I’ve tried to think of more eloquent things to say, but really all I can say about the trip moving to Texas is that it was a total blur, a ton of fun and really good for me.
In Santa Monica, Evan, Melanie and I walked along the Pier. In the pics you’ll see a shot of the end of Route 66. I thought that was kind of fun because Amarillo is roughly around the middle of the Route. Now I just need to go to Chicago! I have always wanted to go there. . . Santa Monica is really nice. We went to the Promenade and walked around the shops though we didn’t go in any and buy stuff (um, my car was already full enough, thank you!) Then we headed home. (Well, their home.) Evan had a composers’ meeting so Mel and I went to see a movie — “Bridesmaids.” I fully expected it to be full of stereotypes and basically “The Hangover” for women, but it actually had some unexpected depth, at least in my opinion. I thought the ad campaign was way off (as it often is in most movies these days. . . ) But this quote in particular I thought was applicable to myself at times and to many people I know. “I can’t deal with people who blame the world for their problems. You are your problems. And you are your solution.” (Melissa McCarthy’s character says that at one point.)
I love that quote. A lot of the movie was ridiculous and raunchy, but as I said there was an unexpected depth, I thought. (But maybe I have a soft spot for Melissa McCarthy. I have loved that actress ever since my favorite TV show of all time, “Gilmore Girls.”)
The next day we did Hollywood! We did a hike and then went to the Observatory. Then we went down to the theaters and saw the stars on the sidewalks and handprints. It was very interesting. You’ll see Melanie and I with our hands in the Harry Potter stars’ area. 🙂 It was awesome. After that we headed to their friend Chuck’s birthday party. He has a view of the Hollywood sign from his balcony! It was a lot of fun. Then we headed home (after being trapped in traffic for a while. Poor Melanie was driving and the Star Wars concert had just let out so it was total chaos.)
The next day I picked up my mom at Jerry and Carmen’s and we headed to Vegas! Then the next day we headed out (hahaha just kidding. . . I will give details.)
We stayed at Treasure Island (Thanks to Nicole’s suggestion.) It was a very nice room and had a great view of the strip. If I hadn’t been so tired I might have suggested going down to the pool, but instead we headed out and walked around to do some shopping and just exploring. Neither of us is much into gambling and to be honest both of us get headaches from cigarette smoke so we avoided the casinos. We picked up our tickets to Cirque de Soleil Love and dinner and then walked around some more. Dinner was truly amazing. It really was the best steak I have ever had. It was tender and juicy and just absolutely perfect. mmmm my mouth is watering just thinking about it! There was other stuff at dinner that was incredible as well but the steak was so incredible that is all I can think about!! But seriously it was awesome.
After dinner we headed to the show that was just beyond words awesome. In something like that there is such a combination of aestheticism, showmanship, talent and creativity that it is hard to fathom how it comes together night after night. Mom liked the skaters best (for those of you who have seen it) and I just couldn’t pick. I kind of liked the slower numbers best because you could see what was happening more, but also the first time the Beatles came out where they were jumping all around was pretty amazing.
The next morning we got up and made the longest drive I made the entire trip. The driving part was only about 9.5 hours, but we lost an hour and stopped a lot so in the end it “seemed” like 12 hours. But it wasn’t all boring driving.
We first stopped at the Hoover Dam. As many times as I have been through Nevada, I have never been over this particular dam (others, yes.) It was pretty awesome, even though they made me open my car doors to make sure I wasn’t hiding explosives (seriously, do I look dangerous??) I was kind of afraid it would all tumble out but thankfully all the luggage stayed inside the car and we were able to drive across the dam. We also saw the HUGE new-ish bridge which is made to bypass the dam. Really incredible how big it is. On the drive back Mom and I started smelling smoke and after some investigation we found out that although we were in New Mexico the heavy smoke was from the Arizona wildfires. Total craziness. Apparently the smoke had already made it all the way to Iowa that night. It might have made it even farther by now because they continue to grow.
Then on the next day (losing track of actual days. . .sorry) We made it back to Amarillo! It only took about five hours. I was unpacked and organized within two days. I hate the feeling of being unsettled.
