It still hasn’t really settled in, but on Thursday I had my last class of my MBA, and on the 24th is graduation. Between now and then we have celebrations for ‘dis-orientation week’ which is going to be great fun – don’t worry, I’ll post all about it in a few weeks – however we’re in the middle of packing up our apartment which is making our move back to Sydney very real! It is sad that our time in Berkeley is already coming to a close, and we’re leaving all of the great friends that we have made here and are going to miss terribly!
The past few weeks have been incredibly busy in the lead up to finishing classes! Since we last posted I did the swim from Alcatraz to Aquatic Park in San Francisco with a group of about 25 people from school (one of the other girl’s who did the swim wrote about it here). It went really well – the weather cooperated and it was a nice calm day. I actually ended up finishing first in 30 minutes which I was really surprised about, and really happy! It was actually a lot of fun to do! Afterwards we celebrated with irish coffee’s which we felt we had earned even though it was only 9am!
Last weekend, I was in Las Vegas for Jacs’ brother’s bachelor party, which was awesome fun – we stayed at the Mandalay Bay and spent the day by the pool, and at night went out to delicious dinners and generally had a great time. While I was there, Jacs was actually also traveling – she had a bachelorette party for our friend Amanda in Austin which was also amazing. I’ll let her tell you all about it. Here she is:
Although I can’t discuss everything that happened (bacherlorette etiquette!) I can share a few things. We had such an awesome weekend. Awesome does not even do it justice. My friend Amanda lives here but grew up back east so has friends all over. The 20 of us flew in from various cities Friday and couldn’t wait to get the party started. The theme for Friday night was 80s prom, so we all busted out our 80s gear, had a Texas style BBQ at the house, and then headed to 6th street. As you can imagine we made quite the scene when we walked into bars dressed the way we were. We had great fun dancing, singing, and getting lots of free drinks from the bouncers who were trying lure our group in to different bars. The next day we headed out on two pontoon style boats on Lake Austin. We spent the whole day singing, dancing, swimming, and stand up paddle boarding. It was…you guessed it awesome. That night we decided to try out Rainy Street which is another section of bars, but a little bit more mature – not quite like the bars that cater to the college kids on 6th Street. I’d definitely recommend Rainy Street to anyone looking for some relaxed but fun bars in Austin. The next morning after sleeping in and packing up, those of us that had afternoon flights went for lunch at a Mexican restaurant (it was Cinco De Mayo after all!) before heading to the airport. It was so fun spending the weekend with the girls, and getting to know Amanda’s friends from Cornell. We’re all looking forward to the reunion at the wedding in June
This weekend we were away again – we just got back from 2 awesome nights up in Sonoma with 9 other friends celebrating Jordan’s 30th birthday. We rented a gorgeous house on 150 acres up in the hills, and hung out by the pool, BBQ’d, cooked delicious food, and rented a stretched Denali limo to take us out to lunch in Sonoma, and to visit two wineries – Chateau St Jean and Kunde – both of which were great. It was so fun to get a chance to hang out with our closest friends for the weekend, since we’re so aware of how little time we have left here!
A few other things worth mentioning from the past few weeks. About two weeks ago, I organized a day of wakeboarding up at Lake Berryessa (about 1.5 hours from here) with a group of 5 friends. It was so much fun to get out on the water after about 9 months, and it was a beautiful hot day, and we got lucky and were given a brand new boat to take out which was awesome! We’ve also been out to dinner at Slanted Door, an Asian fusion restaurant at the Ferry Building, which Naeill and Carla generously treated us to as a graduation present – I’ll be repaying the favour in 2 years for him
I’ll write again in a few weeks after graduation!
Ben and Jacs
It hasn’t been long since we last posted, but we’ve certainly been up to lots We are currently on our way home from an awesome trip to Hawaii with Mom and Dad. Before I get to that, I’ll quickly catch you up on the last few weeks.
