**Warning: This did get a little long, but there are pictures :)***
Well, I am officially out of the Riviera! I felt that the Riviera deserved a blog post. After all, I spent a little over three years living there. I had a lot of growing experiences there. What happened at the Riviera has made me stronger and better today. So, of course the Riviera deserves a post.
Well, I first moved into the Riviera right after I graduated from High School. Just barely turned 18 and I headed out into the real world of the apartment complex. I remember my first night there. I was living with Deidre Bodily who also was a freshman from Naperville going to BYU for the summer. So, us two little freshmans and our mom's show up at the apartment. There is one of my roommates, Rebecca, she recently graduated from BYU and she had a whole bunch of guys over. It was terrifying and I suddenly felt super young. She didn't quite have the overly friendly reaction that I expected. Then I had another roommate who was 21, Aynsley, and was waiting for her missionary. Both girls were amazing, they just weren't 18 like me. But soon, I started to become friends with them. Still a little terrified of everyone there being so much older, it was harder for me to make friends. Luckily, Dawnee asked me to be part of the "Secret Cookie Club". We made cookies every Sunday and then we would drop them off with a little note for someone in the ward. I soon became best friends with these girls! It was a great Summer with them and I felt that I really learned how to live on my own those two months.
Thursday Night Roller Skating Night: Only One dollar to roller skate
May hikes up to Bridal Veils with these girls
My roommate Deidre and I at the Harry Potter Midnight showing
I moved to the dorm after that first summer. Left the Riviera saying that I will never have to live there again...little did I know! Come spring time and I had decided to live in my grandparents house till I was going to go live with my sister in July. Well, I realized that it would be more of a social life if I lived in the apartments. Riviera was the only place that would let me move in at a random time and move out at a random time. So, once again, I found myself moving into the Riviera. This time, I was in a different ward then the time before. I had two roommates, Alyssa and Andrea. It was only a month but I had a great time there. We had many different adventures. I became really good friends with my visiting teaching companion! But then the time came for me to move out.
My roommates and I at the Manti Pageant
Adventures at the Riviera with Friends from the ward
Jenny and I
Becky and I had already been planning on living at the Riviera our sophomore year. It was a good time to live there, most people were our age. So, after living in Texas, I cam back and moved into apartment 5 with Becky, Erica and Anisa. This was my first time living with someone who was not from the United States! And by the end of the year, she became my best friend! She taught me how to say I love you in Albanian and I truly love her! This year I went through some major struggles and at the end I wanted to get out of the Riviera more than ever. The riviera=the struggles in my mind. So, out went me and my stuff. Moved into Roman Gardens...and moved out a few weeks later. Once again, living at my grandparents till I could get my life figured out.
Anisa, Erica, Me and Becky.
Some friends from the ward.
Becky and I our second year being roommates
Erica, Anisa and I with our sweet Halloween Costumes
That is when Mallory told me to move in with her for the Fall. I went and lived with my sister for a few weeks and then came back in July. I decided to move into the Riviera then. Rachael decided she was going to live with us in the Fall, so she moved in with my in the Summer. However, Rachael got engaged. So, I pretty much had no Roommate. But this was great for me, it forced me to continue to get out of my comfort shell and really go out to meet people. That summer rebuilt my confidence.
Since I had no roommates, these are the girls that I spent most my time with.
Fall came and Rachael moved out to get married, so Mallory, Guo and Katie moved in. I feel that we all had very different personalities but it was great! Gou was my second roommate not from the United States. I was able to learn a little bit about the Chinese culture from her. This was when I had my first kiss which then turned into my first boyfriend. And then my second kiss and boyfriend. I learned a lot from the relationships. I discovered what I can and cannot be with in a relationship. I know more what I want and what I am not willing to sacrifice in a relationship. Ginelle and I became really good friends by the end of this year and decided that we wanted to live with each other. We loved our ward so much, we decided to stay in the Riviera one more year.
My wonderful roommates
Tim and I
My wonderful friends
Troy and I going to a military ball
So come spring, I moved in with Ginelle. Becky moved back in with us for the spring and Keri was there as well. This summer is what I like to call the "Perfect" summer. We went camping and hiking all the time. Went on many adventures, spent days at the pool and ran my first Half Marathon. Had crazy adventures and spent pretty much every minute I wasn't at work outside in the great outdoors!
Ginelle, Becky and I on our fourth of July weekend
Keri, Ginelle and I at Kassidy's wedding
Adventures with good friends
School started back up soon and Ginelle and I moved our stuff over to our new place. When we moved in, it was a mess and it smelled horrible. We found out that the cat had kind of been living in our apartment therefore causing me to sneeze... a lot! We fixed that problem and apartment one became a great apartment! Laci and Rebecca also were there but in October Rebecca left us randomly. I became great friends with Corey and Steve. Steve and Ginelle connected even more and now are ENGAGED!!! But here I was activities co-chair and planned lot of little parties.
My wonderful friends
Sara and I
One last move in the Riviera and I found myself in apt. 6. First with Michelle, Shelbi, and Christine. But then Shelbi got married, Michelle went home and Christine after two weeks went home as well. So, I lived alone for a few weeks. But then moved in another roommate and Christine just couldn't live without me so she moved back to Utah! :) And Michelle came back as well in August!
Me with Michelle and Christine
The usual crew from the summer
And then I was out of the Riviera...For good! I know some people call me crazy for living there as long as I did and for moving into all those different apartments that I did. But I honestly don't regret a single moment of it. I did go through some of my biggest trials there but without the trials I wouldn't be who I am today. They made a pretty awesome person!
But it was also time for me to leave. When I found myself older than most of the guys, I knew it was time. I was ready and I am excited for what this year has to hold for me! I am hoping for the best! I have an internship winter semester and then I graduate!!!