Travel Diary 3: Stanford University EPGY, Part 4

August 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hello all!

I must say… Of all the things in the world to fear, Houston summers may just top that list. It’s scorching outside. I walk outside to pick up the mail and I’m about to topple over from the heat. It’s ridiculous. On top of that, our power’s gone out two days in row for a couple of hours. No A/C in the midst of a Texan summer? Please no more.

I still remember my Californian mornings when I was whimpering from the cold. I want that back right now. Anywho, meet everyone from my house (teachers and counselors included):

Pretty gorgeous people, right? Yeah, be jealous, I lived with them for three weeks. As you can see from the photo, Slav Dom housed Expository Writing (that’s me!), Humanities Comedy, and Philosophy. We were apart for class and study hall hours, but other than that, we were all completely on top of each other. EPGY had a ton of really fun activities planned for us, but we often ventured off in big groups to explore by ourselves.

The very first time we got together as a group was on the first day, an hour or so after I arrived. We all got into one big circle and played a couple games of Mafia. It wasn’t too exciting, most likely due to the fact that we were all strangers to one another. But the very next day, we had a scavenger hunt.

Photo by Adrian Yu

I gotta give credit where credit is due. The scavenger hunt did wonders for us in terms of showing us around campus, demonstrating Stanford’s countless traditions, and most importantly, getting to know each other better.

Photo by Adrian Yu

Here’s one thing to know about Stanford– there are a lot of fountains. Some are on, others aren’t. But, there are a million and fountain-hopping is just so fun. Don’t you just love my sneakers? Goes so well with the outfit… Not.

Photo by Adrian Yu

Photo by Adrian Yu

Fountains weren’t the only things we found. There are also quite a lot of golf carts. My group broke one.

The lesson is not to jump on top of golf carts. The roof will cave in. Trust me on this.

This is the perhaps the only time you’ll ever find us looking contemplative. But, don’t you like my flower? I told you I took it with me everywhere.

Photo by Adrian Yu

We hugged trees on Palm Drive. But unless you’re doing it for a scavenger hunt, just don’t do it. You’ll get tiny thorns all over you. Not a pretty sight.

Photo by Adrian Yu

And of course, we roamed campus to find a cute child to give some flowers to. We’re not real creepers, I swear. Is it any surprise that this is the one item Piera and I were up to actually doing?

Of all things to spell out, we decided on E-I-E-I-O.

Photo by Adrian Yu

For the last item on the list, we were supposed to act like farm animals. We sort of forgot about the ‘farm’ part. I don’t know, though, I don’t think we even look at animals at all. I was a giraffe. I can’t tell you what anybody else was, because frankly, I have no clue.

There were also a multitude of times to bond other than the scavenger hunt. That was just the beginning. We went to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, a super fun and hands-on place.

Photo by Piera Bochner

We had so much fun there, I can’t even begin to tell you. It was just like one big blown-up children’s museum, but even better!

Photo by Piera Bochner

We didn’t just learn. We sort of set up house in the big jukebox for half an hour, where some people took naps…

And the rest of us did normal things like play games on our phones and listen to some really strange, insane music.

Before going to the Exploratorium, the counselors took us to have lunch at the Golden Gate Bridge Park. It was gorgeous and we watched cute pugs play with beach balls, but alas, we were too cold to actually do anything:

Our next weekend trip was to Capitola Beach, an adorable little beach town by Santa Cruz (I think…). The water was freezing and seaweed ridden and we heard that there were a lot of recent shark sightings. But the little businesses were gorgeous and it was a beautiful day to tan. I’m just an amateur, however, because it turns out I fell asleep tanning and got the wonkiest tanline ever. Oh wells. Pictures are with Xandra, hopefully I get them this weekend!

Here’s one!

Photo by Kim Brinckerhoff

Photo by Adrian Yu

Like I said, Slav Dom had a volleyball court in the backyard. Everyone took full advantage of it and was out there every free moment of the day. But also like I said, my three pals and I were completely lazy and neglected to join in most days. On the rare days we felt active, we would sit outside and be cheerleaders. Mostly though, we watched from Sasha’s bed and did weird stuff like throw her pillow out the window… 😛

Photo by Annie Kuster

On a Sunday, we were also treated to a water carnival. They rented a lot of water slides and slip n’ slides, water guns and balloons and whatnot. But I don’t have pictures of that because… Water and cameras don’t really mix.

Anyways, moving on… That same Sunday, Slav Dom had rights to the fire pit. It was a wonderful night. I think it was the first time we all felt totally close to each other and utterly relaxed. Robert played us some awesome tunes and we made s’mores.

Photo by Margaret Lenker

We all just sort of chilled and enjoyed the night. And cuddled with my Stanford blanket… Goodness, that blanket has soaked up a lot of memories (and a lot of smoke from that night)!

The fire got pretty crazy at times, which was possibly a good thing because it warmed us from the chilliness.

And one of my favorite memories… We all sang to ‘Let it Be’ and a variety of other songs in a circle, arm-in-arm. It was lovely.

Photo by Annie Kuster

There were SO MANY things we did as a big group. Another notable excursion was when Emily, one of our counselors, took us to see a play on campus. It was a cool version of the Odyssey and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves:

Photo by Piera Bochner

My favorite part of that night was perhaps our little Snuggle Club meeting during intermission. We just sort of sprawled onto the grass and snuggled. Some random ladies even dropped by and talked to us during that time 🙂

This post is getting mighty hefty, so I’ll continue all our antics during excursions and outings and activities tomorrow! Yay! Happy Friday!



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