- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 24 February 2016
- Written by AMANDA GANGIDINO | LIFESTYLE EDITOR
Oh, Los Angeles; your massive palm trees, sunny days, and laidback culture will be greatly missed by this Jersey girl. While waiting for my plane to depart from the LAX terminal, I felt the urge to abandon my flight and become a permanent California resident. But reality began to sink in and I realized that I would miss my friends, family and pork roll sandwiches.
The Garden State is the only place I have ever really felt at home. But to my surprise, after spending only a short amount of time in California, I began to feel as if I had found a new place to call home.
Robyn Asaro, the Assistant Director of Study Aboard, shared her thoughts on travel, “Traveling opens the heart and mind to new experiences, new relationships and a sense of awe that we often lose in everyday life.”
I went to California for the annual Associated Collegiate Press Journalism Convention and not only did I gain valuable knowledge for my craft, but I also had the opportunity to fall in love with the state and all of its beauty.
With my luck, upon my arrival it was raining in Los Angeles. My group and I tried to make the most out of the dreary day since the convention had yet to begin. The rain was on and off but we decided to load into cabs to travel to the famous Santa Monica Pier.
Even on a rainy day, the pier was beautiful and surpassed Seaside Heights. Although the temperature was barely 60 degrees, us New Jerseyans were sporting sundresses, tank tops, and shorts. It was apparent that we were clearly from out of town.
We grabbed lunch at one of the restaurants on the boardwalk and made our way down to the beach. Once I felt the Pacific wash up against my ankles it became real that I was actually in California.
Nicole Gallagher, a sophomore psychology student, has always dreamed of traveling to the West Coast. “The mountains and beaches seem breathtaking. California is definitely on my list of places I want to see,” she said.
On the second day, I attended one conference during which I learned how to integrate technology within our college newspaper. The speaker was extremely engaging and the session provided me with excellent ideas for The Outlook. After our session, I went along with another editor to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater.
Seeing all of our favorite actors’ and artists’ stars, handprints and footprints was fascinating. While we were walking back towards the metro station to head back to our hotel, we spotted Ross Mathews, a famous television personality. We hoped to get a picture with him but his producer asked if we would like to be interviewed.
In that moment, I put on some MAC lipstick and attempted to calm my nerves. He was extremely friendly and asked us a few questions about the upcoming award shows. I checked off two items on my bucket list within those two minutes, so tune into Hollywood Today Live to see Alyssa Tritschler and I have our 15 seconds of fame.
After my moment of fame ended, I attended a studio tour of Warner Brothers. Seeing the studio where Casablanca, Gilmore Girls, Friends and so many other amazing television shows and movies were filmed was intriguing. When consuming our favorite media, we usually don’t realize the amount of work and dedication that is put into production. The highlight of our entire tour was when I was able to sit on the actual Friends’ couch.
Tierney Rosen, a sophomore psychology student, said, “I love Friends because it always puts me in such a great mood.”
If you are ever in Los Angeles, I highly recommended this tour because the Friends set was only one of the many amazing sights on the lot.
After our sessions on the third day, my fellow editors and I hiked to the Hollywood sign. Being up in the mountains that I had been gawking over for the past two days was invigorating. We were mesmerized by the LA skyline in the distance and took an excessive amount of pictures to capture its beauty.
It was almost difficult to wrap my head around the fact that I was physically at the Hollywood sign and not just seeing it on television.
On our final day, we concluded our sessions at the ACP convention. I am confident in the knowledge The Outlook staff gained at this conference and I believe that it will help us better our paper. It was an amazing learning experience and I am grateful I was able to learn alongside my fellow staffers.
We finished our trip off with a trip to Beverly Hills. While walking through the streets of Rodeo Drive, I had Weezer’s hit “Beverly Hills” on repeat in my head. The streets were even more glamorous than I expected. Being on Rodeo brought on a feeling of elegance in the air.
After a day of window shopping, we traveled to Santa Monica and met up with the rest of the group. Being in this part of the city on a beautiful day was life-changing. Watching the sunset while listening to live music was mesmerizing. It was truly the perfect ending to my Los Angeles trip.
When reminiscing about the events of the trip on our way to LAX, it was safe to say that every staff member wanted to “accidentally” miss our flight back home. Now that I am back in New Jersey, I am longing for an In-N-Out burger, window shopping on Rodeo Drive, and the breathtaking Santa Monica Pier. I have left Los Angeles in hopes that someday I will return to that beautiful paradise.
PHOTOS COURTESY of Amanda Gangidino