Sunday, June 25, 2006

summer school again :-(

I've moved back to Berkeley as the summer session begins tomorrow. I'm not going to lie - English isn't my favorite subject. On the other hand, some of the books for English N1A are rather interesting. I hope it won't be as boring as my high school literature classes.

I'm also taking CS 61A this summer. I dropped it last spring after my academic adviser recommended taking CS 3 first. Though I passed CS 3 with fairly good grades, CS 61A still looks pretty tough. After all, most computer science courses at Berkeley are no walk in the park...

The good news is that I don't have classes on Fridays. So at least I get eight long weekends. :-)

Currently reading: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Monday, June 12, 2006

Northern California trip report

I just got back from a three-day trip to far Northern California with my parents. This was our first time there in several years. It was quite nice for a change!

Day 1

The trip began with a 250-mile drive to Redding. The weather was surprisingly warm when we arrived at our hotel. While looking around the room, my mother noticed someone had left several candy bars in the refrigerator. They became ours as there was no way to find the owner. Can't complain about free stuff. ^_^

Dad took us to McArthur–Burney Falls Memorial State Park as the weather cooled down. Mom had discovered this place a while ago and wanted to check it out. I'm not a huge fan of waterfalls but really enjoyed the place. The spray from the water hitting the pool below was especially refreshing. The trails were pretty nice too.

The three of us visited the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay in the evening. The bridge was an amazing work of architecture. I saw many teenagers dressed up for some sort of formal event, most likely their prom. This was pretty unusual, considering that few schools have dances at this time of the year.

Back at the hotel, my parents and I watched Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous before going to bed. The movie had its funny moments but wasn't extraordinary otherwise.

Day 2

The morning wasn't too eventful. Seeing that there weren't too many attractions in the downtown, my family went back to the Sundial Bridge for more pictures. The daytime view didn't disappoint either.

Our hotel for the night was in Arcata. The 170-mile drive took several hours due to the winding mountain roads. All of us were tired from the traveling and didn't do much in the evening other than watch The Skeleton Key on HBO. It was a creepy movie, to say the least.

Day 3

The highlight of the day was the Loleta Cheese Factory in Loleta. The store had a generous amount of samples. Dad and I loved this place for obvious reasons. We bought some cheese and a refrigerator magnet before leaving as Mom felt guilty after seeing us eat so much. Haha.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park was our next stop. The trails were beautiful and made for a great hike. The trees along the Avenue of the Giants were also impressive. I couldn't help but marvel at these creations of Mother Nature. The three of us then had lunch at a roadside café as it was almost noon. This was another memorable part of the trip.

It was then time to start heading home after returning to Redding. Dad made a stop at the Shasta Outlets in nearby Anderson so Mom could visit the Mikasa store. That was certainly a great way to extend our vacation. The traffic was fairly smooth and allowed us to get home earlier than expected.

Conclusions

This was easily one of our best road trips ever. The hike in Humboldt Redwoods State Park was my favorite part. The trails there were simply fantastic. The scenery along the Avenue of the Giants was also memorable. I certainly look forward to visiting these places again.

At any rate, I should probably start preparing for my classes as summer school begins in two weeks. Peace!

Currently watching: The Skeleton Key

Historical note: Pictures from the trip are available here.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

three barbecues in a row

I know this sounds weird, but my family had three barbecues in a row over the weekend.

Dad had several of his colleagues over on Friday night. Everything was so good that we bought more supplies and invited the Swansons over again yesterday evening. Last but not least, my parents spent much of this afternoon cooking the leftovers.

This reminds me of when we had four barbecues in a row over the 4th of July weekend several years ago. As you could imagine, the food got old pretty fast. That fortunately wasn't the case this time because the food was much better. It helps that Mom has level 99 cooking in real life. :-)

Speaking of which, today feels like the 4th of July even though it's exactly one month away. I can't wait to bring out the fireworks.