Tons of beach volleyball

This cold of mine is not getting better, not even with DayQuil. I definitely would have stayed home from work with this, but since I am in California and don’t want to miss out on anything I am pushing myself through, pretending I am not too sick. It was perhaps a bit stupid to play a lot of beach volleyball today for example. But I had so much fun. And honestly, it was cold sitting by watching. It was very overcast and perfect weather for beach volleyball. One of the Elin’s made a friend the day I was at WSP and we met up with him and a friend of his. This friend had supposedly lived in Sweden for 3 years but when we met him, he had the Stockholm accent and told us he had lived in Sweden since he was three years old and in California the past year. He was born in Iran. He was nice and we had a great day of more than 4 hours of play. I didn’t play all of that time, I took breaks.

The Swedish guy then accompanied us for the rest of the afternoon and we sat down for lunch together in Huntington. Poke bowls and they were so good! He then showed us a super cool bar called Bungalow which was basically many living rooms put together. Just couches and even fireplaces. Such a cool and cozy bar! And then some shopping in Huntington and we ran into a crowd of Trump -followers who screamed straight out at people with other backgrounds than themselves that they should go to hell and all kinds of horrible things. I got so surprised. Does that seriously happen?? In California? So scary!!

O

ur night plans were Cheesecake Factory. The whole gang was gathered all 9,5 of us. Me, the two Elin’s, Miriam, our two hosts, Miriam’s brother and sister and her husband and kid. It was such a nice evening but now my stomach hurts, so bad. So much food! But it was worth it, so delicious!

We spent half an hour in the jacuzzi with some champagne in Panda Express cups. The day couldn’t have ended better! Now I feel feverish and will get some proper good nights sleep. I hope I will feel better tomorrow when me and Elin W is going up to SLO. I am so excited to go back there as well. This whole vacation has been a trip down memory lane. I really like California, this is home.

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.

Desert Safari and kitten

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Our last day in Dubai was amazing and was over so fast. We started the day at Kite Beach. It was a beautiful and warm day, we spent some time in the water and it was just awesome! We got back to the hotel at 1pm and we actually had time to take a taxi to Deira City Center and crossed our fingers that that Max hadn’t closed down as well. And it hadn’t. We ordered a normal Frisco meal with fries. They said they had Crispy Fries but it was not the same as in Sweden. The Burger wasn’t the same either. But it was still worth it.

We got back to the hotel and had time to pack everything before we got picked up for the desert safari. A humongous Toyota Land Cruiser. It was the two of us and another Indian family of four. The first stop was at a Dune Buggy place, it wasn’t included in the package and none of us went. Then we went straight out in the desert, the road just ended and there were so many cars! We all went in a long line and it was a bumpy ride. I guess I should have known, but I was surprised at how bumpy it was, I felt sick. We then stopped for some pictures in the desert, the sun was setting and it was beautiful. It was windy and we had sand everywhere, but it was nice. We then took normal roads (and at the end in the dunes) to reach a camp that was set up in the desert. It looked like a small small circular city where there were small stalls where we could pick up starters, coffe, tea, sodas and then later a buffet table. The food was okay and I guess the closest to the Arabian culture. We sat on pillows on the ground and in the middle of the whole camp was a stage where people danced. Right outside of the camp there were two camels that we could ride as well. That was scary, especially when it rose and lied down.

We got back to the hotel at around 9:30 pm and the taxi came and picked us up at 11pm to go to the airport. The flight would take off at 2 am, but it was delayed and we didn’t take off until 3am. And also because of winds the plane had to take a detour over Poland and make a landing to refuel. And that meant that we lost a lot of time and therefore missed our connection flight in Stockholm. We landed when it took off at 8:30am. The next Norwegian flight that we didn’t have to pay anything for was at 5:45 pm. We could book with SAS, but that would have been expensive, so we stayed at the airport the whole day instead of being home with Cleo and chilling. In total we stayed up for 40 hours with a few hours of bad sleep in the plane from Dubai to Stockholm. It was brutal. I am still tired, even if I got a good amount of sleep last night. I guess it can also be because I spent two hours this morning playing beach volleyball. We were only 4 people there so it was a lot of practice time. I was dead afterward.

