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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday is semester day at Ross. Every semester group participates in 'semester olympics' which includes soccer, flag football, ultimate frisbee, and beach volleyball. I may be forgetting a port but that's basically it. Every semester has designated colors, Kater's is blue. Mine, the VIP group is yellow. Seven semesters plus VIPs, and staff makes for a colorful day. At the end of the day people scatter around to play against other semesters in the different sports which go through sunday. I'll be playing volleyball Sunday against the staff I believe. It seems like a fun way to break up the intense study schedule for everyone, and include the VIPs in the fun.
After the normal morning business of blogging, emails, a little drawing, I went for a walk. I met Kater and some friends for lunch and then wandered through the toxicology garden (yes, a garden full of toxic plants...) because Kater had said she saw some cool caterpillars. These guys look very similar to our Monarchs but without some of the white striping. The plant it was eating was 'giant milkweed', so I wouldn't be surprised if this bugger was related.
Here's a picture:
I took a few photos and this was the best of the ones I took.
After the garden I continued down the back road to 'stairway to the sea', a spot on campus with a nice stairway down the hill to a patio area by the water.
This part of beach is really rocky and theres little to no sand. It's beautiful and quiet and during the day no one is there. I took out my sketch book and drew for a while. I got restless so I went for a walk down the beach looking for boulders to climb and anything else interesting. I eventually found a small sandy area of black sand. You think white sand gets hot... try this out! WOW!! Anyway here's a series of pictures, from rocky to sandy:

I went about as far as you can see in the pictures above. There is a distinct turn in the beach and it was tricky walking on those rocks and hot sand with flip flops, so further excursions will have to wait until another day.
The shore here is literally littered with conch shells. Size ranges from small to huge, but because of the rocks and rougher waves most are broken and beat up. My search continues for the perfect one. Apparently once you get a good one, you can shine it up with wet sand to bring out the nice colors inside.
I returned to the deck and shade of the platform and watched the waves for a while. The tide must have been coming in, because they kept getting bigger. I took some more pictures but they really don't capture the scale of them:
By this time, Kater was calling and was done with classes. They all wanted to get off campus and let their brains rest. They said "let's get down to a beach and have something to eat, you've been to a bunch of them, where should we go?" And where do you think I suggested??? Yes, of course, Shipwreck! Are you surprised? No, of course not. Some of her group has not been there yet, it's never crowded, and they make a mean cheeseburger and fries. So, once again we were off to the beach, and I to my favorite spot. The sun was getting low (it was about 4:30pm) and the temperature was perfect, probably around mid 70's. We found chairs, some got drinks, put our food orders in, and relaxed.
It's so great that when they want a break from studying, they can do this. When the week is over for most students in the states, break time means a movie or something. This is like a mini vacation every week for them.
I took more photos from the best seat in the house, and some more from around the place. The monkeys were out and active so I got some more pics of them as well:

We swam and snorkeled for a while after our meal. We watched the sunset from the float dock out in the water, another beautiful one of course. We learned a valuable lesson Friday, don't hang out on the beach after dark. Why? Mosquitos come out BAD!! Luckily they had bug spray up at the counter and enough for all of us. It was a swarm and we got eaten alive for the few moments it took us to run off the beach. That wont happen again!
The taxi picked us up around 7pm and we headed home. We all took showers, and met up for some cards and TV in the lounge. It was the first I've watched TV in two weeks.
That was about it for Friday, it was a full day and I got lots of pictures.
It's Saturday morning now, just about noon actually and I just got back from another run. Kater and a friend came this time, but we ran different routes. Mine includes a lot of stairs (so I can justify not running as far I think).
Kater cleaned up and went off to some study groups. I think I'll probably try to find the mop which is supposed to be in the building somewhere. The floors are dusty from the ash, sand, and whatever else. After that maybe a I'll check out a little further down the beach, who knows. Whatever it is, I'll be taking pictures.

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