbed some stuff, and soon enough the sun was setting. The shadows and golden light transformed the desert park into an even more otherworldly place. We then made our way back to LA, screaming along to hit songs.
I was very happy that Hailey wanted to go with me to this spot - I had been meaning to do a "bigger" thing before leaving, and this fit that mark pretty well.
The next afternoon, Hailey picked me up again and we drove to Forest Lawn in Glendale. When we turned the corner, our jaws dropped. Such a decadent place right in the middle of LA. Who knew. The reason we went was to go to the museum's Eyvind Earle exhibit. It was a small, but brilliant show.
His style is so mesmerising and heavily inspired by Asian artworks and how they combine painting with poetry - every work had a poem attached to the title.
There were some very graceful sculptures at the museum too.
Forest Lawn was a strange place. The museum was set on top of a hill looking out onto the city in a rather sweet manner. But Forest Lawn was a big cemetery. One of the most decadent ones I've ever seen - even decorated with a copy of The Little Mermaid on the front lawns.
We then drove to the Bronson caves to see a man-made cave crafted for the sole purpose of movie production. It had been used in a bunch of war movies, westerns - and it is the original Batcave. Coincidentally the Hollywood sign can be seen at a pretty large scale from there too.
We then drove on up to Burbank to meet the rest of the gang for my goodbye dinner. We had a perfect-sized table, good food, and then Michelle had brought a drawing game in her car that we spent some time playing. It was really fun! I was very happy to get to see people one last time - and a few of them went to bowling after too.
The day of reckoning arrived. I met up with Max for breakfast and then attempted to pack my things (the cat loving me made it harder) before Mira came to scoop me up.
We went to Porto's one last time and she then agreed to swing by UCLA before heading for LAX. I had actually not been to North Campus since June, so it was pretty odd being there!
I got to see my favourite trees again and say goodbye to Heather and Doug. I'm happy we made time for that.
I made it to my gate and it finally hit me that I was leaving. I had said my goodbyes very nonchalantly and now felt I had needed more emotional farewells. Feeling sad, I was pretty unhappy when no new films had been added since my last flights haha. But I made it through. And slept for 15 hours when I got back to Denmark.
Night had already fallen when we flew away from Los Angeles. All the lights twinkled below and I felt pretty full of all the experiences I've had these past months.