Monday was Labor Day, a holiday in America! So we had the day off college. I took a quick morning run and headed to Butterfly beach with the girls afterwards. Back home I got ready for our trip to Ventura and the dinner tonight.

Carmen, Olivia and I drive to Ventura and stroller along the beach promenade until our reservation at the Aloha Steakhouse was ready. The service there was amazing, it’s so different compared to Austria. You can ask them everything and they will refill your drink every time. What I am not used to is that the goods, food and other stuff is indicated without taxes and you have to pay at least 15% tip. The ambiance in the restaurant was very calming and the view above the ocean gorgeous. I ordered filet mignon steak with peppercorn crust and sauce as well as a fresh garden salad and mashed potatoes. It was delicious!

On the night from Monday to Tuesday (when I could have slept for 8.5 hours) at 2:45 a.m we had a fire alarm in the house. I rapidly woke up and was super scared. I jumped out of the bed, took my valuables and headed out to smell the air or hear something. Quickly I opened the front door and woke Carmen up. She told me that this is only a warning system for inside the house and outside town as well and I don’t have to worry about anything if it isn’t near us. After this scary event I tried to sleep again but my heart rate was too fast. In the morning I made myself some breakfast with papaya before I headed of to surfing theory class.

First class was surfing where we learnt about oceanography, waves, currents, tides and periods. It was very interesting it is good to have a background for the practical surfing so you know where it is safe and where it isn’t. Afterwards I had an interesting entrepreneurship class and oceanography class. There we learnt about salinity and osmosis.

In the afternoon I worked on the study questions, read the marine biology and entrepreneurship chapters, did a little bit of sunbathing and looked over the lab manual and oceanography notes for the lab and lecture quizzes on Thursday. What I think is very weird but also nice of the American is that some random girls on the street or at college come and say that they like your shorts or hair or something. Sometimes I wish people in Austria would be that kind and friendly.

After studying and the dinner Carmen drove me to downtown apartment where I met the coral group for the hike to Lizard’s Mouth. It is way up the mountains over the clouds a plateau full of sandstones where we did rock jumping, climbed through holes and caves and took amazing (yoga and sunset) pictures. It was very adventurous and amazing!

I started Tuesday by running for 1.5 hours. Then I went to college for geology class where we talked about how rocks are being formed which was very interesting. And this time a girl in the restrooms told me that she liked my yoga pants, I think I will get used to this forward mentality. Then I had yoga class. Another teacher was representing Bonnie so the class was more like my usual vinyasa classes at home. But this will make the decision between Pilates and yoga more difficult. On my way home my bike went out of order so I had to carry it all the way up the hill. After Pilates class I will take it with Carmen to the bike repair center.

In Pilates class we finished our pre fitness test and did an analysis of our posture what we have to submit on canvas later. After that we did some spine elongation, pelvic stabilization and breath observation exercises. Pilates is also very calming and puts your focus on your body and feelings and which muscle connections you are using. I don’t know yet which class I am gonna take I will sleep over the night because I can decide until Saturday.

Back home I submitted the fitness test on canvas and studied for the biology exam. Afterwards Carmen drove me to State Street so the guys at the bike repair could fix my bike and I could buy some lights as well. I left it at the shop and they promised me to have it fixed in a couple of days.

After dinner I cleaned my room, washed my yoga pants and studied for the exam tomorrow (over 60 questions and lab stuff). Before I went to bed I made myself a warm cup of milk with cinnamon.

Thursday I did some workouts and then went to surfing class where we learned about safety rules and marine ecology. Afterwards I had entrepreneurship class which was very interesting on counterfeit and risks for entrepreneurship. Then we had our first lecture quiz in biological oceanography. It was quit easy I had to write down some short answers. I love it that she starts each class with a song from YouTube. Today we talked about pressure and temperature so she began class with under pressure from queen. When talking about pressure I had the change to show my freediving knowledge and then the teacher told the whole class about my freediving personal best (37m) because we talked about this a week ago. I was surprised she remembered this. The guy sitting next to me does also freediving and spear fishing so I found a new friend as well. His name is Oliver by the way and he is really cute.

