A Travellerspoint blog

Spring Break in the Bay Area

last-minute snap decision!

Due to a very sudden, unforeseen change of plans, instead of backpacking through Baja which I had tentatively planned, I took a trip to Berkeley to see a dear friend I met in Korea.

There aren't too many specifics...I did a lot of lounging, reading, watching movies, walking, contemplating, soul-searching...but mostly lounging. It was way colder than I thought it would be. While my Mexican cohorts came back bronzed, I never got to use the two bathing suits that I packed. Ahhh...that's ok. I LIVE in a beach town and the sun has finally shown what it can do.

But I digress.

Aside from a 4-hour layover in LA, I was generally satisfied with my trip up. It was nice to be in an area where people didn't honk or whistle at me, away from the prying eyes of Ensenada. And the grocery store...mercy! I am always so amazed by American grocery stores; the variety...is...incredible. And California is amazingly gorgeous. Always...even on the cloudy days.

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See? Beautiful.

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Clouds are so versatile... I think this one looks like a glass plate of clouds. But that's just me.

I made it in with no problems and spent the first few days doing nothing (both Courtney and Lil work for a living), though we did venture out a bit.

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That's the Golden Gate Bridge.
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This is the entrance to Courtney and Lil's house. SO! MANY! FLOWERS!

Friday night we went to Acme, the bar we went to the first time around. They had "Motown night" for a little bit and it was clear that the whole bar was jazzed about it. I danced very awkwardly with a guy who also danced awkwardly...but hey, it's Berkeley and people were feeling good.

Saturday we went to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, possibly one of the most stimulating and just plain COOL museums I have ever been to. I don't know what it is about my luck and only having 2 hours (2.5, actually) to explore and cram as much in as possible, but that's what we did. We missed out on the 4-floor rainforest and planetarium (bummer), but what we did see was wicked cool.

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South African penguins in the Africa room.

Then we went to the Madagascar area, where we saw tons of insects, some small tortoises, and the now-extinct Madagasy elephant bird skeleton, which was 10 feet tall and weighed half a ton.
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I don't know what this insect is, but I don't ever want to see one in the wild. This is pretty much actual size.
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This one looks a little more tame. Kind of like a rhino...or a triceratops. Also actual size.
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Hissing cockroaches. I shudder at the thought.

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Fish bisection in the Galapagos area.
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Giant Galapagos tortoise.
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Albino alligator.
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Seahorse party!
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Jellyfish!
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Leaf fish that didn't move even a little. It looked like they were suspended in clear jell-o.
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Upside-down jellyfish.
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The Living Roof.

After that, we toured San Francisco a little more.
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Forest of Eucalyptus trees that are really pretty and smell great, but are taking over the forests and edging out the "good trees." Some bozo thought they would be profitable as timber because they grow very quickly, but he was wrong.
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Typical San Francisco houses.
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Sidewalk T-Rex. Cute.

Sunday, Courtney and I went back to San Fran for the Easter parade featuring wacky dressers, drag queens, a cop with flowers in his lapel and hat, hipsters, and Hunky Jesus. What a time.
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A great advertisement we saw in the BART station.
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This is Zach Houston. He makes poems on his typewriter about any topic for any price. My poem was about roast beef:

"the single greatest veganisms
are roast beef eaters british
uniforms worn better over with
it timeless hunger but sated by
often someone but easily eat"

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Dressed in their Easter best.

My 3rd-to-last day, I did a bit of exploring around Berkeley thanks to Lil. We went to the forest to take her sweet dog, Lorna, for a swim, then I met some used bookstores and a Korean restaurant that tickled my fancy.
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We stopped for coffee first. This was too clever to pass up.
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A young redwood.
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Go Lorna go!
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A gnarly tree.
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Lorna dreams big.
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The bay area.
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Kimchi. The miso was authentically bad, and they had 2 kinds of kimchi. It wasn't great, but it never is outside of Korea. Man...I miss kimchi.
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California bibimbap. This is a very typical Korean dish, with the added California ingredients of avocado and chicken. It was...ok.
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I love Berkeley. Almost every single yard is bursting with beautiful flowers.

The overnight Greyhound bus ride was way smooth, and I made it back to Ensenada with no problems.

And thus, my Californian spring break is over; tomorrow, we go back to school. I am way excited to see my kids...time to get back to molding young minds!

Posted by lrbergen 20:21 Archived in USA

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