Last Friday after work the boyfriend picked me up and then we drove about two hours to spend two nights at a hotel in Monterey – his valentine’s gift to me this year. Here I am at the restaurant in Monterey where we had dinner that same evening.
The following Saturday morning we went down to Lovers Point for a stroll followed by breakfast outside in the sun.
Then we decided to drive to Carmel for a walk on the beach.
The last time I was in Carmel was in July 2008 together with my father.
Thanks to a loving tip from Dining with Dostoevsky we had plans to go for dinner at La Bicyclette in Carmel that same evening – a very good choice.
It was a beautifully sunny and warm Saturday in Carmel.
On Sunday the boyfriend kindly agreed to comply with my wishes and take Highway 1 back to Berkeley. On our way we stopped at a public beach where we encountered people riding on horses.
We also stopped for a while at Pigeon Point on our way back.
After our return from a restful and blissful weekend spent walking around in the sun as well as enjoying the pleasures of staying at a hotel [we were especially excited to find out it had a jaccuzzi], a busy week at the university awaited both of us. I finally started working seriously on one of my most prospective papers during this week – well aware of the fact that I have to finish it soon since I’m going to a conference in April with a different paper – which took most of my time not teaching during this week. For the first time in several months I have a huge pile of library books with all sorts of post-it notes stuck into them lying on my desk. And I’m excited about that alternation of life because for such a long time I didn’t have the physical or emotional strength to devote myself to serious research. When I wasn’t reading for or writing on my paper, the mixed performances of the students in my Russian class frustrated me and I had to come up with various strategies to keep them on track. I know that at the end of the day I have only so much power over their failures versus successes as teacher, but sometimes I wonder if I’m doing enough to teach them everything that I can and everything they need to know. But in the midst of all of this the boyfriend and I managed to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Thursday. First we went together to a lecture at noon on trauma and social discipline in the Soviet Union – it was of course so romantic to enjoy a well-articulated academic talk together on this commercial holiday in celebration of love – and in the evening we cooked dinner together. Right now I’m excited about the upcoming three day weekend: since Monday is Presidents’ Day, it means I don’t have to teach or even go to campus if I don’t feel like it. So I’m going to spend this weekend working – it is strange to think how I had almost managed to forget how much work it actually is to be a serious graduate student… During this week I had no free time during the day – because I was teaching and studying – and also in the evenings I found myself doing nothing else but preparing classes, doing homework, and working on my paper… That kind of tough academic regime doesn’t allow one much time to blog. Or for anything else really. But this is a choice I made a long time ago and I’m going to continue with it for as long as I’m allowed. I’m very lucky to be with someone who lives the same kind of hectic life and therefore understands the sacrifices we have to make in order for everything to function on a daily basis. That’s why we need a weekend away once in a while – a time for the two of us to leave or computers at home and walk hand in hand on the beach instead. Also we’re lucky to work in the same department which means we can have lunch together every day. It is not the years spent together that create a relationship; a relationship is created from those small every day moments when you make the time to let the other person know how much you love them.