Sunshine is cheap in CA

I was born in a province with a capitol city name that directly translates from Chinese to “expensive sunshine”. I never lived there but I can imagine what it must be like after having lived in Seattle for 16 years. Seattlites know how to appreciate sunshine when they see it. A bunch of us went down to Stanford University last weekend for a small three day conference. At any moment during the procession of the conference taking place on the Stanford campus, someone from UW could be identified sitting by the Sheraton hotel pool enjoying the sun. (If the incompetent hotel tech could manage to hit the reboot button on the wi-fi modem correctly, someone might have been doing work.)

I finally went around the Stanford campus more thoroughly this time,… actually going beyond the main quad and cathedral. The campus has some great modern architecture, which impressed me more than the Hispanic brown stone buildings. There were nice gardens and the campus was huge. We had picnic in the new guinea garden adorned with new guinea statues that were reinterpretation of Rodin’s work (No pictures b/c my camera ran out of battery by then.) I regretted not having brought my Canon Rebel but instead went with the S40. Quality suffers but at least I brought home some good memories.

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Since last year’s conference in Nashville, TN, I have acquired the habit of going shopping while on conference trips, making up for not shopping in Seattle most of the time. University Ave outside of Stanford was the perfect place for that matter. It was an unusual college town. It was very quiet with most students on summer break. It wasn’t so chaotic and hippy like the one back home. I was pleasantly surprised by several well decorated coffee shops with Caffe Del Doge being the most impressive.

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There were tons of good boutique clothes shops that had fair affordable prices, unlike the ones in Fremont. I bought a dress in one of them, sold to me by a beautiful tall slim graceful woman whose mother was a Russian ballerina. I walked across the street and picked up a couple of T-shirts on a sales table in the street outside of a shop. I had only noticed that the door to the shop was locked when I wanted to go in to pay. I knocked seeing someone inside and a very faded sign on the door that says, “knock to shop.” Even more strangely, the shop owner didn’t take credit cards. She handed me a pink receipt asking me to mail the check back to her later. Interesting… either she trusted me or she just didn’t care much for a mere $30 purchase. I think it’s the latter since she locks her door so she could choose her customers. Anyways, on with my shopping… I went by Borders bookstore and Modern Book that sold photography books. I had a delicious chocolate mousse cake for dinner at Satura Cakes. On the last day before departing Stanford, I purchased a pair of Activa Lightning II roller blades with 90mm wheels from Black Diamonds. The store owner is a really nice guy. He has organized the Stanford Wednesday roller blade run for years. The rollerblades were really expensive but they last forever if you don’t “total” them when you total a car. I am going to explore DC in these!

Three days of endless California sunshine was a real treat… but I couldn’t wait to come back to the mild NW drizzle and breezy weather with intermittent sunshine. I am getting really tanned already and it’s only June. This summer’s resolution is to not get strange tan lines by proper sunblock application.

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This entry was posted by Maya.

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