Mountain View – Sunday, 11 March 2012

By Melanie

Meet Gregory [Gregreh, (pronounced with a posh british accent)], aka Greg.


Yup, we bought a car. He is a 1999 Volkswagen Passat Sedan V6 (V6 means a hell lot of power) with a moonroof. And he is awesome! The funny thing about buying a car in the US is that buying a car is easier than buying a phone card. There was no credit check!!

Now that we have a car, we can go wherever we want. And that is exactly what we are doing.

Although we are trying to get used to the American way of life, we are still true to our belgian identity. And Belgians need their beer. Luckily belgian beer is a big deal in the US so it was just a short drive to Oakland to drink a refreshing belgian blond in beer-bars like ‘Beer Revolution’ and ‘The Trappist’. We were joined by a bunch of diverse people: a few Americans, a Canadian, two Brits, an Australian, a Brazilian, The Belgians, a moose and a wild boar.

Beer Revolution
New Friends

But no worries, we are doing more than drinking beer! Whilst Andrew is working really hard, I am looking for things to do to fill my week days. Luckily, there is so much going on in the Valley. There are the Yoga classes I frequently attend with my partner in fitness Katie. We found a nice Yoga center in Mountain View where the teachers don’t look like freaky monks and we are successfully taking two classes a week. And I have to say, we are getting pretty good. Not head-stand-with-legs-in-the-air good, but not-falling-over-when-standing-on-one-leg good.

I also got a few shifts at the Palo Alto Animal Shelter. Every tuesday I go in and pet and brush cats for 2 hours. I absolutely love it! The cats are so adorable. I have to stop myself from taking them all home. Every other friday I have a dog shift where I go dog walking and play with the cutie pies on the play yard. At this moment there are just four dogs waiting to get adopted and 3 of them are Chihuahua mixes. It is quiet funny to walk a Chihuahua cause when it doesn’t listen, you just pull the leash a tiny bit and the dog is lifted in the air. Not that I do that…

Apart from the shelter, I started doing some voluntary work at StartX, the company where Law Gives has its office. Every three months new start-ups get office space at StartX and this weekend it was ‘moving in’ day. I helped getting the office ready for the newcomers and went shopping for supplies. The plan is to spend two afternoons a week at StartX and help them out with practical stuff. And at the same time I get to spend a little more time with my better half.

But, as the title of this post says, Califorelaxinia implies relaxing and that is a task I am willing to take seriously. Last weekend the weather was perfect (think 25 degrees Celsius). On saturday, after taking a relaxing class of Yoga, Katie and I had a tanning session at the pool. Oh yes, have I mentioned yet that we have 3 pools? Must have slipped my mind. We drank non-alcoholic margaritas (although it wasn’t our intention that they were non-alcoholic), read gossip magazines and had an ice lolly.

Sunday we had more relax time. We drove up to San Francisco to Land Ends Park. First we enjoyed the beautiful views on the Golden Gate Bridge and afterwards we had a lazy afternoon picnic.

Golden Gate Bridge
Lazy Picnic

Small tip for when you are having a picnic when there isn’t a cloud in the sky: try to not have just 1 side of your body facing the sun. You will get weird tanning lines.

After the picnic we drove to Pier 39, a disney-like pier with great views on Alcatraz and with scaffolds full of sun soaking sea lions (they smell). We had a little photo-shoot

Pier 39
Pieter and Katie on Pier 39
Sea Lions
Mel on Pier 39
Andrew and Mel with view on Alcatraz

Unfortunately, LawGives has a lot of deadlines coming up, so this weekend the boys had to work a lot. Tonight however we are having a BBQ in a house with lovely views on the hills of Los Altos, a jacuzzi, a swimming pool and a room full of music instrument. Yup, we still LOVE CALIFORNIA!!!

If you would like to know how Andrews weeks were, get him to write a blog post ;-)