Right after spring break, Ashley came up to visit for the weekend and we had Ben’s big birthday bash at Outback Steakhouse…yep you read that correctly. After two years in the US, we still had not been to Outback and Ben’s buddies were outraged that as an Aussie he hadn’t given it a go. What started as a joke soon became a reality as nearly 30 of us piled on to a party bus to Outback Steakhouse in Pinole – BLOOMIN’ ONIONS FOR ALL we proclaimed as we pulled out of Berkeley with Fosters in hand. We had a blast – played Aussie tunes, drank Aussie beer, and I even made some Anzac biscuits for dessert. We had a grand old time celebrating Ben’s last birthday in his 20s. After dinner the party bus took us back to Oakland where we all continued the night…with a bit more style at a cool bar called Make Westing. Ashley literally arrived and jumped straight on the party bus….quite the introduction to business school life hahaha!
The weekend fun continued as we showed Ash around all the Bay Area hot spots – The Mission for Mexican food, Petuluma for the Lagunitas Brewery, and Muir Woods…well for the redwoods. On the Sunday, Sami (another old friend) came over too – she is studying law in Davis. We were having so much fun that we decided to extend Ash’s trip so we could all hang out for longer. After a Champagne brunch together we met Ben in the city at Dolores Park for the afternoon. We finished off the night at home with Thai food and a movie. It was such an amazing and awesome weekend!
To continue the birthday celebrations, which had been going on since NYC the lucky boy!!, we went to Foreign Cinema for dinner thanks to John and Shirley who had given Ben a certificate. We had been dying to try it (all of our friends rave about it) and it did not disappoint. We had a delicious bottle of Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley, oysters, and Seafood and Quail. It was a really fun evening, and great to get a date night in since we’ve been so busy lately.
Last weekend, Ben went up to Lake Tahoe one final time – the snow is almost gone after a fairly dry season. He had a great time though, with a little snowboarding, and then taking advantage of the warmth to get in a swim and some sun up at the top of Squaw where they have a pool at high camp, although he also went for a swim in the lake. He also stayed a night with John and had a great time with him.
Last Sunday, Ben went to the annual Dean’s Scotch tasting which is a fundraiser for Challenge for Charity. It was a black tie event (Ben borrowed a bow tie from grandpa) where they tasted…cough cough polished off cough cough…38 bottles of Scotch and the Dean performed a song for the class – his rendition of pianoman, “sing us a song you’re the Haas School Dean”. It was a student only event, but Ben is telling me to say it was loads of fun
The last five days we’ve had the privilege of spending with my Mom and Dad, and Andrew and Lisa Plumb, on Oahu. It has been incredible and we definitely didn’t want to go this morning. We arrived Thursday morning and headed straight to our house on Lanikai beach right near Kailua. The house was breathtaking and the view was jaw dropping.
We spent the day swimming, snorkeling, doing yoga, and learning how to stand up paddle board before heading to town for dinner. The next day Ben and I were up early for a 5k run followed by a huge breakfast, at Boots and Kimos. After breakfast, we went swimming and snorkeling at the house before heading down to Kailua Beach to do some ‘proper swimming’ or training. We swam from the beach to flat island and back. After a super active morning, we made lunch at home and then hopped in the car to drive to Waikiki for a little exploring since it was drizzling.
Waikiki was sunny and beautiful, although very busy. It definitely made us appreciate the house Mom and Dad rented on the other side of the island thanks to Lisa. We had a cocktail at Dukes before heading back to our side of the island to cook up some fresh fish that Andrew had just caught. We had a great night chatting the six of us and then two of Andrew’s Navy buddies joined us. The next morning we were up bright and early again (we could watch the sunrise literally while in bed….seriously) to go to the North Shore of the island to check out the beaches there, and meet up with an old friend of mine, Kari, who I played soccer with my whole life. She lives on Oahu now with her husband and four adorable little babies.
