I am going to the CARIBBEAN

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.

In 43 days I will be sitting on a plane on my way to my biggest adventure so far. Sure, moving to San Diego for 13 months was pretty big, and moving to San Luis Obispo to try out the life of an American college student was too. But going on a more-than-three-week-vacation alone to the Caribbean is pretty frickin big! It is still not completely 100% certain that I will go all by myself, I am still trying to convince my mom and Toby and his brother. And I will of course meet lots of people at the hostels, but I will go there by myself. And I couldn’t be more excited!!

So, on the late evening of December 11th (my last day of finals) I will jump on a plane to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It is pretty far away so it will take me 14 hours before I land at 2pm on December 12th, and that’s when my adventure will begin. I will stay in Punta Cana for 8 nights (Dec 12-20), then fly for an hour to San Juan in Puerto Rico. The hostel there has a 7 night rule so I will be on my way to my third and last destination on December 27, to Montego Bay on Jamaica. I will stay there for 8 nights and then a 12 hour flight back to San Luis Obispo on January 4th. I am beyond excited and I was literally shaking when everything was booked this afternoon. In total everything will end up at $3000 and I think that is a fair amount of money to pay for 23 days in paradise.

I’ve started googling on what there is to do and I have a feeling that the planning is gonna take a while. There are so many things to do, and so many amazing beaches!! Have you ever heard about the Blue Flag Organization? Me neither. But that is a ranking thing in Europe and they rank the best beaches in the world. Punta Cana has several and the Dominican Republic in general has more Blue Flag ranked beaches than any other Caribbean island. I think I will be in for a treat (since I love beaches).

I just started looking into it so I haven’t really come up with anything yet except that there is a Hard Rock Cafe in Punta Cana and that there is a catamaran cruise to a very beautiful island. It costs $90 but it looks awesome. And since I will be traveling alone I think tours would be good for me. But I will of course have plenty of lazy days by myself at the beach too. And I am planning to go ziplining on one of the islands.

I’ve also decided that I am gonna invest in a GoPro camera for $399. I am going to the Caribbean, crystal clear waters and hopefully nice fish and turtles (dolphins?) and the new series are waterproof. And with a stick I would be able to take selfies without looking too ugly up close. I don’t wanna go to several paradise islands without having proof that I was there. So I will buy it, hopefully soon. And when it comes to money, I’m not short of it. A few days ago I got the stipend from Chalmers for going here. It’s pretty great that my school pays me 25 000 SEK ($3400) to go to California to study for a year. And in a month I will get my financial aid of 46 000 SEK. I am not gonna be wasting money on unnecessary things, but I also don’t wanna feel like I did on Hawaii this January when I couldn’t buy things because of lack of money. So I am not gonna feel bad for renting a car for a whole week on Puerto Rico for example. I will save money on food, since it is a bit awkward to go to restaurants on your own.

I’m sure you can tell that I am excited since I’ve been writing almost a whole page in word about this already. I just can’t believe this is happening. I am going to the Caribbean for 23 days in just 43 days!!! 😀 I don’t want time to go faster than it already is, but I want Winter Break to be here NOW! And I guess time goes slower when you really look forward to something? So that’s good too, because I still don’t wanna leave SLO. And when this trip is over I have Spring Break to look forward to. I’m hoping for Cancun!

Anyway, this morning I couldn’t sleep in because I had a field trip in Paso Robles at 8:30am. It was an interesting field trip as well. They had transformed a street (21st Street) into a “Complete Street” I think it was called.

When I came home at 11am I booked the trip and then I went with Kelsey and Toby for some errands. Lauren had to study so she couldn’t come with. We bought pumpkins, carving tools and some other things. It was a successful trip. I got home, just had time to make dinner and then off to class. I almost fell asleep today, but I managed to stay awake by eating my dark chocolate pieces flavored with pomegranate I accidently bought today. Good thing I did though, because they kept me awake. It’s so embarrassing falling asleep in class…

Now I am home and I know I should go to bed, but I so want to go to google and look up amazing things to see and do on DR. Stupid excitement!

Punta-Cana-BeachThis is the closest beach to the hostel I will stay at on Dominican Republic! EXCITED!!!!!

Wine tasting, tattoo, BofA, shopping, frat party

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 very fun day. It started with a field trip to a winery in Paso Robles, Kukkula Winery it was called. It is Finish and means “living on the hill” or something. The guy owning the place had a Finish father. The farm was an organic and dry farm, which means he doesn’t use pesticides, fertilizers or water. If the soil is fertile and full of porous rocks it works out in the end. It is very important to keep away weeds and have distance between the plants to keep the water competition low.

