Two days in SLO

My last full day in California is over. I am really excited to go home if I’m to be completely honest (like I miss eating healthy, even if I have enjoyed every single bite of everything delicious I’ve had here, and I also miss not being this ridiculously tired all the time). But other than those two things, I don’t want to go home. From what I’ve understood, Sweden had better weather than California this past week. I didn’t get tan, but this was not a sunbathing trip though. We have done so many things. And lying on the beach, just soaking up the sun is only fun for so long.

So this vacation ended with a roadtrip. Me and the Elin who is sharing a flight with me tomorrow drove up to San Luis Obispo, my SLOME (SLO-home). It was 3.5-4 hours each way. Up was not a big deal, but going down tonight was rough.

The first Elin flew back home yesterday and the last thing the three of us did together was going to UCLA campus for a pie contest. Miriam’s sister told us about it, and free sampling from the baking competition sounded nice, so we stopped by there to get some free pie. But the tasting didn’t open until 3pm and with the 3 hour drive, it wouldn’t work. And perhaps that was for the best. We had leftover cheesecake for breakfast that day, haha!

We arrived at like 6pm and started with a “fika” at SLODOCO (San Luis Obispo Donut Company) with Rachel, my former roommate. It was so nice to see her again. She still lives in SLO, she managed to get a good job there. I am happy for her, SLO is the cutest city. And it was also nice to see Slodoco again. I have missed their chailatte so much!

Elin and I then drove to Pismo Beach where we had clam chowder soup for dinner and then down to Santa Maria and Steven where we were staying for the night. We watched the last two Game of Thrones episodes. Such a great evening!

This morning it was raining, so we took a slow breakfast at Kreuzberg in SLO. Their acai bowl is amazing! We also did some shopping at Victoria’s Secret.

The weather cleared up and was perfect hiking weather after that. So we parked on campus and did the serenity swing. I love that hike. It is only 6km roundtrip. My calves don’t like it, since it is always going upphill, but for the amazing views, it is totally worth it. Here’s a 3D pic of the swing.

Right after, we met up with my former WOW-leader (Week of Welcome) for lunch at Firestone Grill in downtown. If I have to be honest, it was not as good as I remembered. It was good, but the pulled pork was not as shredded as I remember it being. Very nice to meet Sam again.

I would have loved to go to Montaña de Oro State Park, but it was a 30 min drive up north, and it was already getting late. So we skipped it. Bought some donuts at Slodoco and I also got a picture of the chai powder they are using. If I could get a bag of those somehow, I would be so happy. We will see how that works out.

Then a small stop at Target to get some things to bring back home and then we hit the road. At 9:30pm we arrived back home in La Habra. I can barely keep my eyes open. But everything is packed and I am ready to spend the morning at Huntington Beach playing beach volleyball. I don’t look forward to the flight at 5pm…

Goodbye SLO

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 was the day when I said goodbye to my life up in San Luis Obispo. I can’t believe 9 months have passed already. But it has been a great year, I’ve met so many amazing people, done so many cool things, and learned important things. So even if the last few weeks have been pretty bad and I have been homesick, it has been a very sad day today. I am gonna admit that I have cried, especially when saying goodbye to some people. But I am also excited for a week in San Diego, and at the same time I kinda just wanna be done with this rollercoaster of feelings and be home already.

Michael and I started driving down to San Diego at 10:30am, picked up Björn and dropped him off at the LAX airport. So much traffic, and we didn’t reach La Jolla until 8pm. That was a long day. A very unhealthy one too. Slodoco for breakfast, In n Out for lunch and Cheesecake Factory for dinner. After tomorrow I will try to be done with all this unhealthiness.

On tomorrow’s agenda is first beach volleyball at Mission Beach, then surfing at La Jolla Shores, then San Diego County Fair, and then Jurassic World at Cinépolis. It will be a good day!

