Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"time wasted is existence; used is life." -Edward Young

Four more incredible days have passed. How the heck is it even remotely possible that I leave to go back home in three days? I feel like these past three months have been a complete and total whirlwind of activity, and I am so sad to see them pass by so quickly. More than being sad, though, I am so thankful for every single second spent out here in this beautiful city. Fifty years from now when I look back on my life, I can promise you that the summer of 2010 will be at the top of the list of my favorite memories. I have legitimately conquered every square mile of southern California—I’m even impressed with the amount of things I accomplished out here!

So now that my usual tangent is over (for the moment), I’ll get back to telling about my life since Saturday. On Saturday morning, my roomies and I went to back to Long Beach for a day on the water. We tried to rent some paddle boards but quickly found out that we could only rent them at Sunset Beach…and off to Sunset we went! None of us fell off of our boards (we were certain that we would), but we did almost DIE coming back towards the outfitter. Why? Well, you can thank the wind for that. We were grunting and straining and all that good stuff as we made our way back to our starting point. I only have four words for that experience: Sun’s out. Guns out.  And boy, were they out! And SORE the next day for that matter. It was so much fun to hang out with my roooooooomies, though, so I didn’t mind it all that much. :) After our paddle around Huntington Harbor, we ate lunch at Taco Surf. Mmmmmm, mmmmm, GOOD! That was exactly what we needed after burning all those calories, HA!
roomie day at Sunset Beach!
On Saturday night, I made my way back to LA…only this time it was to see CAIT CAIT! We went to Drais on the rooftop at the W for a few drinks with Sarah and Elaine, and it was super fun! Sarah let Cait Cait and I sleep in her bed when we got back and I only have one thing to say about that: her bed is like heaven. In fact, it may be the closest thing to heaven that I’ve ever experienced. I slept like a BABY all night long! And it’s a good thing I did, because we got up bright and early the next morning to go to Hurricane Harbor with Daaaaave! A day at the water park? Ummm, YES PLEASE! We rode most of the slides, of course, and even got separated for about an hour. That’s what you call an intense day at the water park. Even though Cait and I missed getting free massages by about two minutes (no, I’m not bitter at all), it was one HECK of a day.
pretty ladies to my left and to my right. :)
 Monday morning, I felt like I was back in South Carolina. Let me break it down for you: fried okra, fried squash, country fried steak, sweet potato pie, and sweeeeeeeeet tea. All homemade. So good it was sinful. That was the lunch I spent all morning preparing for Anne, Jen, Will, Dearle, and Bruce. It was probably more of a treat for me than it was for them! I couldn’t have lived with myself if I hadn’t given them a little piece of fried goodness before I parted ways, and I am pretty sure that all of their lives are changed for the better now. :o) I had to tell Bruce and Darrell (or as I like to say, Dearle) bye, which was terrible, but I am going back to the office on Thursday to say my last goodbyes to Anne, Jen, and Will. I am already prepared to cry for hours. Sheeeesh, I just teared up thinking about it! These past two days have been so weird not being in the office—I can’t even imagine not ever going back. One thing’s for sure: I will make an appoint to attend every Land Meets Sea Camp from here on out. An annual Outdoor Adventures fix is exactly what I need for the rest of my life!

Things took a change for the worst as Monday progressed. I met up with Cait and Sarah in Hollywood and things were going fantastic until I met my psycho-stalker friend who gave me quite a scare. I won’t go into details, but I will say one thing about it…thank you, LORD, for protecting me. And for giving me confidence and assertion at the exact moment I needed it. I love it when I am reminded of God’s grace in my life, especially when there’s no way I can attribute my safety to anything else. It even gave me a good excuse to call and bug daddy a lot yesterday. A girl always needs her daddy, even when she’s across the country and there’s no possible way he can help—other than threaten to leave bullet holes in his head if he made his way to our neck of the woods. FYI, he was serious. ;)

Today’s activities did an excellent job of taking my mind off of yesterday’s activities. I took Cait Cait to Santa Monica, she rode the Pacific Wheel (YAY!), and she touched the Pacific Ocean for the first time. EPIC! She got to the airport with five minutes to spare, which we see as perfect timing. Professional travelers, at your service! :o) After I dropped her off, I went back to Santa Monica to give Dave his sunglasses back and even got to see some of the Yahoo Center, where he’s interning this summer! He’s a big-time journalist for Yahoo Sports that still makes time for the little people, such as myself. Lucky me!

I played with our tortoise friends for about an hour this afternoon, watched Ellen and the Disney channel for a while, and I am currently putting off packing up all my stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to be home and be reunited with most of my favorite people in the whole world…but I am absolutely dreading leaving Cali for good. Part of my heart will definitely be left out here, and I am certain that I’ll never get that part back again. There’s no place like home and I’ll be the first to admit that, but there is just something about this temporary home of mine that keeps pulling me back. I’m going to miss all the wonderful, one-of-a-kind people I’ve met since I’ve been here…which only means that annual visits are even more necessary!

Since we’re on the subject of one-of-a-kind people, I would just like to express my OUT OF CONTROL EXCITEMENT to see the following people tomorrow: Tomahawk, Kyle, and Marisa! YAY!!!!!!! I am dreading the goodbyes that will follow our time together, but I am freaking out with ecstatisism (totally not a word) about spending some quality time with each of them! I even get to eat lunch at The Ivy tomorrow—somewhere that I have wanted to go all summer long! Check another AWESOME EXPERIENCE off my list? Don’t mind if I do! I’m also going to the W one last time…tear, tear! Steven, will you be working? If not, can you make a surprise visit to bid me adieu? Please and thank you!

Okay, it is almost 10 o’clock and I still haven’t started packing. Instead, I’ve been skyping with Teeeesh and Justin Bieber, playing with Frankie and Speedy (our super cool desert tortoise friends), hanging out with my roomies, and fixing one of our toilets. Plumber Anna at your service. Daddy will be so proud when I tell him!

I can’t wait to tell ya’ll all of the rest of the incredible things that will happen to me over the next couple of days! Expecting greatness, as always!

Sweet dreams, world. :)

"Make each day useful and cheerful and prove that you know the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be happy, old age without regret and life a beautiful success." -Louisa May Alcott

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory." -Betty Smith

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