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I just got home from being home… yea, it confuses me too. Leaving LA the first time was a little easier knowing I’d return in a couple of months for work. The much-anticipated trip back to Los Angeles came along quickly and walking into my office building felt like a completely natural work day… almost as if no time had passed since I left over two months ago. I went back to LA to finish up my work projects at USC. The week went by quickly with some time to see friends and catch up with colleagues (who are obviously also friends… no sense in separating the two). I soaked up the sun and then said goodbye again. Being back was both hard and reassuring. It is hard to leave friends, family again but I wanted to come back to Melbourne. Not only because Joe was here eating instant noodles for two weeks, but because this trip meant cutting off the last commitment back in LA. With work done, I could dive into my next step in Melbourne without hesitation.

California dreamin’

Feeling slightly vitamin D deficient, I soaked up as much sun as I could during the times I wasn’t in the office (while being sun smart and using sunscreen of course). Since we liquidated our lives in April, I was car-less in a city that is just starting to know the meaning of public transit, so my amazing friends lent me their convertible car for the week! As I drove down the 405 with the top down, I wondered to myself how and why I never had a convertible in LA. Will be on the must do list when we return I guess!

I wish I had more photos from my meet ups in LA, but with no camera in hand and an iPhone with no service in the states, I was at the mercy of others for picture memories for the first part of my trip. I finally invested in a nice digital camera that paid off later on!

Dinner with the group! Some much-needed Mexican food and Margaritas!

Work trip to the Getty Museum during our tour of LA where I played tour guide to a group from around the Pacific.

Cutest ever (missed your Ry!) excited about their boxing Australian kangaroos.

The last frontier

Bring back state-side, I was able to get some much needed family time in (both with the Guintu and the Flores clans). My brother has lived in Alaska for the last two years and I am embarrassed to say that this was my first time up for a visit. The long over due trip took my parents, Tia Alicia, and I up to the beautiful last frontier.

The climate is harsh, the landscape is rugged, but South East Alaska it is an undeniably beautiful part of our country. With bald eagles nestled in the trees as if they were ordinary birds, salmon fishermen geared up in their Xtra Tuffs (the must have rain boot in Alaska… or gummies as they are referred to here in Melbourne), and black bears roaming the paved streets of town, Ketchikan has a lot to offer the nature obsessed. The vast rainforest reproduces on top of itself and the snowcapped mountains are the perfect backdrop to the picturesque town. It was an absolutely incredible place to spend time with family and take in all that the area has to offer.

  

Beautiful Bald Eagles in the Alaskan wild.

Grown Bald Eagle (left), adolescent bald eagle (right) waiting for salmon scraps near dusk.

Alaskan staple, Xtra Tuff rain boots. If you want to make a fashion statement then you’d wear yours with a cute dress!

An incredible sighting of a black bear with her two cubs on our first night in Alaska!

  

A visit to the Totem Bright State Historical Park full with a clan house and amazing historic art.

Ketchikan, Alaska is a port to many Alaskan cruises. But this special family treatment is hard to come by.

My bearded Alaskan brother was the perfect guide (and fishing buddy to my dad) for our Alaskan adventure. Pictured here with my awesome parents and me. My aunt, cousins and friends also helped make the trip an incredible memory! Thanks for taking the time to feed us delicious food and showing us your beautiful part of the state!

 

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