I know many people will think that this is the end of my adventure and now I’m settling back into a boring life in the Panhandle, but I feel that this is only the beginning of a year full of adventures. I hope that everyone on the NOP will stay in touch and that I get to catch up with everyone in Texas soon!
I’m now in Los Angeles at Melanie’s! So this is what has happened in the meantime. I’ll have to upload pics later.
I arrived at Deana’s on Thursday and took it easy that night. I was fairly tired still from the drive/all the craziness that was my last week in Port Angeles. I finally was getting over my cough though, so that was good. Deana has two of the most adorable cats ever. So I spent a lot of time harassing them. Haha. On Friday Deana and I along with two students from her church headed to the beach. We went to this cute little beach called Bean Hollow and then stopped at two tiny towns on the coast including Half Moon Bay. The other one I’ll have to look up the name (Deana, I’m sure will remind me :)…)
On Saturday she and I went into the city to go to a Carnival festival with Latin music (including Brazilian.) Unfortunately the weather wasn’t so great so the attendance wasn’t very good, but it was fun and it was also kind of fun to see some Brazilian booths. After that we decided to go downtown and watch a movie so we started walking and decided we’d grab a cab along the way but we never did, so we walked like 3 miles to get there. Luckily the rain held out while we were walking, and we made it there nice and dry. We saw “Pirates of the Caribbean 4.” My one-sentence review is that it is better than the third one and about even with the others.
After leaving the theater it was pouring rain so we ran to Old Navy to wait out the rain, and Deana got some really cute items :). I decided I didn’t need to add to the massive amount of things in my car. Haha. Then we headed home and attempted to watch “Tangled” but we both fell asleep. Sunday I slept in, but Deana had to work so she got up early. I went to the 10:45 service with her which was really good. Everything had a bit of a somber tone because of the suicide of a young woman in the community the week before, but I thought it was handled well in the service.
After church Deana and several other friends headed out to go cherry picking! It was a lot of fun. To be honest I probably have never even eaten real cherries (besides the ones from a jar with all the syrup and such.) But my parents will be surprised to hear that I thought they were pretty good. (Well at least the sweet ones. there were several I took one bite and spit out haha. It was sunny but not too sunny so that was nice too. And Sarah and Becca (I’m not sure how they spell their names) — the two little girls that went with us — were so cute. It was hilarious how seriously they took finding the right cherries.
On Monday Deana and along with her friend Erin went to the Art and Wind Festival. There were supposed to be a lot of kite flying demonstrations but I didn’t really see much of that going on. Maybe we missed it by going in the afternoon instead of the morning. It was the first festival that I have been to that I haven’t’ covered in any way in something like 6 years, so I found that to be delightful! Festivals can be fun when you aren’t tired of them before they even begin! We didn’t buy anything besides food, but just enjoyed ourselves that afternoon. Then Deana and I went back home and took a nap (we were both beat) then we had dinner and some awesome yogurt from the Yogurt Shack in town and relaxed for the rest of the evening. It was really fun because I have been to San Fran several times so it wasn’t like I had to go to the Golden Gate, the pier and all that because I’ve already done that several times. All of that is fun, but it wasn’t top of my list. Mainly I just wanted to hang out with my cousin!
The next day I left at a leisurely hour, got on U.S. Highway 101 and drove down to Los Angeles. I beat Melanie home but Evan was here so we hung out for an hour until Mel got home. On Thursday she and I spent the day shopping and hanging out by the pool reading magazines. Then yesterday we went to Paradise Cove, which is in Malibu, and spent the day at the beach! It is a really lovely little stretch of beach and I managed not to get sunburned (yay!) And what better way to spend a day in California? Today the plan is to head to Santa Monica and tomorrow we will go to Hollywood. Then my mom and I will meet up on Sunday and head out to Vegas! yay. It will be a good trip. I’m glad it has been both fun-filled and restful.
More to come!
So just catching up a little bit here! I’ll write more specific, humorous and more thought-out stories later, but just to catch everyone up here is a general overview.
