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Summertime, summertime…

Less than a week left of my life as I’ve known it this summer. Moving to Colorado was so far the easiest transition I’ve ever experienced. Besides the fact that I desperately miss the beach, the sounds of the ocean waves and the feel of warm (and cold) sand between my toes, this summer has been amazing. I work with awesome people, doing exciting projects. I’ve been going to yoga atleast 4 times a week and skating even more often at new spots and so many different parks. I just recently moved to Gunbarrel, a relatively rural area outside of the city of Boulder. My new house is huge, with a big yard with room to plant a garden. I have already started my compost pile, an accomplishment I’ve been quite proud of. Each day, my drive or bike ride into Boulder or just about anywhere else is a miraculous journey with the most gorgeous landscape and view of the rocky mountains, the foothills, and the flatirons. The simplest things and acts are so surreal.

A few photos from my drive to work:

Starting Monday, I’ll be thrown back into a life of reality. 8am class on Monday morning will come as quite a shock after 5 years since I took a class of any level of serious challenge and I will be just returning from a weekend in southern California. Even my work will become more intense as I actually go into the classroom 1-2 times a week to teach engineering programs that still need to be perfected and supplemented with power points, lectures, and worksheets. At the moment, work has still been amazing. Here’s some of the projects we’ve still been working on:
Egg Carts
Forensic Science DNA identification tool

In the meantime, I’ve been living a life of complete indulgence without regrets. The month of August began with a reunion outside of Toronto with friends from my undergrad at McGill. I flew into Ann Arbor to meet up with my friend Marie, who I would drive up to the reunion with. We began our long weekend with my first dim sum experience, and then visited the remains of an art show that Marie’s boyfriend Zack had helped put together. We had a delicious dinner of a salad with mangoes and salmon with Zack’s family and then spent the remainder of the night at the first annual Ann Arbor Electronic Music Festival in a frat house. On the way in we paid a “donation” for a keg that didn’t exist and watched 18-20 year old college girls try to get Zack to play “something different”, despite the fact that his set was his own original music that he had prepared and practiced for the event.
Shigeto (Zack) performing
The next morning, Marie, Zack, and I hit the road in Zack’s black Honda Fit and drove through the border into Canada. After a stop to get cigarettes, which now they hide in stores in Canada because they are no longer allowed to even display them, and a stop at Tim Hortons, we headed straight into Toronto to pick up Gemma, my friend and roommate when we were at McGill. Traffic in Toronto was horrible, but we managed to grab Gemma and finish the rest of the journey to our friend Matt’s farm.
Driving through Toronto

Saturday on the farm included catching up with everyone, playing some football, swimming in the pool, eating a delicious roast, and a little drinking. Somewhere in their we did manage to set up a tent village in one of the fields on the farm, where we all crashed at various hours of the night and early/late morning.
Our Arrival. Marie, Zack, Kez, Gemma, Tai
Our Tent Village

On Sunday it rained quite a bit in the morning, but we were kept content with a delicious breakfast and lunch. After the rain, I tried to make up for the lack of photos from the previous day. I spent a good 10 – 20 minutes doing a photo shoot with my friend Shayda and a hay bail. I also wandered around the farm checking out the scenery, flowers, chickens, and horses, as well as swimming in the pool and lounging around the house. Eventually it was time for Marie, Zack, and I to crawl back into the Fit and head back across the border to Ann Arbor.

Matt outside in the rain, while Barber looks like he’s feeling the night before…


Triber (our chef) cooking in the rain, with Matt providing the umbrella

Lunchtime

Some scenary

The barn

One shot from the photo shoot with Shayda
The McGill girls that made it out to the farm. Marie, Shayda, Me, Kristen, Mairi, Tai, Julia, and Gemma.
Sunday lounging

My next (and last) weekend adventure was to San Diego. My friend Dan has been out in Southern California (Oceanside area) since May, and I have been dying to go out and actually be able to skate in Cali. Also, one of my best friends Sara lives in downtown San Diego with her boyfriend Mike. The very last weekend before classes begin I took off on Friday afternoon and got picked up by Sara and her adorable dog Brady in her black convertible Volkswagen bug. After hanging out for a bit, we went out on the town to a cool pizza/bar spot right near where the Padres play. We stuffed our face with pizza and I enjoyed the locally brew Stone beer, while we chatted it up with some of their friends. Later, Sara, Mike, their friend Jamie, and I made our way to another bar where we played jenga and asshole (so much fun!). Being responsible, we caught a cab home and I crashed out on an inflatible mattress.