Ben managed to find some surfable waves in Haleiwa at the beach luckily, and the sun really turned it up for us. It was a gorgeous morning. After a picnic lunch, and a famous Hawaiian shaved ice for the kids, we jumped in the car to drive the long way back to our house. This enabled us to see the magnificent coastline and the famous beaches and surf breaks like Pipeline, Sunset and Waimea Bay. We were all a little burnt, so it was good to have a break from the sun. When we returned to the house, it was beautiful and calm out on the water, so Ben and I jumped on the standup paddle boards, and Dad and Mom in the two person kayak. and headed out to ‘The Mokes’ – which are the islands about 1.4km from the beach in front of our house. It was really fun and awesome exercise – especially since unbeknownst to Mom and Dad, their kayak was about a third full of water since the plug wasn’t properly put in! Pretty funny! That night we went to a local grill called Uahi Grill for a bite before tucking in early.
Our final day we decided to relax at the house and take advantage of the glorious spot we had. Andrew and Lisa, who were staying at the house too, didn’t have any plans that day so were able to hang with us the whole time which was really nice.We snorkeled for ages, did some proper training swims, read our books, did some yoga, sunbathed, and went paddle board surfing at flat island (which was about a mile away). It was an incredibly active and awesomely fun day. I decided when we get to Sydney I’m definitely going to take up stand up paddle boarding! We watched the sunset with a cocktail in hand as we all chatted, and reflected on what an awesome trip it had been. We BBQed that night for dinner and relaxed at the house. It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip. Today after a quick yoga sesh and checking out of the house, we popped to Waikiki for a final cocktail at Duke’s to kill some time before our flights. It was such a special vacation and we are so appreciative to Mom and Dad for it. Mahalo
This week we are back at it, with loads to do before the big move. Ben also has a little thing called studying that he should probably get back to… Ashley is coming back up on Thursday to visit again, and Ben will be escaping from Alcatraz on Saturday morning (a 1.5 mile swim).
Jacs and I just got back from an amazing (and very fast paced – I’m looking forward to a good night’s rest!) trip to New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC. It may not have been a ‘traditional’ spring break since it was pretty cold (we wore layers of jumpers and jackets and it was close to freezing), however we ended up doing our fair share of nights on the town none the less.
Our first stop was New York for Brenna and Dutch’s wedding (which is why we decided on the East Coast for Spring Break). We were in Brooklyn Friday and Saturday for that and then Keiren’s apartment on the upper east side until Wednesday, where he has just moved in to a nice little 1 bedroom apartment after relocating to New York just a few weeks ago.
We landed at the bright and early hour of 5am on Friday morning and hopped on the subway to the Marriott in Brooklyn, where luckily we were able to check in to our room and have a quick nap before Keiren and our good friend from Sydney, Xummy, came to meet us for breakfast. Xummy had literally just moved to New York on the Wednesday, so it was an unexpected surprise to be able to see him. After some quick Yelping, we headed to Iris Cafe just a few minutes walk away, which turned out to be delicious (we later found out it was one of Brenna’s favorite cafe’s). Xum then headed off apartment hunting, while Keiren, Jacs and I walked along the water, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and around downtown Manhattan through the financial district and up through TriBeCa to SoHo where we stopped for lunch. After lunch we were all exhausted (Keiren is working the night shift and hasn’t been home yet) so headed home for an afternoon nap.
That evening, we met back up with Keiren and Xum to explore Brooklyn a little more with drink at a bar called 61 Local, which served lots of yummy beers, followed by dinner at an Italian restaurant and drinks at a cool dive bar called the Boat Bar.
Saturday morning, Keiren (he stayed at ours instead of heading home), Jcas and I decided to continue exploring Brooklyn with a walk over to Williamsburg which was really cool. It was a long walk but we decided it would be our exercise for the day. Again with the help of Yelp, we found an awesome little cafe for brunch called House of Small Wonders, built around a tree, and could easily be missed as the only sign of it from the outside was a small wooden door. After brunch we continued to wander around the area, and came across The Meatball Shop, which we had wanted to try when they did a pop up store in Oakland, but they had sold out. Given that, I decided to head in for a beer and some meatballs despite having just eaten. Jacs and Keiren kept me company! After that we were ready for an afternoon nap (a habit this trip) before getting ready for the Wedding!
