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Please be sure to check out the pages above for all my adventures!
Graduated from Caltech on Friday!
My friend and skilled photographer James humored me (not once, but twice!) and my yoga practice. He has graciously allowed me to have these pictures for personal use!
Here are some of my favorite pictures. The entire photo set can be found here.
This weekend, my boyfriend and I hiked to the top of Mt. Islip, near Asuza, CA. It was an hour drive, and the last 45 minutes was on a typical (scary) mountain road. On the way there, we bought three Subway foot longs, one for breakfast and two for our picnic at our destination!
The entire trip was 8 miles round trip, with a 2000 foot elevation gain and drop. The first half going up was relatively flat, so the 2000 foot gain was reserved for the last two dreadful miles. We could see the peak from the campsite where we started out hike! So close but so far…
We took the Windy Gap trail starting in Crystal Lake Camp Grounds. Windy Gap was, in fact, quite windy.
It took about two and a half hours to get to the top, a little longer than we anticipated. I guess we’re a bit out of shape! Lunch at the top was fantastic; we were SO hungry!
A nice couple and their dog came up the other side of the ridge, and we took nice pictures of each other.
There was also a fire house look out of some sort. I did some yoga on it.
On the way down, we took the long side of the loop. It was quite barren; apparently there was a large forest fire in 2002 that ate away a lot of the huge (beautiful) trees in the area. Needless to say, there was hardly any shade…
If you don’t believe me, here’s another picture of a burned tree carcass…
On the way back, we had an encounter with a rattle snake. I hopped over a tiny (<1 foot wide) creek, and as I landed on the other side, I heard the rattle. Boyfriend kind of yelped a little while stepping backwards, and I (squealed, boyfriend says, and) continued down the trail on the other side of the creek. That was the closest either of us had been to a rattle snake and being bitten and *dying*. A few steps later, we passed by a harmless squirrel and we both ran away. From then on, boyfriend took the lead with two poles (we only had a pair between us), and kept stabbing the ground in front of us to prevent any more unwanted rattlesnakes.
After the hike, we went (I grudgingly, boyfriend excitingly) to Crystal Lake to fish.
I gave up after 10 minutes and took a nap on the rock. It was unbelievably frustrating to reel in all those plants in the shore.
Kevin caught a fish. We haven’t eaten it yet. It’s chilling in the fridge.
And that’s the end of my Crystal Lake, Windy Gap adventure!
It’s 11pm and I leave in the morning at 6am. I had dinner with my grandparents and big aunt (我請客！) and shopped Tonghuajie night market for the last time.
I’m frantically packing all the STUFF I’ve accumulated in the past two months into two (but really three because my uncle is so nice!) suitcases. But all the things I really really want to bring home with me are stored in people or my SD card.
Thank you Taiwan, for being so good to me. I’ll come back soon.
I wouldnt’ have survived in Taiwan for two months if not for you. These are my letters of thanks to you (in case I can’t communicate it to you in Chinese, or in case I had to leave before saying it).
Dear Grandpa and Grandma, Thank you for always greeting me with a big hug and a smile and a lot of food and fruits. Grandpa, I am so proud to be your eldest granddaughter. Every time I learn something new about you, all the things you’ve accomplished, I am blown away at how hard working you are for your family. Grandma, thank you for stuffing me full of food. I love your healthy smile, and when I am older I hope I can be as beautiful as you in mind, body, and spirit.
Dear Big Aunt, Thank you for taking care of me for the past 2 months. You think of things that I might need even before I do. You have an awesome sense of how to care for people. I look at you and I think about my mommy.
Dear Little Aunt and Uncle, Thank you for putting up with my sister. Thank you for keeping track of me on Facebook and reading my blog every day. I love knowing that someone is reading this, and can appreciate my experiences. Thank you Uncle for pushing me to run every day :)
Dear Uncle and Aunt L, Thank you for letting me work in lab. You pushed me harder than I thought I would have to work, which was a good learning experience for me. Thank you for taking time out of your day to make sure I was being taken care of in lab. Aunt Lilian, Thank you for letting me live in your home and taking me for motorcycle rides!
Dear Kyle and Jenny, Thank you so much for treating me like a sibling, and letting me be a part of your family. I hope you guys really go come to America to visit, since we are almost grown up and now is the best time as any!
Dear C-0, Thank you for being my 大學姐. I owe you a lot of time spend getting everything ready for me. I hope I can repay you by showing you around America!
Dear Andrea, Thank you for practicing English with me. Thank you for helping me on the project. Thank you for being so patient with me. I hope Australia is fun :)
Dear Salome and Agoo, Thank you for being a great roommate and great friends :)
Dear Yuting, Thank you for being patient with me as we worked through the project. You are such a hard and focused student, I should learn from you.
Dear Joe, Thank you for being a gentleman. But stop being so nice if you want to get a girlfriend!
Dear Andrew, Thanks for being a supportive, albeit quiet, karaoke singer!
Dear James, Thanks for knowing what to say at the right time. (most of the time)
Dear Rachel, Thank you for always making sure I get to the right place! (I expect to blog soon about our Chicago adventure!)
Dear Vincent, Thank you for always being super easy to get along with.
Dear Angela, Thank you for your witty comments, and for hating Joe (;
Dear Kathy, Thank you for being crazy you :p
Dear Amy, Thanks for being so level headed about everything!
Dear Michelle1, Thank you for making me feel better about my insular American thinking.
Dear Michelle2, Thank you for being a fellow techie-nerd with me. (I said ‘permutation’ in a conversation, and everyone laughed at me.)
Dear David, Thank you for being MY tour guide in Taiwan.
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Dear Stephanie, Thank you for being an awesome premed friend. You are awesome.