a quick hello from California!

HI!

It's been all quiet on the western front lately, and I'm sorry - I've been really focused on trying to get my feet on the ground and settling in. I still kind of can't believe I live in California now...this whole endeavor hasn't ceased to feel like one long, bizarre vacation quite yet, and I'm not sure now long it will be before the novelty wears off. Waking up to this view every day isn't going to get old anytime soon, that's for sure.

I would be majorly remiss if I didn't recognize the enormous help/support/emotional lifeline that both my parents have been, especially my mother. Not many people would voluntarily commit to a 33-hour cross-country road trip, let alone cram that trip into 2.5 days after I grossly overestimated our driving ability and underestimated the horror of backcountry roads in Wyoming and Idaho. Jodes was an incredibly patient saint the entire way, and was a tower of emotional fortitude every time I started to freak myself out with the enormity of this move/decision/insane life change. More to come on that front soon!

Today is my first day of work (!!!), and I'm looking forward to getting into a routine that makes a bit more sense than the last week has. I've spent a couple days exploring Stanford's campus, and can't get over how stunning and different it is than anywhere I've seen. While the Mission-style buildings and palm trees aren't what I typically think of when I think "college," I'm still enchanted with the atmosphere of being on a campus and looking forward to having that as part of my daily life. 

I'm also enjoying the whole process of exploration and making friends. Mikey, a friend of a friend from Notre Dame, invited me to join his friends for Taco Tuesday last week and it was an utter delight. This weekend, Laura and I saw "Roman Holiday" on Saturday, and I met up with Alex, my fabulous mezzo-soprano friend, for brunch and Joshua Bell at the San Francisco Symphony on Sunday. All things considered, I'm starting to build something resembling my kind of life out here...it's just going to take a bit to get truly settled and on my feet. 

As for everything else? Laura, Fiona and I are settling into a routine and figuring out each other's habits while we wait for Dave to come complete our funny little roommate trifecta, I'm slowly mastering driving like a Californian (aka suicidally), and I've been to either Target or Anthropologie literally every day, so not that much has changed. (Fun tidbit: the country's biggest Anthro is 15 minutes from my house. I'm so screwed.) I guess what they say is true...you can take the girl out of Minnesota, but you can't take the Target out of the Minnesota girl...

More to come. Love you!