It turned out the wedding was in Williamsburg so a few hours later we were back in the area at a super cool venue called the
Brooklyn Winery for both the ceremony and reception, which turned in to a great night of dancing! Brenna looked beautiful and the ceremony was touching. Ethan, Brenna’s brother married them. It was quite the family affair with Dutch’s sisters, Haley, Erin and Caitlin as bridesmaids and baby Gray as the cutest little ring bearer. Big congratulations to the bride and groom and thanks so much for having us!
The following morning we got up earlier than I would have liked to check out and move over to Keiren’s apartment, and then turn around and head back down to midtown to meet a friend from BCG Sydney, Kieran, and his girlfriend Anne, at a Jazz club for brunch. It was a cool experience and was great to catchup with Kieran! After brunch, Keiren became tour guide and used his Bloomberg pass to take us to explore the MoMA and the Met for free. Both museums were incredible, and it was great to see all of the very famous art in the MoMA. Jacs could have spent the whole day in the MoMA, but I’d somehow worked up an appetite again, so our food tour continued with a trip to Shake Shack, a local institution, for a burger for me on the way home – it was tasty but I think In’n'Out still wins
Keiren then headed to bed for a few hours before work, while Jacs and I had a short rest before heading out to meet our friend Nick (who used to live in New York and was also there for the wedding), his fiancée Nicole, and a few of their friends for dumplings in Chinatown, followed by cocktails at an awesome bar that he used to work at called Apotheke.
Despite the late night, we dragged ourselves out of bed and I went for a run past the Guggenheim and through Central Park, while Jacs headed off to SoulCycle, an almost cult like exercise program that she had read about and was dying to try, and happened to see round the corner from Keiren’s. She had a great time, and an awesome workout, but I think at over $30 per class, not something she would be interested in all the time!
Jacs and I then spent the whole day wandering down 5th avenue (unfortunately in snow and drizzle) to see the shops, buildings like Rockefeller Center and the Empire State, and continue the food tour! We stopped for a pizza for me, met Caitlin, Erin and Nicole at a cool Italian market and deli called Eataly for cheese, charcuterie and wine, and went to the famous Katz’s Deli for a pastrami sandwich, which was to die for!
After all that walking, we headed home for a rest before Keiren, Jacs and I headed over to Brooklyn for dinner (from Best Pizza!) with a group of friends that Jacs knew from School at our friend’s Matt and Stephanie’s place. After dinner we headed back to Apotheke with Nick and Nicole to see their friend, Cole’s, band play which was really fun.
Our pace didn’t slow on Tuesday, with a trip to Chelsea Market where I started the day with an Aussie meat pie at the Tuck Shop, and some doughnuts from the Doughnuttery, followed by a beautiful walk along the High Line, which is a park built along the top of the buildings where an old railway track ran through the meat packing district. We continued on to see Cole at the shop he worked at, Mantiques, which is a collection of antiques, many from designers like Chanel and Louis Vuitton, which was cool to see!
After that, I was ready for some more food, and headed to Gray’s Papaya, which is famous for its hotdogs, and then a place called Pommes Frites for some Belgian fries with a curry ketchup sauce. Jacs grabbed a coffee from The Roasting Place which she said was the best coffee she has ever had. Glad both of our taste buds were now saying yum yum!
After heading home to see Keiren one last time before he headed out to work, we went it to SoHo to meet our friends Xum, Jim and Erin (who we met at BCG Sydney, Matt Henderson (an old family friend of the Fishers) and his friend Laura. We started at a fun bar called Puck Fair for beers, befor grabbing dinner and continuing on for more drinks with Matt! The night ended up being a little later of a night than expected given that we had to get up at 6 for our 8am bus to Philly! New York was awesome though, and it was so good to make it to the wedding, see all of our friends, and spend some time with Keiren.
