An Update from California

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For those of you following along, here’s an update from state number five, the glorious state of California.

Update from California

We drove five hours from Las Vegas to Manhattan Beach,  and while most of southern California is desert, approaching the coastline is a magical experience. Palm trees shade the roads and every lawn is a rainbow of flowers from hibiscus trees to bright pink hydrangeas. The houses are roofed in Spanish tile and people stroll down the sidewalk on bicycles, unlike Austin where they intensely try to run you out of your lane.

There is a different atmosphere here. Despite the heavy smog, the air feels light and easy. The waves of the ocean quickly washed away our stresses and hopefully will soon replace them with dark tan lines.

We spent the past two weeks in the desert, like the real desert. Tumbleweeds roll across the highway, lizards are everywhere, and we daily swept sand out of our wheel home. Temperatures soared into the 100+ degrees and we all but ran toward the coast and the promise of escape from the heat. We constantly stayed cooped up inside our RV with the A/C on full blast.

Now we feel free. We walked three and half miles past rows of beach bungalows and picturesque store fronts to the cool sand. After dipping my toes in the water, I needed a hoodie for the rest of the night. You certainly can’t do that in Texas in June!

Heath and I have nearly been married for a month now–a month! (Really it’s only been three and a half weeks). We deemed California our “honeymoon state” months ago, so I planned a full week and a half of relaxing beaches for us. At least then we’d have some semblance of a normal honeymoon.

Yet we find ourselves here at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on the strand (Thanks Emilie) just a stone’s throw from the surf. We’re both on our computers writing and scheduling and discussing. And we love it.

Truly, we love working.

Once in a blue moon you hear people rave about loving their new job, but we really love ours. How could you not?

Today we begin editing our footage with the hopes of releasing our first video from Hourly America this Friday. It’s humbling to look through our 200 gigs of footage amassed over the past two weeks and see what we are creating. Every day we are given the chance to find something new, to create something out of nothing.

For us, we must forge our own path and create our own opportunities for our documentary. So far that has included taking a Tae Kwon Do class, sleeping in a forest, and sitting around a fire drinking wine and making s’mores in LA. Every moment is a new opportunity, a possible shot, a possibly subplot in the story of our travels.

It’s life-altering to begin to see the world through the camera’s lens. You begin thinking “Will this tell a compelling story to the audience? Will this be impactful for anyone? Will it create laughter or tears? Will it be memorable?”

It’s a mindset I hope to hold onto long after our trip and our documentary is over. These questions have given me purpose. I wake up each day with a clear idea of what I need to accomplish. I know the story I’m telling and I’m excited to live it each day.

Live your life with purpose and you’ll taste the excitement too.

For now, the beach is beckoning me.

3 Responses

  • Alyssa,
    When you come to Wisconsin, Heath should try working in a cheese plant. If he’s up for it, let me know. We would love to have him work at our plant. This is legitimate. I’m a friend of your parents.

    Tammy Fetterolf

    • Hi Tammy, that would be really great! We plan on being in Madison, WI in mid-August. Would we be able to film in the plant?

      • Alyssa,
        I will need to check with the owners about the filming. I need a little more information to share with them. If you could give me a little background and vision of the project, how long Heath would be planning to work and if you would be there filming the entire time. We are a food facility so if you are both going to be in the plant we would need to train you in our food safety program. Once I have the information, I will talk to them about it. We are about an hour southwest of Madison, so not very far at all. We have had film crews in several times, so I don’t think it will be an issue, but I always like to ask and not just assume it’s okay. I look forward to hearing from you.

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