IMG_20150612_234953IMG_20150612_225121 After dinner we went to take a look at the beautiful San Diego skyline from Coronado Island. This is where I started my adventure in California more than 2.5 years ago, my second night in California was spent here.PANO_20150612_225636

And here are the pictures Rosie took of me in the studio a couple of weeks ago.IMG_1339 IMG_1371 IMG_1404 IMG_1415

Bike Night

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.

It took me a solid nine months before I actually did this. But the last bike night of the academic year was happening tonight and I felt like I had to do it. And it was fun! I met up with David and some of his friends at his house, they made me a tinfoil hat (the theme today was time traveling crystal formal. We dressed up like we were from the future I think. Everyone had different hats, well, there were two sharks, two sticks, one two-pair-eared bunny, and I got to be Willy from Free Willy with a bent fin, haha. The event started at 9:30pm downtown SLO. And what we did was pretty much drive around downtown for an hour. There were so many bikers!! Several hundred? It was crazy, and fun! I stayed for an hour, I felt like I had to have enough energy to drive all the way back up to PCV. On the way I stopped by Slodoco and bought a donut. I felt like it was worth celebrating after my last day of class ever! On my bachelor degree anyway, I will be back in school in the fall, but that’s different, that’s because I want to.

That’s also a big thing, today was the last day of classes. Most people would probably call it bittersweet, but I actually only feel like the word sweet is flowing through my head right now. I am over school, I wanna leave this part of my life behind and start a new part.

The presentation today went okay I would say. Not the best presentation I have ever given and I actually completely lost all my words for a while. But I just breathed, apologized, read on my notes, and started again. Not too bad. And I can’t say how relieved I am that that class is over, except for the final, which I am not super stoked about, but I will manage.

I took a nap today, even after sleeping for many many hours last night. Or maybe it didn’t add up to that many hours. I went to bed at 8:30pm because I was tired and bored. I got woken up by loud roommate a few times though and the second time I had a very hard time falling back asleep. It’s nice that people can be considerate…

This weekend is gonna be weird. I have been invited to several goodbye parties, but I have a lot of stuff that I actually need to do. And since I stopped drinking I don’t really feel like hanging out with drunk people. I will see what I will do.

I think it is time for me to go to bed now, I am very tired actually. Or should I start Guild Wars 2? Tough nightly decisions.

Bike Night The first Thursday every month, after Farmer’s Market, this Bike Night has been happening for the past 15 years. That’s a long time! Bike NightThe tinfoil-gang and some others. Bobby, Thiago, Aarshdeep, Jen, Alex, me, David, and two others.

Bishop’s Peak sunrise hike

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 have finally done it, I have hiked the tallest peak in SLO and it wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be. And I wanted it to be special because I am not sure I am gonna do this hike again. So for this special occasion I woke up at 5 am with Kelsey and her three friends from Iowa. 30 min later we were on our way to the bottom of Bishop’s Peak and the hike started soon before 6am. It was pitch dark, but no clouds so all the stars were out and it was so pretty. But it was not enough to light up the trail so we all walked with our phone lamps on. I have to admit that it was a little bit scary not seeing anything except a little bit ahead of our feet, but we didn’t hear any snarls from mountain lions. A relief. The first part was the worst part, it was just uphill on a trail. My calves did not like that. The rest was zig-zagging up the mountain side and wasn’t bad at all. We took a wrong turn once but realized after two minutes that it was wrong and was on the right path the rest of the way. It was not very warm but perfect hiking weather, we didn’t get super sweaty or tired.

We got to the top early after hiking for almost an hour. It was only 1.2 miles to the top which was not too bad actually, a pretty lagom hike. But we were early, and that meant that we had to sit up there for half an hour before the sun came up over the hills. It was windy like crazy and very cold. And we were also 34 people up there at that unearthly hour watching the sunrise with us.

It was amazing, so beautiful! I had kinda hoped for clouds so we would be over them, but this was beautiful too. You could see all of SLO and all the hills and tons of birds of prey sailing with the winds. It was a wow-experience. I might do it again for a sunset hike, but I will prioritize the other hikes first.

