Friday, May 17, 2013

California Dreaming...


The day has finally arrived. We have left California for good. Bittersweet doesn't even begin to explain the emotions I felt as I walked on to the plane Wednesday afternoon in sunny San Diego. After 5+ years of living, training, exploring, and loving life in SoCal, our journey to the Spooky Nook in Lancaster, PA has arrived.

As one door closes, another one opens. I would like to think that although this "chapter" in my life has come to an end, the door will never be closed to my life in San Diego. I have made so many lifelong friends that I know I am sure to return for many visits to the sunny, beach city that helped me grow into the person I am today.

There are so many things I will miss about the great city of San Diego, but mostly I will miss the most amazing people I've met. I will never be able to explain just how fortunate and thankful I am for all of the people who opened their homes and families to me over the years! But, I will do my best right now to give a few special shout outs to those that went above and beyond.

First and foremost, my family. My cousin Billy, his wife Rachel, and their daughter Makaela (and their dogs Harley and Bleu!). And more recently, my aunt Chris. One of the best parts of my time in California was being able to spend countless hours, days, weeks at your house. It was the best escape from a hard days training. Just knowing I had family right around the corner, and a home cooked meal was a few minutes away always put my mind at ease. Not to mention how much I have enjoyed watching and being a part of Makaela growing up. Somehow I made her birthday almost every year! From her 4th birthday, to her 9th, what an adventure it has been! I sure am going to miss backyard soccer games (yes, even if I was always tried after practice). I hope she can find some new competition! :) I am so thankful for all of you and I will really miss my trips to Poway!

Next, I have to thank the Gementera family. Where do I even start? You opened your home to Maren, Pfeiff, and myself after meeting us a handful of times. You welcomed us as a part of your family with open arms. Then, you opened your doors to me again these last couple weeks. I really enjoyed all of the time I spent under your roof. Laughing, relaxing, and discussing life. I will miss Gavin's sweet disposition and goofy jokes, Malia's abundance of energy (and her fashion expertise!), Danielle's stories and advice, and Glenn's love for the Lakers (even though I think I've influenced him towards CP3)! I will miss snuggle time with little Kita (even though Glenn would give me dirty looks because he thought I was going to steal her!) and loving nips from my main man Buddy! I know you will take good care of CJ, I'm sure he will continue to bring you lots of luck! And I'm sure I will get constant updates/snapchats from Malia. I will miss you all very much! Maybe plan a trip to the East Coast sometime?!

Finally, I can't forget the families of Cremona! Although, I only got a year with all of you, I wish it never had to end! The best neighbors we could have ever asked for! I loved being greeted by all the kids and dogs each evening as we returned from a grueling Olympic year training session. All my cares left when I saw Molly and Tenley's smiling faces pushing their dolls around in their strollers! Making up new games with Jacob and throwing Ace his tennis ball never seemed to get old, no matter how tired I was! I will miss neighborhood cookouts, bouncy castles (that OD and I jumped in with the kids!), late night bonfires with s'mores, and country music listening when the power goes out. Monica, Sumner, Nichole, Steve, and Nana thank you for being so gracious to all of us, making us feel right at home in our big empty house. Can't wait to see all the Cremona kids grow up! (We are still growing up too! ;) ).

There are so many other people I could mention as well that I met along my journey and adventures in Cali, and I am grateful for all of you. I will carry these memories with me for the rest of my life. I will always look back on these last 5 years as some of the best years, where I lived and learned A LOT. I definitely grew up a lot and learned so much about myself and who I want to become. Thanks for being a big part of my journey!

SAN DIEGO. Where dreams were made and dreams came true. I will always fondly remember my time spent in Chula-juana. Although there are so many great things about the city of San Diego, the people are really what make a place so special. And to me, San Diego is one freaking special place!

What a ride.
Here's to new adventures, new friends, new family, and another great ride in PA!

One last thing.... KEEP IN TOUCH!!! You know where to find me! Cell phone, social media and/or Skype! :)

I'll leave you with a few pictures from the last few months on the West Coast...