Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekend at Lake Tahoe

On the second weekend of October we had an awesome opportunity to go to Lake Tahoe with our classmates. Lake Tahoe is around a 2,5-hour drive away from Davis. Even though it is that near, the landscape changes quite dramatically, more hills and spruces.  At Lake Tahoe our class had rented a cabin for the weekend. It was the largest cabin that I had ever lived in with 6-7 bathrooms and I don't even know how many different bedrooms, anyway a three-storey. Plus a hot tub right outside on the terrace - Californian style!

Our "little cottage" from the outside.
On the next day, Saturday we went hiking. Before crossing the border between California and Nevada, we drove past the lake. Water of the lake seemed like crystal clear. We hiked quite a long way and some of us hiked all the way to the top. At the top of the mountain the view was just amazing, and on top of that it was very windy and cold.

At the top, Lake Tahoe behind the mountains.

Typical landscape of the hike

It was great to see Lake Tahoe, definitely worth seeing. Additionally, we had a lot of fun getting to know our classmates better. In total we were around 30 people. Lots of good food, drinks and new names to remember, of which I can't probably remember even half yet.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Roadtrip to northern California

On the last weekend of September, I went on a road trip with two other crazy scandinavians. Road trip took us to the northern California, Fort Bragg. We drove past a few national parks in California by the coast.

Before reaching the coast we drove through the Napa Valley, where most of the wine of California is grown. You could see wineries almost next to each other there. 

The view was just amazing by the coast. The sky was very clear and the sun was shining brightly.

In Fort Bragg we went kayaking in a river up to a river. On our way back we probably drove on one of the curviest roads that I have ever been on, but the view there was just amazing. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First days in California

Time flies in California very quickly.  I noticed that it’s been already a week since I embarked on the journey. I planned to blog a lot earlier, but over the past days (believe it or not) I have been extremely busy. The first week in Davis, California has been very interesting and has included a lot of activities.  I have come familiar with the American way of living and Davis in General.

Originally I began the journey on Friday September 19. It was quite a long travel all the way from Finland to Davis. In total it took around 20 hours to get to Davis. By the time I got to Davis I was exhausted, although I gotta say I have never met such a funny and humorous cab driver, as the one who took me from San Francisco to Davis. The guy absolutely knew a lot about California and local American traditions.

For the first few days in Davis I had got a reservation at a local hotel with another exchange student from Sweden, since the room which I had rented, was not furnished.

Finding a place to stay in Davis seemed like an impossible task, especially for such a short time as three months. Most places offered only one-year leases. Back in Finland I probably sent hundreds of emails in the end before I got an apartment offer. I had luck when a Davis undergrad student contacted me with a room offer. We had agreed to meet on Saturday. The apartment is a 2 bed 2 bath with a kitchen and living room located on the fantastic Olive Drive. As a nice bonus the swimming pool is right outside the apartment.

The view from the balcony.

So right now I am sharing the apartment with the American undergrad and Swedish exchange student. After a couple of visits to IKEA in Sacramento, the apartment actually looked liveable, although we are still looking for a couch for the living room.

On the second evening in the apartment we actually cooked something that one can call “Chicken pasta” with a lot of cream in it.

Apparently our landlady is fond of the famous American snack “Goldfish

On Thursday we had an exchange student orientation session organized by SISS (International student services). Student orientation covered mandatory J visa information and cultural lectures such as how to make friends in the US, topics Americans like to talk about, etc. After that there was a tour around the campus.

A photo from the campus 

So that’s all for now. I’ll keep you posted folks!