I left Port Angeles on May 24 after a very hurried weekend of goodbyes and cleaning. I really didn’t think I would finish everything, but the landlord said (thank goodness) that most of my deposit should be returned to me. So, we’ll see what happens. I’m very grateful. A lot of people kept asking if I was emotional about leaving. I have to say, that so far I haven’t really been emotional. I would say the main reason for this is the certainty that this is the right decision. I have never been sure of any decision in my life, except for this one. But I am not nervous or scared or anything. I feel completely peaceful in a way I have never felt before. Also, I have moved many, many times before, and, in a way, this has helped me learn that some people will stay in touch and others will not. It doesn’t necessarily reflect on the deepness of the friendship who stays in touch and who doesn’t. I’ve had very important friendships that the people are simply really bad at staying in touch. But I’ve learned that this is a product of life. Most likely people will move in and out of life. And those that are important will likely at least try to stay in touch. This does not mean that I won’t miss everyone. Which I will. Very deeply. I just haven’t gotten deeply emotional about it this time. Yet. Probably over a cup of tea in a month I’ll start crying randomly or something. Or maybe the certainty of the rightness of my decision will carry me through. I’m not sure. But, for those of you in Port Angeles, know that I will miss you and I love you guys. And I really hope you do stay in touch, but I do understand that life gets in the way sometimes.
So I left my empty apartment with my jam-packed car on a rather hot day for Port Angeles. I thought about taking some pictures, but, to be honest, I was just too exhausted to take one final picture of the town. And I have a whole bunch anyway. From there I headed to Oregon where I barely stopped about mid-way through the state and saw Ron and Sue. They were extremely gracious and I am so grateful to them for their kindness. I had a nice visit with them and then took off early in the morning to Crescent City, CA.
By the time I arrived in the area of the Redwoods it was raining. A lot. So I didn’t get to do the kind of hiking I planned to, but that was OK because I was pretty tired anyway. The whole way between Oregon and Cali I was listening to this book on CD that Lyndi gave me. It was a brilliant idea. I wish I had thought of it. I didn’t think I would like it, but it turns out it is better than music because it is almost like conversation. It keeps you kind of engaged, without distracting like a phone or something would. I’ll have to review the book later. I bought a couple others for later in the trip because I enjoyed the experience so much. The woman at the hotel pointed out a couple of things of interest so here are a couple that I know people will enjoy. Here is a grove of trees where the second trilogy (or first . . . first filmed second in numeration) of Star Wars was filmed. I’m sure it is deeper in the forest, but this is the general vicinity. Not sure what scenes. Sorry Star Wars fans.
And here is the entrance to the area where parts of Jurassic Park were filmed. There is a whole trail down to the area, but it was raining too much to do the full hike. So I just got out to take a picture of the general area. 🙂
Then I headed out on the road. You can see the above slideshow for a few pics if you like.
Once I arrived in Danville it has been a blast to see Deana. Anyone who knows my cousin knows that she is full of life and full of fun. It is always refreshing and fun to be around her. Today we went out to the coast with a couple students of hers (she is a youth leader for a church for those of you who don’t know) and we had a lot of fun.
I’ll upload the pics from that later.
Hope everyone is well. I’d love to hear from everyone!
What would you do with $10? I spent $10 on a pair of shorts, $10 on some food, $10 on gas (well more than that even), and a few other increments of $10 on other things last weekend. I usually don’t carry cash with me. I’ve gotten so used to my debit card that I typically rely on that, but I had some cash left over from something-or-other and was walking around Seattle this weekend. Somewhere in the vicinity of Pike Place Market I was in search of somewhere that would have some bottled water or a water fountain because I am constantly getting dehydrated.
At the corner of Pike and First streets there were about four people asking for money. I usually walk on by ignoring them all. There are simply too many. I want to give to them all. But often when you give to one, you get bombarded by many. But then there was this woman. She had to be younger than I was, and she had a little girl about 3-years-old. She was frantically trying to hold on to the child in the middle of the crowd and a lopsided sign that said “homeless mother” was tucked under her elbow. I don’t know why the picture touched me so much. I often see homeless kids and parents, but something about the pain in the woman’s eyes touched me. Sure, she could be spending most of her money on drugs. I do plenty of stories about people who do that and end up neglecting the needs of their kids. But I got out my wallet and handed her a $10 bill anyway.
She burst into tears and said it would go to a motel room for the night for her and her daughter. I nodded and made a small smile at the kid.
