On Monday, right after I ran the local 4th of July race, I went to the airport and flew across the country to sunny California. I will be here until the end of August for graduate school.
My flight wasn’t a wonderful experience. Before I even got on the plane in Philadelphia security took my laptop because it looked suspicious. Eventually they inspected it and decided that it was harmless. They returned the laptop and I was able to continue on with the traveling process. For a point of reference, this is my laptop:
I am not a fan of flying and the flight was very bumpy. I flew with Delta airlines, which is unusual because I almost always fly Southwest. Delta surprised me though because they had free entertainment and I was able to catch up on season 9 of The Big Bang Theory. I had a quick layover in Salt Lake City and then a short flight before arriving in Sacramento. The second flight was miserable because I was sitting next to a grouchy woman who picked a fight with me as soon as I got on the plane and attempted to retrieve my seat. According to her my backpack was to large to keep under the seat and it needed to be placed in the overhead bin. This lady had some much hate and negativity radiating from her that it made me sad for her. Thank goodness I was able to put my headphones in and continue watching the last few episodes of The Big Bang Theory. I did not return her pleasantries at the end of the flight and I watched her remove her oversized suitcase [that should have been checked] and wheel it off the plane.
At the rental car place the guy tried to upgrade me to a convertible. I said no. He tried to upgrade me to an SUV. I said no. He asked me what kind of car I would like and I said a blue 2005 Honda Civic just like my car. He said no. He gave me a confusing white Ford Focus. I didn’t like this car because it had too many buttons.
When I finally figured out how to work this fancy car I had to drive over an hour. At least I was able to watch a bunch of illegal fireworks the whole way. When I arrived at the place I am staying I went to sleep. It was now almost midnight on the Pacific Coast, 3AM on the East Coast.
I woke up the next day and drove to my internship orientation. This was about a 35 minute drive. I am still unsure if I was driving into farmland or a desert, or both with a mountain backdrop. It was a strange town. I was also exhausted, confused, and jet lagged. I met a lot of my classmates, which was strange too because I have always been an online student. It was nice to see that we all do exist in real life. Seeing my school later that day was even more strange.
The past few days have been less hectic. I am trying to get adjusted to this time zone, its a challenge. I keep waking up around 4am-5am because I am still on East Coast time. I am also starving at odd times.
As I tweeted the other day, on the West Coast my New Jerseyness stands out like a neon running shoe in the year 2000. I am not the most social person, but the west coast forces you to socialize even when you don’t want to. People are very nice here, they let you merge on the highway and they let pedestrians cross the street. In the grocery store they thank you for coming in and they don’t snap at you or seem unhappy if you ask where something is. Speaking of the grocery store, these grocery stores are filled with alcohol. In New Jersey we don’t sell alcohol in grocery stores. Even though I have seen this before it still shocks me. Pumping gas is a strange concept too, although I have pumped gas before. Since we don’t pump our own gas in New Jersey I have to remember that the rest of the country does. The gas station I found before I returned my rental car was called Rotten Robbies and I thought it was hilarious, but I had no one to make that comment to so here it is now on my blog.
I am in the Bay Area and I have been informed that it hasn’t rained since April. This explains why the grass is really brown in most areas. The grass is definitely not greener here………Aside from the lack of rain, the weather is really odd. In the morning and evening it is in the 50s and during the afternoon it is really hot, but only for a few hours. Then it gets windy at night. Also, there are palm trees. It amazes me each time I see one.
It took me a few days to find a coffee shop that wasn’t a starbucks and a place to run. I found a safe bike path/canal trail that reminds me of the bike path at home, only less green. It’s not the funnest place to run but it will do. Yesterday I saw a cat sleeping on the side of it. That literally made my day.
The school aspect of this adventure has been confusing. Everyone is trying to figure out what to do, including myself. Hopefully things settle down after we meet again next week. I wouldn’t say that I am on vacation, as many people imagine that I am. My main purpose here is to do work and complete this internship.
So far time is going at a normal pace, but I wish it would speed up because I really miss my cats.