Monday, December 31, 2012

12 Days of Christmas (letter) - June

In which Family visits, Elizabeth sees otters, and we go to the fair.

In June my parents, my sister Becca, and Becca's now fiance Ryan came to visit us and other family in Southern California. My uncle lives about an hour and a half north of where we were in San Diego. While my parent's were staying with them we were able to drive up and spend one day together at Disneyland, and one day with extended family at my uncle's house.

Family time at Disneyland!

Checking out Mr. Toad's oral hygiene...
didn't look good, no teeth at all!!

Everyone under the avocado tree
 at my uncle and aunt's house.

June is also Del Mar Fair time and we were very excited to go because our favorite band (Switchfoot) was playing for free! The band members grew up in San Diego and some attended UCSD for college. They always play for free at the Del Mar Fair because it's the one they grew up going to and they always do an amazing job.

Me making really bad life choices
with our friends Raphael and Bethany.

Upsidedown AND spinning on
multiple axis, very bad idea.

Switchfoot Concert!!

The next day Switchfoot hosted a surf competition/beach concert for charity. I had never been able to go before, so I was really excited to go with my friend Emily. It was pretty cool, turns out competitive surfers are pretty good!

Surfer running for the waves.

At the end of June I attended a special workshop in Asilomar, CA called HCIC. I should have taken lots of pictures, but it looks like I didn't. It was a wonderful time to get to meet with some amazing researchers in a small group. I really really really like my research community, everyone is so motivated to understand the world around us, and to play an active role in making the world a better place. You can tell from their research, but also in how they interact with one another. The senior researchers at this workshop were wonderful, and they actively cultivated a welcoming environment for the attending graduate students. I don't know if it's normal to count your research peers as friends, but some of my favorite people are people I met through internships and conferences.

Asilomar Beach near Monterey California

We did have one day of the workshop free to spend together doing unstructured activities. I chose to go kayaking which was super fun and we got to see sea otters!!! I don't have pictures of the otters because I put my camera in the waterproof bag on the kayak, and it seemed unwise to extract it while floating in Monterey Bay, please feel free to take a moment to google image search sea otters though, they are adorable. After kayaking a couple other students and I misread a map and decided to walk back to the conference center. It turns out it's not really that far, if you happen to have shoes. If you don't have shoes, it is very very VERY far. Two out of three of us had shoes. It was kind of a blood bath.

Pleasant sunset stroll if you have shoes.
Arduous bloody torment if you don't have shoes.
Sorry Jed :(

Walking back to Asilomar from Monterey,
before we realized how far it was.

Back in San Diego we spent the month of June with Nathan writing code for his dissertation project, and Elizabeth spending a day at Jury Duty, analyzing study data and submitting a workshop proposal. Here's a couple photos I found from June of other goings ons in our apartment.

Penguin assembles tuna from
multiple sources

Sherif Penguin rides in box boat with loaded pop gun.
Sidekick elephant plots his escape.


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