Thanksgiving and Black Friday

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 am home again after a fun few days in Glendora. I have to say that the five hours on the train home went by very quickly. I had a big comfortable seat, a lot of space in front of me so I could have my legs straight out, the seat was adjustable, and the view of the ocean was stunning. I read the whole time and actually finished half a book. But as soon as the water was close I just couldn’t read. I just sat there, watching the glittery water, the surfers, and the dolphins. It made me realize that I wanna end up in California one day. This is where I am at my happiest, where I love myself the most, where I am the best version of me. I have no idea how it will happen, it will probably take time, but one day I wanna make California my real home. The ocean is a great therapist.

Mondos Beach up ahead Mondos Beach where we surfed the other week.Beautiful view from the trainThe view was like this a big part of the way and it was incredible! Sometimes the train was so close to the shore that you just saw water down below.

So, yesterday was Thanksgiving, my favorite American holiday. I love food! We went to one of Lori’s friends and spent a few hours there. It wasn’t the close family and then us, but different groups of people so we all fit in which was great. The food was amazing! And one of their cats loved me and he was beautiful and I just wanted to take him home with me. But I don’t think anyone would believe that I am depressed or anything else and need a cat for medical reasons…

After we were done eating my stomach hurt a lot so we just sat in the backyard talking for a while in the amazing warmth of Los Angeles winter. It was 90F yesterday, crazy, haha.

Today we had to leave the house early so I could make it to the Union Station and go home. 5.5 hours later I was back in SLO, and it was really warm here too. I waited in the sun for the bus for 45 minutes and read. Revenge of Seven is really good, but it is the second to last book in the Lorien Legacies series which is sad. It is a very good story. I came home, unpacked, and started Black Friday (online) shop. Today was the day to buy stuff from everywhere so now I have all my Christmas gifts figured out and I also spoiled myself with some clothes from Hollister and Abercrombie. I need more tops because I use the same all the time. And it was 50%, even 70% on some things, so I don’t feel bad. I kinda feel that I wanna buy a new suitcase as well. I am starting to have second thoughts when it comes to my challenge of packing 23 days in a carry-on bag and a backpack. I won’t need much clothes, so it might work. But Kohl’s as this crazy-ass sale on Samsonite luggage this time of year and I know for sure that I will need another suitcase when I leave, so I might as well buy it now, when it is $160 instead of $320. And if I buy it online it will be an extra 20% off. It might be worth it! I will think about it and consult with my mom first, she is smart and always gives me good advice.

I was planning on going to bed early, but that is always easier said than done. I will now though, and then continue to read. I so look forward to Winter Break when I will be able to read as much as I possibly can. Can’t wait! 13 days left. How did that happen? Where did the days go?? Am I really going to paradise for more than three weeks, in less than two? UNREAL!

Bishop Mountain from campus On my way home to my village. I live very far away from campus (1mile), but it is still on campus. This view is ahead of me every day when I am walking to my classes. Bishop’s Peak. I am gonna hike that one day!Poly Canyon VillagePoly Canyon Village (PCV); home sweet home!

Surf weekend in Ventura

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 whole weekend has been amazing. Lots and lots of things happened. And Poly Escapes gave me what it promised, a weekend away from Cal Poly, a weekend with no worries about school. But the weekend started way before that. Friday was full of fun things, like my errand trip with Kelsey. We returned a pair of Kelsey’s shoes, bought “costumes” for the frat party (Kelsey bought a Jane-like dress and I bought face paint), I got a gel manicure, we went to the post office so I could send a little something to one of my hostkids who turn 11 in five days and a thing for my brother, we picked up our Poly Escapes rentals, and went to the Health Center to leave my proof of vaccination (which isn’t even necessary since I won’t be here more than one academic year, but I still did it since they asked). It was a long run, many stops, but not more than four hours in total. We also did some snacks shopping for the trip. I always bring too much to trips, but better safe than sorry.

ManicureThis is what my nails look like after two days of surfing. Good job “@Nails”.

Back home I made two mudpies (=kladdkaka), one normal chocolate but also a white chocolate one. Apparently it was the Swedish national mudpie day. So I made two and they were delicious and very popular.

Kladdkakans dag 7 november

My plan after that was to study some, but that didn’t work out. I had to take a quick shower and then get ready for the party. I went to Phi Psi’s pledge party (the pledges organized the whole party) with a jungle theme. It was a great party, the decorations were awesome. The costumes not as much. I think I went most all-in with my tiger face paint. Other people just wore clothes with animal fur designs. The guys were Tarzan or just any other jungle dude. I got a lot of compliments but the hot house smudged it out later… I had a great evening but a little bit too much to drink. We were planning on taking it easy since we were going on the surf trip early the day after. And we stayed way late, but it was so much fun! I like that frat.

