Friday - Sunday
Tucson and Regionals 2016
As soon as school ended, I headed home to get my bags ready for Tucson. It was pretty stressful getting from LCHS to home, home to Kathy, and Kathy’s to the airport. When I got in the car to get to Kathy’s, I opened the door and hit my leg, which left a pretty nasty bruise. Then, when I got there, I realized I didn’t bring headphones, but luckily Nigel totally helped me out. The drive to LAX was pretty average, I talked to a jumper’s mom about the elementary school I went to and which teachers I had and how I feel about them. Plus, about halfway there I got an email with a subject of “Pepperdine Decision Notification”. Obviously, I knew immediately that I didn’t get in, but when I opened it, I found out I was waitlisted! I officially didn't get any rejections from any school I applied to!
Our time at the airport was short. Solmih, Hannah, and I were 5 minutes late to board, so naturally there was a little tension. But the airline we were on assigns seats, so it wasn’t a big deal anyway. Solmih just needed her Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf ice blended thing. Ultimately, it was a super easy flight. They assigned my seat at the gate so I got 4th row aisle with no one next to me. Talk about luck.
The hotel we stayed in and restaurant we went to the first night were nice. Nothing special, nothing bad. The only real struggle was hanging out with all the 12 year old girls while I waited for Amanda.
Regionals 2016 was a blast, judging was a crazy amount of fun and right up my alley. It really made me realize how much I'll miss jump rope and the community! Hopefully we'll have a tournaments in La Cañada next year, so I can come back and help the team out. They pretty much rocked it this year!
Being a chaperone for two pre-teens was pretty fun, but I felt like such a mom! I really wanted to be the cool older sister, but my default is being protective and conscious.
After the tournament, we had a team dinner at a Mexican restaurant walking distance from our hotel. Being the only person between the ages of 13-40ish, I had to make the hardest decision of my life. Kids' table or adults' table?
I was pretty exhausted and didn't want to try to interact with 12 year olds and their iPhones, so I chose the end of the adults' table. I didn't regret my choice at all.
Tucson was ultimately really nice. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to go and experience jump rope in a truly different way.
My "Tucson shoutout" goes to Amanda. Staying up until 1 AM despite the fact we had to get up at 6 reminded me how much I love her.
My unofficial shoutouts go to Leila and Kelsey. Missed you guys so much!
Honorable mentions: Sara, Alexandra, and the Ryssdal’s. Great people!
Sunday - Monday
Days with Cake
Sunday after I landed was sweet. I went home and pretty much immediately went on a nature walk with Ella and Mahli. We walked through Hahamunga, passed JPL, and hung out by a stream. We saw coyotes, frogs, and butterflies. I'm glad that we finally discovered that we all like nature walks. It's a great way to stay active and get out every once in awhile.
After our nature walk, Ella and I had dinner at her house. Her mom is a really wonderful cook, so it was nice to not buy dinner for once. After dinner we went to Mahli's. We did the usual, not really up to something, but not really up to nothing.
Things got complicated later than night, but Emma ended up coming over and we all had a really great talk about friendship. I think it's so important to make sure you're on the same page as everyone in your group, and Monday night truly reminded me why I love them so much. Cake is finally doing great again!
Monday morning I babysat for about 3 hours for a family that live in my neighborhood. Their daughters were adorable and super, super sweet. We played with American Girl dolls, painted, and played with hula hoops. Babysitting is easily one of my favorite things to do. I was supposed to babysit for them Tuesday morning, too, but they decided to see the Easter Bunny.
That late afternoon, Emma and I finally got around to dying her hair. She just went a little blonder, but if I'm going to be completely honest, it made a huge difference! It really, really brightens up her face and eyes. I'm sure she'll continue to go lighter, it looks really good on her.
After our hair dye adventures (aka my biography), Cake did our average Cold Stone run. However, this time some pretty cute guys were working and they DEFINITELY didn't "accidentally" give us extra ice cream/size upgrade our milkshakes. They were so sweet and I'm officially committing to going to Cold Stone every Monday night so I can see them.