The way down was scary. Ever since my fall down the Potato Chip Rock in San Diego I am scared like an old lady going downhill. But we all survived and after the hike was done we bought breakfast at Slodoco. Yummy! I watched half of the pilot episode of iZombie on The CW and then took a two-hour nap before my hair appointment. iZombie seems like a fun TV show that I will start following now too. So many of the shows I watch right now are on The CW, a good TV channel, simply. It is about a girl who becomes a zombie, but she can control herself and tries to hide it from everyone, including her very attractive fiancé with whom she broke up when she became undead.

At 12.30 I rode my bike all the way to the train station and a little more to the hair salon I had an appointment at, Salon Glo. Rakesha took care of me today and she did an amazing job! It took 2.5 hours and now the worst of my split ends are gone, and my growth is pretty much invisible and looking more natural and beachy now. I love it! I can totally recommend her. And the prize was very nice too. $135 for all of that, and I even got a nice scalp massage and hair mask and tips on how to keep my hair in better shape. After schampooing my hair, I will towel dry it, then put in conditioner in the bottom half of my hair, rinse, and then be done. If there is water in between the conditioner and hair, it doesn’t work. It makes sense, and I will do this from now on so my hair can start getting healthier. Because now, half my hair is with split ends, but I wanna keep the length, so this will help. She was also very friendly. I am happy and feel like a new person.

I rode my bike back and was so tired the last 10 minutes when I reached the south entrance to campus. My butt and thighs hurt. It was no fun, so I chilled for a bit at home, took a shower, and then went with everyone downtown to Farmers Market. It was very nice, we got dinner and I bought some Olallieberry jam. I have never heard of it before, but apparently a ollallieberry is a mix between a blackberry and raspberry. It was good one and now I can mix it up with my normal strawberry I have at home for my pancakes in the morning. Which I am gonna stop with next quarter since I’ve told myself to be more healthy. Whatever.

I stayed at home after that. I was planning on going downtown again with Julianne for some partying, but wasn’t in the mood, and of course not in the mood for line dancing either. So I stayed at home, packed and prepared for tomorrow’s roadtrip up to San Francisco. I am excited!

The girls came home early from line dancing, a couple of them being so very drunk. I don’t handle drunk people very well when I am sober, but I feel sorry for Kelsey who has to drive them down to LA and take care of them on her own when she leaves here at 2:30am. I wish her last night here could have ended better than being kicked out of a line dancing event.

I had a great time with her here this week. I have been a little bit of a party pooper, but I have my reasons for that. It’s been a rough quarter and I am just starting to drop everything and start over with my last quarter in ten days. Today, my first day of spring break was great, it couldn’t have been better (except maybe for the late night’s events); a sunrise hike (which is so unlike me since I hate mornings), a new haircut, and a very pleasant Farmer’s Market. I have a good feeling about this first and last spring break of mine!

Bishop's Peak sunrise hike Pitch-dark start of the hike.Bishop's Peak SLO in the dark.Bishop's Peak It is not a very big city.Bishop's Peak The birds were floating everywhere.Bishop's Peak Bishop's Peak Bishop's Peak  Bishop's Peak A 360 degree photo from the top of the tallest peak in SLO.Bishop's Peak Bishop's PeakBishop's Peak It looked like nothing.before-afterIt’s not a huge difference, but the growth is gone, it’s more even and looks so much more healthy. I love it!

Long Thursday

I only have two long Thursday’s left before this quarter is over. Today I was doing stuff non-stop from 11am until 7pm. It was a long day with my feverish and very tired mood. I survived though and got some new information about the internship process, I can’t really say the Urban Planning class was very giving today, German was okay and fun as usual, and we had a guest speaker for two hours at the lab. Was rough. I thought Shannon and I would be able to analyze the peak hour bus routes after the lab, but since it was after 6pm it had to be the off peak. But we needed to do that too. So we basically just sat on the bus route all the way around, wrote down the arrival and departure time of all the stops and also how many boardings and alightings. It wasn’t too bad.

