Hello there.

I'm still sick. Womp womp. I pushed myself and went to work today, and I'm glad I did, because newsflash: due to a recent, unexplained development in my life, I no longer like vegging out for an entire day when I know there is something more productive I could be doing (which is pretty much all I remember about college). I ended up going a bit stir crazy yesterday. I started feeling a bit better around noon, so I ended up deep cleaning the apartment (sorry I never did anything like that when I lived at home, Mom). What? Who am I?

Regardless of today being very easygoing, I was still exhausted by the time I left work. I was also bummed, because the plan had been to take D&L to Franklin Canyon Park for a little time with nature. The outing would have been a bad idea, because I was moving in slow motion all day, but once I get an idea in my brain, I have a hard time letting it go. So naturally, I fought my urge to go straight home to my bed and instead drove up in the hills (a decision I slightly regret, because as my car climbed the hill, my ears plugged up, and haven't come unplugged since...) and along Mulholland Drive to check out the park on my own.

(I made a stop at the Universal City Overlook because the sun was hitting the hills in just the right way):

universal city overlook

universal city overlook

I got to the park with a little luck and a lot of thankfulness that I carefully read the detailed instructions on how to get there ahead of time. These SoCal parks are a little tricky, because they're all up in the grills of various ritzy neighborhoods, so if you don't know where you're going, you end up driving past the same mansion several times and looking like a stalker.

The vibe of Franklin Canyon Park was different than the other parks I've been to so far. It's just north of Beverly Hills (you can see part of downtown BH from certain points in the park), and it's in the middle of several neighborhoods, so you'd expect it to be hoppin', but it's actually quite serene and quaint. The Upper Franklin Canyon Reservoir is in the middle of it, as well as a cute little duck pond named Heavenly Pond. There were a fair number of hikers and walkers out and about, but it was very quiet, and it smelled like the middle of the woods in northern Minnesota (you know what I'm talking about). There were so many little dirt trails and footbridges crisscrossing the main road (which is really just a narrow little fire road) that I almost parked several times and went to try some of them out. But alas, like most parks in LA, Franklin Canyon closes at sunset, and since it's the middle of the winter (easy to forget) and the days are so short, it was already too close to dusk for me to start out on an adventure. I did, however, take a couple of photos at the top of a hill as I was leaving the park through the south entrance.

franklin canyon
That little dark bit at the end of the valley is downtown Beverly Hills
franklin canyon park

I sat in rush hour traffic on Sunset Boulevard for the next half an hour, so I had plenty of time to enjoy the dusky, purple mountains to the east and to think about how my ears wouldn't be so plugged and I probably wouldn't have a headache if I had just gone straight home. Oh well, a little exploration never hurt anyone. Right? Right.

I got home just in time to watch the sunset light up the sky, and then I came inside and fell into my bed with a sigh of relief. Haven't moved since.


Today I am grateful for: little boys that treat their sick nanny with gentleness, 80-degree days in the middle of the winter, compassionate employers, my wide-angle lens, Vaseline chapstick, and my big, comfy bed with its pillowtop mattress.

Time to watch The O.C. and veg out. Happy Thursday!