11.21 | Service Projects & Piña Coladas (Sold Separately)
To set the tone of how I felt at the end of last week… VIDEO CLIP TIME:
Oooooh Hawaii! After a stressful, snowy time back in Boston, a sleepless, cramped time in New York, a fast-paced, cold/flu-battling time in LA and a quick, busy trip to San Diego, Hawaii was EXACTLY what the doctor ordered!
First, on Veterans Day, 11.11.11, the project I was managing in San Diego was a total hit. After the project completing falling apart just the week before things looked grim but somehow we put together a completely new project and it was amazing! We put on a reverse care package project where military members, veterans
and military families came out to volunteer with civilian volunteers to put together care packages for homeless communities in San Diego. The event was in Petco Park, home of the Padres and we were joined by Padres outfielder Will Venable, the Pad Squad and The Friar - which by the way is the strangest mascot ever but super fun! What was the biggest and best surprise of the day was we only expected about 50-60 volunteers and 120 showed up! It was insane, incredible, inspiring and definitely one of those moments that reminded me why I do what I do!
And I had another one of those moments in Hawaii. Shocker? Well, although there were a lot of piña coladas and other delicious tropical drinks consumed during my time in Hawaii, it was, to begin with, a work related trip. Our final and largest Veterans Day event was at the Hickam Elementary School in Honolulu. We partnered with American Heart Association Teaching Gardens (which is so cool, so please click on the link and read up about them) to bring a garden to the school and teach the kids about gardening, healthy eating and exercising. It was so fun and um look how adorable the kids are in oversized ServiceNation t-shirts:
Ok, before I move on, shameless plug here: go to www.missionserve.org and read up on all the other amazing signature ServiceNation service projects (11 total) that went on in honor of Veterans Day. And if you didn’t serve this year, think about it for next year! It’s only 355 days away!
After Monday, I finally got some time off! I spent most of my time by the beach or by the pool. The tropical drinks flowed and I felt like I was in paradise. I could recap my whole trip but that sounds like the equivalent of making you all sit on my couch and look at a slide show so here are my vacation highlights:
- SHAVE ICE - A delicious, signature Hawaiian treat.
- Learning the word “boondoggle.”
- Wang Chung’s Karaoke Bar: Which is a literal room and karaoke is not done on a stage but by passing the microphone(s) around the room. And basically if everyone knows the song, it becomes a phenomenal sing-a-long. It was an absolute BLAST!
- Sushi: All of it, everywhere. I wish I had just eaten sushi every day - it was the best sushi I’ve ever had. Ever. And I had it at two different places! OMG YUM.
- Playing with my co-worker’s daughter in the sand and in the pool. She’s nearly 2 years old, ADORABLE and super awesome. We became BFFs, no big deal.
- Discovering the Pink Dimple - it involves macadamia liquor…. um DELICIOUS.
- Reading an entire book! When was the last time that happened? The answer to that question is sad and embarrassing.
- Getting my TAN on.
- Eating frozen yogurt for dinner and falling asleep at 9:30pm.
- Eggs Benedict and Bloody Mary breakfast.
- Going to Narnia - for those who don’t know what that means, I surfed and I rode a wave and it was NARLY.
- Seeing my favorite animal at the ZOO: Giraffes!!!!
- And THIS guy (HOLY HOTNESS):
And now my traveling days are over for an entire month! Which means it’s back to L.A. based adventures and writing about them all!