The first night I went back home to San Diego, my dad and I had a midnight feast. We took out the old expresso machine and had coffee with an apple turnover and some eggs. The last time I had such a large meal at 11 pm was when I was seven and my parents were buying our car from the dealership and the consulting went on until 10…
On Saturday night, we went to dinner at the Barona Casino buffet, where there was snow crab in the seafood section and a variety of international though still American-style fare. My cousin had become extremely fond of tacos and Mexican food during his short stay in California. I hit up a bit of every nationality and the seafood, then headed straight for the desserts to satiate my insatiable sweet tooth.
On the top, starting at 12 o’clock and going clockwise: German chocolate cake, brownie, marshmallow rice crisp, mini pecan pie. On the bottom: cream puff, creme brulee, fruit tart, and custard eclaire.
I asked for hot tea and they gave me the fanciest tea bag I’ve ever used, made of thick mesh and trimmed with a lace border:
On Sunday, we went to one of San Diego’s most scenic beaches at the Coronado peninsula. They import sand from Hawaii to replace the eroding shoreline, so at certain times of the year, the sand at Coronado is black flecked with beautiful gold specks of pyrite.
Built by right the beach is the Hotel del Coronado, one of the last remaining vestiges of the Victorian seaside resort era of American architecture. Around Christmas, part of the lawn between the hotel and the beach is converted into an ice-skating rink and the place is extra festive and beautiful, though the hotel is magnificent no matter the time of year.
A six-person golf cart!
There doesn’t seem to be a single ugly feature on the Coronado peninsula. Everything is always green, well-paved, or freshly painted. I can’t imagine what this does for the drought in California…
My cousin’s visit to Southern California ended on Sunday night with a dinner with cousins from the other side of the family LA before dropping me off back at Tech. He went back to Taiwan five days later. I hadn’t seen him in seven years!
After overdosing heavily on seafood and sugar for the weekend, I was rather glad to be back at school where my roommate and I could cook vegetable-heavy meals once again ;)
Till next time,
Starting college can be a big transition. You’re moving to a new place, starting a new school and classes, and faced with making new friends in an unfamiliar environment. And, of course, there’s that whole “becoming an adult” thing. But, you’re also leaving a lot behind. Every new beginning means that an old chapter must come to an end. Leaving behind our friends at home may seem difficult, especially if they’re going to be a long distance away from you during the school year. Something I made sure to do was to spend a lot of time with them during the summer after high school. Of course, going to college doesn’t mean you’ll never see your friends again, or that you will no longer be friends with them. Good friendships will last if you put effort into them. It may seem hard initially. Coming into Caltech, it’s a sharp adjustment and many are caught up in the excitement of Orientation, Rotation, and starting classes. It may be hard to remember to check your phone frequently and to make time for phone calls and such. Rest assured that if you have other friends going to college, they’re probably going to go through similar things you will. In this transition period, it can feel like you’re going to immediately lose touch with people that mean a lot to you.
Let’s face it: the US loves being just a little different from everyone else. The obvious example? Units of measurement. As an international student from Canada, even I have no clue what’s going on half the time when my friends talk to me and use these weird nonsensical units. And I’ve literally lived on the border between Canada and the States for all my life. After a year here, I’ve finally got a sense of how the two systems of measurement compare and how you can more easily get your bearings with these weird units.
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!