Jungle frat party Jungle frat party

I was just invited to another frat party tomorrow night, the one Luka, the Swedish guy from Chalmers, joined. It would be fun, but I think I have too much studying to do… We’ll see.

 

I slept for I think two or three hours before going on the trip yesterday morning. Not the best thing I could have done, but it was worth it. We left Cal Poly at 9 am, got to Mondo’s Beach north of Ventura at 11am and started surfing right away. I felt a bit nauseous, but I still managed to catch one or two waves. It was hard, the waves just died under all of us. I didn’t manage to stand up, only half stand one time. But it was still very fun. We had lunch break and I ate my whole footlong Subway sandwhich. Then we went out again. So much fun. But the small hangover mixed with waves and salt water wasn’t the best and I did feel a bit crappy, but it was still very enjoyable. I got some nice pictures with my GoPro as well. We played a game where we put all of our surfboards together so they formed like a boardwalk. Then one at a time ran across them all and jumped in at the end. It was hard! Then it was time to go to the camp site which was up in Carpinteria, like 20 minutes away. It was a nice camp site very close to the water. We made a fire, the leaders made amazing dinner for all of us, chicken wok with pineapple and rice. Very very fancy and good camp food! We even got desert, homemade brownie and homemade ice cream. So delicious! Before we ate though, we took a walk on the beach in the sunset. It was so beautiful. The beach was really wet so the sunset was reflected in both the water and the sand and made the sunset enormous. So very very pretty! But this was at 5:30pm so it was both dark and chilly for many hours before bedtime.

Poly Escapes, the groupMost of our group. We were 4 leaders and 8 trip-takers. Johanna in the waterJohanna. Surfing in VenturaSuccess with my GoPro. This will be so much fun in the Caribbean. Julianne catching a wave Sunset at Carpinteria BeachJulianne and me at Carpinteria Beach. Carpinteria Beach Carpinteria Beach Kelsey at Carpinteria BeachI love this picture of Kelsey! Amazing sunset at Carpinteria BeachThe sunset was truly amazing! Trip Leaders cookingThe kitchen we had at the pitch-dark camp site.

After the desert, we played games and sang campfire songs with a guitar. So nice. But I was so tired so I couldn’t stop thinking about going to bed, which we did at 10pm, not too late which was good.

The games we played were so much fun. One of them was called Interview. One person left the group, the others decided on a person and an action that the person who left were supposed to be. When the person who left came back we all asked questions, the guy answered the questions without knowing the answers and was gonna try and figure out who he/she was. Tigger flossing his teeth made some very funny questions. Does it hurt? Do you bleed when you do it? Do you do it in the morning, or evening? Does things stuck? What do you do best? Haha, so much fun. Another game we played was a game of questions. One person asked another one a random question and the other person answered with the first thing that came to mind. And then that answer would be the answer to all the questions asked after. Everyone could ask anything. And I mean anything. The person had to answer with that same answer but without laughing. When the person laughed that person asked a random question to someone else and it started over. Like if someone had the word Tortilla. What do you put in your burrito? Tortilla. What turns you on? Tortillas. With what do you brush your teeth? Tortillas. And so on. Hilarious!! Another very funny game we played was rapid questions. We sat in a circle and one person started by asking the next person a random question, it could be exactly anything. Then the next person is supposed to ask another question to the next person, without answering, laughing, hesitating or repeating a question. If you do, you’re out and the game goes on until there is only one left. Also very funny and a lot of laughs!

I decided to sleep in a tent tonight. Four people in each tent and I slept like a baby through the whole night. Some people, like Kelsey, slept under the stars. It would have been cool, but I wanted a good night’s sleep. I woke up a few times from the very noisy train, but fell asleep fast again. We got up at 7am, got served breakfast; scrambled eggs, bananas, sausage patties, Canadian bacon and tea. Yummy!

Back to the beach where we started our day with a yoga session on the beach. Very needed! Then 1.5 hour in the water before going to lunch in Ventura. We went to a tacos places in East Ventura and the shrimp/crab/avocado burrito I had was the best burrito I’ve ever had. Oh my gosh!! Ventura by the way is so pretty. I was in love with North Country San Diego before seeing Ventura. But now I totally feel like I want to move to Ventura in the future. Then the two hour trip started back home. I fell asleep for a little while but it was hard staying asleep. I will go to bed as soon as I am done with this super long post and get around 8 hours of sleep before a full day of studying tomorrow. I think I am gonna have to survive on caffeine pills this week if I am gonna have time to do everything on my to do list for the midterms on Thursday.

