Friday, September 9, 2011

Catching up on September

"Welcome to the future. Today's date is September 9, 2011. I know that, to you, only 3 weeks have gone by, but to the rest of the world, your last post was 4 months ago."

That, my friends, is the dialogue that just occurred when I sat down to write this post. Um, what? April 28th? My last post? I thought that during this time of transition for Brian and I, the whole rest of the world was put on hold just like we were. Apparently I was in a time warp. Sigh. that the pressure of 4 months of missing posts is all on this one, I'm unsure where to begin. Perhaps I will revert to my writing crutch: a bulleted list. 

1. April 29th, 2011: Brian and I flew from Beijing, China to our "home" in Orlando, after an incredible goodbye party thrown by none other than Greg Kaeuper. Set in the dappled shade of the Stone Boat in Ritan Park, we ate dumplings, speared marinated peanuts, drank chinese beer, and played the range of Chinese kids games for an entire, glorious afternoon. Friends from our offices, church, and elsewhere all gamely played badminton, hackysack, and some sort of game with a string and a double-sided orange top...and sent us off in grand fashion. (These were taken on our Diana Mini...not sure exactly what happened, but i think somewhere the film got stuck and started double exposing. I hated them at first, but the more I see them, the more I'm intrigued)

EDSA group
EDSA friends: Austin, Yan, and more
Nathan and his beautiful mom Bridget
the incredible Kristiana Leniart
Justin and Sadie Stone
Me, Sadie + Me and the always-lovely Ariane Brault
Small group! Kelsey, Melissa, Maria, and Ryan + The poker fiends: Dana and Tom Zemke
having fun...and looking really cool
Maria and Melissa
Yan. Coolest girl in school.
Gordon, Kristiana
Ashton, Tracy (Guo Xiaoying)
The Russian Princess Marina, all-around cool guy Stephen
The best Tawainese ever: Tiger and Jenny
the one, the only: Greg Kaeuper (and stephen trying to do the double-top thing....and failing)
Jenny succeeding at the double-top and string game
Brian....dubious success.
absolutely gorgeous afternoon

2. In the above statement, "home" is in quotes because all of our belongings were still in storage from the previous August and we had given up our apartment in Lake Eola Heights. To our rescue, however, were Kristina and Justin Miller, who allowed us to completely crash their new home and stay with them for 3 months. 

3. Brian and I both worked at our respective companies through June, finished projects, were hosted by wonderful and gracious people for welcome back/goodbye dinners, and attended lots of weddings. 

4. Then came 3 weeks off, in which we spent loads of time with our loved family members, eating incredible food, laughing, adventuring, and Florida, Minnesota, and Texas. 
Camping in the Boundary Waters & Quetico
Brian did really well in not yelling at me.
cooking delicious food for my parents' 30th wedding anniversary

saw some incredible art in Houston
hung out with family

5. Road trip. Brian and I have decided to move to the Bay Area of California in order for Brian to get his masters in Urban Design from UC Berkeley. We're so excited. So we took 4 days, piled our little Toyota Corolla high with suitcases, dog treats, and Hanna and ventured cross country. We saw the Grand Canyon, cruised the Las Vegas Strip, and regaled one another with facts about Albuquerque. 

6. Now, we're here! We settled in the Piedmont area of Oakland, California and are absolutely loving it. There is so much to see, do, and experience in short reach. We've got great shops, grocery stores, and amazing fish tacos all within walking distance and San Francisco is only a short BART jaunt away. I'm so looking forward to sharing our new adventures with all of you!

San Francisco Bay


  1. I do like how those double exposed photos came out. You should've talked about how you did it on purpose. Greg

  2. Loved the update! And so glad I could be in it ;-)I think it's been almost as long as it's been for you since I've been on your blog. We must be on the same wavelength, 3 days apart, LOL! I miss you and can't wait to create new memories in, of all places: CALIFORNIA!!!!! PS - I need to talk to you about how you guys did it. We are going to road-trip it, too.

  3. Hey Leah! Congrats on the move!
    I am coming to the Bay Area next week - having a gathering for SSF alumni in San Fran on MOnday night! Email me at so we can get you in the loop!
    Pres/CEO of SSF!

  4. glad to see you're posting again... i'm a little late on this response, but i haven't checked in a while. Now keep me company when I need a pick me up from craziness. Hoping to get to come out there during Christmas time to visit the great city of SF... and of course the Chambers!


  5. glad to see your journey all back from the time being departed us. enjoy those images and trips you had. :) Keep posting, (wish I could be energetic enough like you to make a blog one day). For my side, I left Beijing at September, after a short trip to Tibet and spent precious one month time with families, I am now hanging at Paris, learning the language and deciding the next move.

    Interested at the Bohemia link, but couldn't open it. will try another time.

    Take care.
    xx Tracy (xiaoying)