I am still not 100% recovered, but I have a full day of just doing nothing at home tomorrow which is good, but then on Monday, school starts again.

IMG_20160121_100722 IMG_20160121_133937 IMG_20160121_134659

IMG_20160121_171902 IMG_20160121_172015 IMG_20160121_173309 IMG_20160121_173740 IMG_20160121_173804

IMG_20160121_182114 PANO_20160121_194610 IMG_20160121_195441

 

Today was a big day. After practice I met up with Jesper downtown and we picked up the scratch map we left for framing before we left, we then bought a frame for the pictures we bought in Dubai, and our last stop was Webhallen where I bought a new eReader. My old one was drenched when my water bottle leaked last Thursday on my way to practice. Too bad, that was a good eReader and they are not sold anymore. So instead of a Sony, I now have a Kobo Glo HD which has light in the screen which is a huge plus! It actually seems like a really cool eReader and much more complex than my old one. I think I will like it.

And then we made an even bigger purchase, we got Cleo a Friend! He looks almost exactly like her, but he is fluffier and a boy and 1.5 months younger. He is adorable, and didn’t complain at all when we drove him home. He was curious and then fell asleep. When we got home Cleo was super curious about this new little guy. But she is very rough with him, playing all the time, refusing to leave him alone and he is much smaller than she and can’t defend himself. I guess she is making sure that he knows that she is in charge here, but she is kinda overdoing it. I know that she is very playful, but I hope she will calm down and not be so rough with him, he is just a baby! But I guess in a month or so he will be as big and will be able to hit her back. They have slept together twice, but as soon as nap time is over they are fighting again. I really hope this will calm down soon and that Cleo won’t hate us because we brought a smaller cat here. All of last week she was with mom and her two cats and apparently she was all over them there. She would never leave the two oldies alone so we thought a friend for her at home would be nice too. But I don’t think she realizes that the cat she played with most at mom’s was 8kg, while she was only 1.7kg and this new one can’t be more than 1.2kg. We will let the small one sleep with us tonight with a closed door and Cleo on her climbing tree and hope she will behave better tomorrow.

We don’t have a name yet, so if you have any suggestions for a fluffy red boy, let me know.

IMG_20160123_084335 It is so beautiful in Gothenburg right now! It is kinda sad that we missed this last week when it was this much snow. Unfortunately tomorrow it will be above freezing and therefore everything will melt…IMG_20160123_202715 IMG_20160123_154332 On our way to Orust through Winter Wonderland to get our new family member.20160123_160720 And here he is!IMG_20160123_161427 20160123_171819 IMG_20160123_172848 At first she followed him around like an extra tail.IMG_20160123_173506 IMG_20160123_182218 IMG_20160123_182238 IMG_20160123_182938 And then she started to get rough and play with him.IMG_20160123_192222 IMG_20160123_204006 IMG_20160123_200624 One nap was okay and they were like siblings lying there. And then there was some more fighting…IMG_20160123_212153 And another nap, closer this time! And then some more fighting.20160123_224346And lastly before they went their seperate ways to sleep in different locations, Cleo washed him. Cute! I think this will work out, we just have to give them time (especially for him to grow more).

Bvball, surfing, Fair, Cinépolis

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

Wow, what a weekend. I am exhausted out of my mind, but what a fun and eventful weekend. Yesterday was a long day and it started with 3 hours of beach volleyball at South Mission Beach. I didn’t play well at all in the beginning, but I got better and I had a great time. Next up was surfing at La Jolla Shores, we were in the water for 2 hours. I have definitely surfed better, but I blame the waves this time, they were really bad. But I caught some and stood up for at least a few seconds every now and then. I thought it was fun.