Last surf dag at Mondos Beach

I got home, had some mudpie, talked to my roommates, looked at the GoPro pictures and uploaded the best to Facebook and now I just found myself a travel companion for Jamaica. Yay! It is a guy I got to know in Los Angeles last year, who now lives in San Francisco. That will be fun.

Now I just have to convince my mom to come to Puerto Rico and someone else to Dominican Republic, or maybe mom there too. The flight between DR and PR is very cheap and so is the accommodation costs (which will be my Christmas gift to her, and maybe some of the flight cost too). I am crossing my fingers. But I know that I will have a great time anyway.

I don’t look forward to this week, it will be horrible. But this upcoming weekend will probably be as good as the last one after the midterms. No worries, just fun activities like Six Flags and skydiving! Yay!

The pool and studying

This weekend was over so extremely fast. I know I have one more day of weekend, but kind of no. I can’t sleep in, have to get up at 8am to go to the office hours of Transportation Engineering because I don’t understand the last two problems of the homework which is due Tuesday.  And then I guess I have to study for my midterms on Thursday. I did some studying today for Architecture History. I read some at the pool in between the mandatory stays in the water (it was about 95F (34C)) so I couldn’t stay up on land for more than four pages. I read a whole chapter on the Greek world while talking to friends. It was fun. We were gonna go to the beach at first, but we decided to go to the pool. Easier to study there.

Went back to the apartment at 5pm, had dinner, took a shower, and I’ve been studying since. I am doing a summary document of all the names and dates and pictures and short descriptions. It takes time. So far I’ve gone through two out of six time periods. I will hopefully be done with it tomorrow and then I guess I need to do some studying for Transportation Engineering as well. I look forward to Thursday evening. All homework will be handed in, my two midterms will be done and I am going out with Julianne to Farmer’s Market and we are also having sushi for dinner. Hopefully this week willbe over as fast as the rest of my four weeks I’ve already spent here. Where does time go?

Internet again

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.

That only took a few days. Boring days. But early-to-bed-days.

Yesterday I was at the library for most part of the day studying. Doing homework in Transportation Engineering. It took 4 hours to do 6 out of 8 problems, and another two hours of trying with the last two in the evening. It didn’t work. So I will go to office hours with our professor on Monday morning and ask for some help. I guess most students might go. We had two problems which we haven’t even talked about in class.

At 8pm I went to salsa lesson with Johanna. My roommates dissed me because they wanted to go to the social salsa dance tonight, but they ended up not going. I had fun last night. I was so much better than the first time.

I went home and spent the rest of the evening talking to people. Everyone was at the toga party, I wasn’t in a party mood so I just waited until everyone got back and didn’t go to bed until 3am for some reason.

This morning I went to Pismo Beach with Johanna and the Cal Poly beach volleybal club. It was very very foggy this morning but the sun came out eventually as it always does. I couldn’t play as much as I wanted though. I pulled a muscle in my upper but and I couldn’t stretch it out. It still hurts, even if I’ve been on a foam roll a lot this evening. I should probably do some more before I go to bed (which I should have done a long time ago).

Pismo BeachBeautiful Pismo Beach! New bikiniMy new bikini (Victoria’s Secret) is beach volleyball friendly. A little more athletic than my other ones. The neon color makes my tan look nice. Retrieving a flip flopWhen we were getting to the car I dropped one of my flip flops down the rocky side down to the beach. It stopped in the middle, so first I tried throwing rocks at it to make it slide dow to the bottom. Then I decided to walk down there (walk all the way to the staircase and then back on the beach) to try to reach it from down there. It took me like 30 minutes to finally get it. Stupid flip flop…

When we had had a cinnamon roll at Old West Cinnamon Rolls we drove to Avila Valley Barn where there was a pumpkin patch. All the holidays are big here in the States (I’m sure I wrote the exact same thing last year) and a pumpkin patch is where you buy your pumpkins and do stuff like ride horses, feed fat goats, buy locally grown fruits and vegetables, go on hayrides, and buy corn on the cob and stuff like that. It was a fun event and I am going back next weekend with my roommates. We are gonna by pumpkins and carve and put in our windows for everyone outside to see. I so look forward to that. Today we went there with the international students. I only saw a few though.

