Sunday, August 23, 2009

Since last I blogged, we've been quite busy! We finished up our visit with the Riddle family by touring around the Monterrey and Big Sur areas (just 2..5 hours south of here). The drive along the coast is beautiful! Plenty of ocean and hills! And in several places that we pulled over, we saw sea otters or seals playing in the water! We also went to the Monterrey Bay aquarium, which is amazing! As it turns out, Monterrey Bay is quite unique in that it has a very deep canyon right off the coast. That means that scientists can study deep sea life in a really convenient location. The aquarium partners with these scientists to do some really cool educational stuff. (See photos of Muir Woods, the Monterrey area, and more San Francisco here: )

Additionally, we wrapped up a tour of San Francisco with a visit to the Haight Ashbury neighborhood (location of the original hippie movement), a cable car ride, a drive over the famed bridge, and some more hilly walking.

Then, law school began and with it came the end of all our free time :) I had orientation on Thursday the 13th and had a reading assignment already due on the 14th. Since then, it's pretty much been non-stop reading and case briefing. My summary of the experience so far is that it's very time consuming, but not too difficult. The case reading is interesting, and I'm having fun learning about contract, property, and tort law. My free time is now mostly spent catching up on reading and briefing cases for class so that I'm prepared to be randomly called on. The good news is that the professors are not too intimidating and definitely not out to make students look foolish (despite television depictions of law school professors). Everyone seems really willing to help! And my classmates are very cool. I've met everyone from a PhD's biochemist to a Yale music major. There's plenty of diversity! And everyone is amazingly driven! I feel like I'm a slacker if I leave the library prior to 7 each night and don't stay up til 12am studying! But, the atmosphere of the school encourages us to not take ourselves too seriously.

I'm also looking forward to getting involved in some extracurricular activities. The Gender, Law and Justice journal is sounding good as is the asylum clinic where I get a chance to help someone through the asylum process from start to finish.

In other news, we had a nice break from our little routine this week when Andy and Quinn (my first cousin and his fiance) were here to help Quinn's sister start college at Berkeley. We had a lovely dinner and a good visit before Quinn and Andy head off to England for their next adventure. Good luck, guys!

Also, Dave has another job interview on Monday. Looks like a cool opportunity to do some programming with the addition of a little tech support. The company is located in San Francisco, so there would be a little commute, but nothing drastic. We'll keep you posted!

Monday, August 3, 2009

We went into San Francisco with Dave's family (sisters included) yesterday. We didn't have much of a plan...just wanted to get a feel for things. Dave and I realized how close we actually are to the city. Since it takes nearly an hour on BART to get to the San Francisco airport, I was under the assumption that we were quite a bit further away. However, in reality, it only takes us about 10-15 minutes without traffic to get right down to Fisherman's Wharf! You can see San Francisco pretty well from Emeryville, actually, and the bay bridge (the Oakland one) is just around here.

The city is really neat. The hills are insane! We think we would be in awesome shape if we just had to walk around there on a regular basis! We saw the maritime museum and toured around some really old ships. We spent the most time on the Balclutha, an old cargo sailboat. Very cool. Afterwards, we had some pizza, checked out a bookstore, and came home relatively exhausted. Not sure what the plan is today. You'll have to wait on pictures, as Dave and I forgot our camera :)

In other news, Dave found an awesome used bike on Craigslist yesterday for $80 (a great deal!), and the girl selling it through in a helmet for another $10! A good find for us! Now we just need to get those locks so that no more bikes go wandering off! Also need to spend a day cleaning up my bike...chains and sprockets are all rusted.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dave's parents are here visiting us in Emeryville now (his sisters join us today), and we're doing some touring around! Yesterday, we went to Berkeley to check out the campus and the law school, to Napa to do a wine tasting, and to a Beaver-fest in Martinez (to celebrate the return of the beavers to the Alhambra creek). On the way, we stopped at a honey farm where there were five really cute kittens. They might have been the highlight of the trip :) It was a beautiful, sunny, 75 degree California day. Check out the pictures here:

Today, we might head in to San Francisco. We'll keep you posted!