College Graduation


plnu grad

On May 9, I received my B.S. degree in Computer Science! Back when I was starting my senior year of high school I never expected to be out in San Diego for college, and I especially never thought I would pursue a degree in Computer Science of all things! College was a great time; I felt like every year was extremely different. Freshman year everything was new and exciting, but the highlight of my time in college was certainly studying abroad in London my sophomore year. Junior year was my time of  experiencing the biggest shift in growing up (a necessary evil), and senior year was busy but ultimately a blast since I lived across the street from the beach. For the most part I enjoyed all my classes, and I am a little bit sad to be done attending them (for now?).

I decided to stay in the San Diego area for the near future…working as a software engineer. I start my job in June, but Joe and I are heading off for a Europe trip first (my graduation present to myself). Here are a few pictures of my graduation. Thanks to all of my family and friends who made the weekend so much fun!

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Miramar Air Show


Early fall brings a few things to San Diego. One of these is usually a heat wave. You’d think early October in San Diego would be a time for cooling temperatures after the beach crowds have left, but that never seems to be the case. I’ve moved into new dorms/rooms/condos in San Diego around this time of year 4 times since I’ve been here. All but one of these were accessed by stairs, so suffice to say I’ve grown to despise this early fall heat wave. Despite the blistering temperatures, myself and what seems like 3/4ths of San Diego brave the temperatures to stand on the blistering tarmac at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and catch their yearly October air show – the largest military air show in the U.S. After a hiatus due to the government shutdown last year, we ventured back to the air show with Kendall’s family last month.

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Beautiful Bay Bike Ride


When I first came to college, I didn’t have a car. My desire for exploration (and a setting other than my college campus) was high, however, so I biked around quite a bit. At the risk of sounding like a grumpy grandparent, I’ll tell you that I often powered up the towering hill to my school with a 900-page calculus book and a heavy ancient laptop on my back (a few times in the rain!). Recruiting others to go with me was difficult, as the extremely steep hill you must climb to get back to campus intimidated most people. Luckily Joe has never required any coercing to go on a bike ride. One of my favorite bike rides in San Diego, which I did many times from school before having a car, is right along the San Diego bay.

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K1 Speed Go Karts


A good adventure often has a bit of an adrenaline rush involved. There’s something about stepping outside your comfort zone – pushing beyond the boundaries of what you are easily comfortable doing, and enjoying the thrill and sense of accomplishment that goes along with that. Speed and acceleration are great ways to push that boundary, and while skiing and mountain biking are my normal fixes, go karting offers an accessible and entertaining way to go faster and turn harder than you’re used to. With Kendall’s family in town and her dad’s birthday needing to be celebrated, we figured a trip to K1 Speed in Carlsbad was in order.

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July 4th San Diego Style


San Diego is a great place to be for the fourth. The days are long in the summer; the water is warm and inviting, and the coast towns are alive and full of action, and this only more true for the fourth. Most of San Diego makes their way to somewhere on the water for the fourth, and for us, that meant starting our day at Kendall’s place in Pacific Beach.

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Cedar Creek Falls – Hike or Death March?


A few years ago, Joe and I spent our first weekend away together in Julian, CA. He planned the entire trip and made it a surprise, even though my curious mind begged him for details. His gave me one hint: apple. I would easily be able to guess the destination given that hint now, but at the time I had not been in San Diego long and had yet to hear of Julian. I was therefore surprised and didn’t know what to expect from the weekend once we arrived. Unwisely, the first thing Joe had on the agenda was the Cedar Creek Falls hike. The temperature was approaching one hundred when we descended into the canyon toward the waterfall. I was impressed by the mountains around us as we walked, and was not expecting a waterfall even though Joe had told me to wear my swimsuit. The water was extremely cold, but it felt great after the hot three miles down. I thought this weekend is going to be awesome. Then we had to go back up.

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San Diego in a Day – Seasoned Edition


Recently, my dad and brother came through San Diego for a whirlwind trip. They were heading up to the Bay Area in a hurry for Kevin to start his internship, so we attempted to make the most of the one day we had to get out and enjoy San Diego on a typical beautiful May weekend. As they’ve visited me quite a few times since I’ve been living in San Diego, we have to try a bit harder these days to show them new things in San Diego; we couldn’t pull your average Balboa/SeaWorld/La Jolla whirlwind tour. As such, the following would be a good one day itinerary to take your out-of-town guests on that are a little more experienced with San Diego.

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Time for another entry in our Tourist Traps You Should Get Caught In feature! This time, we’ll be covering perhaps the number one tourist trap in San Diego: SeaWorld. This is place is the epitome of a tourist trap. Parking costs a hard earned Andrew Jackson, soda is sold in plastic memorabilia cups by the fistful, and stuffed Orcas are stacked sky-high in their plastic bins, in a scene reminiscent of Blackfish. But yes, we’re officially going on the record as recommending this tourist trap. As usual, it’s all about how you approach it.

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Summer 2014 Officially Begins

Each passing semester of school feels like a new chapter for me, but summers are usually markedly different. It couldn’t feel any more like summer now that I live steps away from the beach and an increasingly crowded boardwalk! I love hearing all the beach-goers walking by and being reminded that San Diego is the best place to be in the summer (I hope to remember this once June gloom sets in). I am definitely looking forward to all of the free weekends I currently have on the calendar…it has been months since I’ve seen one of those! Lastly, I am excited for a change of schedule, even though it means waking up at 6 am. Maximize daylight hours, right? My favorite thing about school being out is no little voice in the back of  my head reminding me that I should be studying, but this summer I must keep listening to it as I have to study for the GRE!  As annoying as studying in the summer is, I am also doing a full-time internship – which is basically like getting paid to learn! Joe and I now work at the same company (though we are across the campus from each other) and can take embarrassing (and blurry) “first day of work together” pictures like this.

first day of work

Let summer 2014 begin!

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Our Trip to the San Diego Padres


I’m coming up on five years living in San Diego now. That’s a pretty long time, but San Diego is a big city, so there will always be things I haven’t been able to do yet. That said, five years is a lot of time not to make it to a Padres game, even for someone that isn’t into pro sports. Let’s look at it this way: I managed to make it to a few games here and there while living in Santa Fe, a solid days drive from any team. Now, with five years in San Diego under my belt? None. Kendall, even more surprisingly, has never been to an MLB game at all. Due to a very generous offer by Kendall’s friend Mandi and her mom, we finally made it out to Petco Park to see the San Diego Padres face off against the Miami Marlins.

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