[2023/01/08] a ton of walking

I spent my morning at Santa Cruz Broadwalk. It is the longest wooden public pier in California. There were many seafood restaurants and gift shops, which I tried to pass and get to the end of the pier. I’m glad that I did it because I saw noisy sea lions and found out that there are two types of them in this area: Northern Elephant Seals and Pacific Harbor Seals. They were all so adorable!! After that, I stopped by several gift shops and bought gifts for my friends, such as some pins. I also found out that the city is beloved called Surf City by the locals and bought myself a discounted t-shirt, which I fell in love with at first sight! Then I got so hungry that I also ordered an award-winning cup of clam chowder from The Stagno Brothers.

In the afternoon, I visited UC Santa Cruz campus. the campus is simple, nature-friendly, and unique in my eyes, probably because they are built on preserved land and are still acquiring permits as they build more buildings. I didn’t expect to go on a hike at all, but apparently I did, since I saw huge old trees, bridges that crossed rivers, and a whole diverse ecosystem all blended into the campus. It gave me the haunted vibe of a ghost house on Kim Ma street back home, but also an exotic resort that I went to on vacation many years ago.

Wood and concrete are the two main materials that I found in the structure of this campus. The buildings seem to blend in rather than stick out. Just a wonderful tour thanks to MN.

Funny enough, the banana slug is UC Santa Cruz’s official mascot. There is also an interesting story behind it, which you can read here.

They also call their bookstore a flat shop.

Then, I said goodbye to San Francisco and went to Belmont to join the Villanova in the Valley cohort in Spring Hill by Marriott. The ride was simply terrible because my driver had a super strong body odor and he was overly friendly/complaining too much about the traffic. When I arrived, I realized that I had to sleep on the pull-out couch because I was the latest. The room also didn’t give me an extra set of bedding or towels, so I had to call the multiple times and used BK’s Spanish skills to get what I needed (in frustration!). It was annoying and unfair, but this will be the last time I talk about it because I don’t want this to affect my experience for the next few days at all!

For dinner, we had a fancy five-course meal with our host Mike Burker. He also represents Villanova’s West Coast chapter. The lesson I learned from Mike was: Be humble, know how to adapt the opportunity to your liking, and take risks when you’re young.

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