Avila Valley Barn Pumpkin Patch Avila Valley Barn Pumpkin Patch Avila Valley Barn Pumpkin Patch Avila Valley Barn Pumpkin PatchI got three small pumpkins to have as decorations in our apartment. They are soo cute. The big ones are being bought next weekend. I also bought a lot of fruit. It felt good buying something from a farmer’s market. I do buy a lot of organic food here, but it still felt more special.

When I got home I did my Sustainable Environments homework. And that was a fun homework actually. By taking a test (you can take it HERE) I found my ecological footprint and wrote a 1-page paper about it. I took the test twice, once for my life in Sweden and one for my life here in SLO. If everyone in the world lived like me we would need 1.44 Earths (Sweden and 4.09 (USA). I compared and retook it again to see if some changes made big differences. Very very interesting.

Kelsey baked banana bread tonight and I’ve been trying to figure out what to wear on Halloween. It is not easy. And I feel like it has to be something good since holidays are big here. I have four options so far. What do you think?

Halloween 2014Minion from Despicable Me, Viking, Penguin or a Zombie Fairy? Or something else?

I also got to see the car I probably will buy in December. It is a small convertible and it works perfectly. I so look forward to buying my first car!! And it will be a VW convertible! An international student bought it the other day, but he is only staying this one quarter so I will buy it together with Johanna to use for the next two quarters. I am so excited! And about the driver license. I called the DMV office in Sacramento and they told me I didn’t need to retake the tests. I just have to show up with all my legal papers, take a new photo and wait for the plastic card. I am so happy! Everything works out in the end, like is has for the past year. Life is good.

Volkswagen Cabrio 1999

I really need to go to bed now. I am planning on going up at 8am to study before going to the beach around noon. (And I don’t have any trouble going in and out of bed anymore. I was extremely sore yesterday (3 days after TRX) but now it’s better. I played some beach volleyball at the PCV court Thursday late evening and that removed the last of the soreness. Too many people there though so it wasn’t fun. Next time I will exlusively invite only three people to play seriously with. I look forward to a new week of exercise starting on Monday, for real this time, I will take it even easier this time.)

DMV and quarter schedules

Today was not a very productive day. The only thing I did was some ARCH reading before biking down to the DMV on the south end of SLO. I was prepared to just show my old CA driver license and take a new photo and then be done with it. But apparently I forgot to bring my I-94 paper, which I never got this year (but now you’re supposed to print it yourself). So we had to make a new appointment for next week. AND I can’t just renew it since my application period expired. So I need to retake both the written test and the behind the wheel test. I’m not cool with that so I am gonna call to the Sacramento head office and tell them my story and hopefully I will get away with it. But I got the Driver License Handbook just in case. I am getting a driver license this year, doesn’t matter how!

The way back was hard. Up almost all the way. I stopped in downtown for a bit to buy body lotion (my skin is so dry in this weather! I will get used to it eventually, but it might take time). I got home and had 15 minutes before I had to be at the library, so I grabbed a small snack and then jumped on the bike again. I was so sweaty. It was hot today again, but not as hot. I was at the library with Johanna and Courtney to work on our homework in Sustainable Environments which is due Wednesday. We sat there togetherfor an hour and then I sat alone finishing for another two hours. It felt good to study for once.

When I got back I had dinner, hung at at Ryan’s for a bit and then got back home where I talked to Tobi about my winterbreak trip. He wants to join me for Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. And another guy from Brazil messaged me on Facebook today telling me he was interested too. It would be so great if we could be four people, it would be cheaper and more fun. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS TRIP! I am guessing it will be more epic than my Hawaii trip in January.

Last night I also stayed up late, but I actually did something productive. I decided what classes I want to take. I am not gonna have as awesome schedule as I have now, but I will have a three-day weekend at least. So for Winter quarter I will take ”Intro to Environmental Engineering”, ”Public Transportation”, and ”Elementary German II”. 12 units in total. Monday’s+Wednesday’s 12-17:30, Tuesday’s 14-15, and Thursday’s 14-18. Not too bad. And in Spring quarter I will take ”Water Chemistry and Quality Measurements”, ”Traffic Engineering”, and ”Elementary German III”. Also 12 units. Monday’s 15-16, Tuesday’s+Thursday’s 7:30-16 with a gap between 11 and 15, and Wednesday’s 8-16 (no gaps). Not too bad either. The early Wednesday mornings won’t be too fun, but I guess I will be bored with Pint Night by then. All of those courses sound interesting. And I hope that we will have Professor Bertini on both Public Transportation and Traffic Engineering. He is a good teacher (from what I can tell after two weeks of class with him).
I can register for class on November 10th, so it’s far away. But I wanted to be sure of what to do so I don’t have to stress about it later.