Then I spent I short while at the Farmers Market and had dinner downtown before going home where I had a big slice of warm cookie/cake with ice cream. I see double now and so look forward to sleeping for as long as I want tomorrow.

Home sweet home

I am finally home in SLO, exhausted like I don’t know. I had to spend 6 hours at Phoenix airport today because there was no chance of me getting on the standby flight at 11am (the aircraft was changed to a smaller one so 20 people were without seat, and ahead of me on the waitlist). I was at the airport at 9 am, and left at 3pm. Long day.

But it started pretty good. I had difficulty falling asleep last night, but when I did, I slept like a rock. The bed was so soft and awesome. I got up at 7am, took a hot shower, put on the hotel complimentary body lotion and felt awesome (the dryness was back when I was at the airport three hours later, it was nice as long as it lasted). I got free breakfast buffet. It was definitely an okay breakfast and I had a lot because I knew it was gonna be a long day either if I got the earlier flight or no.

For lunch I had Starbucks, I helped my dad get Snapchat, texted with Matt and my mom and just tried to keep myself busy the whole day. I was bored, but 6 hours was actually over pretty fast.

This flight was also delayed. The crew was not there on time. I couldn’t believe it! Once they arrived everything went smoothly and we took off ten minutes later than planned. The flight was a very comfortable one. You couldn’t even tell you were on an airplane, it was so smooth. I read two chapters, listened to a few songs, and then it was time to land. It was only 1.5 hours.

I landed and my baggage didn’t come to baggage claim. Great! It took almost 30 minutes for the security guard to tell us that our bags had arrived with the early flight (even if the lady at the gate told me she rerouted it to my later flight). I was relieved. This horrible trip was over!

Matt picked me up and drove me home. I was tired, but started unpacking and talked to my neighbors. At 7pm Måns from Sweden told me he was at Slodoco, so I managed to get a ride there and we went back to my place. Stayed for a few minutes and then headed to Firestone with Lauren, Rachel, Toby, and Pelle. It was a great way to end a long day.

Back home and I did laundry and finished unpacking. I looked at my schedule and made one for my door. I have a pretty great schedule this quarter too. Not as nice, but it is still okay.

Oh, how could I forget? We didn’t get a new roommate! So it is just gonna be the three of us this quarter. Kinda boring actually, the closed door ruins our corridor. But now we are all over 21 so we can have alcohol in our room, yay.

I have to go to bed now, my first day of class is tomorrow!

First day in San Luis Obispo

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.

The first day of my new life is over, almost. And I wish I could go to bed right now, but going to bed at 8pm in a hostel where four other people sleep is probably not a good idea. Or maybe it is, so I can get some sleep before they all come in.

Yesterday was a very long day, I was awake for about 24h.  I got up at 9, picked up Johanna at 10 and I said goodbye to mom almost an hour later. The plane to Stockholm left Gothenburg at noon and 35 minutes later we were at Arlanda. A million people decided to be at that airport at the same time, retarted. We had no time at all left to do anything than to hurry to the gate, which of course was at the other end of the airport. Our plane from Gothenburg also landed at the national terminal so we had a long walk.

Me and Johanna had two of three seats in the middle on the second to last row in the plane. We left the middle one empty to have our feet on. The flight was only 10h, I was expecting 13, but then I remembered that 13 was the whole travel time. It was over very fast and it wasn’t that bad. At one point I was extremely bored and couldn’t do anything so I just sat there until I got the ants in my pants away and read some more. I finished The Assassin’s Blade and started the third book Heir of Fire. Amazing books!

I also watched a couple of movies. I saw Free Willy for the first time in probably 15 years. So cute movie! And then I watched Frozen for the third time in just a few months. That movie gets better and better every time I see it.

We landed at 4pm in Los Angeles and it took us three hours before we were on the road up to SLO. A million people had to get out of the plane before us, the qeue to US Customs was the longest I’ve ever seen and then we had to take a shuttle to the car rental place and that line was also retardedly long. We didn’t get a Nissan Altima which was a big win. Instead we got a Toyota Camry which was nice to drive. But it was a 3 hour drive and any 3 hour drive is tough after being awake for almost 24 hours. We survived and had dinner at Ihop. For some reason not as good as I remember. Maybe my sweet toothness has started to disappear?

