San Diego day 1

I can’t believe I am back in San Diego. Even less that I am back in my old room. It sure doesn’t feel like it has been 6 years since I lived here. Although, when I hugged “my” kids again it definitely did. They were both taller than me. The girl is driving and has a part time job. The boy is now in his pre-teens and I feel so old when I kept saying that they had grown so so much. It was beyond amazing seeing them all again, even if it was just for one evening on a school night. I will see them again tomorrow morning and maybe even before we leave tomorrow night, depending on if they are still here. It’s a busy busy family.

This morning we woke up early to leave La Habra at 7am. We managed to get away on time. Impressive. Me and the two Elin’s picked up Miriam and her brother in Fullerton and started our drive down toward San Diego. There was trafic, but not too bad and we arrived down in PB (Pacific Beach) at 11am where we had breakfast at Kono’s with a view over the ocean.

Our next stop was Lake Poway where we started the Mt Woodson trail up to the summit where the famous Potato Chip Rock is. I’ve done that hike three times now and I am as amazed each time by how beautiful that hike is. Not only is the end really cool, but the nature and overview over inland SD so beautiful. Everyone else agreed with me and I am happy. It would have sucked to hike 8 miles and it not being worth it. It took us 3.5 hours in total, with the photo break on top, not too bad.

Our final stop for the day before heading up to Carlsbad and my second family, was Coronado Island. It is such an idyllic and pittoresque city. The Hotel Del Coronado was as pretty as it ever was and the skyline over SD downtown was as pretty. I have now taken 3 photos in front of it on three different occasions. First, when I just arrived here, the second time after studying at Cal Poly for a year and now third time as a tourist. Fun development there.

Back at the house I talked to my old hostparents for a long while before heading to bed. It has been great seeing them all again and I hope it won’t be 4 year until next time again.

First swim of the year

What an incredible day! As usual, the California sky fools you in the morning with clouds as far as the eye can see but around noon it clears up and is as beautiful and amazing as always.

We started the day by taking an extreme detour on the freeway, haha! Me and the two Elins (we are staying together in La Habra at some friends to Miriam’s sister) met up with Miriam at a Starbucks and because of the detour (if it hadn’t been for the closed exit off the I5 carpool lane) we didn’t get to the beach until 11am. We got up at 7 just because we wanted to be out early, haha! But that’s okay it was almost a little bit chilly in the morning but out of nowhere, while we were playing, the sun was just there, being totally in the way. But also amazing!

We managed to get 2h and 2 full rounds of Queen (everyone plays with everyone and the one with most wins, win) before Miriam had to go and pick up her sister at work to hang out with her and her family in the afternoon and evening. But me and the Elins had fun anyway. We had delicious fish tacos for lunch and then hung out at the beach, listening to music and even went into the water. It was cold, but so worth it once you were all in. I just love the ocean! We all got burned, some more, me a little bit less.

The day at Huntington Beach ended with the three of us doing some side out, but a girl came up to us and asked if we wanted a fourth. We did, so she joined us for another round of queen. It didn’t go too well for me in the morning, but tonight was my 2 hours. I was on fire. So much fun!

We had dinner on our way back; Panda Express. Another hole in my Americn heart has been filled. We went grocery shopping for our roadtrip tomorrow and then back home. It got too late for the jacuzzi. Perhaps another day.

Such a fun day! And tomorrow will be as well! Stay tuned for updates on our small roadtrip.

WSP LA

Today was a big day. Today was the day that I headed to our office in downtown LA. How cool doesn’t that sound?

Unfortunately though, there are always things going wrong when you have something big ahead of you. So even if I was out early and had planned for plenty of time with the Metrolink train, I still managed to arrive late and had to postpone the presentation half an hour. There were signal errors and had been since last night so the train was 1.5 hours late (which was the extra time I had planned for) but fortunately they pushed forward the presentation half an hour.

I

t was a small office, only 80 or so people and only 15 something to join me for the Cafe Catch-up. It was super casual so the “presentation” I had prepared was not really needed. I started with presenting myself and a little bit about what I was doing and then the questions almost came pouring over me. Everyone were so curious about what it was like to work in Sweden, what kind of projects we do, how the organization looks like and then someone asked about the benefits and then the general mood lowered a bit, haha! It was such a nice gathering and exchange of not technical knowledge, but organizational knowledge in the big company that we all work in.

I then headed out to lunch with Kevin, my contact and we went to this amazing sushi place close by. It was a rooftop restaurant with amazing view and incredble food. And after lunch I talked to this young girl Kristy and her closest boss. She actually works for the San Francisco office but is located here in LA. So even if this LA boss doesn’t find any contacts in the San Diego office, then Kristy is a great contact since she has bosses in both San Francisco and DC. This day was awesome for networking. Now I truly understand the meaning of that word.

Such a fun day!

The train back to OC was also delayed because of this signal fault but at least we weren’t standing still at one station for an hour, just rolled super super slow. I sat in Anaheim for an hour waiting for my friends to pick me up from Huntington. I got there at 5pm so there wasn’t really any point in going to the beach. Too bad, but we have plenty of more days to hang out at the beach. I am not tan yet though and it’s already been 4 days, haha! But my scalp is burned and that sucks. So tomorrow I am using SPF there as well.

