Next on my visit to California, I rented a car to drive five hours down the 99 to meet my friend, Makenzie! I really enjoy road trips, even when I’m by myself. It’s a good time for me to process and unwind. This time was no different! I loved the beautiful scenery I drove by the entire trip, and with some of my favorite podcasts to listen to, the drive seemed pretty short!
Makenzie has been a friend of mine for a few years now! We also first met online, and she became my first ever virtual assistant client. When I made it to Bakersfield, I was able to tag along on one of her high school senior photo shoots and it was at a gorgeous location! I loved being in the mountains and in an orange grove and watching her do her thing! 🙂
I felt like a lot of my time in Bakersfield revolved around food, but let’s be honest – I didn’t mind that one bit! 😉 I was able to experience my first In-N-Out burger, which I was quite excited about. It was pretty delicious! Plus, the kind employees gave me a fun little hat and some In-N-Out stickers when Makenzie told them it was my first time. 🙂
I was also able to visit Dewar’s Candy Shop with Makenzie and her husband, William. Dewar’s has been around since 1909! It’s a really cute place with just the right vibe for ice cream and candy. I loved how colorful everything was – especially the pink seats! I ordered a Black and White, one of their classic sundaes that’s a mix of vanilla ice cream and hot fudge with chocolate ice cream and marshmallow. So. Good. Rich, but good! Dewar’s also makes really delicious taffy, which you can even order online! Makenzie sent me some as a gift once and the taffy chews are pretty amazing. 🙂
Wind Wolves Preserve
I didn’t just eat my way through Bakersfield, though. Makenzie and a friend took me to Wind Wolves Preserve one day for a few hours of hiking and taking in the beauty of the area. It was one of my favorite parts of my entire trip! I hadn’t packed any workout gear, but luckily some jeggings, boots and my Persimmon Prints tank did the trick just fine. 😉
The preserve is absolutely stunning. It was a perfect day to visit – blue sky, warm air, and cool breezes. I loved it!
We walked one of the trails for quite some time… until we heard loud buzzing. It was coming from in between some trees that covered the next portion of the trail. Bees. A lot of bees. Makenzie wanted to charge ahead, but I wasn’t so sure that was a good idea. (I don’t really “do” bees. As Makenzie’s shirt said that day – “Nope!”) I had already started to turn around when Makenzie was stung – in the face! It was crazy. Luckily, Makenzie’s friend wasn’t as freaked by the incident as I was, and she pulled the stinger out of poor Makenzie’s cheek. We turned around after that – and informed a park ranger that there were a lot of bees hanging out over in that area.
Other than that incident, the day there was so lovely. It felt good to enjoy God’s creation for awhile. I love the mountains, and I don’t get to experience them often living in Kentucky. So the preserve was a nice treat for me! 🙂
The last place I visited on my trip was Los Angeles, where I was going to be flying out of my last night in California. Makenzie drove us there, and we were able to have some good chat time in the car together. We went to see the Hollywood sign first, up by Griffith Observatory. Surprise, surprise – it was raining that day! 😉 I’m convinced that I was carrying the rain with me everywhere I went, but that was hardly enough to stop us and we still had a good time. We went from the observatory to downtown, and I saw quite a bit from the car. We stopped to visit the Chinese Theater and stars on the Walk of Fame, then had some lunch at the mall.
From there, we drove over to see my good friend, Suzy, at her house. I try to visit her anytime she’s in Kentucky – where she’s originally from and where she and her husband, Lukas, run a wedding venue – but it was so special to be able to see her home and spend time with her there! We caught up on life over tea and it was so sweet.
The VanDyke family even got me a “welcome to L.A.” gift – which their little man, Wilder, was eager to give me! It was one of the amazing leather travel wallets from their new company, Wild and Free Supply. Lukas and Suzy lived in Honduras for a few months and while there, they created this company to provide jobs for the people of Honduras. It’s pretty incredible and I was so glad to hear about it from them in person! And I use my wallet all the time now. It’s so convenient – and really beautiful!
But my favorite part of our time together was when Suzy asked Makenzie and me if we could pray together. We gathered in her bedroom, and with the door closed we spent time intentionally praying over one another and the things we’d been able to talk about since we’d been in her home. I’ll be honest – I ugly cried. There is just something so beautiful and so powerful about prayer with friends. I’m grateful that I have the kind of friends in my life that will take the time to pray with and for me!
Makenzie and I made one last stop before the airport – and that was to the LA County Museum of Art. We wanted to see The Rain Room, but it said online that it was entirely sold out of tickets! When we arrived, though, we asked anyway… and as luck would have it, two spots had just opened up! So we snatched them up and were able to experience The Rain Room. You walk into a dark room where it’s “raining” from the ceiling. When you walk into the rain area, the water falls around you, but not on you. Pretty neat! I, unfortunately, was wearing mostly black at the time – and dark colors are not recommended – so I got a little bit rained on. 🙂 But I still enjoyed it, and Makenzie got a photo of me doing one of my yoga poses!
It was a great way to end my trip to California! Food, community, nature, and plenty of tourist-y moments for good measure made for a pretty good trip. 🙂 Next time I visit, I’ll take much of the same in terms of seeing friends and exploring, but I’d love to go to Yosemite and hopefully see some more sun. 😉
Have you been to California? What would be on your must-do list for your next trip?