Multiple trips to Las Vegas, New Mexico, and who knows how much Chick-fil-A and Starbucks later, I am officially all moved out.

For the past four weekends, I have been heading to Vegas on Saturday and then coming back to Socorro on Sunday with a carload of stuff. On my way there, I stop for chicken nuggets, waffle fries and a peppermint milkshake. On the way back, I stop at Starbucks for a large Peppermint Mocha Frappachino.

There was definitely a weekend or two where I had Starbucks both days.

Each weekend, I think to myself ‘next weekend will be the final trip.’ That was never the case until this past weekend. I had to be moved out by Nov. 30 so I had no other choice.

Over the past two years of living in Vegas and being with Nate for one of those years, I had accumulated a lot of stuff. One of the trips was all of the Christmas decorations. I have two indoor trees, two outdoor trees, a bin of garland, multiple strands of outdoor lights, a few ornament boxes, multiple star tree-toppers and a lot of other decorations. Christmas is always a huge holiday in my family.

Anyways, besides decorations, I had to move so many sentimental items – lots of stuffed animals and Miami Dolphins memorabilia my family has given me over the years. There were so many framed photos of Nate and I and photos with my friends.

I also never realized how many blankets I had until I had to move all of them.

Besides moving everything, I had to say bye to the friends I have gained over the years. First was Maria, who brought me flowers on my final day at the Optic. I worked with her the whole two years I was there and I always had a spot on the floor in her office to work. We spent many days discussing photography and photoshop.

I had to say bye to Phil as my boss, but he’s best friends with Nate so I know I will be seeing him again. I’ve also had many phone conversations with him since leaving the Optic. While I’m excited to be working for El Defensor Chieftain, there’s nothing like Monday or Tuesday mornings when I would sit on the floor in Phil’s office and we would discuss the football or hockey games that happened over the weekend. We would also make predictions for any games during the week and roast each other’s teams.

Then there was Kelsey who I said bye to over the weekend as she was my roommate for a little over a year. Besides our desks being next to each other in the office, we spent many nights working on the couch while watching TV. The best nights were when Kelsey, Phil, Nate and I would watch The Bachelor or The Bachlorette together. There were also many nights spent playing Catan and I lost just about all of them.

Then there was Dale, Lori and Tripp. I don’t think I would have survived the first year in Vegas without them. I was always on the football sidelines with Dale. His vision isn’t that great, but he can still call a great football game. When needed, I would give him the information on the scoreboard and he would make sure I didn’t get tackled by any play that traveled onto the sidelines.

Lori was my best friend in Vegas. She was always there for me and I spent more time in her office at Highlands University than anywhere else. During basketball games at West Las Vegas, she constantly teased me about how much coffee I drank and I always made sure I had snacks, mainly Oreos and gummy bears, for us to eat throughout the game.

As if I didn’t have enough people to tease me already, Tripp was one who always made sure I was laughing or smiling at something he said to me. The two of us constantly teased each other and I always made sure to get the worst possible photos of him on the sidelines of a game. He always had my back though. No matter what happened, he was there to lend a hand and help me with anything that I needed. He gave me so many story ideas and made sure I always had something to fill the newspaper with.

For now, so long Las Vegas. It was a good two years and I am so thankful for all of the support that I had. There were so many coaches who always texted me “thank you” after I wrote a game story or a feature about their team.

Now, I turn my attention to Socorro and get to know everyone here. I hope that I have the same support within the community and with all of the coaches.

It has been a great first few weeks. I was able to cover a breaking news story and write about the Bosque del Apache, a refuge that I had never heard about until I was assigned the story.

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