I’ve heard the question many times since Alex and I met last year. I love telling the story and usually begin to answer with:
Well, I needed my drone fixed…
to which I typically get a confused look in return. What? Women can’t fly drones? Anyway, I go on with the story 😉
Once upon a time, I met a guy while on a press trip for Ritz-Carlton Dorado Beach. We dated for a while, and in order to make a long story much shorter, he ended up crashing my drone into a Caribbean palm tree many moons ago. (I promise, this is pertinent information.) He had it “fixed” and returned it to me a few months later. You break my drone and I break (up with) you. Haha, kidding. Sort of. The drone sat in Arkansas for a long time while I was galavanting all over the world, and it wasn’t until a collision of a few different events that led me back to it. Around the beginning of last June, I got a sponsorship with BMW. My mom’s birthday fell on the 10th of June, so I traveled back home for a birthday visit and scheduled the BMW shoot for the following week in LA. While in Arkansas, I saw my “fixed” DJI Phantom 3 sitting in my old closet and immediately knew it was perfect for the car shoot. I decided to turn it on…
It powered on, made some beeping noises, calibrated beautifully with thriving propellers and then……nothing. No lift, no thrust, no action. Talk about the biggest tease ever. It’s like the universe wanted to play a little game called ‘just the thrust.’ Just for a second, just to see how it feels. Well I’ll tell you how it felt. It was nothing but a big gust of wind that sent a message loud and clear: this electronic device was closed for business.
I took the Phantom back to LA with me and texted Adam Goldberg, a good friend of mine who I’d met a few years prior while in Hawaii during a Ritz-Carlton Kapalua press trip. (Wow, the Ritz is really making quite the appearance in this blog huh?) I knew he was very well-versed in drone technology, so I asked him to help me troubleshoot. Because he was across the United States living in Atlanta, he promptly told me to message a guy named Alex Kavanagh – the expert of drones who lived in LA. Okay, perfect. So I did just that. I slide into Alex’s DMs 🙂 Pretty damn proud of it, too.
I think Alex tried giving me some pointers, to which I’d already put in place and exhausted. I met him the following day at his place (we lived approx. 7 mins from one another), and I distinctly remember a few occurrences that took place on June 11th, 2018. The door to the house was open, so as I stepped over the threshold, I saw him for the first time, legitimately felt a spark of electricity and thought to myself, “Shit. I should’ve done more research. This guy is hot.” And another thing. I was probably the most nauseous I’d ever been that day leading up to this lil meet and greet, and I cannot place why. I never feel nauseous. I got my hair done that afternoon (it took FIVE hours, y’all) and almost cancelled on the meeting because I felt so ill, but DRONES OR DIE. J/k, that was intense. I knew I wanted the drone for the BMW shoot, so, I went.
Right after the “shit he’s hot” thought came into my mind, it quickly left because then I started salivating HEAVILY…and not for good reason like drool or something. Allow me to explain. The man was whipping up some homemade pesto in his beautiful kitchen. Casual. But that’s not why I was salivating either. So let’s get a few things straight. He’s hot, he’s cooking, he has a beautiful home. That’s a triple threat in my book. So why was I salivating? You know when you’re super nauseous and your body is about to go into convulsions and throw up and the pre-requisite to that is basically uncontrollable saliva? Yeah, this was that. I don’t even remember meeting Alex because I was in the middle of trying to overcome a mental game of “Is Lesley going to vomit on this hot guy’s hardwood floor or not?” Did I extend my hand? Did I go in for the hug? Was his Australian accent cute? All I know is that I was DETERMINED to NOT vomit on the hot guy’s floor, so much so that I was about to lie and say I forgot something in my car (bed pan?) and throw up in the street, but then this Uruguayan man appeared from the back room (who also snapped the creepy photo below where you can clearly see me heaving over in pain – which isn’t so creepy anymore because I love Maxi from Uruguay) so I had to be nice and meet the hot guy’s friends which basically left no time to vomit in the street.
After about 5 minutes, the nausea (read: smell of pesto) somehow subsided, and I could focus on drones. And Alex. And drones…
This is when I tell you that Alex couldn’t fix the Phantom 3 in the end, but he ended up giving me his Phantom to borrow for my shoot the following day. Not all heroes wear capes. Some make pesto and have spare drones lying all over the house as founders of drone production companies typically do…? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ We did a little flying lesson since I’m not sure he ever actually believed I could fly…so I proved it to him in his front yard that day. This was our first photo together (unedited and exactly as we are), and how appropriate that it’s from a freaking drone?! NERDS.
I’m not sure how we got to the point when he said he could get me a brand new drone – but we got there. Before I left, I had a fully charged Phantom 3 packaged up very nicely in a drone backpack that did not belong to me…as well as a promise of a DJI Mavic Air.
And just like that in a miraculous turn of events, the sickness left my body. Ooh, heaven is a place on earth. And it resides with him 🙂
Our first date was when Alex took me out to fly my new Mavic Air during sunset. We ate fish tacos afterwards and talked the night away. Hours passed. It’s not every day that I have a conversation like we had – forgetting to place food orders and having so much to say to the person sitting across from me that the rest of the world fades away. I found so much kindness and familiarity in him which stuck with me as I went off to Aruba the following day for a month of yoga teacher training. It’s a wonder how Norway was our…9th date?
Funny when I think about it…that every single moment in this story had to happen in order to meet Alex Kav. From the Ritz Carlton(s) to ex boyfriends not properly fixing said drone to meeting matchmaker Adam Goldberg in Hawaii to going home for mom’s birthday to pick up an old, broken drone to the BMW shoot to the stars freaking aligning. Ahhh. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
One thing’s for sure: 2018 summer lovin’ had me a blast.