Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My New Board : Snowboarding at Mountain High

For the last couple of weekends, I've been going up to Mountain High with friends and I took snowboarding lessons for the first time! I am sooo hooked that-with the help of my bro Ron- I bought my own Board! I got a Burton Women's Ginger board (141) with Burton Bindings and cool Van Boots! I can't wait to try them out this weekend!
The first time going up, Geeta, Steph and I went up and Steph and I went straight to snowboarding lesson 101. Literally, we learned about what a board was and the parts of the board. We barely got to actually board. By lesson 2 that afternoon, we were going down the bunny slopes, doing turns and falling--- A LOT! It was great fun...
The next day, I went up with Ron, Yung, Mark and Johnny and the boys headed for the slopes and Yung came with me up to the bunny slopes to practice before my 3rd class of the weekend- where we were going to learn other techniques. We stayed all day and again, I basically was on either my knees or my butt all day long... but I was definitely getting the hang of snowboarding! It's awesome to have the mountain only an hour and 15 minutes away from LA. It's crazy how you can literally be at the beach in 10 minutes or in the snow in an hour. The next weekend, Dena and I went- just the two of us- and it was so nice because we were both on the same level. Ok, I take that back- she is better than me but at least we went on the lift together and can do some runs. This time, we went to the West end of the Mountain which was so much nicer and bigger than the East side, where I spent the weekend before. I can tell how much I improved from the weekend before. I want to keep this up so I can get better and then head for the bigger mountains- Mammoth and Big Bear!
Here's a picture of the landscape on the way home from the mountain... breath taking. I need to take more weekend trips. California is so beautiful and we get caught up in the city and forget that just an hour away, there are so many beautiful things to see and do.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

I can't believe that 2007 has come and gone- time seems to be flying by these days. I have now been in California for a year and a half... but it seems much longer than that for sure. This has definitely been a rebuilding year for me-- those first 6 months of being here I felt like all I really accomplished was learning different areas of the city (which I think is an ongoing thing!) and getting settled into my apartment. But this last year, it was all about learning to be on my own, really on my own for the first time and getting to know myself all over again.

Reflecting back on this past year, I am happy to say that it was a great year for me. It was challenging no doubt- trying to fit into a new place, learning my new job, making new friends and trying to make my little community here where I live, but I survived and had wonderful help along the way. I am thankful for my new friends I have made here but most thankful for my family who helped me the most. My parents who constantly call and check on me to make sure that I am ok and am happy and my siblings who I can call anytime to vent to or just make small talk. They all came out to LA this past year for a good 3 weeks and it just showed me that no matter where I am, they will always be there. As a matter of fact, I think my family is much closer and we are forced to communicate more because we are so far away from each other.

This is the first year in 3 years that I have lived in the same place for the entire year-- that's an accomplishment in and of itself. I traveled to some great places (some for work, but still great fun!) and was able to spend a couple of weeks in the Philippines in July with my parents and best friend Cecilia and we did some amazing diving in Cebu. I dove Catalina in January and the Channel Islands in August with some good friends and traveled all throughout California on weekend trips. I bought a surfboard this year and surfed in some nice spots including the world famous San Onofre surf beach. I bought a house earlier in the year and some property a few months ago overseas in the Philippines and they are the best investments I could have made. I joined the LA Leggers run group and completed in some fun races this past year. I've reconnected with old friends, some from New Orleans and some from Pensacola from my childhood which means the world to me. I've made hundreds of new memories with new friends here and I am so happy to have you guys in my life.

Thanks to all of you guys who have come to visit me this year out here in California-- there are many of you and my door was ever revolving-- I loved it. Those memories mean so much and you know how much you guys mean to me.

Here's to another great year in 2008...