We were in Philly at 10 and walked over to our hotel, the Wyndam, which was conveniently located right in the historic district. First things first however – I was in Philly for the Cheesesteaks, so we dropped our bags and walked down to south Philly for a cheesesteak at Genos (one of the famous places, across the street from the original cheesesteak at Pats). After ordering in local lingo (provolone wit, which means a cheese steak with provolone cheese and onions) I devoured the sandwich which was pretty delicious, if not the healthiest meal ever With my tummy filled, we walked back to town through the Italian Market, and hopped on the metro out to Wharton, the business school Dad went to, before heading to the hotel for a rest before dinner.
For dinner we headed over to the Rittenhouse square neighborhood, to a nice little restaurant across the road from the Dandelion, an old Irish pub in a cool building where we met our friends Edy and Lydia, who worked with me at Groupon, for some after dinner drinks. It was great to catchup with them both!
Thursday it was time to explore historic Philly which was all around us! I had no idea that it was so important in US history, and I learned a lot as we went to see the Liberty Bell, walk around Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, see Benjamin Franklin’s grave and learn -bout the writing of the US constitution. It was really interesting stuff, and Jacs was loving it That afternoon however it was time to get back on the bus to Washington DC. It was a fun time in Philly however and exceeded my expectations.
We arrived in DC, the final destination on our trip, at 8pm and quickly headed to our hotel, the Hilton in Dupont Circle, to drop off our bags before signing up to the City Bikeshare bikes, which are like the Velibs in Paris where you can get bikes at hundreds of locations over the city and for a daily fee, 30 minute rentals are free. With the bikes sorted, we rode over to Logan Circle to meeting some friends of our friend Gabe (who goes to school with me) who took us out for drinks which was fun. One of them, Katrina, is actually moving to Sydney later this year!
The next morning, we were back on the bikes again and headed downtown to see all of the main sites. We started at the White House, and then walked past the Washington monument, the World War 2 memorial, along the reflecting pool to the Vietnam memorial (which is very moving!) and in to the impressive Lincoln Memorial where you can look back along the entire Mall to the Capitol Building at the other end, which marks the center of the city. It really is a well laid out city which is impressive considering how long it has been around.
Next we checked out the Korean War memorial before hopping on our bikes again around the tidal basin. Unfortunately the famous cherry blossoms weren’t blooming yet due to the unusually cold weather, but it was still beautiful and was cool to see the FDR and Jefferson memorials. After the tidal basin, we headed back to the Mall and wandered around the holocaust museum which is interesting, moving and disturbing and has exhibits on genocide in Rwanda, Bosnia and Sudan. We finished our tour with a trip to the Native American museum and a walk past the Capitol, before biking back to the hotel to get reay for dinner. Thursday had been my birthday, but we had decided to celebrate a day late, and Jacs was surprising me with dinner somewhere!
Dinner turned out to be at a cool tapas restaurant called Jaleo where we had a delicious meal and a few gin and tonic based cocktails, and even a little birthday cake for dessert! That afternoon, our friends Nadia and Jay had driven down from Pittsburgh to stay with us and see DC, so we all met at a fun area up on U street for drinks at a lounge called Melvin’s, followed by some Belgian Beer at a bar called Saloon. DC really had a lot to offer!
Unbelievably, Saturday was the final day of our trip! We got up fairly early despite yet another late night, and rode the bikes to a place called Busboys and Poets, which is well known in DC and is a bookshop and restaurant, for brunch, before continuing down to the Mall to see some museums. First stop was the Smithsonian Natural History Museum which is really impressive, followed by the Newseum, which had been recommended to us by a few friends as being well worth a visit, despite being one of the non-free attractions! It certainly was with exhibits on the Berlin Wall, September 11th, Pulitzer prize winning photography and the history of the FBI among other things.
After the museums, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed over to Georgetown by bike. Georgetown is a neighborhood that is slightly separate to a lot of the rest of DC, and is home to lots of cafe’s and shops and runs along the river. It was fun wandering around, but it was amazingly crowded…too crowded for a relaxed stroll. After a little while in Georgetown, we rode home for a beer and a relax in the room before heading up for one last night.
