Monday, June 14, 2010

End of first year. Part 2

I think I ended on Thursday last time. So now onto the weekend.

Friday. Wasn't too eventful in the beginning. I just sat around wishing I had nothing to do so that I can watch Conan. =) X went to lunch with a friend so I went out to get a few things done, printed, met with people, etc. We did some final packing and my mom and brother came to pick us up. On the drive back, X got to see downtown Palo Alto, finally. I feel bad since I didn't really have time to take her around. Places are already hard to get to when you're living at Stanford. And when you've been here for a while, things are not exciting anymore. It's kind of like when Yalu visited me in England, I was like, and here's some other old building. Or when one of my HS teachers visited me at MIT. He was very impressed (shocked?) by the Stata building and I was like, "what? that thing?"

We moved a bunch of my stuff back home and then we went out for dinner in Chinatown. I tried to get my parents to go to a Thai place near our house but was unsuccessful. Maybe next time... We had a big dinner in Chinatown, at the Peony Restaurant, where my parents always go.

Saturday. It was hot. Very hot. X and I went walking around Lake Merritt, Chinatown, and Jack London Square. We stopped at the Bookmark Bookstore to cool down in Old Oakland. It was way too hot to do very much, we didn't feel like walking around that much. The big Barnes and Nobles at Jack London Square closed down. So sad! It's just one big empty building now. You could tell that the building was originally built for the bookstore plus cafe. I've spent a lot of time in that bookstore. So sad it had to close. There were a few new developments in that waterfront area. But one of the buildings look empty. Didn't look like anyone was leasing the space. That area could be really nice if people wanted to invest in it. I mean, it's a really nice waterfront area so hopefully more businesses will move in.

We got back and met up with one of X's friends. He took us to Muir Wood. It's a nice national park north of San Francisco. There are huge redwood trees there and a nice and easy trail to walk around in. Very good for family outings. The groves of redwood are in a valley. It's kind of strange actually. Most of the landscape around the area are rolling hills with yellow-brown grass and bushes. Not forest-like at all. And then you descend into the valley and all of a sudden, there are big trees. We stopped by a few vintage points to see the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

We decided to go to Japantown for dinner. I realized I had never been to Japantown in SF. It's actually pretty interesting. It was one of the first establishments of Japanese people on the continental US. It was a pretty big neighborhood until WWII came along and all the Japanese people got shipped to detention camps. Now there's only a couple of blocks of shops and such.

When we got to Japantown, X called one of friends and he came and joined us for dinner. We ate my snacks while we waited. Good thing I brought snacks! We had dinner at a Japanese restaurant that mainly served sushi.

Sunday. I had dim sum with my family and they drove me back to Stanford to watch the CEE graduation. I got there just as they were going to call out names and walk people. Great timing since the department head is not that great of a speaker... They kept mentioning accomplishments of professors and people who were not graduating. So lame. You would think that if they spend any time at all mentioning people, it would be of the graduates and stuff that they've done this year. The CEE graduation was inside Memorial Auditorium. This was really nice since it's always super hot outside on graduation day. I walked by a lot of other graduations that were taking place outside. There was a reception outside after the ceremony. It was pretty difficult to find people since there was a huge congregation of people. The little alley was too small to handle so much people. You can invite an unlimited number of guests so people had a lot of guests.

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