Summer Commencement / San Francisco

As of Thursday at 12:13pm, with a click of the “SEND” button on my gmail account, I finished my first year of graduate school. Only 4-6 more years to go folks! Even though I still have the bulk of my educational journey ahead of me, it still feels pretty awesome to have one year under my belt. Things will be a little different next year as I will start TAing but I still have high hopes that it’ll be a lot smoother than this year just by virtue of me having gotten familiar with the graduate student life. Before the craziness of year 2 starts, however, I have an entire wonderful summer to look forward to. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know what I have going on this summer (and assuming that you actually care), here is my schedule (said with British pronunciation).

May 9-13 San Francisco  first time in NorCal!)

May 13-June 18 Chi-City (I have to click my ruby red slipper every now and then)

June 18 – July 28 Europa! First time back since I studied abroad in 2010-2011!

July 28 – August 9 Chi Chi again. Gotta regain my footing (and wait for my subletter to leave)

August 9 – August 17 Back in LA. Time to prep for the next year, welcome my new roommate (!), and enjoy a little R and R before the chaos.

August 17 – August 20 Meeting up with the fam in Vegas. Grandma loves her some Vegas. Should be fun. Was supposed to be there longer, through my birthday on the 22nd but I have to be back for TA training on the 21st. Bit of a bummer but this just means that I’ll have to turn up in LA (save the date West Coast peeps!)

So that’s the gist of it. Will go into detail about the adventures within Europe when the time is appropriate (and when my plans are actually solidified). I’M SO EXCITTTTTEEEEDD. Not sure when I’ve last felt such a way.

You guys can look forward to some awesome, picture-filled (I’m going to crazy glue my phone to my hand in picture taking position), enthusiastic posts about all of the great cities that I’m going to over the next three months.

To get the ball rolling, I thought that I’d include some pictures from my trip to San Francisco to see my friend Nora. Nora and I were room mates when studied abroad in Rome. Clearly, she’s awesome. Anyone who can spend four months sharing a room with me has to be. It was great to see her in her NorCal element, hang out with her family, and explore the city. Even though I still had a final paper hanging over my head when I was there, I still had a great time. I really really really liked San Francisco. Can completely understand why everyone’s obsessed with it. Here are a few highlights of my trip!


photo 1Delicious sweet potato bowl from Souvla. Such a great first meal in SF. Simple and clean. Just like I like it.


photo 2Snapshot while driving down Lombard street. Not the best picture but you get an idea of the amazing view.

photo 3Fisherman’s Wharf.

IMG_5046.JPGWhile some cities have half naked singing cowboys and pop-locking men covered in silver paint, SF has the Bush Man. This guy literally sits behind a fake bush along the water and scares people as they walk by. It’s amazing. You’d think that they’d see him but clearly not. Nora and I stood and watched for like 10 minutes. It never gets old.

photo 4

photo 1

photo 2So clearly Boudin, the resto that we went to for lunch on my second day there, specializes in bread. Nora was excited (with good reason).

photo 5Baked goat cheese appetizer. Layered with marinara and pesto. 😮 Yes, it was as delicious as it looks and sounds.


photo 3Beef Stew. It was sooooo goood. I really wish I could re-create this. The ingredients are simple on the surface but the flavor was incredible and the beef was cooked perfectly. Super tender. I’m gonna stop talking about it now. Don’t want my drool to short-circuit my keyboard.

photo 1Me and my homie, the Bay Bridge.

photo 3Rachel (Nora’s friend), Nora, and , (French friend of one of Nora’s friend). This was snapped mid sake-bomb rounds. Thus, the genuine happiness exuding from everyone’s smile.

So there’s a bit on my first Summer 2014 adventure. So excited for what’s to come. Now that I’m done with the semester, I’m hoping to get some more kitchen time in (look for a new recipe post tomorrow!). Also excited to share my travel preparation with you guys. I’ve decided to do my entire 5-week trip with only one carry-on size backpack. If you are at all aware of my over-packing tendencies, you know this is a HUGE deal for me. More to come over the next couple of weeks!












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