First, we headed round the corner for a delicious and very spicy Thai dinner which Jay and Nadia kindly treated us too, before walking about 15 minutes to Adams Morgan, another neighborhood with a lot of nightlife, where we spent the evening in a Hookah Lounge with Nadia and Jay, my friend Arup from Berkeley who was also in DC, his girlfriend, and another old friend of the Fishers, David, who is a lawyer in DC, and his wife Roxy. We had a great evening, and it was fun catching up with everyone, but by the time we got home (via a stop at the pizza stop) we only had 3 hours till we had to leave for the airport!!
We weren’t happy when the alarm went off, but we made it and we’re now back in Berkeley, after an amazingly fun and jam-packed spring break.
I don’t understand how time is going by so quickly! I’m already more than half way through semester which means that graduation, and the real world, are fast approaching! On Thursday we’re off to the east coast for a week for Spring Break. First stop is New York, where we’ll be till Wednesday, followed by a night in Philly and then 3 nights in Washington DC. We can’t wait for Brenna and Dutch’s wedding on Saturday, and to catch up with Keiren (who just moved to New York) as well as some other friends there. In DC, we’re celebrating my birthday (29! Yikes!), although I don’t know the plan yet as Jacs is surprising me
Since our last post, everything here has been going great. Jacs is staying busy during the week with a combination of freelance writing for a PR firm, working on some Cell-Crete communications, and doing a bit of yoga teaching – this morning she taught a class on campus at Haas for the MBA community which was great fun. Other than that we’ve been spending most weekends up in Tahoe, LA or having fun around the Bay Area.
Here’s a photo from Tahoe a few weeks ago – Jacs just got back on the slopes after her injury, but still taking it very easy/slowly so she doesn’t go through that whole thing again!
And here is one from a fun day in Berkeley – we celebrated Becky’s birthday by getting all dressed up and going to Dollar Days at the horse races at Golden Gate Fields. Dollar Days is where you can buy one dollar beer and hotdogs, so we had a great time! It’s not quite the classy affair that is Sydney races, but we wanted to get dressed up anyway
Ryan, Jordan, Becky, Jacs and Amanda (aka the Blondentourage) before the races
A few weeks ago, I was in Austin for a soccer tournament at University of Texas which was an amazingly fun trip, although we didn’t do well in the soccer. There were about 40 people from Haas there, so we partied on 6th st (lots of cool bars!), rented a boat (called Miss High Life) for a fun day on the Lake, and explored the South Congress neighbourhood which is pretty fun – more ‘hipster’. No trip to Austin would be complete without a visit to the Salt Lick, a famous BBQ restaurant where you have delicious all you can eat meat, and can BYO beers – pretty amazing!
Last weekend, the Redwoods Club (outdoor activities club) rented a few houses up in Tahoe, so we were up there in our house, and I think about 150 Haasies total across about 6 houses. We had a party with the Haas band playing on Friday night, and a house party Saturday night, which made up for the snow being pretty average – although at least the sun was out!
Nothing like the snow the week before when we got some great riding in.
Despite the late nights on Redwoods weekend, we were up at 6am on Sunday to get back in time for me to head to Napa in a limo to do some wine tasting as a reward for getting Groupon to sponsor the >Play Conference that I was involved in organising back in October. It was awesome fun, once I’d had a glass of champagne and woken up. Thanks Jacs for driving me so early. Love you babes
We’re super excited for our trip to the east coast, and will tell you all about it when we get back. We’re also celebrating my birthday with friends when we get back by getting a party bus (Galactic Transporter) to Outback Steakhouse*, so we’ll let you know how that goes – it should be an authentic aussie party.
