We’re now all settled down in LA after an exhausting but amazingly fun past 2 weeks. I graduated which I still can’t believe has actually happened – I still feel like I’ll be back at school next semester however I guess the real world is catching up
The week prior to graduation began with my last exam finishing at 9pm on the Wednesday, and heading straight to Praam (our Spring Gala) – I was dressed in my tux for the exam! Jacs and most of our friends were already there since my final exam was the very last one! Praam was on the USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier that is now a museum which was cool. It was a really fun night of drinking and dancing and celebrating being done with exams.
That was only the beginning of disorientation week however, which continued the next day with around 200 of us heading to Vegas to stay at the Cosmopolitan Hotel for 2 nights. It was such a fun time! The first night we went out for burgers for dinner with some friends before meeting everyone at Tao at the Venetian for the evening. The next morning, we had a great room service breakfast including bloody marys, which were all free thanks to Chris (we shared a room with Chris and Jordan) calling reception to say our room smelled of smoke..which it really did The day was then spent at a private cabana with bottle service at the Marquee Day Club Pool Party which was amazing and probably the highlight of the trip!
For dinner we headed out (after an afternoon nap) to a delicious steakhouse called Fix with Chris and Jordan, followed by getting a table at Marquee for another night of clubbing – after dealing with the obnoxious bouncers that are a part of Vegas nightlife. The following morning, feeling pretty exhausted, we headed to the airport and back to Berkeley, where the celebrations would continue the following morning!
Sunday morning was Bay to Breakers, an annual race from San Francisco’s bay to ocean beach, which is mostly just a huge party – everyone dresses up in costume and has drinks around the city and ends up in the park. We all decided to dress up as ‘Ice’ from the movie Blades of Glory, and we looked great People were stopping us along the way to have photos with us! It was an amazing day!
After all of the excitement, we decided to have a quieter day on Monday – the only organized event was an afternoon BBQ in Willard Park in Berkeley, so we enjoyed having a sleep in! Tuesday however, dis-orientation continued with Cohort Olympics. At the very beginning of school we had had a Cohort Olympics (the 4 groups that the class is divided in to for core classes), which involved a day in the park with kegs and sports like slosh ball, volleyball, corn hole, and even proper sports like soccer, but adapted to include drinks This was our chance to relive the original cohort olympics. It got pretty competitive, but I’m proud to say that my cohort, Gold, managed to win the day!
On Wednesday, mum and dad flew in, so we picked them up from the airport, had a nice lunch in Berkeley, and then started preparing for the BBQ we were hosting that night for about 30 friends and their parents at Lou and Gita’s house, where we were staying. The BBQ was a lot of fun, and everyone loved meeting my parents and Jacs’ grandparents!
Thursday morning, we had Daniella (a friend from Singapore who is an undergrad at Berkeley) over for breakfast. It was then time for me to take Dad to try Bakesale Betty’s, a famous fried chicken sandwich place that I love In the afternoon there was a ‘Consumption Function’ at campus with drinks and food, so we all headed up to that for a few hours to meet everyone’s parents and have a beer, before heading out to dinner with mum and dad, as well as John and Shirley (my storm parents who drove down from Tahoe for graduation). Dinner was at a restaurant we love called Gather which has lots of vegetarian and uses local ingredients.
Graduation day had finally arrived on Friday after all of the celebrating of the prior few weeks! Keiren flew in at lunch just in time to come to the ceremony which was great – we were quite a group with Keiren, Jacs, mum, dad, John, Shirley, Lou and Gita all there at the Greek Theatre for the ceremony!
After the ceremony, there was a reception on campus, after which we went over to Chris’ parents house – the Brown’s were generously hosting a celebratory event for our close friends which was really lovely and we all had a great time having a glass of wine and some delicious food at their beautiful home in Piedmont. Since it was our last night in Berkeley, we then continued on with some friends to the Graduate for one final evening at our local dive bar. Daniella and her brother Darren joined us again which was great. What a last night in Berkeley!! We’re going to miss everyone so much.
Saturday morning, we were up bright and early to head to LA for Bubba and Christy’s wedding, as well as his birthday. We dropped Jacs at the airport so she could get there for the rehearsal, and then me, Keiren, mum and dad hit the road. The drive went smoothly despite some bags under my eyes, and we arrived in time for Bubba’s birthday party / rehearsal which was a pool party kindly hosted by Jim Plumb, complete with an In’N'Out Truck which was amazing! I had 2 burgers!!
Sunday was Bubba and Christy’s wedding at the house, which was an amazing evening. It was a beautiful afternoon and the house was looking wonderful. Jacs’ dad, Lou, was the celebrant and did a great job!
It was also so great that mum, dad and Keiren could be there too!
The morning after the wedding, Bon and Lou’s neighbors, Mark and Carol, hosted a brunch, after which mum, dad, Jacs and I (Keiren had to fly back to NYC) headed down to San Diego for 2 nights. On the way down we stopped in at Carlsbad to see our friends Jess and Michael, before making it down to our hotel – the Bahia Hotel – just on the Bay by Mission Beach which worked out great. That evening, we went to a place that our friend Andrew Collier (who went to Cabo with me) recommended just up the road in Pacific Beach called Cali Kebab and Beer Garden , which brews its own beers and serves healthy kebabs – it was actually started by some Australians that missed all the kebabs we eat in Sydney Jacs’ cousin Tal joined us, so it great to get a chance to catchup again!
Tuesday morning we briefly explored the city, then headed over to Coronado for some time at the beach, including exploring the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado, and having a Moo Time ice cream after lunch which was decadent! After a rest back at our hotel we headed out for ‘Taco Tuesday’ specials at a restaurant called the Blind Burro in the gas lamp district (yum yum!), followed by cocktails across the street, where Tal joined us after work.
Wednesday was mum and dad’s last day before continuing on their journey, so it was back to LA for us. It was also Jacs and my 2 year anniversary, but we decided to push back celebrating by one day Instead, we had a celebratory dinner with Bon, Lou, mum and dad at the club which was delicious and a great way to end mum and dad’s stay! Last night we actually celebrated our anniversary with a delicious and romantic dinner at the Raymond in Pasadena.
After all of that, we’re looking forward to some relaxation over the next few weeks, and some time catching up with the Fishers. We’re also going up to Berkeley for one night next week to see friends one last time, as well as going to Ithaca/Cornell for Andrew and Amanda’s wedding in the middle of the month, and squeezing in a visit to Niagara Falls.
We’ll post once more before we leave the US on June 20th.
Ben and Jacs