Rain, is that you?

Monday morning I started with a morning run, even though my tooth still hurts. It was very refreshing and a beautiful morning, especially the sunrise today was astonishing.

In geology class I discovered that it might rain this week. I don’t believe it but I am curious how’s the rain is and maybe we will see. Furthermore, we learnt how to locate an epicenter which was really interesting.

After some workouts and studying geology I went to Pilates class which was very exhausting and strengthening for the abs as always. In the afternoon I finished geology studying and wrote my third assignment for this class as well.

After 3 days of almost being vegetarian or vegan I finally got meat between my (hurting) teeth. Carmen made some steak and we had the rest of the potato salad, sweet potatoes and cauliflower along with a nice green salad.

In the evening I finished my 3rd assignment for geology and discussed our camping plans for Santa Cruz Island for the 12 to 14 October. Furthermore, we are planning on going to a festival in LA at the 20 October with an awesome line up! (Shawn Mendes and Charlie Puth among others!!)

On Tuesday I woke up early and had surfing class. This time the waves were really big and strong and there were many surfers out there. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand a single wave, they all flooded over me or pushed me to the bottom and once you were at the beach it was alarmist impossible to get back out again. My tooth hurt due to the water pressure. Surprisingly, I experienced rain in the morning, it was like one cloud for 1 Minute let some sprinkling out (es hat nur genieselt für alle Deutschsprachigen hier). But at the end of surfing class we saw a beautiful rainbow. Afterwards, even though I was really tired I did some workouts and went to entrepreneurship class.

In oceanography we talked a lot fisheries and their impact on the environment. Afterwards, I went cycling (even though I was tired from surfing) and bought some groceries from lazy acres. Back at home I finished my workouts, did the study questions for oceanography and are some leftovers from yesterday before I finally drove with the bike to downtown apartments. A very tight scheduled and stressful afternoon. There we went to Knapp’s castle.

Firstly we had to drive up the los padres national forest with the truck and then walk a little bit to the ruins of a mansion. There we watched the sunset, swung on the swings, took a lot of pictures and I even met a guy from Hawaii who gave me some awesome tips for some underwater caves, we exchanged contacts as well. It was very chilly up there even though I was wearing a shirt, a sweater and a jacket. It was beautiful to see the different rock layers of the mountains as well as the dark clouds which addressed the rain for tomorrow (I don’t think it will rain actually but we will see.) Furthermore, I talked and spent a lot of time with Christian who is such a sweet, open-minded, intelligent and caring young man.

On Wednesday I went running even though the weather rainy and my tooth hurt. You can’t call it rain, in the beginning was sprinkling (nieseln) and the surprisingly the rain drops got bigger (tröpfeln) but I would not call it real rain like we experience it in Austria. However, the Californians went crazy. They behaved like they have never seen rain before and like it is the next world’s dooms day with a flood and a second Noah’s Ark. However, it is not a surprise because their infrastructure do not have adaptations for rain at all (they can get landslides there). Nevertheless, I have to admit that I really missed the rain. The smell of the fresh air, sea and the wet nature and plants was incredible. It was all foggy and steamy and gosh I missed it so much! For breakfast I had some fruits. Yesterday I heard a funny statement from my German friend about breakfast. She said that she hadn’t eaten yesterday except breakfast but this doesn’t count. I have to citate her in German it’s too funny: „Das zählt nicht. Frühstück ist das Essen, das man in der Nacht nicht essen konnte.“

My tooth hurt so bad that day (for those of you who know me well you know that I am not a crybaby) and it would not get any better. Therefore, I ordered a dentist appointment today at 11 am immediately after class. I literally cried on the phone because they didn’t have any appointments left today, tomorrow or on Saturday (because then they are closed, I have an excursion tomorrow and on Friday I am at Santa Cruz Island). The guy was so nice and managed that I could have an appointment with my doctor today. So the morning was really stressful, all of my clothes were soaked because of the rain and I almost was late for geology.

The dentist appointment was really difficult for me, I cried a lot and they did some X-rays. They said the infection caused a big hole in my bone so it will take some weeks to recover again and I must not do activities which increase my heartrate, so I have to relax which is something I have to learn. Furthermore, I have to take other painkillers and antiflammatory stuff which isn’t good either. Hopefully it will get better soon. Afterwards I revised the study guide for geology even though I had headache and was really tired I did some yoga and then had Pilates class. In the evening I studied geology. For dinner we had a vegetarian lasagne which was really good and a green salad on the side.

In the evening I found some more pictures on Facebook of our castle trip yesterday and the s’mores get together on Sunday:

On Thursday morning surfing class was cancelled because of high bacteria levels in the sea due to the rainfalls. Furthermore I could sleep longer which was awesome and could do some yoga. Surprisingly it rained again in the morning and it was really strong almost like the rain in Austria.

In entrepreneurship we did some currency calculations. In oceanography we got our exam results where I achieved 102.5 points out from 100 points, which is the top score in class! I am so happy and proud of me too haha! The weather changed also dramatically as you can see from the picture above.

The lab was especially fun today. We went on a boat trip next to Montecito. There we used a bottom trawl (otter trawl, bottom net) to catch benthic organisms at the sandy seafloor. We caught sea stars, lizard fish, flat fish, shrimps, tourniquets, kelp, red algae and did some plankton rows as well. Afterwards we did some water measurements like oxygen, ph, salinity and color. At our way back we saw some seals and sea lions as well. The weather was really nice and it was a great experience to be out on the water again. Some experts of the sea center also accompanied us and provided special expertise.

