It’s a long way to the top…

If you want to rock and roll. No, wait. That’s something else. Anyway, this post is pretty belated, but seeing as my sunburn still feels surprisingly raw, I believe it’s still timely enough to write about.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 11.43.18 PM

via @yotony21

Last weekend my best friend and I decided to make the trek up to the Hollywood sign… it only took me two years of living out here to finally make it up to the touristy hike. C’est la vie.

After getting a bit lost on our way… to the hike’s entrance, we finally got off to a good start, feeling excited that we were making the journey together. A few minutes in and we’d already hit the first photo op. You climb a little mound and you can get a great shot of the Hollywood sign in the background. Bam – there it is.

We were already feeling on top of the world. Watch out, Pinterest – ‘cause we’re gonna be seriously giving you the business today. … But, in reality, that was where things began to go downhill… although only metaphorically, of course, because that bitch was steep.

I’m sure you’re thinking… Kayla, have you never seen a mountain before? Are you really surprised you have to walk UP to get to the TOP? And yes, yes, I was. I realize that is a stupid conclusion to come to, but I wasn’t really taking into account how steep the angle of these slopes were going to be.


This was my first time hiking at all in Los Angeles, and I had no idea what to expect, and to top that off, while I do enjoy my Jillian Michaels videos (While I feel for my sister’s sanity I must now add the disclaimer that I understand she isn’t really a certified trainer, I’d also like to say that I like her tapes because her aggressive persona frightens me into not stopping even when I’m tired. Also, while likely not that tough, the videos make me worn out enough that I believe I got a good workout in.), I certainly wouldn’t call myself an athlete.IMG_7098

Also, I’m a writer… so I spend my days at work sitting on my butt. As I stare at a computer. For hours on end. Sitting all day err day does not an active lifestyle make.

So… as much as I wanted to take on the those monster hills American Ninja-style… it was a lot more like Wipeout… when the people belly flop off of those big balls. Except there was no water to fall into… because that would have been a relief.

I’m sure that analogy didn’t make any sense… but my sunburn is itchy so it’s hard to think straight. And there’s another downside of hiking – at least if you’re me.


I was trying to figure out how to describe it the other day, and I was thinking I’m kind of like Michael (Jason Patric) from The Lost Boys. I’ve begun the vampire transformation… but I haven’t made any kills yet, so I’m not really one of them (one of them, one of them).

But here’s the thing… being that I’m part vampire, there are some things that I just can’t do – like pull off pale pink without being completely washed out, and going out into the sun without expecting to basically burst into flames.

IMG_7112So despite reapplying sunscreen four times (in about 4 hours) I was left with an absolutely flayed back, pretty torched shoulders, a fried forehead, a toasted chest, and sporadic red marks along my legs. Tomato Girl rides again!

BUT – sunburn, asthma attacks, panic attacks, sore muscles, and overall exhaustion aside, it was a great day. I felt accomplished when I finally made it to the top, and the views were absolutely breathtaking – not to mention I spent the day with one of my favorite people in the world.

We got to shoot the shit, as usual, except last weekend we did it with a view of all of Los Angeles. We got photos in front of and behind the giant, iconic Hollywood sign, and we even ventured off the beaten path (somewhat riskily) to discover something called the wisdom tree, which reminded me simultaneously of the terrifying tree from The Ring and the heart-warming one from The Giving Tree.IMG_7120

I climbed a tree again for the first time in years – and boy, do I recommend it. Even if it’s a little one, it’s exhilarating. I wrote a Postsecret-style letter to the universe, and read other people’s sage words and notes of inspiration.

Sometimes it’s nice to just get outside when you find yourself cooped in all the time – take in the views, catch a breeze, feel the sun on your skin (through layers AND LAYERS of sunscreen). As Ferris Bueller said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”


Although… I think it might be a little while before you see me back on the trails again – at least until my sunburn heals.

Until next time,



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