I’m combining my second week in L.A. with my trip home for Thanksgiving into one post because 1) I am trying super hard to get this blog up to date and 2) because I was so consumed with excitement about going home for Thanksgiving that my week in L.A. was pretty uneventful.
However, a few cool things did happen. We managed to score free tickets to be part of the live audience for The Late Late Show with James Corden. I’d like to point out that we also were approved for free tickets to Jimmy Kimmel and special guest Ben Affleck (who is my #1 favorite celebrity) but Conner failed to redeem them in time and they got taken, which I am still a tad salty about. Anyway, James Corden had Emmy Rossum – better known as Fiona from Shameless-, January Jones and BTS on his show that night. Most of the experience was laughing/clapping at the appropriate time, but it was cool to see how shows are taped and what they look like in person.
If I didn’t get the job with the NUTmobile, one of my plans was to move to L.A. and join City Year, which I heard about from my friend Val who did just that. While the whole City Year thing obviously didn’t pan out, I did still get to come to L.A. and see Val with the NUTmobile. Her, Conner and I enjoyed a great meal at a new hot, local place, Bubba Gump Shrimp and we also got to show her Shelly. I didn’t think I would get to see too many people that I know out west, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how many friends/family the NUTmobile has made it possible for me to meet up with that I would otherwise rarely see.
Other than that, the rest of L.A. consisted of working, running seemingly endless loops around our hotel as a workout, playing Spicy Uno with Jackie and Alex (an intense version of Uno) and preparing to finally head home. Once that day came, we said farewell to Shelly and headed to LAX where the three of us enjoyed a mimosa together before boarding our separate planes home. Even though I spend virtually 24/7 with Conner and Elise and we would only be apart for about 10 days, I felt really sad as we said goodbye and I knew I was going to miss their constant presence.
Still, as soon as I walked through the door and received an enthusiastic greeting from my dogs, I was relieved to be home. I didn’t realize the little things about home I had missed until I got back: a fridge stocked with fresh fruits and veggies, a room covered with my own pictures and memories and my very own bed complete with my dogs snuggled up inside. It was good to be back.
I think it goes without saying that the best part of being home was being back with my family and friends. My first day back in town I got to pick up my little brother from school and then jetted off to do a paint night at a local bar with my mom (I learned where my lack of artistic ability must come from during this). I was reunited with even more family on Thanksgiving as well as with Elise, who dropped in for the feast. Although, like every year, I was basically comatose after the meal, we spent the day hanging out with my cousins (and being iced more than once now that my youngest cousins are freshmen in college) and playing games. I always love the holidays because I was fortunate enough to grow up in a tight-knit family that I love being around, but I was especially thankful this year to kick back and relax in the company of people who have always been constants in my life.
I also wanted to see a lot of friends over break, which took me all over the state of Wisconsin. I was lucky enough to catch my friend Marie, who moved to the Philippines right after high school and has been there since, right before she headed back across the globe for a night out in good ol’ K-Town with our friend Nicole and other people who I haven’t seen since high school. I got to introduce Elise to a bunch of my college friends when we met up in downtown Milwaukee. Even though we weren’t in Madison, it brought me right back to a typical night out in college where we would tear up the dance floor and end the night with a pow wow and a huge thing of fries (although this time it was McDonalds, not Disco Fries). I also caught up with a bunch of friends when I spent a night in Madison, and I especially enjoyed running and walking the streets of downtown and feeling like part of my favorite campus again.
A lot of times out west I feel totally isolated from the people back home, but all throughout my break I had friends and family telling me how much they’ve enjoyed following what I’m doing both from this blog and from Snapchat and other social media. It felt good to know that I’m not totally disconnected from home, and also gave me a renewed sense of determination to keep up with my blog – I promise I’m going to try my best! Thanksgiving is always about reflecting on what you’re thankful for, (that and eating much food as you can humanly manage) but, after being away for awhile, my whirlwind of a trip home made me feel especially lucky this year for how much I have to be grateful for.
My NUTmost Thanks For Reading!