A self-professed sassy nerdette (and wanna-be Latina), she started out shooting videos, but somewhere along the way learned some graphic design, html/css/php, social media skills and how to take a pretty sweet picture.
These are the chronicles of her summer in Los Angeles as a displaced texan-canadian who's headed west for a good tan and some adventure.
Its hard to believe that a little over a week ago I was sitting in my tiny South Central L.A. apartment, trying to figure out when I should start packing up to leave. But now, as I sit in my family’s Canadian cottage, soaking up the last bit of mid-August warmth, California and its bright, summer sun seems miles of memories away.
As a southern girl living on the east coast, I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about Los Angeles, Southern California and the whole Golden Coast before I arrived there at the beginning of June.
But now, two months later, I wish I had gotten to Cali sooner.
In the words of my favorite video site, “California IS a place.” A wonderful, sunny, bustling place, full of culture, strange sights and natural beauty. And excellent food. Amazing food, actually.
In two months, I saw beaches, mountains, tide pools and busy downtown streets. I went to concerts, jammed at music festivals and got lost on the 405. I explored taco trucks, indulged in Bottega Louie, and found my favorite downtown coffee joint. I heard Spanish, ate Roscoe’s and, most importantly fell in love with the laid-back west coast way of life.
My summer in Los Angeles wouldn’t have been half as fun, however, if it weren’t for the amazing people I met along the way. After all, the best part about traveling and seeing new places is learning about the places from people who know them best. Thank you to my awesome roommates who indulged in Monday night icecream, encouraged my adventures and put up with my crazy taste in music. Thank you to my USC PV friends who braved the beaches, rode some waves and watched the Olympics unfold by my side. Thanks to my ADPi sorority sisters, all the GW Californians and the entire Nature Conservancy staff for making me feel so welcome and loved miles away from home.
In my Buenos Aires blog, I wrote that I believe I’m a person who makes her home where ever she is, and this summer in Los Angeles is just proof of that statement. I’ve never been one to be a homebody, although I appreciate and celebrate my Canadian-Texan roots. I’ve always had a keen sense of adventure, and California brought out the best of it in me. I could have been sad, being far from my family and friends. I could have stayed in D.C., around everything familiar. But instead, I wanted to grow. I took a chance and went to a new place.
And look what it got me.
A thousand pictures of memories.
And an entire coast of new opportunities.
Anybody who’s been keeping up with me this summer knows I’ve been dying to do one thing since I got to California two months ago: go surfing. You know, catch a wave.
And I finally did it today!
After three boogeyboarding trips, two months working & too many times saying “I wish I knew how to surf,” I finally got out there. What a blast!
I spent the day mostly catching the wave, getting up to my knees and then standing and falling— but hey, its at least a start!
My two friends were super encouraging, as were all the people around where we were surfing. I’ll admit I was a little nervous to go out without taking a lesson. A few of my other friends told me that I HAD to take a lesson, but a lot of the locals I’ve chatted with told me to just grab some friends and go for it, and I agreed with the latter group. After all, trial and error is the best way to learn!
I still can’t believe I went surfing today.
Sometimes I can’t even believe I’m in California.
Too bad I have to leave in a week.
Craft fairs, the beach and great music are all anybody really needs to turn an average weekend into an excellent weekend.
Luckily, I’m in California, so those things aren’t in short supply.
Saturday started off on a delicious note with pancakes and french toast from Jacks n’ Joe, one of the best brunch restaurants I’ve found during my time here.
After my roommate and I filled our stomachs with coffee and flour by-products, we headed to the Renegade Craft Fair. The fair features artists from all across the country and travels to different cities across the USA (and the world, if I’m not mistaken). I ended up buying a shirt & some colorful jewelry. Ooo-la-la!
Saturday evening was spent with more friends, food and shopping. Even more exciting, I got to take my friend on her first EVER Cheesecake Factory visit. I felt so honored.
Sunday, my friends and I headed to Hermosa Beach for some sun & boogyboarding. The weather was wonderful and the waves were perfect! For once I left the water because I was tired, not because the waves were tragic. Like any good Hermosa Beach visit, we ended the day with a round of custom The Counter Burgers—yum! I’m going to miss those endless burger topping options when I head back east.
Monday (technically not the weekend, but who cares), my roommates and I headed to a Neon Trees concert at The Wiltern, which was CRAZY awesome. CRAZY.
I think I might just be falling in love with LA when I’m about to leave. Sad day.
BTW. Great song below. Check it out— local band, the Miracals.
On Sunday my long time childhood friend and awesome roomie trekked down to the Orange County Fair to see the band Young the Giant.
Now. Remember. I’m from Texas. So county fairs are my THING.
There were rides, fried twinkies, and huge buckets of popcorn…but one thing was missing: Western Gear. See, where I come from, county fairs are an excuse to dress up like a cowboy and show off your fanciest belt buckle and boots. But not in the OC. Everyone looks exactly like they do every day.
How sad. I love costumed events…
Oh yea. The concert was great. And there were cool lights.