IMG_20150613_131319 IMG_20150613_132633 IMG_20150613_131409 IMG_20150613_131603 IMG_20150613_131647 IMG_20150613_131728 IMG_20150613_132006 IMG_20150613_132110 IMG_20150613_132230 IMG_20150613_132237 IMG_20150613_132302 IMG_20150613_132311 IMG_20150613_132411 IMG_20150613_132429 IMG_20150613_132419 IMG_20150613_132437 IMG_20150613_132459 IMG_20150613_132553 IMG_20150613_132411-PANO My phone (Google Nexus 5) did this automatically. Google Photos is really cool! It puts pictures from the same geographical place in an album, it creates photo sequences if there are a lot of similar pictures. Or adds effects o pictures, or does this. Pretty cool!IMG_20150613_131918-PANOIMG_20150613_180415 IMG_20150613_182230 IMG_20150613_182819

Third stop of the day was La Jolla Cove. I was hoping to see lots of sea lions like almost exactly two years ago. But we saw just a few. The whole cliff area was changed, and maybe that’s why they left? I hope they were just playing underwater instead, I would be so happy if I could see some while scuba diving this week.

Back to the hotel to shower, then off to San Diego County Fair where we walked around for a couple of hours. It was pretty much exactly the same as two years ago, but it was fun. There were many animals, both small and big, endless with food stands and everything else that has to do with a fair.

IMG_20150613_205258 IMG_20150613_211511 IMG_20150613_213116

Worth mentioning is that yesterday was my big day of luck when it comes to parking. Four times in a day we were extremely lucky and got one of the best spots on four very busy locations. Fist in Mission Beach, then La Jolla Shores, then La Jolla Cove, and at the Fair. I definitely used all my parking luck in one day, so that won’t ever happen again.

At 11pm we left the fair and drove to Del Mar where we spent two hours watching Jurassic World. A great movie, and a great experience watching it at a luxury cinema. The movie started at midnight and was about two hours long. Got back to the hotel at 2:30am and the alarm went off at 6:30 today. You could say that I was tired. And all I did today was play a beach volleyball tournament in Mission Beach. It was a draw 4 vs 4 tournament and I had so much fun all day with some of the people from bvball at South Mission Beach yesterday. You had a partner throughout the first four games and played with a different coed couple in each game. I played with a guy named Bart, and the first game we lost really bad, but we won the last three. I was the setter and everyone loved my sets, and I have to say that they were pretty damn good today! And very many people I’ve never met before acknowledged that, it made me happy.

I was apparently one of the better players with most points in the whole tournament, so after the group plays, the best players in the epic division (the better one) got a buy (was that how it was called?) which means that I automatically won the first game in the playoff. Then there was the awesome division (the not as good division) and the best people in that one won there too. Unfortunately I had to wait for at least two hours before playing the semifinal with a new bunch of people. I had lost it, we were rotating (instead of me setting the whole game), and we lost with 25-17 (we were playing one set to 25). But I am not too sad about it, I was very tired at the end. Michael drove me up to Carlsbad where he helped me in with my suitcases. We said goodbye and I took a shower. I am embarrassed to say that I very much forgot about sunscreen today. It was so cloudy today (June Gloom) and not very warm. It was fine to play in shorts and a tank top. But anyway, I got so burned! My shoulders and especially my face. That sunglass tan is never going away now. It looks horrible…

I have lots of aloe vera on it, so I hope it will at least be better tomorrow. I don’t know what I will do yet tomorrow, I might go to Victoria’s Secret to buy some underwear, I will definitely sleep in first though. I will need a lot of sleep now. And now, I am in bed, and will watch the season finale of Game of Thrones!

Video interview

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

I  actually intended to update my blog every night the past couple of days, but I just didn’t have time! I got home safe and sound on Sunday evening after 5.5 hours in the car with David.

On Sunday I went down to Mission Beach again for some more beach volleyball. It was overcast in North County but down there it cleared up, but with the blue sky came the wind as well. It was hard to play but I did actually get better very fast when I got used to it. I met up with Ko that I met on Saturday for the first time. We went to a Meetup group and I talked to them for literally four minutes before a random guy came up to me and asked me if I wanted to play a co-ed game. It was a very even game in the end. Me and my partner were under with several points up until half game. I guess that’s when I got used to the wind and we were actually on the verge of winning. But then we just kept giving away points, and so did the other team, so the game ended at 25-23. Such a long game! Unfortunately we lost, but it was a very fun game.