My "Cake shoutout" goes to each member of cake. I love you all endlessly and couldn't imagine this year without each of you.
My unofficial shoutout go to the Cold Stone boys. We'll be back.
Honorable mentions: The family I babysat for, whenever you need me, just call!
Tuesday was fun. I hung out with my mom in the morning and the got In N Out with her and Matthew.
That afternoon, we went prom dress shopping! My mom and I went to David's Bridal and "found the gown". It was definitely the best experience I've ever had dress shopping, even though there were some crazy moments of "will this dress be here on time?". Glad I can finally cross getting my prom dress off my "things I HAVE to do within the next few weeks" list. You’ll see pictures in a few weeks, I don’t want to explain it.
After dress shopping, I went to Mahli's house with the rest of Cake for about 30 minutes, but couldn't stay because I had a dinner date.
Matthew, mom, and I got California Pizza Kitchen with the Peterson's (- H)! Seeing Elle was as amazing as always. Seeing her is always so much fun and I'm glad we could catch up like we usually do during spring break. However, her's was the week before, so she couldn't stay too long. Dinner at CPK was very sweet. I love the staff and the menu, I don't think I could ever complain about it. However, Elle has gotten food poisoning 2/3 times she's been there. Can you believe it?
After dinner, I went to Bible Study at Julia's house with Lauren L. and Phebe. Usually Bible Study is at Charis's house, but the Gee's were out of town this week.
Julia's dad lead our discussion and couldn't have done a better job. I had never truly met her family, but they are all really, really great people. Mr. Harbolt is full of great advice and I took everything he said to heart. I almost wish we had Bible Study twice a week, so we could have the historical and literal stuff at the Gee's and the heart stuff at the Harbolt's.
I wasn't gonna mention this, but I have to. Julia has this cat. Her name is Lily. I love her. I held her for a half an hour, she's the most cuddly and sweetest cat ever. I wasn't even phased by the amount of cat hair that was on my sweater after Lily went to the other side of the couch. She made me miss Zuko so much I nearly cried about it.
My 2 "Busyness shoutout" goes to the Harbolt's for opening up their home for us and my mom for being the best mom out there.
My unofficial shoutouts go to the Peterson's. You are my family.
Honorable mentions: Emma's hair and Lea from David's Bridal.
Wednesday - Thursday
Humans and Animals
Wednesday I did something I haven't done in a while, I went to the Los Angeles Zoo with my mom and little brother. Holy shit. I love the zoo. I love animals and I love my family. It was the perfect day to go, just warm enough for the animals to be out, but not to the point where they're too hot to function. I loved all the animals, but I especially loved the lions, giraffes, snow leopard, otters, and hippos. Pretty sad I couldn't see the tigers, but super happy that even though I dropped my phone in the toilet, it still works!
After walking around for so long and not sleeping super great the last few days, I was pretty tired, but I tried not to think about it.
We were at the zoo for a long time, but after we left we went to chipotle. The cute worker was there, so I was pretty happy with myself.
After the zoo, I spend a bit of time packing for Austin. I had a bit of laundry to do, so packing was slow.
Later that night, I hung out with Ella and Mahli. We went to Cold Stone, but our guys weren't there so we were sad. I definitely got less ice cream then I did on Monday night. Getting the amount of ice cream I should get for the amount I paid?? Not cool.
Thursday was, for lack of better words, magical. I went to Disneyland with Julia, Phebe, Hudson, and Danny. It took us forever to get there, but I truly feel like we got a lot out of our day. Julia knows her way around the park, so we were pretty productive. We got everything we wanted to fit it done and even had time to sit and unwind. I can't believe I've been to Disneyland 3 times in the last year and a half. That's nothing compared to other people, but that's the most concentrated my Disney trips have ever been.
Phebe and I tried to find Monsters University hats, but the entire park was sold out. It was such a bummer. But other than that, I was nothing but happy with myself and others. We even ran into Jack, Anna, Faith, and Sophie. My childhood friend (other) Julia was there for a bit, but we didn't run into her. Apparently Paul Rudd and Jennifer Garner were there too, but we couldn't find them.
