Sunday, January 30, 2011

Things you never think you'll miss...

So there are obvious things I miss in Arkansas like my fam and my besties, but there are three things that I miss oh so much.

1. Chick-fil-a
2. Sonic
3. Wal-Mart

Ok, I know what you're thinking, You're thinking that those things aren't that big of a deal and that you'd be fine without them. But, you'd be surprised when three main staples of your life are taken away cold turkey. Luckily, all three of these things are in a town, Durante, which is about 28.9 miles away. This shouldn't be a long drive, but since it takes me 20 minutes to get 4 miles to work because of traffic, going to Durante is more like a mission to the moon, so needless to say, these trips don't happen very often.

I wouldn't have even known my "big three" (as I like to call them!) were so close if John and I wouldn't have gone to Vegas. On our way at 2 am we passed through Durante, I screamed when I saw the red glow of the Chick-fil-a sign. John almost wrecked the car into the concrete  median and I apologized for my behavior but I was so excited. He just shook his head. A few seconds went by and I saw the sign for Sonic, and again freaked out! Could it be, two things I've been dying for in one place. That's when I saw it. Wal-mart, in all it's Arkansas glory. But I noticed something. It was closed. Not closed for good, but closed for the night. I was confused. Then I realized that it was just Wal-Mart. No supercenter, 24 hour goodness here. So, I mentioned this to a friend who grew up here and she told me about how she went to Arizona once and walked into a Wal-Mart Supercenter for the first time and she said she freaked out and took pictures and sent them to all of her friends. This was so funny to me because I haven't been in just a Wal-Mart in years. Literally, like 4 years.    I haven't gotten to go into the Wal-Mart yet seeing as how it was closed, but as soon as I get a chance, you best believe that I'm going and I WILL take pictures. :)

On the way home from Vegas I convinced everyone to hold their hunger for 3 hours so we could eat at Chick-fil-a and let me tell you, I was starving and grumpy when we got there but as soon as my teeth sank in to my chicken sandwich and I took my first sip of Lemonade was more than OK!

Now to the best part of my story. Yes, I WAS going somewhere will all of this! The point is John said something about Sonic Happy Hour and I almost burst into tears thinking of my Route 44 Diet Vanilla Coke and how much I missed our daily afternoon relationship. Then that night, Ramsy sends me a text from Conway telling me about a new Red Velvet Cheesecake Blast and I lost it. That was it. I looked at John and he knew, he knew we were about to make the trek to Durante. So we set the GPS to the nearest Sonic and headed out. Good new is it was about 9:45 on a Thursday night and traffic was minimal so it only took us about 45 minutes! When we pulled into the the drive in stall, my heart melted. I felt home for the first time in a long time, and I don't care how corny that sounds!

It's the little things that get me everyday and that day, Sonic totally MADE my day! :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oh Craigslist....

So, before the great adventure that was moving to Los Angeles, I never really used Craigslist. Yeah, I had heard of it. but I had never actually been to the website and poked around. But upon the thought of moving and having to find a new apartment, everyone suggested Craigslist, and thus my new best friend was found. Now, if you've never visited Craigslist, I suggest that immediately after you read this post, you click here and check it out! There is so much! There is postings for housing, jobs, and my personal favorite... FREE THINGS!!! Thats right, it's like a virtual yard sale, only you don't pay at all! You simply go pick up your newly found treasure!
You're probably thinking what I was thinking the first time I heard this too. "What? Who just gives stuff away? I bet these things are in terrible condition!" And, let me be honest, some of it is, in the harshest of terms, junk. But, if you're willing to sift through posts and pictures, its so worth it! John and I are a testament to Craigslist and here's why....

John and I came out here with what we could fit in our cars, seeing as how a U-Haul was going to be several thousand dollars. Now, we both drive SUV's but still, that's not a lot of room for 24 years worth of things. So, needless to say only the clothes, shoes and computer could come, and even then my car was packed to the brim! (I'm not going to tell you that I had 4 boxes of clothes, 3 boxes of shoes, and 2 boxes of scarves/purses!)  Hey! Do not judge!  Anyway, we slept on the floor for a week, then my mom mailed me an air mattress (she's so sweet!) and I totally felt bad because John was still on the floor! So, I jumped on Craigslist one day and saw a bed for free. I drove as fast as I could and sure enough there it was, in all it's glory, a bed... for free! This started the craze. We have now completely furnished our ENTIRE apartment for FREE!! I'm pretty proud!

