As I sit in the airport in Phoenix, waiting to board my flight back home, I’ve been reflecting a lot on this past week. First I was in California apartment hunting, and then I went straight to Phoenix to visit some of my best friends. California was definitely a whirlwind, filled with trying to find an apartment in four days and getting a couple things done for my new job. Apartment hunting is definitely not easy in a new and unfamiliar place. Thankfully I was getting a lot of great advice from locals on places to look other than the ones I had found online prior to arriving. Some people have told me Los Angeles people aren’t as friendly and are in no way like Midwesterners, but I don’t know, I honestly have only met great people who were nothing but helpful! Most of them were baristas or locals at cute, quaint coffee shops, which is always a good place to find chill & relaxing people who like to sip on their morning coffee while browsing over the morning paper. I loved sitting down at these cafes with my almond milk latte in hand watching the cars drive by with their surfboards on top (and their beach blonde waves flowing through the wind might I add), or walking from their fitness class across to the street to go grab the special of the day protein smoothie. I was soaking it all up and feeling ready to jump right in. Don’t get me wrong I’m nervous, scared and know I’ll be homesick at times, but if I don’t do this now the when will I ever?! I will miss my family and friends so much, but I love my independence and it is time to get out of my Madison bubble. I know I’ll meet great people in Los Angeles that will make me feel right at home, and I couldn’t be more excited for that. I’m really looking forward to see what the future brings, who I’ll meet, what I’ll learn, and how I’ll grow.
So on my last day there I thankfully found an apartment, and was really happy with my choice. The others I looked earlier in the week just didn’t feel right to me, and I knew I had found the right one when I was feeling happy and comfortable. Now time to start brainstorming decorating ideas. 🙂 On Friday morning I said see ya later to my mom (it’s not good-bye as Denzel would say in “John Q”), as she headed back to Madison, and I left for Phoenix. Phoenix was such a great time, just as it was back in January when I first headed out here for a visit. Although I will say this time was a lot hotter, like 107 degrees hot, which I am definitely not used to. We went hiking both Saturday and Sunday, and did that ever drain me. I literally felt like I was trapped in an oven, breathing in hot, heavy smog with every breath. Got to see some great views, but I think I prefer Phoenix in January instead. 🙂 Another reason I love Phoenix, other than the beautiful hiking trails, is their culture of health, wellness and nutrition. I’m looking forward to being surrounded by this in California, with so many cafes and stores that focus on clean, fresh, healthy foods and ingredients!
So my friends know how this is all a huge passion of mine, and that I love cute, delicious, and healthy cafes, restaurants, stores, hangouts etc. My friends Lauren and Megan and I went to a quiet, laid back restaurant on Sunday night for some wine and bruschetta. We split a bottle of Pinot Noir, and ordered a variety of the bruschetta they are so well known for. My favorite was the pesto salmon with capers mmmm! Then on Monday my friend Megan who is from Tempe, AZ, brought me to the most delicious and adorable bakery and café with a grocery section as well. There was also some small shopping areas in the store with frames, candles, mugs, books etc, all little things I love to collect but truly don’t need most of the time. I did refrain from buying a new mug because I know with moving I really shouldn’t be buying more (Mother’s voice in my head). Everything sounded amazing there and I was of course so torn on what to order. I can be so indecisive on what to get when it comes to food, ask any one of my friends. So we ended up sharing the open faced chicken salad on multi-grain and a smoked salmon salad. I also got their cold brew coffee, which was amazing! I’m currently obsessed with cold brew coffee; it is hitting the spot for me this summer! Then in the early evening Lauren and I went to a HIIT (high- intensity interval training) and a strength-training class that I absolutely loved! I probably would have passed out if I were doing it in 107-degree weather though. 🙂 For my last dinner here we went to Megan’s parents house for a delicious dinner filled with salad, fresh fruit, zucchini lasagna, and some Trader Joe chocolate goodies to top it off. It was the perfect way to end this trip, and I couldn’t have asked for a better night. It really made me realize how truly thankful I am of the people in my life. I am thankful that my mom has come with me for every interview in California, and the apartment hunting as well; I couldn’t have done it without her. Also I am thankful for my amazing friends here in Phoenix. One of my best friends, Jess, who lives out here as well, was gone this weekend, but I obviously still had to give her a shout out since I took over her bedroom for the weekend and missed her tons!
Lauren and Jess both made a big move as well coming out here last summer, and it was really nice being able to talk about my nervous, yet excited feelings, and get some advice too. Lauren and I basically talked every second of this trip, which I honestly love. We talk about anything in life you could think of and never get bored of talking haha. Is that a bad thing?! I sure hope not! Lauren is a question-asker, which I love because it makes me feel like I’m not just talking someone’s ear off for no reason, haha! Honestly though, I love that about Lauren, she genuinely wants to know about her friend’s lives and cares so much. Even though Lauren and I became such good friends late in college, it seems like we have known each other forever. Then there was dinner at Megan’s on Monday night. Not only is Megan such an amazing friend and a wonderful person, but her family is as well. I’ve known Megan since my freshmen year at UW, and our bond has just continued to grow stronger even though we are miles apart. The three of us girls sat with her Mom at the dinner table and just talked for hours and I loved it! What do you know, I loved talking… again, surprise, surprise. Most of my friends know I can get carried away and talk too much, ahh feel free to cut me off people! We were talking a lot about life, our futures, everything! One thing I like to stress about anything in life is staying positive and optimistic. It’s crazy because sometimes I need to remind myself that I, myself, need to stay that way about my own hurdles in life, and practice what I preach. Why be negative, where is that going to get you? It may even make the situation at hand worse. So stay optimistic, stay positive and see how that changes the course of things. It’s OK to question things in life, be sad, or get down for a bit, but pick yourself back up and remember your purpose in life. It was a great conversation, and I wish we could have gone on and on. Megan’s mom told me I should have a talk show, hmmm, haha that would be fun wouldn’t it!! I would actually love talking to people all day about their lives and experiences, giving advice, getting advice, and having a good time while we’re at it! Well I am about to board my plane, but I was just thinking about my trip and felt like I wanted to share! I’m looking forward to getting back to my routine and getting things done at home before the move, but wow was it so nice to catch up with my friends, have a little time to unwind, hike in 107 degree weather ;), and also find a place to live in Cali! Until next time!