Hope you’re all well
Ben and Jacs
*For those of you that don’t know, Outback is a kind of tacky ‘Australian’ restaurant here that serves dishes like the bloomin onion (a deep fried onion). I’ve never been so everyone thought I should check it out before leaving the US
Hope you’re all well. We’ve settled back into life on this side of the Equator after such an amazing trip with the family to Brazil and our adventures in Mexico. We’ve been spending a lot of time in Tahoe boarding at Squaw and Alpine, visiting the family (with Mom and Dad either coming here or us going down there), a little bit of school here and there for Ben, and a little bit of work for me. It’s been pretty awesome to say the least. So…
First bit of news is that I’m now officially a Registered Yoga Teacher (200 Hour Certification with the Yoga Alliance). It’s so exciting and something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been teaching about 2-4 hours every week since I received my certification. Ben is quite the little yogi now which is fun for us both. I’ve taught a few donation based classes on our friend’s balcony in Berkeley that has gorgeous views of the Golden Gate and the city. I’ve also taught our friends after days on the slopes to stretch them out and release some of the tension built up in the moguls or shredding it hard It’s been really fun and I’m looking forward to offering more classes when I find additional venues.
As some of you guys know, we were up at Tahoe one weekend a month ago and I unfortunately took a big fall and dislocated my shoulder, and separated it from my collar bone. I even had to go down the mountain in the ski patrol sled…Ben has photos to prove it!
I haven’t been able to board or do much yoga since the accident, but it is healing and thankfully I’m still allowed to RUN! It also means no contact sports (soccer) for me this season which is a bummer since my team moved up a division after winning last season. Luckily it wasn’t my knee or neck, so lots to be thankful for in this situation. That night we also celebrated my birthday with my girlfriend Amanda (TWINSIES!…kinda but not really…she is two weeks younger than me!) Jordan gave us both lovely bottles of sparkling to kick the night off!
Jacs with Jordan and Amanda
We had dinner at the Fat Cat with about 20 of our friends here in Tahoe. We even got ice cream cake
Amanda and Jacs blowing out their candles!
Right after the accident, Mom and Dad drove up from Altadena for the week. It was lovely to have them here. We took the opportunity to do a bit of sightseeing too and headed to Alcatraz. Dad and I both had never been, and it had been ages for Ben and Mom, so we all had a great time. It was a gorgeous sunny SF day – one you definitely couldn’t have planned. We lucked out to say the least. While Mom and Dad were here, we also met up with one of their biker buddies in the city for dinner and a jazz show. After a delicious meal with a southern flair, we walked across to Yoshi’s San Francisco to hear Leela James belt out some incredible songs. She has a blues-meets-jazz-meets-soul vibe and some kick ass pipes.
The view from the boat on the way to Alcatraz with Mom and Dad
We drove back down to LA the following weekend for Ben’s biometrics appointment for his Green Card. While we were home we spent time with the family, caught up with Vikkee who we hadn’t seen since Bub and Christy’s engagement party, went out for dinner at the club and drinks with all the siblings in Old Town, and celebrated Nick and Nicole’s engagement. It’s been so nice popping down to LA lots this quarter (without worrying about classes for Ben or work for me on Mondays and Fridays).
In other news, Ben had the opportunity to hear Al Gore speak down in Santa Clara last week about his new book and climate change. Taking advantage of where we live and the flexibility of a student schedule! I’m also doing some freelance writing, in addition to teaching yoga and sitting, and am also going to be helping Cell Crete out with some marketing and PR. Let’s be honest, Ben and I don’t stay still for long
Al came up to Tahoe last weekend with her snowboard team, so even though I couldn’t board, we headed up to hang out with her. Ben and she hit the slopes and had a blast together. She had an awesome weekend getting to know people, boarding, and living the college life!
Ben and Al Shredding at Alpine
Ben is off to Austin this weekend with the Haas soccer team, and I’m popping up to Tahoe where I’ll do some snowshoeing, running if it’s not too slippery on the roads, and some yoga and meditation. We have lots of friends up there this weekend so it should be fun!
And finally, we have some exciting news to report. Alexandra has been accepted to her study abroad program in Florence this summer and Christy passed her real estate license exam. We are so proud of you two and can’t wait to hear about all the adventures Al has and see Christy thrive as an agent. Congratulations!