In the evening I cleaned my room and prepared my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow because I have to get up at 5 am. Furthermore we had Thai chicken curry with rice and cabbage salad today. Besides Carmen cut some interesting looking vegetable which is called jicama, I’ve never heard of it also not in German. It tastes a little bit sweet and the Mexicans eat it with lime and chili to go.

On Friday I had to get up at 5 am for the trip to Santa Cruz Island Channel Island National Park. The moon and the stars were shining when I drove with my bike downtown to catch our bus to Ventura. Our tour guide told us about the name of the town Carpinteria while we drove by it. There Indian and Chumash people had built their canoes there different than anywhere else in the world. They would use wooden planks and fix them together with an oily substance found concentrated in Carpinteria on the beaches. Surprisingly this technique is found in Polynesia too so there are studies on the connection between those people and the locals here.

We arrived at 7:00 am in Ventura and stopped for a coffee or tea at Starbucks before we went to the harbor. In the Island Packers Shop I bought a Book about famous oceanographers and marine biologists. There we checked in with a lot of campers and started our boat ride to Santa Cruz Island. The waves were pretty big and we stayed in front of the ship so it felt like a big rollercoaster ride. On our trip there we saw a lot of dolphins (sometimes they see about 700-1000), sea lions, seals, pelicans, Comorans and other little birds. After one hour we arrived at Scorpion Ranch a nice camping ground. From there we hiked around the island. We came across several channel island foxes which are very small and look almost like a mixture of a cat and squirrel. We visited the famous potato beach along with cavern point and did a lot of cliff hiking and took many photos. I also saw a fence lizard which I called Fred. Back at the camping ground we played uno and at 4 pm we took our boat trip back to Ventura. I was very cold at the ride back to Ventura. There we stopped for dinner at a diner called Duke’s where they sell typical surfer dishes like burgers, sandwiches, burritos, tacos and salads. I was very tired in the evening and my whole body and bones especially neck and shoulders as well as my hips and feet hurt from hiking and standing and carrying the heavy backpack. The ride home afterwards was very calming but I had to drive then back to my host home with my bike up the hill which was quite a challenge after this long day.

At 7:30 pm I finally arrived at home. I did my laundry and then took a hot shower to get warm again. Then I just made me some tea and went to bed because I was so exhausted.

On Saturday I slept until 7:45 am (without an alarm set). After some workouts I had breakfast and Carmen made some delicious blueberry scones.

Afterwards I studied geology, oceanography and entrepreneurship because next week I’ve got a test everyday. Furthermore, I skyped with Huppsi again which was very entertaining and it was good to talk to someone who can relate to my situation in America because he is at the east coast of it.

After studying I went cycling for 2 hours and took a beautiful picture at the top of the mountain. Luckily my tooth is way better than it was days ago. For dinner we had some awesome couscous with vegetables and salad. After dinner I revised the topics from entrepreneurship.

In the evening I finally tidied my room and wardrobe and did some beauty care as well. Afterwards I made myself some tea with Striezel and got comfy to watch a movie. I watched my favorite animation film of all time (I love it since I have been 4 years old!!) it was the first part of Atlantis – the lost empire. It always makes me feel good and I think it might have triggered my interest in marine biology and Greek mythology.

But then I changed my mind because I was tired and so I watched a new series called the Shannara Chronicles. I’ve never watched it before so I tried for the first time.

On Sunday morning I did a lot of phone calls to my grandmothers in Austria and Skyped with my best friend Sabrina and Bastian which was really nice. In a study break I decided to ask Christian about going to the We can survive festival in LA on the 20 October. He immediately wanted to buy the tickets and we will use his car to get there. Furthermore, he asked me out for dinner tonight which I think is really cute and I am really looking forward to go to that Italian restaurant with him. He’s such a gentleman! He chose me over the rocket launch today haha.

At 1 pm Carmen and I drove to Carpinteria, a town with the most safest and cleanest beach around here. There we attended the 30th anniversary of the Avocado festival – all about peace, love and guacamole. It was really nice, we strolled along food, arts and craft stands and took a look at the beach as well. They have everything with avocado there from brownies, to cream cake, body lotion and a very tasty avocado ice cream! It was an amazing afternoon and really my type of festival.

After some studying I got ready for my dinner date tonight. I showered and washed my hair but Carmen my host Mum borrowed the hair dryer and I couldn’t find it at all. Well, perfect conditions for a first date (I drove there looking like a wet dog). We met a little earlier on State Street and walked up the street to the restaurant. We discovered pianos standing on the street and I couldn’t help but played a lot. I really missed it since I haven’t played in two months yet (quite a change of you are used to playing to times a week in private lessons). Furthermore, I learnt Christian to play the beginning of the Flohwalzer and we managed to play it together. It was so fun and it felt so good to play together, I really enjoyed it. The restaurant Olio e Limone a Italian one was really fancy, the service was nice and the food really delicious. I had some pumpkin ravioli since I have been craving to eat pumpkin for almost a month now. We talked about many personal things and as well made a to-do-list for our next plans in the future. I really enjoyed this spontaneous evening and being with a gentleman like Christian who knows how to make me smile.

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