We got a pair of really nice bookshelves from a lady in Silver Lake.

Ok.. So neither of these came from Criagslist but they were both free so I thought
it counted! The TV we found outside our apartment and the stand was also found on the street, just a few blocks from our apartment.
Ok. This bed isn't from Criagslist either. It's from my friend Sara, but again it was FREE!  

 free kitchen table and chairs from Craigslist! 

free couch from Craislist. and let me tell you it's comfy! :)

So.. we successfully furnished this place and it's cost us nothing but the gas to get to the places to pick up the items! Go see what treasure awaits you now! :) 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Climate Control.

Yea, there are somethings that I'm still trying to get used to. Like the fact that I can drive 15 miles and be at the beach, which is quite a luxury for this Arkansan who is used to driving 10 hours for a glimpse of the ocean. One more minor detail is the fact that it stays in a spring climate during winter. Yea, there were about two weeks around Christmas when it was in the lower 50s but ever since then it's hovered around the mid 70s to lower 80s, and let me say, it is HEAVEN!!!

My friends in Arkansas keep texting me about the cold and the snow while I'm laying out on the beach. Most LA-ers (I know this isn't the "correct" term for people living in the Los Angeles area, but this is what I call them, so deal with it! :) ) tell me that eventually I'll forget the beach is there. I seriously doubt it!! If you can't find me on a day off, chances are I'm in Santa Monica/Venice. It's one of my absolute favorite places to be.

Santa Monica at dusk will take your breath away. It's so beautiful. Every chance I get, I'll be there to catch the sunset!

I love that the weather is warm enough to lay out, but not so hot that I'm covered in sweat. Annnddd... you can rent really cool retro bikes for like $12 and ride up and down the coast, something that makes me so so happy!

My really cute orange bike that I rented. I must say it was worth every penny. :)

There are so many beaches near me that it can get overwhelming at times trying to decide which one to visit. So far I've been to Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu, and most recently my friend Sara took me to Playa Del Ray (which apparently is called "the jungle" and apparently Fergie raps about in "Rock that Body"). One thing I've noticed is that every beach is very different. Santa Monica is very touristy in parts and somewhat family oriented. Venice is chill and has a much "younger" generation vibe. Malibu was cool, but it seemed a tad "older aged." Playa Del Ray was so much more different than any of these beaches. There were literally sand dunes that separated one part of beach, which was volleyball nets, from the ocean. Once me and Sara crossed the "dunes of death" as we called them, the ocean was filled with gorgeous sail boats. Now, anyone who has had a conversation with me in the past year probably knows I've become a tad obsessed with going sailing. After going to the midnight premier of Charlie St. Cloud, my sole mission in life became getting on a sail boat. I tried several times in good Ole' Arkansas to fulfill my sailing dream but never succeeded and, I had somewhat forgotten about the operation. But, as soon as my eyes saw the boats, the assignment became clear again: GO SAILING!

Tell me that is not BEAUTIFUL!!

So.. that got me to thinking, there are so many things I've been wanting to do, but haven't gotten around to. So, I've made a list of all the things I want to do now that I live in a totally different climate/region. Hopefully I can fulfill this list and write about the adventures I have while completing it! Also note that the list is not final! I'm sure I'll be adding a TON more things to the list! And.. let me know if you think of something you think I should do! :)

1. Go sailing
2. Learn to surf
3. Go to all of the beaches within a 30 mile radius
4. Play beach volleyball
5. Go skiing **
6. Go snowboarding **

** Let me explain these last two. One thing that also completely blows my mind is that I can drive less than and hour and be atop a snow covered mountain. Hence these two being "snow" activities.

Until next time.. enjoy the weather.. where ever it is that you may be! ;)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The holiday's were quite an adventure...