It is way past my bedtime now, I should have been in bed like 1,5 hours ago. I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow… My first TRX session is coming up, exciting :).

The pool (again)

All this sun is making me so exhausted. I slept until noon today, and then I spent three hours at the pool and since then I haven’t done anything except had dinner and made a work-out schedule. It is 8pm and all I want to do is go to bed…

It was so hot when I woke up, just getting out of bed made me sweaty. I skyped with mom and then went to the pool with Kelsey. It was hot, but the water was cool. Back home I had leftovers and then I made a workout schedule. I am gonna try working out 5 (or 4) days a week and it doesn’t look too bad. Monday: Interval training and light full body workout in the gym. Tuesdays: TRX during lunch and maybe Electro Flow Yoga in the evening. Wednesday: rest day. Thursday: TRX during lunch and Vinyasa yoga in the evening. Friday: rest day. Saturday: Beach volleyball at either PCV or Pismo Beach. Sunday: 6-pack abs (30 min class) followed by 45 min of spinning (called Breakaway here). I think I could survive that.

I actually think I am going to bed now. If I go to bed early I might wake up early and have energy to do something tomorrow. Maybe workout? Or maybe some architecture history reading. In the early afternoon I am going to the DMV to renew my drivers license and then doing my homework for Sustainable Environments with Johanna and Courtney. And after that the third week of school begins. I like warmth. But I do hope it cools down, I don’t like being this tired…

CA HSR presentation

(=California High-Speed Rail presentation)

Today was the big day. A week of ”hard work” in transportation engineering lab is over. Last Thursday we got a huge assignment, a 15 page paper and a presentation due today. I am very relaxed I’ve noticed. My groupmembers (we were four people) were super stressed out about this whole thing, while I did my thing and wasn’t panicking at all. They got me all worked up the last hour before hand-in this afternoon. And it actually made me a bit upset. I’m never worried about these kinds of things. I know that everything works out and I am satisfied with my part. But the presentation didn’t go as well as I thought. I am always very confident when it comes to presentations (at least now, maybe not five years ago) and the rehearsal before went awesome. But I choked when I was up there in front of the class. I guess there is a big difference holding a presentation in your native language and in your second language. I forgot words, I mispronounced a lot of words and I guess I stuttered a little too. I hope the teacher understands that and understood  what I was trying to say. It feels good to be done with this though. This was the toughest assignment in the lab class if I don’t misremembered.

After that I went to the rec center (Recreational Center = the gym on campus) to end this long day with an hour of yoga. The gym is amazing by the way (google ”cal poly rec center”!). I am so excited about starting to work out again. I need to make a work out schedule though. I don’t wanna go to the gym unprepared. And after yoga (first time in like five months) I realized that I need to increase muscle mass. I am ridicoulusly weak at the moment… I guess my legs are good after all the walking on this huge campus, but my upper body strenght equals zero.

The evening was spent with Lauren on the couch watching 21 Jump Street, drinking tea, eating Reese’s Mini Peanutbutter Cups. It was a very nice evening. After that a lot of people stopped by as usual which I love. It is so easy to meet people with an open door. I think I met four new people today and I think i remembered all of their names. Yay!

 

So, my day started at 5:40 with a shower, a real breakfast (scrambled eggs and avokado) and a cup of Yerba Mate tea and then class at 7:40. I couldn’t get home on my four-hour break today so I decided that I needed to wake up properly before class. The tea is full of caffeine and I think I was more awake during my first two classes than normal, but I’m not sure. In Architecture History class I sat next to a guy from Carlsbad, CA and who had also been to the three Caribbean islands I am going to. I can’t remember his name though…

After my two classes I went to the Study Abroad Fair to be one of the international students who the American students could ask questions. It was fun, but not many people who asked me things. I got free lunch and that was nice. At 1:30pm I met up with my trans lab class and rehearsed for the presentation and fixed the last things in the paper. And that was all that happened today.

No packages today. I want my bathroom rug and the small cutting board! Hopefully tomorrow. I am completely off (no homework except reading due Tuesday) so I am gonna relax by the pool all day tomorrow after I wake up. It is supposed to be around 97F tomorrow and it was the same today and that is hooooot! I love it though, where else is it 38C in October?! 🙂

I am tired, but I don’t feel like going to bed. But I probably should anyway. I really need to update the page ”Who is Alexandra?” though…. That’s for tomorrow!

Goodnight/goodmorning!