I dropped Johanna off at her house and then tried to find my hostel. It took a little longer than it should have, but I arrived at midnight, got my room, and fell asleep directly.

Today I woke up at 6am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I lay in bed until 8:30 though when I got up and paid for my room and tried to connect to the wifi on my computer. I talked to one of my roommates which turned out to be a Swedish girls I’ve talked to on Facebook a few weeks ago. SHe was checking out today to move to her house.

I picked up Johanna and we took a brunch at a place we found in downtown SLO. It was good and well needed.  This whole eating-out-thing will stop as soon as I get a routine here which should be in a week when classes start. After that we went to Bank of America to start up bank accounts. They were busy today though, so we got appointments for it on Monday morning. That was too bad, I was looking forward to get rid of my big bunch of cash… Our next stop for the day was to get cell phone plans at T-mobile. We went to Best Buy and took the car there. A car would be so convenient (but we will wait a bit to get help with buying one, bot me and Johanna very much wants to buy a car so we can easily go to the beach, do grocery shopping and take weekend trips), but until then we will get to know the bus system and buy bikes as soon as possible. They have a very nice system with plans here if you don’t want to sign up for a long period of time. I was amazed when the guy told me how it worked. So, you bought a sim card for $15 and then you bought a month of a plan of your choosing. So depending on how much you pay (30, 40 or 50) you get different things. I decided to go for the one which cost $50 and in that unlimited texts and minutes and 1 GB are included. That is valid for 30 days and when that time period is over I need to buy a new plan and it doesn’t have to be the same as I had. And I don’t have to go to a store to buy it, I can do it online or by just sending texts. An awesome system. The only problem with it is that it is so ridiculously expensive. But I will survive.

Cell phone plan

The third stop was Target where I bought a lot of things, like towels, a hair dryer, hairspray, after sun lotion, tooth paste, Nair hair wax roll on and nail polish remover . I also had to buy a bag since the city of San Luis Obispo has decided not to hand out plastic bags anymore to save the environment. I like that, but I wish I would have remembered to bring my bags I brought from Sweden.

At Albertson’s I actually bought a reusable shopping bag when I bought some snacks for tomorrow’s visit to the beach.

We returned the car, took a taxi to downtown where we had an early dinner. We met four of the five Swedish students from Uppsala and then we went home and on the way took a few detours in to some stores, like Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch. At Bath & Body Works I found a scented candle that smelled amazing!! I am not allowed to have scented candles in my room, but I am thinking about buying it and just having it smell in my room and then bring it home. It was amazing! Oh right, I don’t think I can have things that smell in my room either. Then I will ask them if it is okay to have it in a plastic bag until I get home to Sweden. I need to have that candle! It smelled of Mahogany Teakwood. Sounds weird, smelled amazing.

At the hostel I went straight up to my room, started writing and will go to bed as soon as I am done. Maybe start marking interesting things out on the SLO map I got from the reception.

Tomorrow I will move to my room in the shared apartment on campus. The other girls won’t be there for another day or two. After that it’s beach time with Johanna and maybe Maria. There might be some shopping as well, I have a feeling I need to buy things for my room, like a comforter and pillows.

It was a nice day, the weather was warm (26C at its warmest) and the sun was out at all times. Palm trees does exist this far up north, even though there aren’t that many, and I still get happy every time I see them. I am back in California and I couldn’t be happier about it. This will be an amazing year!

Downtown SLOSLO downtown Santa Rosa Street, SLOAll around the city mountains rise. It is beautiful! Sunset from the hostelIt’s not over the ocean, but the sunset tonight was still amazing. Tiny SLOI came to the realization today that San Luis Obispo is very very tiny. This is pretty much it. A bicycle will be plenty enough and even walking. Only 45 000 live here. But it will be a nice experience to live in such a small city too.