Thursday, June 3, 2010


I'm on vacation!

Blondie and I left early yesterday morning for our exciting (not lame) adventure in California. His aunt and uncle live in the bay area and casually suggested that we might enjoy coming to visit them someday. We took that as a formal invitation and here we are!

We had an uneventful, but interesting, flight. We were near the last to board the plane, so we were lucky to find the last two available adjacent seats near the rear of the plane. The poor, unsuspecting computer science graduate student next to us was having troubles with his luggage. His suitcase was too stuffed to fit into the overhead compartment, so he had to rearrange some things. Even after rearranging, it was still bulging a little. He pushed and shoved to get it into the compartment, but it wouldn't go (his physique was of the puny variety). Blondie gave it a good shove and it was in.

Since he had been rearranging things, he warned us that he might have missed something. Sure enough, when Blondie stood up, he found an awesome pair of 3D glasses. Computer Science Guy was thrilled that Blondie had retrieved those because he would have certainly missed them at the movie he was going to watch later in the afternoon.

As we left the plane, Computer Science Guy stopped to rearrange his luggage again and as he opened his backpack his laptop and a bunch of papers spilled forth. Blondie grabbed what landed on the floor and carried them to the waiting area for him. His thesis was safe!

Blondie's aunt Christina picked us up at the airport and we got settled at their apartment. They live in a lovely area where flowers bloom everywhere and you can walk to lots of great stores and cafes. She took us to her favorite Israeli restaurant where I enjoyed a falafel sandwich, a dolma, and some very interesting mint lemonade. The lemonade contained a whole lemon, rind and all, blended with mint. It was very tasty, but the texture was quite different than anything I had experienced. Blondie said that the ground up seeds reminded him of toenails.

After lunch, Christina took us to Berkeley where we visited lots of really unique shops and her favorite supermarket. The highlights of our shopping excursion were the Japanese woodworking store and the pet shop.

Christina and Blondie were in the market for good chef's knives, which they found at Hida Tool. This store had lots of really interesting woodworking, gardening, and cooking tools. Plus, the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful!

The other store that really caught our attention was the East Bay Vivarium. This store had an incredible selection of reptiles, and two lazy dogs. While we were there, one of the store's employees fed a rabbit to a giant boa constrictor. The rabbit didn't seem skittish at all, which really surprised us. The employee said that the rabbit was about as aware of the snake slithering around it as we would be of a cougar stalking us in the forest. Apparently, mealtime for snakes can take a while because we stood and watched the snake investigate the rabbit for quite a while. Nothing exciting happened while we watched and I'm kind of glad we didn't stay to see the rabbit meet its demise. It was so cute and cuddly looking. But, you know, the circle of life and all...

When Blondie's uncle Justin returned from work, we all had dinner and talked all evening. That was really our favorite part of the day. We loved all of the different stuff we got to do, but Blondie's aunt and uncle are a lot of fun so we're really enjoying visiting them.

We're looking forward to more fun activities today. Look for an update tomorrow!


Carina said...

So glad your trip there was relatively uneventful. Those shops sound like a blast. I'm jealous already. =)