I don't have many senior friends that I see outside of school, but Julia and Phebe are definitely true friends. They're both so sweet and the combination of us all knowing exactly where we'll be next year and the fact we talked about the boys we've each liked within our lives was really fun.
Weird Disneyland situation: I'm not kidding when I say like half of the people there were either wearing a University of Oregon or Oregon State shirt. It was crazy. I think I come from a family of duck fans, but I'm not ashamed to say GO BEAVS!
My "Humans and Animals shoutout" goes to Phebe, Julia, my mom and Matthew. I had two great days with you all.
My unofficial shoutouts go to Hudson and Danny.
Honorable mentions: cute Chipotle employee and Beaver fans.
I got home from Disneyland pretty late, so waking up for my flight was hard. Not to mention my alarm didn't go off, so my mom woke me up 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave. I had just enough time to finish packing, brush my teeth, get dressed, and go. Basically, I left the house without brushing my hair or putting on makeup. Great start, am I right?
The drive to the Burbank airport was easy. Like always. Whenever we drive there, I always feel like I could do it myself without navigation, but I don’t know if I ever will. Anyway, I said bye to my mom, checked my bag, got through airport security, and hung out at my gate. I ended up buying vanilla latte and a croissant, but not going to lie that croissant hung out with me until I got back to Los Angeles Monday night and got to it’s final destination. My trash can.
Airports are my favorite and least favorite places to be in. They’re awesome because you’re alone and don’t know anyone, going to a common destination just to go on and do completely different things. But they suck because that means I have to get on an airplane.
However, this is where my trip got interesting. Right as I was boarding, I looked over and saw a familiar face.
Before I go on, I think it’s important to note that I’m a huge Criminal Minds fan. I record all the episodes that Ion Television plays and I’m constantly watching it on Netflix. There are only a couple episodes I’ve seen more than once, but one of those is an episode called Painless. It’s about a high school bombing that’s 10 year anniversary is coming up and all hell breaks loose thanks to a man who goes crazy.
So, this man who I saw at the airport was no one I knew personally, but the guy who goes crazy and tries to kill everyone! He was on the phone, so I didn’t want to say anything, but honestly I probably wouldn’t have anyway. I was too starstruck to comprehend anything.
So yeah, there was an actor on my flight. That was about it.
My flight from Burbank to Phoenix was awful. I don’t know why I felt so sick the entire time, but I did and I was not having a good time. I sat between two people who were old enough to be my parents, but didn’t talk to either. In order to distract myself, I texted my friends and my mom about the Criminal Minds guy and listened to State Champs. Pretty chill.
After that awful experience was over, I headed over to another gate to get to my connecting flight. I was in boarding group A, so I didn’t have much time to hangout or do anything. After about 10 minutes of being on the plane, the Criminal Minds guy got on the plane (by this time I looked up his IMDB - his name is Eric Jungmann)! Unfortunately, we didn’t sit by each other, but despite my misfortunes, this flight was a lot better. Plus, knowing I would see Audrey was really exciting. I missed her a lot.
After the flight was over, I texted my parents and Audrey letting them all know that I landed. I headed over to the baggage claim and smiled the entire time because I felt so much happiness. When I got there, Eric ended up standing near me, but I decided that I wasn’t going to say anything. I didn’t want to be awkward.
But then, after about 8 minutes of people finding their bags and heading out, it was just Eric, a few others, and I at the baggage claim. Eric ended up looking at me, smiling, and saying “generic black bag?”, which I agreed too, but I said mine was green, so I truly didn’t feel like it had been on the belt at all. After a few minutes of “this is why I’m here, why are you hear” “we both came from Burbank, are you from LA” talk, we realized that Southwest definitely lost our bags. Great.
We went through the whole shabang, talking to people about which flights we had been on, where we’re staying, and how we wanted to get our bags back. I ended up saying that I could pick it up when they got it because I wanted the $50 voucher because I'm pretty sure my parents will let me use it since I went out of my way to get it. Eric said bye and I followed him on Instagram and Twitter, typical.
