This past weekend, my very best childhood friend came out to LA for some much needed, long-overdue, quality best friend time. I was already "little kid on Christmas Eve" excited for her visit, but I also wanted to play the perfect host and have everything go just as planned.
And it did, for the most part.
We had two awesome days at the beach. We body surfed and took naps on beach towels, we rented beach cruisers and rode the bike path, and we definitely had beach photo shoots to get that #insta shot.
I'd made a camping reservation for that Saturday night at Table Mountain Campground in Angeles National Forest. I'd never been there before, but I'd heard it was beautiful and I was so excited to show my friend just how beautiful SoCal can be.
We quickly packed up the car after we hit the gym in the morning, and I even went and bought camp chairs since we didn't have any. We got groceries. We packed the tent. We. Were. Ready.
The drive up to Table Mountain was beautiful, per usual. It still blows my mind that just an hour outside of one of the biggest cities in the world lies hills full of evergreen forests and access to the famed Pacific Coast Trail. We rolled the windows down and inhaled the pine and sunshine that engulfed the car.
We rolled up to our campsite, which was a double site (whoops - paid for two when I didn't have to) - but found that two cars and two tents were occupying our site. I figured, it happens...let's just go talk to a ranger and see if we can take another site.
Well ranger man and his horse of a great dane Buddy let us know that our reservation was for last night. But we were welcome to purchase a site for the night for $20. "Great," I thought. "This is the last $20 in my wallet and now I've paid a grand total of $60 for this campsite." But whatever - it was my mistake and we drove up there, so we may as well stay.
We paid the $20 for our site, played with Buddy for a while and since we were both cash-less (city girls, amirite?) the ranger offered to let us pick through his scrap wood pile for firewood. We packed up the trunk and headed back to our new campsite happy that was all taken care of.
We started to unpack and I got out the tent. I threw open the tent like bed sheet linens and quickly discovered that we didn't have a tent...we had a rainfly. Enter: feelings of disbelief, stupidity, and self-loathing. What a rookie move.
After a full discussion nearly in tears (solely on my part - my friend was totally cool with the situation) - we decided to try to get our $20 back, maybe go for a hike, and head home. I felt TERRIBLE - here I had planned this whole night of amazing best friend camping in the mountains - all to look like a total novice and have to go right back the way we came.
But that's just what we did. And we stopped on the way down to take some photos and some full breaths of mountain air and just remember that we're together and that's all that matters.
We had a great mini-road trip, and a mini-picnic at Table Mountain. and then we came down from the mountain for another night with more friends, more food, more wine, and more laughs. So, in the end, it was perfect. (Awww)
Moral of the story: make plans, but don't feel obligated to stick to them. Sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don't. Go with the flow, take it as it comes, and just enjoy the company of whomever you're adventuring with.