Oceanography lab was really fun today. I partnered up with Dominique a girl from here but she also knows how to speak German and Jeshua. They are both really smart and entertaining. Today we had to observe the impact of salinity, temperature, density and pressure on marine organisms and experimented with fish and kelps. We also had to calculate like the standard deviation and stuff and count the breathing of fish. We finished really early and got to to try other chemical tests with salinity as well. It was a lot of fun! Afterwards I bought a combination lock and enrolled myself for a locker and the towel service for surfing class.

Back home we had tostadas for dinner again, they are so delicious. Afterwards I did the study questions for oceanography and relaxed by drinking tea and watching h2o my favorite series (I’ve watched it about 30 times for sure!).

On Friday I went running for two hours. Afterwards I skyped with my mother and grandmother which was very funny and it was good to see their faces again. Furthermore I figured out which classes to take. I decided to take Pilates class because we learn new things and how to be aware of our body and to improve our posture. I will take yoga classes in a yoga studio in the future or do it myself at home.

After some workouts I prepared everything and went to Leadbetter beach for writing my ocean journal. In oceanography we have to observe about 20 minutes the ocean and then describe one particular aspect (fish, birds, tide pools, waves etc.) in about 800-1400 words. Afterwards we have to ask questions and figure out a hypothesis which must be testable and falsifiable. Later on we have to explain in detail an experiment to test our hypothesis. This are the steps of the scientific method: observation, question, hypothesis, experiment. I decided to head to Leadbetter beach and walked till the end if the beach and around the corner with the rocks. There I settled down in a little bay on a rock surrounded by the high rocks and the sound of the waves. I looked at the algae there and discovered little crabs which I observed in detail. I enjoyed writing the ocean journal there very much because I could feel the sand underneath my feet, the smell of the salty air and the cool wind tickling my skin. Furthermore, I enjoyed spending time on my own without distractions of mobile phones, social media and stuff most.

After this Expedition I went to the bus station to go to state street and get my bike at the bike store. Then I drove to Trader Joe’s to buy some fruits and dried mangoes. At 6 p.m I arrived at home exhausted and had some rice and vegetables for dinner together with Olivia and Carmen. Satisfied I looked at the questions für the Geology quiz on Monday and worked on my ocean journal which I almost completed.

On Saturday I did some workouts and met Marlies at State Street to try free yoga classes. I have never sweated so much at yoga like today. It was crazy and so fast, they also use to heat up the rooms. But it was an awesome experience.

Afterwards Marlies and I wanted to head to Butterfly Beach but the weather was all foggy there so we decided to stay at Cabrillo Beach next to State Street. There we played Schnäpsen and talked. Then we went to Natural Café on State Street to grab our dinner. Furthermore, we strolled along State Street and went then to the SBCC stadium to watch the football game which was a real American experience!

In the evening I worked on my assignments and drank some tea before I went to bed.

On Sunday morning I went for a run to Butterfly beach (1:45 hours). While running I saw so many people greeting me and giving me a thumbs up, I really like the active lifestyle and attitudes here. Afterwards I went to the Spanish mess with Carmen. It was really nice with many joyful songs and live music as well. It was sometimes really hard for me to keep up with the pace of the language and understand certain words. They also had a marriage anniversary where they celebrated 60 years of marriage, it was really cute.

After that we went to Trader Joe’s to buy some European bread, bran flakes and other stuff. In the afternoon I worked on my assignments and the project topics for the term project in biological oceanography. I came up with the topics marine wildlife tourism and its impact on human attitudes towards environmental protection, whale vocalization and the human impact on it and coral reef protection and challenges. Afterwards Carmen baked some awesome corn bread (it was really sweet!) and we ate it together with chili and salad. Then I looked at the questions for geology for the exam tomorrow and had a funny and entertaining Skype conversation with Huppsi. The rest of the evening I spent relaxing because next week is going to be a lot of work…

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