After that was over, I went outside and was reunited with my best friend. I love Audrey so much, but whenever we're together, I'm reminded just how great she is. When they moved away, La Cañada lost a really great family. Not to mention she brought me tater tots and a Nerds slushee from Sonic. Hashtag blessed.
Audrey and I spent the next few hours on a street called South Congress. The only thing I can compare it to in my area is Old Town and Colorado Blvd., but way more creative and smaller, more independent shops. Basically one of the coolest places ever. The original Toms store is there and they even brew their own coffee! I didn't have any, but I'm sure it's good.
After SoCo, we went to a park. It made me wish that people hung out at parks in SoCal. Seriously. There were so many dogs and people and everyone was having a great time. There was even a guy who offered to read our palms and I was *SO* down until he said it was $30. Not as cool.
We got dinner at a BBQ place and it was pretty good! The most exciting part was the handwashing station. After you washed your hands you could get a sticker that said “I Have Clean Hands! Job 17:9” which I put on my phone because why not, you feel?
Audrey and I watched Mortified Nation on Netflix that night. *If you haven't seen Mortified Nation, get off this dumb blog and watch it. I've seen it 3 times and I cry of laughter every time*. Jeans, LMU shirt, Vanilla Latte, tater tots, and BBQ. Peace one love!
My "Getting Away shoutout" goes to Audrey for being my best friend obviously and Eric Jungmann for being cool.
My unofficial shoutouts go to the Larcher's and the flight attendants.
Honorable mentions: lady who got my bag back, she was very sweet.
The Sky is Bigger Here
I don't know if you've been to Texas or not, but there are no mountains. It's pretty flat there. Do you know what that means? The sky. is. huge. It's never ending. You can practically see the curvature of the earth, which is something I don't experience often. Where are plate tectonics when you need them?
We took our breakfast to go and went to Jacob’s Well in Wimberley. A place I had seen on Tumblr and never thought it was actually real. It was crazy and such a beautiful day, I couldn't have hoped for better weather. Since no one was swimming, it was free to park, which was a total plus. Whenever I'm in LA I feel like I don't have to pay to park that often, but everywhere in Austin was pretty expensive. They're more about flat rates, not the whole “$1 every fifteen minutes with a max of $5”. After a walk around the park, we drove around and bought Chicken Express, which was nothing like Panda Express. It was almost like KFC, but better? The breading was definitely different, but the gravy was really good. And the biscuit. Holy shit. The biscuit. I would fly to Austin just for one.
We got back to Audrey’s around 2 because they were getting family pictures taken and she had to get ready. I watched Netflix and wrote a little bit, but after a while I got pretty bored. CSI: Miami is a terrible show. So is NCIS. My heart is forever with Cold Case and Criminal Minds, but mainly CM. Cold Case:JoJo::Criminal Minds:Lauren B.. I love them both...but we all know Ben picked Lauren B.
Anyway, the pictures ran a little longer than originally planned, so Audrey’s dad ended up taking me to the restaurant we were going to meet the rest of the Larcher’s at, but when we got there Audrey and I bailed to get Torchy’s Tacos.
I went to Torchy’s Tacos with Audrey and my mom the first time we were in Austin and the only thing I remembered about it was the fact that it was amazing. When I was there in 2013, I got a Trailer Park - trashy and the Democrat and both were awesome. This year, I got another Trailer Park - trashy and a Fried Avocado. A trashy Trailer Park has fried chicken, green chilies, lettuce, pico de gallo and cheese on a flour tortilla with poblano sauce. To “get it trashy” means that they substitute lettuce with queso. Bomb. AF. The Fried Avocado has fried hand-battered fresh avocados and vegetarian refried beans, topped with pico, lettuce, and cheese. It’s served with poblano sauce on a corn tortilla. Also. Bomb. AF. When we were there I also bought Audrey’s friend Nova a trashy Trailer Park and a Taco of the Month, the Roscoe. Which is exactly what you think it is, a crisp waffle, a fried egg, fried chicken, and a slice of bacon served with a side of maple syrup on a flour tortilla. Audrey and I ended up stealing the tray they came on in order to transport it to her.