We got lunch there and at the same time a mini wine tasting. We tried 8 wines in total, one white, one rosé and the rest red. When the grapes aren’t watered the color and the taste become more intense which made the wines very spicy and strong. I wasn’t a big fan of it, but I have to say that my favorite was a red wine called Sisu.

Kukkula dry farming Kukkula Winery wine storage Kukkula wine tasting

I got a little tipsy after that to be honest but not too bad. When we got back to SLO Kelsey and Lauren picked us up and we went to the Halloween store so they could look at costumes. They didn’t find anything.

Our next stop was Traditional Tattoo. I had an appointment at 2pm with Butters. I was a little nervous, like always. It went well and it hurt more than the other two I have, probably because it was so close to the bump on the side of my ankle. After about 40 minutes it was done and it was perfect. So much better than the picture I showed him. I am very very satisfied with it. It is the biggest I have so far (but it is still not big) and it was also the cheapest, I paid $80 for it.

Butters My third tattooMy third tattoo

But when I tried to pay my card didn’t work. So it wasn’t just the ATM that didn’t work on Thursday. My whole card is wrong. I went to the bank and they told me that the card was completely gone from the system. The guy who helped me get a new card told me he had never seen anything like it. Weird. I got a temporary card and will get a new real card pretty soon.

Our next stop was for a late lunch at Panera Bread. We had dropped off Johanna before the bank and the three roommates went clothes shopping at Forever 21. I don’t have many clothes here and really needed to buy some more tops and a new pair of “longer” shorts. It was needed. And it was cheap, no fancy brands like I did last year. I bought 6 things for $80. That’s not bad at all.

That store was huge so we got straight home after that. I cleaned my tattoo, took a shower and put on the $9 dress I bought and went to a frat party with Kelsey and Margarita. It was the British boy’s Phi Psi frat and I have to admit that it was fun. Three floors in a house, bottom was a dance floor, middle one was the bar and third social floor. Nothing bad happened, we just had a fun evening dancing. I liked it and will probably be back another weekend. Luka, the guy from Chalmers is a pledge at Phi Psi as well, but he wasn’t there last night.

Phi Psi frat party

I was home at 2am I think and stayed up for a while talking to Rachel, who just got home from a line dancing evening, and Lauren who couldn’t sleep. I stayed up and waited for Kelsey and made sure she got home safe and sound, which she did.Me and LaurenMe and Lauren in the middle of the night.

I slept until 12:30pm and I am still very tired. I am not hungover, just tired, so I should probably take a nap before I start writing on my two papers. I also have to look into how to send packages to Sweden. It is more complicated here since I have to do it online.

Cold Canyon Waste Landfill

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.

This morning was the first of my field trips in the Sustainable Environments class. We have too few in-class hours so we have to go to 10 hours of field trips to get all the units for the class. This morning we met up at 7am to go to the biggest waste landfill in the county. It was interesting, but it wasn’t very fun waking up after only 3 hours of sleep. I thought that going out last night was a good idea. It was, I had a great time with Lauren, Cody and Toby.

The fieldtrip was interesting. It smelled bad but not as bad as I was expecting.The most interesting thing about it was the fact that they used falconry to keep away gulls.

I borrowed Lauren’s car and gave it back to her at 10:30, before she got up. And I went to bed and slept until 2pm or something. I felt like crap so I made a small breakfast and started watching The Golden Compass. A big mistake. I’ve read the books and they are three of the best books I’ve ever read, but the movie doesn’t give it justice on any level. I totally understand why they didn’t make sequels. I probably should reread the books to take this bad movie out of my head.

I got tired and paused the movie and fell asleep and didn’t wake up until 8:30pm. I still felt pretty bad so I ate dinner and started watching Lilo & Stitch. Such a cute movie. I am gonna watch the sequel now and then sleep. I hate being sick. It’s the worst. It sucks that I am sick and stuck in bed when I have the whole weekend completely off for once. But I guess it would be worse if I had a ton of studying to do.

Cold Canyon Waste LandfillThis place used to be a canyon. Now it looks like a mountain. Falconry at the landfill Recycle CenterThe recycle center. This is something I didn’t understand. All the recyclables her are put in one bin because people are too lazy to sort better. So they drop everything off on the floor from the truck and then sort it by hand. Why not just sort it by yourself in your home? It was upsetting to be honest. In Sweden we are very good at recycling and we don’t complain about how hard it is to separate into 5 bins instead of one.Recycle center