My, How Time Flies // A Grateful Heart

View of LA from The Getty Center
On Saturday when I woke up and checked Facebook I was reminded, thanks to their “On This Day” feature, that one year ago I was in Los Angeles for what is certainly one of my favorite trips! This was not my first trip to California or Los Angeles by any means, but it was the first time that I visited completely by myself. Like, I rented a car and braved the infamous Los Angeles traffic and the 405 all by myself and lived to tell the tale. Definitely a personal victory.
This time last year, I was still an entertainment blogger and ran a blog that covered films and television news that was related to projects that had been adapted from books. I was very fortunate and had been invited to Los Angeles for the press junket ahead of the release of The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, and Meryl Streep. Just a couple weeks prior, I had participated in a phone interview with the author herself, Lois Lowry, and at the press junket I was able to interview her face to face along with Brenton Thwaites, Cameron Monaghan, and Odeya Rush. If you want to hear me be super awkward with Brenton, you can watch that here (I’m at 0:34).
While traveling by yourself may seem kind of sad and lonely, I’ve learned that it’s actually kind of nice. You can go where you want and not have to worry about accommodating anyone else, but I will say that unless you’re a shameless selfie-taker (working on it) then you will come home with a lot of landscape photos and not very many photos that you in them. While in LA, I was able to see a couple of my fellow blogger friends which was wonderful but one the one full day that I had free, I was super pumped to drive out to the Inland Empire aka San Bernardino! I originally wasn’t going to rent a car, but the night before I left I realized I was going to have a full day to myself and that I could drive out to San Bernardino to see some of my family. My dad was raised in San Bernardino and this was actually the first time that I had been back since my dad’s brother and sister passed away. I called my great-aunt to let her know that I’d be driving out and when I got there, I was greeted by her, a couple of my dad’s cousins and two of my great-uncles. Then, I drove to Moreno Valley to see my cousins, the daughters of my late aunt. 
Truthfully, I think what made this trip so memorable was that I was able to do it completely on my own. I paid for my flight, rental car, and arranged for sleeping accommodations at a friend’s apartment. Thanks to my trusty GPS, I navigated the city with ease and I just felt like a real adult for the first time. Even though I don’t do that type of blogging anymore and that chapter of my life has ended, I have so much to be grateful for.
I was invited to this press junket thanks to a friendly word from a PR guy and mutual friend that I met through working with Summit Entertainment for Divergent a few months prior. This same PR guy is the reason that I am heading out to Austin, Texas this Wednesday. He was kind enough to allow me to visit his agency so that I can learn a bit more about what they do now that I am pursuing a masters degree in mass communication. God is so good and was so clearly guiding me through a season that has ultimately led me to where I am today, well before I even knew that I wanted to go back to school at all. 
What are you grateful for today? Share your link as part of Ember Grey‘s Grateful Heart linkup!

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