After tacos, we went to the restaurant Nova works at and waited for her to get off her shift. We didn’t have to wait that long for her to come out, and then we all went to Amy’s ice cream.
Nova was awesome. She was super nice and funny and I’m sure I would be natural friends with her if she went to LCHS or if I went to LTHS. I was surprised with how similar she was to my friends back in LC. Plus, her name is cool. I like people with cool names.
Amy’s ice cream was good as always, I got pecan pie ice cream. I wish it has more pecans, but it was still really good. After ice cream we went back to Audrey’s, hung out a little bit, and fell asleep watching a movie. Ultimately, it was a really good day.
My "The Sky is Bigger Here shoutout" goes to Audrey for being my best friend (day 2) and Nova for being A+.
My unofficial shoutouts go to the people who let us into Jacob’s well for free, for obvious reasons.
Honorable mentions: workers at Amy’s Ice Cream. Thank you for making me ice cream.
Southern Hospitality on Easter
We woke up on Sunday morning and decided to go to breakfast all together at a diner called Kerbey Lane. It was a lot like IHOP, but better and looked more like a Roscoe’s at was much better quality. After a lot of collaboration, I decided to get a coffee, a gingerbread pancake, and an order of homefries because why the hell would anyone go out to breakfast and not get homefries. Audrey got french toast with vanilla ice cream and Nova got an order of banana nut pancakes. Pretty well rounded, all of it sounded amazing.
This is where it got interesting. About 10 minutes after ordering our food, a server came by with a short stack of cinnamon roll pancakes and asked us if we wanted them. For free. No string attached. So, OF COURSE we were so grateful and thanked the server man for this the beautiful Easter miracle that he #blessed us with. Free pancakes! How often does that happen!
Anyway, we got our orders, and it was pretty good! My gingerbread pancakes tasted exactly how I thought they would. Like gingerbread. A+, would eat again. Everyone’s meals looked good and we were all having a great time. Eventually, Nova noticed that her banana nut pancakes tasted more like apple pie pancakes, but since they were still really good, we didn’t say anything until a server came up and asked us how our meals were. Nova was super polite and the server apologized, but we declined when she offered to make new ones because we had already been #blessed with the cinnamon roll pancakes. So, the server left and we continued having a great time at the lovely Kerbey Lane.
And then, something magical happened.
The server came back up with our check and beautiful words emerged from her mouth. She said that she was checking our bill to see if it was her mistake or the kitchens, when she noticed that the manager decided to pick up our tab. That’s right. FREE MEAL. Can you imagine anything more amazing? Free pancakes AND a free meal. I was so surprised that I nearly cried of joy. Audrey, Nova and I all posted about it on snapchat and wrote them a really sweet note on a napkin and left a nice tip. Kerbey Lane, you are my family. You are my joy. You gave me the best gift I could’ve ever asked for. Happy Easter.
After our wonderful brunch, we drove around for a bit and dropped off Nova at her family friend’s house and went to Krause Springs in Spicewood. Krause Springs is a well-known camping and swimming site that is ABSOLUTELY beautiful. It’s a 115 acre property that’s listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites and has been privately owned by the Krause Family for over 50 years. It’s awesome. It has a bunch of natural sights to explore, including 32 springs. We even got to hangout in their Butterfly Gardens which has an amazing arrangement of wind chimes and fountains. We hung out there for a few hours and even went on a little nature walk to this open, grassy area that was too beautiful to capture on camera. I didn’t have my phone (I left it with the rest of our stuff at the main site), so Audrey took a panorama that was really pretty, but nothing can compare to actually being there. We sat and talked about life and college for like an hour. I have never felt so relaxed in my entire life. It’s places like Krause Springs that make you realize that everything’s okay in the world. It’s so cliche, but it’s painfully true.
After Krause Springs, we went back to Audrey’s and hung out there because she had a bit of homework to do, but she still watched parts of Forrest Gump with me (for the record, Forrest Gump is a quality movie and my favorite part of any piece of cinema EVER is when Forrest decides to stop running).