On Saturday, I had my first Stanford class – Creative Expression in Writing. I absolutely adored it. The teacher is lovely and seems very switched on. She talks a lot, but usually it is interesting. We read a lot and talked as a group, discussing our experiences. The most exciting thing was the exercises we did which had us writing. I was amazed at how easily it came and how I really was able to create there and then. I even liked my writing. Of course, I explored the campus a bit as well. I got there early and had a look in the book store. I thought this would be a tiny, quirky place with hidden corners. But it was huge and sold merchandise, clothing, jewellery, stationary and all kinds of things as well as books. I really liked it. I got some new earrings and a postcard to send home. Luckily, I also bought a notebook which I used in class. I met lots of nice people, but one in particular stood out as someone I could be friends with. Her name is Gabrielly and she is also an au pair. We had lunch together and went up the Hoover Tower. It was nice to see the view when it wasn’t raining. She invited me to go to the Muir Woods with her on my next weekend off so I hope we do.
I include the picture of me eating an elderberry cheesecake slice for breakfast from the book shop café because I am amazed at how long my neck looks. I think it is partly because I have lost weight and partly the angle of the photo. Anyway, I am a little giraffe-like. The campus is beautiful though and I am so lucky to be studying there.
Afterwards, I picked up some pizza and headed to Marina’s house. Her host family’s house is so beautiful. She lives in Los Altos, not too far from me. I did not see all of the house but I walked into a lovely hall with wooden floors. There was an open plan kitchen and TV room, where the kids were watching a cartoon and eating popcorn. The mom was nice. Marina’s room was downstairs. There was a huge space there, for playing maybe, and a cinema room lurked behind one of the mysterious doors. It was gigantic, like a real, super-comfy, private cinema. Marina’s room and bathroom were also very nice. We watched movies and ate pizza and chatted. I left after midnight, having had a great time but thinking I would be tired the next day on my trip to SF.
I was meeting Marit and Regina, who I’d met at the au pair school in December. Lina and Abril also said they would come. The plan was to take the same train but at our own stops. This worked well with myself and Marit, and I went to sit next to her. We had so much to talk about and I was so so pleased to be with her. Abril and Lina missed the train and we spent much of the day texting our locations as a result. Marit and I walked to Alamo Park. It was a fairly long walk but it was pleasant and pretty flat. We encountered some colourful sculptures on the way and some Chinese (I think) people who wanted to take pictures with us. Don’t ask me why. But they were very nice and took good pictures.
Alamo Park was a great place to sit and eat strawberries and enjoy the view of the city. Afterwards, we tried to figure out the Muni system. We did not have a lot of luck but we got on the first one we saw and the driver was helpful. We got to our destination – Fisherman’s Wharf. We met Regina (from Mexico) and her friend, Georgia (from Italy), who had been in SF for only 2 weeks. She was lovely and it was nice to see Regina, though she was concerned that she had put on weight since coming here. We ate at the Hard Rock Café. We all had burgers. They were so delicious. We also shared cocktails which was fun. Lina and Abril met us here but, for some reason, did not eat with us, saying they would get soup served in bread bowls and meet us after or the boat cruise.
Marit and I got Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Regina smoked while we waited for the boat cruise and for Lina and Abril. They never showed. We went on the boat cruise without them and actually didn’t see them for the rest of the day. The cruise was windy but great. Afterwards we wandered Pier 39 before Marit and I had to catch our train. We missed the one we intended to get, but we met some interesting people on the bus on the way there. One woman worked at Ghirardelli and was eating a lovely-looking ice cream sundae. She was moving into her first apartment soon. Another man owned a café called The Gallery, opposite the tram museum. He was fun. We just took the next train. I didn’t want to leave Marit. We’d had such a great time. I could have talked to her for days and days. I don’t get like that with many people.