cheers

Sitting in my third-floor, window-side twin bed, hearing the sounds of the city rushing by as Dave Matthews serenades me, I can’t help but reflect on my California experiences in calm reverie.

How did we get here? The twenty of us embarked on a wonderful journey side by side, and now here we are folding, clorox wiping, using our body’s weight to fasten our tightly packed luggage. We’ve reached the other side, the hilltop, the finish line.

Feeling the heat of the setting sun, listening to the indecipherable mumbles of room mate banter, letting guitar rhythms echo across the now rather empty corner bedroom… the pieces that make this moment whole. I hope to never forget these details. Little bits of time that make my memory of it vivid and clear.

From the time I last reported to you and now, the days have been rich with multi-faceted memories.

Wednesday brought my first-ever behind-the-scenes red carpet experience. Not your average Hollywood film premiere, but an intimate, loving tribute to Chris Farley. His family and friends arrived through the back door of the Pickford Center’s Linwood Dunn Theater on Vine. Every “I Am Chris Farley” guest checked in at my table, and I don’t think I’ve ever been in the presence of so many familiar faces. I immediately felt underdressed and under qualified to even be holding a pen and a clipboard in the presence of these people. Various comedians and celebrities from all types of film and television were in attendance. I was star struck for about three hours straight. Though the situation was intimidating as ever, I met people who inadvertently showed me what the PR world is like in Hollywood: fast-paced, somewhat stressful, but so incredibly exciting at its core.

Just when the night felt like it couldn’t get any more crazy, I met Dave Lingwood from The Buried Life. If you don’t know, Dave and his three friends started a project that aired on MTV for several seasons. Young and ambitious, the boys set out on a journey to cross items of their bucket list, while helping people along the way. These guys inspired me to start my own bucket list in middle school that I am still working to complete to this day. I’ll let you in on a little secret… one of my biggest list items was to meet The Buried Life boys. I think this interaction definitely counts.

The night ended at Chipotle, where I forced my room mates to recount the interaction I had with Dave. It seems all memory of what I said to him was lost due to adrenaline and excitement surrounding those two minutes.

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Thursday, my very last day as Intern Lexie. It was easier to say goodbye than I expected, mostly because I know this isn’t goodbye forever. My bosses and the dancers have changed me. The way I think, my confidence, my attitude in the workplace have been altered, bettered. I am leaving knowing that a little part of those people will always be with me. I am forever grateful to them. Fluffer nutters, and a mishmash of downtown lunch foods with my supervisor. Discussing adventure days and experiencing unfamiliar experiences. Meaningful goodbyes to fantastic individuals that I will miss dearly.

Driving home on the 5. Actually enjoying the bumper to bumper traffic for the first time after realizing this is the last time i’ll encounter it for a while. Hopping aboard a steaming hot bus for an hour drive with my pals to Malibu. Our program leaders paid for a three course meal at the most beautiful restaurant on the water – Moonshadows. When I say on the water I mean the waves actually crashed beneath where we sat. It was unreal. As we toasted and clinked waters and wines, I felt like we were an advertisement for a travel magazine. We went around the gigantic table and shared our “pit” and “peak” of the trip. Venice sunsets, drives home with the music blasting, days on adventures… all of these were among my peers’ “peak” moments. Simple, but filled with those vivid details that burn like a photograph into our memories.

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Now here we are. Putting together the pieces. Gathering our things. I said goodbye to my wonderful counterpart, Angie (a trusty bright white Hyundai Accent) among other important places and people.

My parents arrive late tonight and we get to explore and discover Los Angeles and San Diego together. Though I am excited to be here another week, a part of me knows I’m saying goodbye to Chapter 1 of my California experience. My room mates leave the West Coast tomorrow along with a majority of my fellow program-mates. I have learned just as much from my internship as I have from simply being with and around these 19 amazing people. Their rad-ness cannot possibly be articulated.

And just like that, the sun has finally fallen behind the rolling hills. My bedside view now reveals the aftermath in smoggy pastel rainbow. My favorite colors are these colors right here.

Cheers to a wonderful journey, and what a journey it has been.

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