I don't know if this is obvious, but this program is extremely rigorous. Not only are we in class all week, but homework as you can imagine, is incredibly time consuming. It is not uncommon for a drawing to take 20 or more hours start to finish. Although we were given the usual work load, I found myself with more time to also enjoy myself outside of school. So I did!
THURSDAY and FRIDAY:
As I mentioned in an earlier post, two of my classmates and I went to dinner at a wonderful place in Big Sur called Nepenthe. I forgot to provide a link to the restaurant so here you go: http://www.nepenthebigsur.com/ And on Friday, my friend Mark came down to say hello. We went to Lallapalooza restaurant in Monterey. I don't think you can ever go wrong when your weekend is kicked off with two really good meals and good people.
I went birding for the first time. I never realized how surrounded by them we are at all times. They are good at going unnoticed and that's just what they are most of the time - unnoticed. It was great to notice them. The tour guide, Rick Fournier, and his wife, Cheryl, were so fantastic and made the newbie feel very welcome. It's pretty fast paced, and the more experienced birder will call out, "Ooh! I just spotted an Aleutian," and I'm like, "Yes. Of course. An Aleutian." Below are pics I took while birding. Unfortunately, there aren't too many with birds in them because the birds we did see were often in flight or too far for my camera to capture.
MIX OF SHORE BIRDS
PEOPLE ON THE TOUR
Then on Sunday, a bunch of us spent the day in Santa Cruz. We started our day at the Harbor Cafe on 7th Ave. Two of my friends own the restaurant and they do such a great job with it. The atmosphere is super laid back with a beach shack feel. I've never ever been disappointed by a meal. Yesterday, I had a chipotle tri-tip omelette. Delicious! It's inexpensive and the owners Dan and Max are two of the nicest people I have ever met.
Afterwards, we drove along Highway 9 where several state parks are located including Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The weather was perfect for hiking and we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying our surroundings. These trails are also popular horse trails. Have I ever mentioned how much I love horseback riding? I was super excited every time I saw a horse and I swear it had nothing to do with the fact that he was carrying a hot guy wearing a cowboy hat and a plaid shirt. Below are pictures from the hike. I didn't get one of the hot guy on a horse. Sorry.
INSIDE A REDWOOD LOOKING UP
My classmate, Angela informed me later that these are edible. Wish I had known that at the time. I would have foraged!
PINE CONE GRAVEYARD
Sarah cleverly came up with this caption. It really did look like a graveyard of pine cone. It was like all the pine cone in the forest were dumped in that one spot.