Part of me wanted to go back and take them some food also or ask them some questions or just do *something* but I guess I did all I could. I hope that they are OK. They seemed genuinely needy. It does make me count my own blessings in a way. I can’t seem to get them out of my head for some reason. I hope things work out for them.
This weekend I was meandering through bookstores, and I made my way through the young readers’ section. I rarely go there these days. In fact, I rarely went there when I was a young reader. I never read a whole lot out of this section. After third grade, I pretty much jumped to all adult books. But while I was there I spotted the tell-tale yellow and blue covers of Nancy Drew. I pulled out a copy of The Secret of the Old Clock and smiled. I’m sure that I read other books for class before that. I read that book in second grade. And I read a lot of chapter books before that. I had already read all of the Little House on the Prairie books. But my very first book report was over The Secret of the Old Clock.
I don’t really remember what my “analysis” was. Other than the book was “good” and that I revealed the secret of the clock at the end. My mom helped me with the report by taking me to a second hand store where we bought an old clock that looked strikingly like the one on the cover. For the grande finaleI swung open the door and revealed the secret. AND WITHOUT WARNING THAT THERE WERE SPOILERS!!! Hahaha.I was not a good second grader. I don’t think any of my classmates were reading the books though, so I was safe.
I already loved reading, but those books really fostered that love. Soon after I discovered Louisa May Alcott, who is still among my favorites. During third grade I was so inspired by Ms. Alcott that I wrote a research paper about her even though there was no assignment. Am I a nerd? Absolutely. Such moments continued throughout all my school years and continue now as I discover new writers whose words and stories delight and surprise. What was your first book report? Was it toil or delight like mine?
I spend my day collecting quotes. I also spend my day in a room full of creative and witty people. That results in many interesting quips. I haven’t been as diligent collecting newsroom quotes in Port Angeles (sorry PDN co-workers!) as I was in Amarillo, but I do have quite a few. Here are some of my favorites from other people followed by my five favorites from myself. (As always in no particular order) Originally I had planned five from other people but I had to increase to 10 because there are just too many gems! (more…)
In some ways moving back to Amarillo is very exciting. I’ve always been a huge advocate of people who have fun will have fun wherever they are and people who are boring will be bored wherever they go. So, all that to say I think I will have plenty of awesome things to do. There is a downside though.
So here first, the top 10 things I am excited about going back to the Panhandle: (more…)
Yesterday I posted the 10 things I will miss about journalism. All in all I will miss being in journalism. It is a fun career and many former journalists return eventually (perhaps I will, too, who knows.) They talk of being seduced by the pen. It is easy to see why. It is exciting and fun, but like any other job it does have its issues. Today I am following up with the 10 things I will not miss!
So here are the top 10 things I won’t miss:
Today I handed in my resignation from the Peninsula Daily News. It has been four years since I started and will be about 4 1/2 by the time I’m gone. My last official day will be May 20. After that I will head back to Texas. I’ll be spending some time at my parents’ house while I apply and get ready for graduate school. I have several options for graduate school and am still deciding which one to take up.
I am excited for my future job prospects, but there are a few things I’ll miss about journalism.
So, without further ado, here are 10 of the things I’ll miss about being in journalism (in no particular order.) (more…)
Is there anything better than opening up a new book, ruffling through the pages and the scent that wafts off of it — ink, paper and glue? Maybe an older book does — one that has taken on the scents of former owners, has that light dusty/musty smell, but just seems to have more “weight” because of the scent that floats off the pages.
I adore my book collection. I am not sure how many I had at my most — probably around 300. My dream has always been to have a house that has a library of its own. My favorite scene as a kid in any movie was the part where the Beast gives Belle his library. So many books that there were ladders and stairs to reach them all! What could be more romantic than a gift like that? Well, nothing, really.
I also have a technology obsession. I love how electronics work. I love the way that facebook has allowed me to connect with people I knew half my life ago — and to again befriend them over many miles and countries. So you would think I would automatically love e-readers (I don’t like how it is traditionally written without the hyphen. . . it looks weird!) That isn’t exactly true. I was fascinated when I first heard of them in high school. Apparently Hearst first worked on the idea in the 1970s (or at least that is what I was told 10 years ago in high school.) But the more I thought of the loss of the pages and beautiful covers and the SMELL of books, the more I mourned the thought. (more…)