Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fahren mit dem Flugzeug, Zug und Motorrad nach Deutschland

I thought about writing this in German, but decided you guys would be too lazy to copy and paste it into google translate. So here it is in English. You (Here would be a great place to write Johnny's phrase, but I'm writing to larger audience). 

I didn't have any finals, so I left the day classes ended to help coach my younger sisters' FLL team in the 2014 FLL World Class Open National Championship at Lego Land.

Our team's pit table was next to a team from Turkey.

It was great! It reminded me of the good old days. Now that I'm older and helping out with running the program, I realize how little the adults knows what's going on. It's a lot less structured than I imagined it as a kid. 

But the kids had fun, they were in Lego Land after all. 

!!!!! This was great! Stäubli rides!

Hollywood sign

San Francisco

And New York City... all made out of Legos, all of which I would see, drive across, and gawk at before flying to Germany...

We stayed in this super nice hotel suite thing with a nice view of the Pacific Ocean. 

We also got silly caricatures. Here's a gif. I was a bit surprised by how old I looked; I got one of those done when I was in Mexico ~6 years ago (it looked a bit younger).


After the robotics competition we drove up to Los Angeles, saw the Hollywood sign and took a stroll on the Walk of Fame. 

La Brea Tar Pits. 

The Fam flew back to Alaska, and I stayed in LAX and finished writing up a late paper :3. Then I took a sleeper bus to San Fransisco and arrived at 7AM. 

Those skyscrapers weren't there last summer. I guess they can build faster without the hardships of building during a real winter

I didn't really have any plans at this point. I was still quite disoriented from MIT, robot competitions, crazy all-nighter sleep schedule fun stress just ending. So, I didn't have a solid plan when I arrived in San Francisco. I felt like I was living on the streets at Starbucks with all my backpacking gear. I eventually made it over to the storage unit where I left the motorcycle I drove around California last summer after a few naps on the SF public transportation system. 

Yep. I had done derped. I left the keys to my storage unit back in M203. I had a few hours before the facility closed for the day, so I ran down to an O'Reilly Auto Parts and bought some random tools that I turned into lock picking tools. 

I spent a good hour trying to pick the lock to no avail. Running out of time, I decided to drill it out. I ran back to O'Reilly's and attempted to by a drill, but they were all $50+. :/

Luckily, the manager of the Public Storage facility dropped by just before they closed, and he used his lock picking drill and destroyed the lock in seconds. (It was really quite impressive. He just attacked the lock with the drill and the door opened. He's gotten quite good at it...)

So yeah. There it was :) sittin there all alone for a year.  

I had to figure out a way to ride (safely) with a huge backpacking back pack, a back pack, and some other little bags to hold my crocs (I didn't drive barefoot...). I ended up leaving that tank of gas at an auto shop down the road.

And then... BATTLEBOTS! I drove up to Vallejo and met up with Charles, Dane, Adam and the crew for dinner at a little Italian pizza place. It was super cool! They had a flat Pac-Man arcade game from back in the day, and Adam's older brother beat it's high score :P. It was fun, we ended up eating our dinner on it, and continued to play.

But yeah! BATTLEBOTS! It's premier is TOMORROW and the trailer looks amazing!

Battlebots was pretty awesome! But it was also a robot competition. There were quite a few sparks, hour long waits, and dead robots... and a few just absolutely beautiful KOs. They had candy to tide the audience camera crew and robot builder people over during the filming lulls.  

They actually had an infinite supply of candy. You could eat all those red vines and they would magically reappear. 

I tested it... Had this for lunch one day. No ragrets.

I got to practice my "act like you're an important person who belongs there and shouldn't get checked at the gate" face. It worked a few times, but after I found a crew pass it was just too easy. 

After most of the battlebots were dead, I took a plane over to NYC. 

While waiting for a shuttle to Katie's house, this guy made a comment about the book I was reading. Turns out he's written a few best seller mysteries... 

Looks like there's an IDC in New York City too...

I got to hang out with Katie and her parents for a day. It was great! Thanks Katie!

Then, I was off to LaGuardia for a flight to Frankfurt with a pit stop in Montreal. 

I didn't realize Montreal was the heart of the French speaking Canada. All the Canadians I had met over near Alaska didn't speak any French and said "eh" all the time. So that was pretty cool. I felt like I was already in Europe. 

This confirmed it... I think French Canada is Europe (or at least France). They had a condom dispenser in the bathroom of an airport...

The plane was super big: 3 rows of seats with 5 seats in the middle. It was great! Germans speaking german and Canadians speaking French. 

Free wine... oh yeah.

Der Flugzeug.

I landed in Germany, after flying all night, and caught a train down to the Swiss border where I stayed with my host Family from a High School exchange program I did 5 years ago. More on that later...

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