Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Stolen from the Internship Blog...

**I wrote this entry a few weeks ago for the school blog. But seeing as how I'm desperately missing my desert, I decided this little love note should be reposted somewhere where people actually read this silly thing.**

I'm an Arizona baby, through and through. I love the desert rain, summer sunsets, and the saguaro  cactus in the background of my surroundings. I grew up hiking the trails of the Superstition mountains and Sabino Canyon. So when I found myself back in Phoenix for class, and stranded due to car troubles for 10 days, I made sure I took a trip out into the desert for a little soul TLC.

As much as I love my desert home, I have always been quite partial to Southern California and the beaches when I needed an escape. It's a 5 hour drive or an hour long flight to find yourself kissing the pacific ocean from my home. Family vacations were often spent in Newport, Balboa, or Huntington beaches and I've escaped to Venice and Santa Monica countless times with friends. So now that I find myself living a mere 12 miles from the coast, and worked less than a mile from the PCH, I'm blessed to make much quicker excursions.

Tuesday was such a clear day that I could see the waves of the Pacific from the fourth floor conference room as we sat in a phone conference. I decided that I needed to be down in the sand after work so I made a detour west, instead of heading home inland in KTown. 

Wednesday was another coastal adventure a little bit further south. Travis and I ventured down to University of California San Diego for their Graduate school fair as representatives of the School of Public Affairs. After a four hour fair and some interesting interactions with some students, we packed up to leave. It was forecasted to be a rainy day, something strange for those living in SoCal. As Travis put the boxes into the car the rain had started. Regardless, we headed to the cove for some salt air. 

Whether I am by the waters edge or next to a 300 year old saguaro, I am so happily at peace that it makes it hard to declare a favorite. I am so excited that I have the ability to be in one place one day and the other the next. True blessings to be thankful for!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A week of chaos

When the talks of this project first started we had a few things we knew, for a fact, that would take place. Recruiting events and Big Ideas. Big Ideas is a conference held for a 100 select city managers and directors by the Alliance for Innovation.

This years Big Ideas was held November 1-3 in both West Hollywood and Santa Monica. AFI also had their annual board meeting and dinner before the conference and Travis and I were invited to attend the entire event. 

Wednesday and Thursday, Travis and I attended two graduate fairs. Wednesday was at UCLA and Thursday (Halloween) was at UC Riverside. UC Riverside had a pretty large group of students interested in the idea of public affairs and it was a successful day. We then headed back to Los Angeles to get ready for the Board dinner and Carnaval afterwards. We got VIP passes from the WeHo city manager before heading off to the Boulevard after dinner, some decked out for the party and others in their business casual attire.

The line leaders for our group for the night. A 6'3" BatGirl and Big Boy with the 3 lb burger led the way through the crowds!
A board member and a guest speaker run into Jesus on the Boulevard.

Rebecca ended up being a hit and everyone wanted a photo with her.

Met up with some of the girls after the Board. 

Amanda Bynes.

After a walk up and down the Boulevard, I called it a night. I had to be back in WeHo bright and early the next day for the Board meeting. After a few hours of observing, we headed across the street to another hotel to set up for the conference. It was a rough day with unexpected difficulties regarding travel, but it went off swimmingly! And let me just say, we had quite the view!

DTLA from the Panorama Room at the Andaz Hotel

Rooftop views, Andaz Hotel, WeHo

California Sunset

Closing remarks at Big Ideas!
In the midst of the conference I flew home to Phoenix for my last class. Dinner with the family was certainly welcome and it's the last class in person for this semester! I'll be back home at the end of the month for Thanksgiving! Until then, oodles of more LA adventures to come, including Disneyland this weekend!