Literally, when I wake up in the mornings, I never know what the day is going to hold, and I LOVE that. John and I didn't get to go home for the holiday's, which was sad, but if you would have told me that I was going to spend Thanksgiving with 20 other really awesome people that didn't get to go home for the holiday's in a really nice house in the hills or that I was going to spend Christmas in Malibu with new friends I probably would have laughed. But it's true.

This is me and Sara, one really awesome girl that I met that took us to Christmas in Malibu.

For New Years, our best friends from Arkansas met us in Vegas and we brought in the new year right! We hadn't seen them since we left in October and let me tell you, the 4 and half hour drive to Vegas felt like 4 days knowing that when I got there I got to see  Ramsy and Kelly!

Four besties just hanging out on the strip in Vegas right after midnight. Such a fun night! :)

It was so great to have friends in town, you have no idea!

This year, we started new holiday traditions and yes, had a little non-traditional holiday food, but we had a blast! I missed my family more than they will ever know, but I felt "like, so LA" going to the beach for Christmas. LOL!

How I got here....

So.. I live in Los Angeles. But I should probably explain how I got here.  Over a year ago, back in Conway, Arkansas, my friend John (who is now my roommate in LA) mentioned in a joking manner that he was moving to LA to pursue his dream of acting and asked if anyone wanted to go. I think, much to his surprise, I said, "why not?". So we started talking about it, telling people, and researching. Now, if you know us, you know we're travelers. John and I have traveled to Africa, Thailand and all over the US.  But, to actually make a commitment to just uproot everything we know, was a big deal and I don't think people thought we had it in us. I mean up until the day I pulled out of the driveway I had people saying, "So you're really going?". I wanted to scream "YESSSS!!! Don't you see my entire life (well what I could fit in the back of my Honda Element) packed in my car??? Don't you see my GPS set to Los Angeles California??"

And so on October 12, 2010 John and I set out on our grand adventure to Hollywood. We left everything we'd worked so hard to build in college. We had worked for almost five years on creating relationships, making a name for ourselves, figuring out who we were in the place and then in an instant, it was all gone. We walked away from our best friends, our families and the lives we knew for following our dreams and for discovering life, outside of college, outside of Arkansas.

This would be the dynamic group of friends we left behind, the ones that I miss oh so much everyday!  John and I are the ones directly in the middle! This pic was right before we left and set out on the 34 hour drive to get to our new home.

The beginning wasn't easy. The drive was long, and in separate cars, really felt like an eternity. I remember pulling onto the 101 and thinking it was just a big bowl of car headlights and taillights and I thought, "what the heck am I doing in this bowl?"

We really had no idea how to move to a big city. We didn't have a lot of money and we knew we needed to find jobs and an apartment semi-quickly. So we posted up in Hotel Cabana (God, please don't ever make me go to this place, ever, ever again!) for a week and started the hunt.

The apartment came first. Now, when I tell you that the apartment finding process in a tad different in LA than it is in Arkansas, know that I mean DRASTICALLY different. It was slightly more complicated and somewhat more expensive than we thought. But, we met Fred, our eccentric landlord, who just loved us to death (you'll find the "southern charm" works wonders out here! ;) ) and he hooked us up with a one bedroom at just the right price.

I know what you're thinking.... one bedroom? Two people? A boy and a *gasp* girl living together?!!?
Calm down! John has the bedroom and I, ever so graciously, agreed to have the living room as my bedroom.

So, after we landed the apartment, we set all our focus on the job hunt. Luckily, when we got here was right before holiday season and I have previous experience working retail and I was a shoe-in. So I landed two jobs, one at Wet Seal and one and Pottery Barn.

Now, you're pretty much caught up on our lives here so far. It's only been about 3 months but I'd say we've come a long way. I still need to tell you about New Years in Vegas, our apartment being fully furnished from Craigslist and the friends we've met along the way. But that's for next time! :)

So, until then... I'll share with you first photo I snapped of California on my very first full day here. I hope you enjoy reading about our adventures in the place where it's forever sunny.