I’m sitting in John Wayne airport waiting to board my flight to Indianapolis. This is the first time I’ve been in alone in weeks. Figured this is the best time to catch up on everything.
I feel like graduation was forever ago. In fact, it was just 8 days ago that myself and 300 other PUC students graduated! The anticipation of this momentous occasion came and left so quickly, I didn’t even have a chance to get emotional. I think I was so drained from worrying about packing, my speech (that wasn’t even finished until 8 p.m. the night before), entertaining friends and family and last minute class officer duties. Needless to say, I was more than relieved when graduation was over. I have had such an amazing experience at PUC and although I did have my down moments, I wouldn’t trade my time in Angwin for anything.
Not all of my family and friends were able to attend (I don’t blame them…I still don’t enjoy that 8+ hr drive up north) but many were able to watch my speech online because it was the first year PUC streamed Commencement. I will post the link to download it once it becomes available.
After taking over 1,000 photos (thanks Steven!), I finally was able to rush back to my room and start hauling everything out of there. After two and a half hours, Steven, Kaliko and I were on our way home. Steven had his truck and Kaliko rode with me in my car. I felt awful for Steven since he had been up since 4:50 a.m. to save seats for my family for grad, then helped pack and load up our cars and then drive all the way down south by himself. Kaliko was an amazing co-pilot and stayed up with me singing to every song on the radio (old and new), talking about GLEE like we knew the characters personally and desperately searching for a sports radio to listen to the Mavs game! (Suck it, Lebron!)
When we finally made it home, a little after 1 a.m. due to heinous traffic, we all crashed. Of course, chipper Kaliko woke me up at 9 a.m. the next day ready to start our vacation. We went over to my cousin Carissa’s house to see her parents and Kaliko was able to see Jenna’s parents also. We felt like shopping, and I already had a good amount of grad money to spend, so we headed over to Tyler mall in Riverside. Four hours later, our arms were covered with shopping bags and we were ready for Vegas!
The next day, we met up with Steven and he bought me my Macbook Pro. I am so excited and although Lion OSX hasn’t come out yet, I was told I could download it for free since! Honestly, Steven worked so hard to save and buy me something special. His sincere effort to do this is just a glimpse of what kind of guy I have given my heart to.
On Wednesday, Kaliko, Steven and I headed to Vegas! With our freshly pedicured toesies (not Steven’s…although I’m pretty sure he wished he got one with us), we were so ready to enjoy our long-awaited Vegas trip. We saw KÀ at the MGM (it was awesome – of course), spent the entire day at Wet Republic getting tanned, went to TAO and Marquee, ate at Mix with Uncle Shu and Auntie Karen, laid by the pool some more, went shopping, did a little slot action and had so much fun. Kathlyn met up with us on the second night and she definitely added so much more fun to the trip!
When we got back Saturday afternoon, we went to Panda Inn with my family to celebrate my graduation. Thank you so much to everyone who came out! I hope you’re still not full over the mounds of food my father ordered!
Although we were so tired, we still had to wake up at 6 a.m. to get to La Sierra’s graduation to see Kat and Adam graduate. Seriously…longest week ever! From there, I said good bye to Steven and Kaliko and I headed to my house in Newport. My mom took us to lunch at Gina’s Pizza (yummmmm) and then we went shopping at Fashion Island.
Almost exactly five years ago, my mom took me to Vegas to celebrate our last girls-only days together, since she was marrying Warren in the following month. She was shopping for a Louis Vuitton luggage and I asked if I could have a bag also, perhaps for my high school graduation later that year. She seriously laughed at me and said, “When you graduate from college, then I’ll buy you one.” I’ve never forgotten that statement, but I didn’t want to hold my mom to that since she has done SO much for me these past four years (well..my whole life, really). When we were at Fashion Island yesterday, my mom calmly asks, “Tay, do you want to go to Neiman Marcus?” In my head, I’m thinking, “I never even step foot into Neiman Marcus…what would I get from there?!” And then she says, “Do you remember what I once said?” Immediately I knew we were talking LV and I flipped. My mom kept her promise and now sitting next to me is the prettiest bag I have ever owned.
Graduation has been good to me, to say the least. I am so grateful for the quality time I’ve had with Kaliko, since I rarely see her anymore. Whenever we’re together, there’s never an awkward moment or feeling like we’ve missed out on each other’s lives. We act like we see each other everyday and I am more than grateful that she flew all the way out here to spend Graduation and an extra week with me!
I am going to write everyone Thank You cards for their tremendous help and support throughout my college career, but I’ll say it here now: To everyone who has ever helped me…with anything…especially during these past four years, thank you. Everyone who encouraged me to not give up (although I’ve threatened myself countless times) in school, it seriously helped. Although graduating is a big deal, I still have so much growing up to do ahead of me. When I get back from Indianapolis, I am going to start seriously working on job searching. The two prospective jobs I had have been at a standstill for over a month and I know I must continue to pursue those jobs as well as other opportunities.
My plane is about to start boarding so I will keep you all posted later.
Arrivederci i miei amici e la mia famiglia!