Then I chilled for a bit before playing a second game with Ko and two guys from the Meetup group. It was also an even game and my team lost again, 21-19. And after that I didn’t wanna play more, and there were hardly any people there, so I moved closer to the water and fell relaxed for a couple of hours before I had to leave and get ready to leave.

The last 30 minutes I was on the beach I was laying on my stomach and actually think I fell asleep for a bit. When I came home to my hostfamily I realized that my bikini had slid up so a very very white part of my butt was out in the sun. It was so red and just got worse during the evening and yesterday (Monday). Now I know how my normal skin reacts in the Californian sun in only 30 minutes. It is scary! It is still very pink today, two days later. I am used to getting rid of my redness the morning after with this tan skin I have now. I can sit down without it hurting, but I still have to be careful when putting on pants. I actually burned my calves pretty bad too.

Yesterday was a pretty chill day, I went to beach volleyball practice and was all alone. So me and the coach did a lot of intense peppering and then he made me practice setting a ball which hit the net. Doing that for 15 minutes or how long it was, was very tough on my thighs. And then of course we did a lot of squats in TRX right after. My legs have been a little spaghetti-y today, but that’s not a bad feeling!

Today was a long day. I woke up and realized that I had forgotten about the quiz that was due at 9am this morning. I quickly did it and managed to get a 94% on it. I would have gotten 100% if I only had read the material… During my one hour break I sat in the library reading, because it was “freezing” outside. I was also very tired and that makes me cold. And because I was so tired, it was hard to stay awake in my two last classes.

In my German class the professor told us that he once again was disappointed while correcting the midterms. But he added that there are the few A’s too, and he said that Swedish people apparently are smarter than Americans. I guess that means I am getting a decent grade? 😀

When I came to beach volleyball practice again today it was just me again. So the coach asked me if I still wanted to do it. It was kinda windy, the sun was out though. I said no, I wanted to be prepared for the interview at 5pm and didn’t wanna stress about it.

Until then I worked on the big assignment in Land Use and Transportation Studies. It is almost 1am and my group members still didn’t do their parts. This is due tomorrow at 10am. We are meeting at 9, so I hope we have enough time to finish it.

My former WoW-group member came over with her two groupmembers and sat up all their video equipment in my room. I sat on my bed with the Swedish flag in the background while they were filming from two sides and had a LED-lamp. It was some pretty serious stuff. They asked me questions like how my childhood was in Sweden, what made me decide to finish my studies here and how I deal with cultural differences and about my travels. It was fun! I’ve never done anything like this and I have never been in front of a camera. I felt like a star! We are doing more filming on Friday but outside. I am so curious about the final result.

Later tonight I went out to the intersection here in PCV and measured it for another Land Use homework that is due tomorrow. Tomorrow night will be a busy night too… It is soon weekend again. This weekend I am just gonna chill (or not if some adventure comes up).Beach volleyball courts at the Rec Center Yesterday was a perfect day for beach volleyball! And the gym’s courts just got new nets as well!Filming in my room

Beach volleyball, beach volleyball, surfing

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

Today I broke a personal record, how many beaches visited in one day; three. I was up so early this morning so I could be at Ponto Beach at 7:30 to play some beach volleyball with the old gang. I played three games with Dan and I have to admit that I played so bad… It might have been because of the wind, or something else, I don’t know. It was very fun even if we lost all the games. At 9:30 am there were so many people there and the waiting time was ridiculously long, so I decided to head down to beach number two, Mission Beach. I met up with Wes and Cathleen from February. I didn’t understand how that worked, at Ponto it is so easy with the list, next on the list play on the next court available unless you are waiting for the challenge court or doesn’t wanna play on that one. But this was just chaos. So I started talking to this other guy, Ko, and he introduced me to a group of players a little bit away from all the chaos and I played with them for the rest of the day (until 2pm). It was so much fun, everyone was friendly, funny and let me in right away. We were a bunch of people so we did side-out, but I liked that. It is easier to focus on every side-out when you don’t have to worry about scores. And we got to play a lot all the time instead of one intense game, then a long wait and another game and so on. It was great and I had so much fun! In the end we played two games, one 4 on 4 (which was the first time I ever enjoyed that type of game), and then one doubles. That game was really fun and even and I have to say that I played really well today. My sets were perfect, even my bump sets were better and more consistent than they have been in a very long time. Fun fun! I even managed a jump serve as the winning point in the 4 on 4 game. I could also jump and hit pretty hard, and also place balls. There was one sick ball where I was so close to the net on the right side, and the ball went straight parallel with the net and landed almost on the line on the angle shot. I think I was more surprised than everyone else.

