Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Break 2010: Cali, AZ, UCB, and other adventures

Man, this spring break was a trip. It all started on Friday night in Boston on March 5th and by the time it was said and done when I returned on the 14th, I had spent significant time in all three U.S. times zones, been to five different airports, delayed a total of 4 hours on separate occasions, unlocked three foursquare badges, eaten out in 10 different restaurants, played racquetball in three different gyms, and randomly met up with two friends at MDW on the connecting flight from OAK to BOS. Overall, a great success.

Friday, March 5th: Aaron Horvitz had a 21st birthday party at Cafeteria on Newbury St. in Boston. We had a great time eating several appetizers and I had a particularly good burger. Afterwards, we had the bright idea of walking a mile in the frigid cold, which wasn't so bad if you consider our state from the festivities. Celebrations continued back at Aaron's and I ended-up making it back to my dorm around 2am for a 7am flight that I still had to do laundry and pack for before I left. Fortunately, I was able to get it done with time to spare.

Saturday, March 6th - Tuesday, March 9th: I don't remember much of Saturday, other than that I completely slept through both flights (BOS to MDW and MDW to OAK) and have no recollection of taking-off or landing. I was out cold. Sunday was a fun day with my mom playing catch in the California sunshine for the first time in a long while, something I look forward to doing again once the sun comes out again in Boston. My little brother taught me a new strategy board game and I played ping-pong with both of my sisters and my dad. It was great to spend time with my family and have home cooked food. I caught up on some sleep and prepared for my trip down to Arizona on Wednesday with my dad.

Wednesday, March 10th: Another early-morning flight that I spent most of the time asleep during. We made it into PHX around 10am and met up with our family friends, the Foleys, to take Matt to a spring training game with us. We went out to Surprise Stadium and saw the Seattle Mariners take on the Texas Rangers. It certainly looks like the Mariners are trying to do something this year. We saw that they had picked up Cliff Lee, Milton Bradley, and Chone Figgins among others. Only 2 of the starting 10 (pitcher and DH) including Ichiro Suzuki, were on the Mariners last year. Anyways, it was great to see some baseball and makes me excited to be around Boston for Red Sox baseball this summer.
After the game, we went out to dinner with the Foleys and I had a fun time explaining social-media products like Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare and how it related to my internship at LocaModa. Unfortunately, we ended up staying too-long at the restaurant, which had real Mexican food by the way, because we thought our flight back to Oakland was at 8pm. We forgot that our phones adjusted our appointments to the time change missed our actual flight at 7pm by about 20 minutes. Lucky for us, we caught the last flight to the Bay Area 10 minutes later (and an 8 minute jog away) to SFO. It was a quick 30 minute ride over to OAK and we made it home; just two hours later than we originally planned.

Thursday, March 11th - Saturday March 13th: UC Berkeley.. what a place. Living about 30 minutes away from Berkeley growing up, and considering that about 20 kids from my high school class went there, I've become pretty familiar with the fun-loving liberal atmosphere. On my first day at the University, I met up with Melissa Hong, a friend from high school who I've known since junior year. She pulled out a futon at her apartment for me to sleep in and boy did we have a good time. Thursday night we ate dinner with four other Berkelian's at Skate on the Bay, Joycerince Lee, Chris Chock, Shane Wo, and Jeff. It was a nice restaurant on the water, but waaaay overpriced. When we went they were having half-off appetizers so we just ordered a bunch of those for the table and made out that way.

The next day, I slept in until about noon while Mel went to class and lacrosse. Why not? It was spring break. Since coming back to BU, I think I've used up the reserves I stocked over break, so it was definitely worth it. Soon after Mel got back we went out and played racquetball. While I liked the fact that Berkeley racquetball courts are completely enclosed, the gym is way too small and the attendants are really nit-picky about gym rules, which sucks.. (don't try and bring a bag in if you're visiting..)
Later in the day, we met up with Joyce again and went to an improv and comedy show put on by theater rice (an asian theatre troupe if you couldn't guess ;) ). The first group, Fire-Alarm comedy did a good job with Who's Line esqe skits and was a good lead in to the show. Other groups weren't as exciting, mostly because they were dramatic, but worth the $5 we spent to come watch. The last acts, put on by the Smoke-Bomb comedy group, was very well done and though I'm slightly biased because Jason, who was in the performance, met us before the show, I think it was second best to the fire-alarm group. We wrapped up the day by making a visit to Yogurtland, the new epidemic of the west coast. Frozen Yogurt shops (fondly referred to as Fro Yo) have taken-off since I left Cali. There's now two in my home town and at least three in Berkeley alone.

For my last day in Berkeley, I met up with another high school friend, Cece Xie, who currently goes to Yale and is one of the few people from my high school that left the state. We made a pretty impressive three mile hike up to Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) around noon and revisited childhood memories of the great science classes and exhibits they had. Once we were done, we went over to the ledge on the side of LHS and gazed out over The Bay. Looking down, I realized that The Bay will always be my home, no matter where I go, and I will return once I've journeyed far and wide across the globe; hopefully with plenty of stories to tell and experiences to relive with those who are the most important to me: my friends and family.

Sunday, March 14th: Having made the travel back and forth across the United States at least 20 times now, I have learned to appreciate the 6-10 hour trip (whether direct or with a couple layovers) as a days worth of rest. Neck pillows have to be one of the greatest inventions for air travel, second only to noise canceling headphones.
The first leg of my trip was no exception to this statement. I fell asleep before we took off and woke up for about 30 minutes before we landed. Once I got into Chicago (MDW) though, I was in for a surprise. To of my best friends at BU, Tj Hanes, and Peter Henly happened to be taking the same southwest flight out of MDW to Boston (BOS) that I was. There went my sleeping plans. It was great to hear about their break and relive my own on the two hour flight to Boston. It made me appreciate even more the fact that I left California to go to school. I have met so many people from all over the country that I never would have had the chance to if I stayed in state.
We were greeted by torrential rain in Boston, but it was alright because we were all together. I ended up crashing at their place that night and couldn't think of a better way to cap off an already amazing vacation.

Thanks for reading, I hope that was mildly entertaining.

All the best,

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