Our 4th companion arrived from Sweden today at 8pm, we had pizza and then went to bed. Fun to finally be 4 players so we can get some real games in tomorrow at the beach. It will be great!!

Beach volleyball

Playing beach volleyball for a full day is exhausting. Being out in the sun all day is also exhausting. I am kind of tired right now to say the least.

We went to Huntington Beach today and practiced in the wind and sun all day. We got better and better and by the end of the day we found a fourth player to join us for some games. So much fun.

We parked as close as we could to the gold nets on Huntington State Beach, but when we got hungry we went to the pier and Ruby’s at the end of the pier. Well-needed food and such a nice view. We even saw a dolphin right outside.

Not much else happened today. 25 000 steps in total. Beach volleyball gives you a lot of steps. Fun!

This evening we met the people we are staying at for the first time. They are super friendly and nice. I have prepared for tomorrow’s presentation at WSP’s office in LA and I hope everything will go well. I am way too tired to read it through and prepare more, but my contact said it was super casual, so I am hoping it doesn’t matter exactly what I say. But I am a bit nervous. I will take the train into downtown tomorrow. That will be exciting as well. Then I am meeting up with everyone at Huntington after. Wish me luck!

LA Angels vs Seattle Mariners

This morning I woke up at 6:30am and couldn’t go back to sleep. The other two girls experienced the exact same thing. I think we all slept like babies the first night because we were just so exhausted. We didn’t yawn as much today as yesterday, but after sitting out in the sun all day, I feel tired and almost a little as if I have sunstroke. Pale Swede in California.

When I was awake enough, I started preparing the presentation I’m about to give on Tuesday. I really look forward to that. We had breakfast out on the balcony in the sun. It was amazing!

We then drove to Anaheim baseball stadium where we met up with Miriam and her sister’s family to watch today’s game. LA Angels vs Seattle Mariners. I remembered most rules but there were several situations that arose today that I hadn’t seen at any San Diego Padres games before so I learned new things today. The Angels won. They are usually a very good team, but are in the bottom right now. Seattle Mariners are usually a very bad team, but are currently in the lead. Fun game. The score was 8-1 up until the last inning where The Mariners took 5 points. Crazy.

After the game, we went to a brewery next door. I was declined to buy a beer, even if I’m 28. They refused to accept my Swedish drivers license… Stupid. But it was nice to hang out there for a bit.

On our way home we bought candy (for tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones) and then pizza for dinner. Today was all about food and I so look forward to playing some beach volleyball tomorrow to burn off these calories.

Great day! And now Ghirardelli chocolate and Game of Thrones.

Huntington Beach

The first full day back in California is over. I managed to get 10 hours of sleep and it was well needed. The day started with renting a car. 9 days for $650 doesn’t feel too bad. Especially not if we are 3 people sharing it. I got to be the designated driver. Something I definitely did not mind, it’s fun to drive here and it was etched into my memory and I quickly got back into it, even if it’s been many years now.

We drove to Huntington Beach directly, stayed there for an hour before it was time to head back to Fullerton where one of the girls is staying with her sister for some Easter bbq. Really nice evening.

At the beach, we did a little bit of planning for this trip, like we decided that a couple of days down in San Diego would be nice, so we will probably be going on Friday and stay until Saturday. That will be fun! I really want to go up to SLO, but I haven’t really figured that one out yet. To be continued. We also tried the wind a bit by some beach volleyball peppering. When we left we found so many nets where we will hang from now on. Can’t wait until we can play there.

This day ended with half an hour in the community jacuzzi. Such a sweet way to end this day!

Back “home”

I have been awake for almost 48 hours now. Except for those 2h of sleep I managed to get last night. I had a very weird evening and didn’t start packing until midnight (6 hours before take off). Stupid, but honestly, not only my fault. And I didn’t manage to get any sleep on the flight today. But I did manage to see four movies and finish chapter 16 in my own book.

I rode to the airport with one of the girls, another got another ride and the fourth is coming on Monday. What’s funny about today’s flight was that we three flew on all different routes and only with 10 min between our flights. Funny!

I am now laying in bed, it’s 9:30 pm, and I will most likely have the best night of all time. It has been a long day. In Sweden, this day is called “Långfredagen” which translates to Long Friday but in Easter it means: Good Friday. It truly was a long Friday. Almost everything today has gone well, but my flight from Munich to LA was delayed with an hour and a half. We had left the gate and were on our way to take off when the plane turned around and parked at the gate again. Super weird. Then US customs and borders at LAX took more than an hour. And we had trouble getting a Lyft (another type of Uber) and lost $10 because they were waiting for us on the second floor when we were waiting on the first.

The day ended with dinner at In N Out and we bought groceries for tomorrow’s breakfast.

I am seeing double now so I will turn off the lamp and hope I am restored tomorrow. I usually am not suffering from jetlag and I also usually (so far) manage to turn the day around in just one night. So let’s hope it is like that this time as well.