Saturday was devoted to skateboarding. Dan and two friends, Chris and Alex, came and picked me up around 2:30. We actually skated a ditch spot right now the street from Sara’s place and I actually got a line on film… wooohooo. The rest of the day was a lot of driving around, and some skating, especially at UCSD. Although I landed 180 switch 5-0 180 out 3 times, as soon as the camera came out all I could pull off was a noseslide. Very depressing and frustrating. Our adventure was completed once we arrived at Souplantation, a soup and salad buffet. We stuffed our faces and then the boys dropped me off back at Sara and Mike’s around 10:30 or so.

Alex nose bonk at UCSD. (terrible photo on my part…)

Some crazy bird on campus

Alex front board pop out
Sunday was my last, yet possibly most filled, day. I woke up early and went for a run with Sara and Brady for a few miles in Balboa park. Once we got home, we changed and headed down to the dog beach in Coronodo. There were actually huge waves, which according to Sara is actually rare. There were dogs everywhere, which was a little overwhelming but hilarious to see. After some good suntanning and gossiping on the beach, we headed home with an exhausted Brady to get ready for the Padres game. Mike had some awesome front row seats for the three of us, right on the level of the field. Fabulous day. The whole family, Mike, Sara and Brady (minus the cat Mayday) drove me to the airport and dropped me off. Quick, but fun-filled, weekend.

a wave

The view down the beach towards the naval base

Sara and Brady

Brady

While my short and sweet trip to California was my last trip away from Colorado, I have had an amazing summer right here in my new home. A few highlights from the summer…

A few weeks after living in Boulder, my brother Seth stopped by to visit during his drive from Rhode Island to Utah, where he teaches at a boarding school. In the few days he was in town, he went to a house warming party at Brian’s house with the whole Trick Factory, went to Chip’s softball game and went out with Chip’s work friends, went out with my work friends, and had a crazy night at the bars. We also had time to fit in a long hike, the last hike I’ve been on to be honest…

Do you see the lizard?


My brother Seth

One special treat that comes along with living in Boulder is being able to spend time with my cousin Coco. She is 3 1/2 and probably the smartest kid I’ve ever met. And to prove it, she happens to be obsessed with me! Well, maybe not obsessed, but she seems to be really psyched to hang out with me, more than any other little ever has been. So, needless to say, I think she’s pretty awesome. One day, her mom Mary Kate (my dad’s first cousin) had me take her to the Spruce street pool. SO MUCH FUN! We played in the pool the whole and I admit, I tried to pretend she was my own kid. I don’t know if I actually tricked anybody…

Coco, taking a breaking from the pool and the hot sun

All summer long, I have been trying to make it out to a Colorado Rockies game with Chip. We finally made it to a game together just the other day (after the date I was supposed to publish this post, but since I’m so slow, this adventure made it in this post). Unfortunately Chip and his friend Mike were too cool to sit with the rest of us, but myself, Jules, Amelia, Casey, Keith, Max and Rob had a fabulous time eating peanuts, drinking from the flask Jules snuck in, and celebrating the Rockies win.
the game
Jules and Amelia
a beautiful night for the game
Rockies win in the bottom of the 10th!
Jules celebrating
Our post-game tailgate

More than anything, the best experiences this summer have been the skate adventures. I’ve been to parks in Boulder, Nederland, Fort Collins, Brighton, Loveland, Winter Park, Kremling, and Louisville. Unfortunately I haven’t been keeping up with my photography, but I do have photos from a street skating adventure and the landscape on the drive…
Neil and Lazer on the drive out

The crew

Jason Hightower

Lazer and Brian…over skating for the day

The drive home after a thunderstorm

Overall, this has really been an amazing summer. I still can’t suppress some sadness as I think of my students at Heritage High School coming back to school without me there. I also realize that as much as I don’t want to believe it, there are many friends and opportunities that I’ve had to leave behind…while gaining new friends and a whole new set of opportunities. And with the start of my classes and my recent motivation to join the EDC track (Engineering for Developing Communities), project based (meaning I will actually go to a developing community and work on an engineering project addressing the needs of the community), there are many more adventures just over the horizon.

One Response to “Summertime, summertime…”

  1. Ms.Alisha says:

    Wow – it looks like you had a FANTASTIC summer. If anything it should solidify for you that you have made the best decision…and believe me, I am WISHING I could have gotten out of Heritage right now. I wish you the best of luck with your classes…but then again…you don't need luck 🙂