I started thinking about summer 2008 today. Completely out of the blue.
I started the summer off by driving to San Francisco in a car packed with six BYU freshman and a mom with the patience of a saint. We camped in Yosemite for a week and I accidentally dropped my shoe off the top of a mountain (don't ask). We squashed seven people on one air mattress and I saw my first shooting star.
We ran around San Francisco for a week and saw the seals. After a week, we drove down to Los Angeles and went to the freezing beach and visited Six Flags. Then, my friends dropped me off at a train station and I haven't seen them since. Ok, that sounded a little dramatic, but it seemed like the end of the world for me at the time. They're on their missions in South America and doing great (they get back in June!) But like I said, it was hands down the most traumatic thing I had experienced in my 18 years of life.
I moved in with my grandmother into a tiny three bedroom one bathroom house where my dad grew up. My grandma is a great person. She raised six kids pretty much by herself. But, she's a little nuts. She broke her tailbone and insists on sitting on a foam "seat" wherever she sits down (restaurants, the car, church, EVERYWHERE), she keeps approximately six feral cats in the backyard and feeds them even though she's allergic (ask me and I'll tell you about the time "Cali Girl" snuck into my car and peed all over my backseat or when "Precious" made my white laundry her personal litter box), she never lets her gas tank get below half in case of emergency, she watches TV standing up, she makes her own pants, and is the one keeping Crocs knockoffs in business. I spent most of my time reading library books and watching The Hills episodes on Hulu. My aunt Kristina let me use her adorable yellow bike and I explored as much of the neighborhood as I dared.
I worked at Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI baby) in the XRay file room. I worked with Gayle, whose main goal was to get her standup pool installed; Diane, who liked the simpler things in life: a cold beer, the Olympics, her grand-nephew "Latte," and complaining about her roommate Ellen; and Ross, not much can be said about him. I had solitaire competitions with Jose and I fell in love with Manuel. I emailed my roommate all day long while she worked in a classy law office in San Francisco. Queen Latifah came into the office and I caused a big scandal by taking a picture with her. I had to delete the picture, so I have no evidence of my brush with celebrity. Diane hooked me and Ross up with some tickets to see "Little Wayne" perform for the Jimmy Kimmel Live Show. I still can't believe I did that.
I reconnected with some old friends. Jessica and I "met" when we were babies. Literally.
Our parents were best friends. Her dad was Batman and mine was the Boy Blunder. I went over to their house for what I expected to be a 100% awkward dinner, but within minutes we were talking about boys like 12 years hadn't passed. She showed me the house I lived in as a baby. As we were walking to the car, a bunch of cholos pulled up and started talking to us. Jessica Marie Wray, blonde, 5 foot 4 and toothpick skinny marched up to the car and yelled at them in Spanish. I guess she told them to leave us alone because they left and I'm pretty sure she saved my life. I spent every Sunday and sometimes Mondays at their house drinking red KoolAide and playing Rock Band. Ed and Liz became my second parents and Missy, Jess, Tim, and Mike became my second siblings. We went to the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Festival, Zuma Beach, and the fish hatchery. They taught my to appreciate MMA and how it's better to eat outside rather than inside.
I rode around in a cherry red 2001 Ford Escort named Ruby. About halfway through the summer, her air conditioning cut out, and I had to ride around in LA heat with the windows open. She only had a radio so I listened to the Latin station to avoid listening to "I Kissed A Girl" playing over and over. I drove to the library, the mall, and the Wray's. Gas was $5 a gallon and I learned that Chevron is the best even if it is more expensive. I learned the real meaning of LA traffic when I got caught trying to get to La Mirada on the 405 at 5:00 on a Friday. Aly and I tried to drive to Vegas from there, but I ended up throwing up Rubio's Mexican Grille in some park in Rancho Cucamonga. We drove 110 on the way there and somehow didn't get caught. We strutted the strip with light sabers and got called hippies for sitting on the grass. I bawled my eyes out on the way home and made it back in time for work on Monday.
That was my summer. I don't know why I got the sudden urge to write about it. I definitely grew up a lot. Something about being almost 100% on your own with a lot of responsibilities kind of jumpstarts the growing up process haha.
Hope you enjoyed it!