Today was just a really really good beach volleyball day for me and I am so exhausted and tired in my whole body now. I love this feeling. I don’t really like that my foot soles are sore from jumping and running around in hot sand for a long time.

I am going down there tomorrow again before going back home in the evening with David.

At 3pm I arrived in La Jolla and found a parking spot right away, and very close to the beach too. Lucky! My Swedish friends left right when I came though, but David came and we went surfing right away. Unfortunately I couldn’t be in the water more than about 30 minutes because my eyes were burning like nothing before. I’m guessing that it was sunscreen and saltwater. But that usually goes away after like two waves, but today it just kept burning and burning. It was even worse when I looked out in the water facing the sun. It was so bad I had to go up… My eyes are still sore and it kinda looked like I had cried my eyes out when I got back to the house around 6pm. A shower helped a lot, but I still feel like my eyes sting a bit. What happened?

I took care of the kids tonight while the hostparents went out to the movies. I feel like that is the least I can do for them for letting me come down here, stay with them, AND use the car. They are so nice, and I wanna give back. And also I like spending time with the kids again. Tonight we baked “havreflarn” a Swedish oatmeal cookie, we watched Cupcake Wars, and played basketball in the backyard. I then put the kids to bed and was ready myself to go to bed. But there are always stuff to do on the computer, so here I am, almost midnight and not asleep yet. Well well, I can sleep another time.

Ponto Beach Beach #1, Ponto Beach.Mission Beach Beach #2, South Mission BeachLa Jolla ShoresBeach #3, La Jolla Shores

PCV Honor Banquet

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

Yesterday was a packed day again. First an hour of beach volleyball practice in the burning (but amazing) sun. Then an hour of extreme TRX. Well, technically it was only 25minutes of workout, but it was tough. Five different exercises and six different sets. First 30 reps, then 25, 20, 15, 10, and 5. I didn’t have time for the last five reps, which was running back and forth in the room five times. I was so dead after that. My whole body shaked really bad. I can’t really say that I feel worse today than after any other workout. Somehow I don’t get sore after pushing myself to the absolute limit. A little strange, but I am not complaining. Then I had almost an hour of waiting for my German class. We started watching a new movie, Herr Lehman. So far it is good.

As soon as I got back home I took an hour nap before heading to the main building in this village for some amazing (and free) cake from Madonna Inn. I also got a certificate saying that I got really good grades last quarter. This was the PCV Honor Banquet. Feels pretty good.

The rest of the evening I didn’t do much. I watched the new Game of Thrones episode, and then went to bed at 10pm. I couldn’t fall asleep though, so tonight I will take one of my pills so I will get a good night’s sleep.

I have kinda gotten sick again which really sucks a lot. It is not too bad yet, just a little bit of headache, a very heavy head, and a stuffed/runny nose. I hope it doesn’t get worse than this, being in the middle of midterm madness would not be any more fun with a bad sickness.

It is not too bad, because I did go to beach volleyball practice this afternoon. I actually felt better while doing it. After that I ran into David and a bunch of other Germans and hung out by the pool for a bit. But when it got hard to breathe again I went home for a shower, soup for dinner, a couple of TV shows, and now I am so ready for bed. It’s been a long day. Tuesdays and Thursdays are no fun.

IMG_20150427_180349