Saturday, August 22, 2009

Weekdays in California

Jeff and I spent all of last week (Aug. 6-14) visiting his brother, Dave, in California. I already wrote about the ISU reunion, which was what brought us to California, and later I plan to write about Brian Kester's wedding in Colorado, which is what made us decide to stay on the west coast all week, rather than fly back to DC. But for now... weekdays in California.

Jeff and I were both working from home while in California, so during the days we mostly hung around Dave's apartment doing one of these things:
1. Actually working
2. Playing with the kitten (she just loves that string!)
3. Eating burritos from the shop down the street - yum
4. Putting together a puzzle (I love puzzles, but can't have one at home because I'm afraid I'd get totally absorbed and not do anything else.)

On quite a few of the evenings we watched mini-marathons of 'Big Love'. It's a TV show staring Bill Paxton as a guy living in suburban Utah as a polygamous morman - he has three wives. It's interesting to see the dynamic of how the three wives get along - they're essentially a big happy family. Then there's 'the compound' which is like the crazy polygamists you hear about on TV that are kind of separate from most of society. There is also the drama of keeping his lifestyle secret from people in the neighborhood and others who wouldn't accept it. It can be a bit stereotypical in the way it treats certain groups or interests, but its still an interesting show, as long as your not taking it too seriously.

A couple times Dave cooked for everyone, too - it turns out Dave enjoys cooking and makes some pretty complicated dishes.

On Monday night, we left Mountain View and headed into San Francisco. Emma and Kris were still in town, staying in the city and sightseeing. We went to Medjool, which is a Mediterranean tapas restaurant in the Mission area of town. They have Southern European, North African, and Middle Eastern dishes - they're all unique and all very tasty!

We had a great time chatting with Emma and Kris - Kris lives in Canada, and he and Emma tend to travel a lot on weekends, so we only really see them both when they're in DC for the weekend. In theory we could see Emma on weekdays, but she works too hard. ;) We covered all the important (nerd) topics - Star Trek or Star Wars (both!), favorite episodes, etc - I think we were still in space mode from the ISU conference. We also had an interesting discussion about medical research, placebos, and alternative medicines - Kris is an ER doctor, so he has a pretty interesting perspective. Emma's friend from her first university (she transferred after her first year) met up with us also; she hadn't seen him in six years, so they had lots of catching up to do.

Monday night also happened to be half price bottles of wine night, so we had some fun drinks with dinner. I also had my most summery cocktail of the season after dinner - it had Pimms with Soda and Cucumbers (and other things I don't recall) and tasted great.

On the last night before leaving California, we went to stay with our friend Kurt. (Though the kitten really didn't want us to leave. I have photographic proof.)

Tony, also an MIT friend, was visiting Kurt too, so we all went out to dinner, sampled Kurt's wine collection, and chatted about injection molding (Kurt works as a mechanical engineer for Apple - he's the reason all your iPods and accessories look so cool.), talked about what we're all up to, and all sorts of other things.

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