April 30th, 2023

This blog entry is less structured than my previous entries. I recently spent a month on the west coast of the United States. However, I was bouncing around even more than usual, every week or so. I spent time in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and San Jose. Since I was so busy traveling and making plans, I didn't have any time to do my normal weekly updates. Rather than make a new entry for every city that I stayed in, I decided to consolidate the trip into this single mega-post. I was mostly visiting friends in the cities I traveled to, but also back in San Jose to get my stuff all packed up and ready to ship to Denver!

Visiting some friends (Dave, Carmen, Erica and Mike) down in San Diego. They thought it would be funny to take a picture holding me, and I also thought it was funny!
This is out in Los Angeles, visiting the other Aaron. Jani and Sonal just so happened to be out in LA around the same time, and it was great to all get together.
This photo was from Seattle, with Wesley and Vassil, who's getting ready to move out to Barcelona. I'll be seeing both of them in Denver around June, and then again later this year when I go to Germany for Oktoberfest!
While out in Seattle, I visited the Kirkland Google office. They had these unique spots to sit and work - and not just one of them, quite a few! Unfortunately, they were rather uncomfortable. Cool idea, but not very practical.
Me and Wesley, at a random dive bar in Seattle, playing some pool. It's quickly become a favorite way to spend a weekday night for me.
Out hiking in Leavenworth, Washington. It's a small little German-featured town, with some great hikes and views in the vicinity.
Another shot from the hike out in Leavenworth.
They had this really striking moss growing on the trees, which looked to have recently been charred by a forest fire. This picture doesn't quite do it justice, but in person it was really wild to see the combo of dark bark and neon-green moss.
Midway through the hike, I started to get some blisters from my new boots. I decided to take them off and continue the hike barefoot. It was actually pretty refreshing, and it wasn't long until I convinced the other guys to do the same. Of course, they decided to take it a few steps further and do the opposite of a coal-fire walk.
After hiking, we headed to Leavenworth itself to grab some German sausage and beers. It was a cute little town, and reminded me a lot of Helen, GA.
Fast-forward to San Francisco, and I got a free upgrade to a Tesla. I never drove one before, and was really impressed. The self-driving feature was super handy and it's amazingly quick. All the tech goodies made me nerd out a little, and I'm hoping to get one someday.
Catching up with some old friends in San Francisco - Jenn, Richard, myself and Derek. Lots of big changes here! Jenn and Richard recently got engaged, and Richard quit his job to focus on a startup he has formed integrating new AI tech for companies.
The restaurant we went to, Gao Viet, was phenomenal. This was their signature dish. A huge bowl of pho served with a whole Maine lobster, beef rib, oxtail, filet mignon, brisket, and bone marrow. It was over $100, but more than enough for all of us to share.
Got some current and former coworkers together for dinner while down in San Jose. From left to right around the table, Lingxue, Krithika, myself, Mike, Prashanth, Haines and Ashley.
Here's the main motivator for my trip! All my earthly belongings, packed up and ready to roll.
One highlight from San Jose was getting my favorite guitar out of storage. I was bummed that the weather in most my trip was pretty bad, but San Jose provided me with some much-needed sunshine and warm weather.
San Jose also provided me with some delicious street food. On weekends, these folks with bacon-wrapped hot dogs and grilled veggies show up on almost every corner. The smell is almost irresistable.
Last, and certainly not least, I spent a Sunday afternoon at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose. I was a bit bummed that it's still mostly under construction, as it's been that way for years now. But it's still one of the prettiest, most tranquil parks I've visited.