I shudder when I look at the date of my last blog post. Over a month ago! Shock and horror... I know, I know. And I could whip out all kinds of excuses, but I'll spare you the time to read them, and myself the time (and energy) to come up with them. Just know that my last month at Willamette was awesome and went by very quickly. I was able to visit the pretty little town of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for Thanksgiving along with my friend Scott and two girls from Rhodes. We built a snowman, made snow angels, and ate LOTS of good food. I also went to an NBA game and watched the Portland Trail Blazers versus Utah Jazz. That was lots of fun. Otherwise the last month just involved lots of work, last-minute organizing and admin, and one farewell party after the next as we all prepared to leave Willamette.
But, forget about all of that. The bottom line folks, is that I am in San Francisco, California - in the midst of the REAL African American Adventure. I spent last week in the extraordinarily beautiful state of Colorado. A couple days in Boulder (a quaint, artsy town that is said to have the fittest and happiest people in all America) with the family of my friend Nicky from Willamette University, and then on to Vail where I visited fellow Rhodent Paul Harris, and had an absolute blast. I spent my time hiking and running in Boulder, and being generally welcomed and spoilt by Nicky's awesome (and I mean freaking fantastic) family. On Wednesday evening I arrived in Vail at the last minute and took myself (bags and all) into the nearest pub (since Paul was still at work) where I grabbed dinner and had about 3 guys offer to help me with my bags upon entry... gotta love being a traveler... AND having an accent. :)
Vail is basically a ridiculously pretty winter-wonderland-fairytale kinda place where people with lots of money come to ski and spend Christmas. I enjoyed walking around the cobble-stoned streets (which are heated of course so that the snow underfoot melts...duh) and browsing the shops (the operative word being browsing). But the highlight of my Vail experience has got to be skiing for the first time in my life. Not only skiing mind you, but skiing surrounded by the snow-covered Rocky mountain range... beauty is. It would probably be more apt to say attempting to ski, than actually skiing - I mean, it was my first time ever. Paul took me out on the first day, which basically involved lots of falling and hysterical laughter. And the second time I went out wasn't much different from the first, only I think I fell harder this time since I felt marginally more confident in my skiing ability and so would be moving at quite a speed and then wipe out at that same speed. I even skied into a pine tree once. I had an unforgettable time in Vail though, and got to party with lots of South Africans... seriously, just about every shop and restaurant I went into had a South African employed. It was awesome meeting so many South Africans after meeting nearly none in the past four months.
I have had a great time in San Francisco too... visiting such landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge (the world's greatest suspension bridge) and Pier 39 - from where I could see Alcatraz. The highlight of this leg of my trip though was meeting up with a very special highschool friend who I have not seen since highschool! We had dinner together with her younger sister in downtown San Francisco last night - a truly amazing and surreal experience. It was awesome catching up on the last four years and being together again. Lots of love to Huguette and Sabine Brink!
Tonight I fly to Vegas baby! This is where I will be spending New Year's Eve together with a bunch of European students I met while at Willamette. It promises to be wild. :) From there I go on to LA for a couple of days, and then return to Salem to go on tour with the Willamette Singers in Oregon and California. This should be a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. I will leave the tour early and fly to New York city, where I will spend my last few days in the States before returning home. Exciting stuff! I can't believe the great adventure is nearing its end. But it's been incredibly memorable and I still have a few more weeks in which to make more memories and have more unforgettable experiences!
Merry Christmas and Happy 2011 to you all!