My cousin brought me to Lafayette Reservoir so we could burn some carbs before pigging out on chicken and waffles for dinner. However, after than 2.75mi walk, I was too tired to eat, so we didn't get to eat chicken and waffles anymore.
The place is so peaceful and relaxing. The views are spectacular. There are a lot of wildlife there; we saw different species of birds (ducks, canadian geese, crows, etc.), a coyote, and some deer. There are also some mountain lions there, but (thankfully), we didn't get to see one.
|finish line after the 2.7mi mark|
|Canadian geese that got left behind because of 2 goslings that can't fly yet|
The trail we walked on is paved with asphalt. Every few miles, there are drinking fountains, picnic areas, and restrooms. It reminded me of my thesis and my thesis site, LPPCHEA. Oh, the potentials of LPPCHEA...
Sunday, June 10
My second cousin, who lives in Concord with her family, invited my cousin and I over for lunch. And so, we drove off to Concord on a scenic route.
Their house is fairly new and very homey. I admire how there's a foyer upon entering the house. I also like how the kitchen opens up to the sala and dining area.
Although the title says "walking tours", this was one of the days this week wherein I didn't get to walk around. I was pretty much a bum the whole afternoon while my cousin went to do volunteer work at this free clinic.
Monday, June 11
My second cousin and her son decided to drop by Walnut Creek to go shopping. They parked outside the apartment and I brought them to H&M. Thanks to last week's walk around the block and Google Maps and Street View, I was able to take them to the store without us getting lost.
Tuesday, June 12
Another bum day... or so I think. I honestly can't remember what we did this day.
Wednesday, June 13
It was SF Design Week and they had this Open Studio Tour event on the evening of the 13th. I invited two of my friends from church in the Phils, who now live in the area, to accompany me as I visit different design studios in SF. Thankfully, they agreed to join me, so I had companions and tour guides for the evening.
|first time to ride the BART by myself|
The BART reminded me of the MRT and LRTs back home, just because they're both trains. I kept wishing how the MRT and LRTs back home would be like the BART - how it's so spacious, how it's so organized, how they allow bikes and skateboards on the train, and how it has its own app, the iBART, which shows routes, schedules, and advisories.
It was my first time back in SF since I arrived on its airport around 2 weeks ago. But upon arrival 2 weeks ago, we went straight to Walnut Creek, so I didn't really get to tour the city. So, it was actually my first time to tour the city in 6 years.
We only got to visit 5 studios because the design studios were far from each other; most of our time was spent walking to the different locations around the city. Thank God it was cold in SF; that made walking around much more bearable.
Sadly, I didn't get to take pictures that evening. I think I was too engrossed with the beauty of the city that I forgot to pull out my (cousin's) camera and take pictures.
|the only picture I took that evening|
After our tour, we had dinner at this Thai place on Folsom called Basil. I was still kinda full from all the free food from the different studios that I only ordered soup. The waiter asked if I wanted to order anything else because what I ordered was just small. But by the end of dinner, I didn't even get to finish my "small" bowl of soup. It reminded me of how different American serving sizes are from the ones at home.
After dinner and after parting with one of our friends, some guy approached us and asked if he could have his picture taken with us. With my other friend being so friendly, she agreed, had our picture taken, and had a little chat with the dude. Americans are so friendly. Apparently, encounters such as this are not unusual here. But, my friend warned me never to agree to something like that when I'm by myself. Haha! Of course! I CAN'T do anything like that, thanks to my Filipino upbringing of never talking to strangers and being snobby while walking/commuting alone. But, I'm trying to change that! I'm still trying to get used to greeting people while walking on the streets.
Thursday, June 14
After yesterday's SF Adventure, I got hyped up to tour the Bay Area more, starting with downtown Walnut Creek. I checked Google Maps for points of interests and the way to get there and back. I didn't have a definite route; I just took note of the POIs and in which direction I was walking towards and I made sure that I would go the opposite direction somewhere along the way.
|Walnut Creek Library on the right|
|in Civic Park|
|flagpole and gazebo in Civic Park|
|I remember this bridge from 6 years ago|
It was hot outside, but thanks to the dry climate, I didn't sweat as much as I would back home, even if I was already walking for over an hour.
Friday, June 15
Today was the day that my cousin flies off to the East Coast to chaperone his students' field trip. Because I was going to be alone for a week, my second cousin decided to take me in while my cousin is out.
Before bringing me to their home in Concord, I brought my second cousin and her kids to H&M and Forever 21 for shopping. I love how the downtown area is just a walking distance from my cousin's apartment.
H&M was on sale! But, I didn't get to buy anything there because the clothes that I need to buy (those that can be used for work), aren't on sale. I did buy something from Forever21 (yay, new belt and tops for work!), in spite of not being on sale. I might drop by H&M and Forever21 again soon to buy pasalubong for my sisters. Hopefully, they're still on sale when I come back, and/or hopefully, I could find some cheap yet nice clothes for them.
Two weeks down. I am loving the Bay Area! I can imagine living in Walnut Creek and working in that awesome design firm in San Francisco. Oh, the dream... err, one of the dreams. If only they were hiring; if only they could hire me.