(Could also be called: “While Pedro is Away, the Interns Will Go out to Play.”)
While today is rainy and cloudy yet again, the past three days have been absolutely, deliciously, fabulously hot and humid. I’m talking DC-(or Philly)-in-July kind of weather. While I may not enjoy the sweat and dehydration that occurs in this heat, this is what summer is supposed to be like. No scarves, no wool socks, no boots — just summer dresses and ultimate shorts and swimsuits.
Pedro is away in Poland for the week, and Monday was absolutely too wonderful to be cooped up inside all day. So, Stephanie and I made great progress in the morning — I worked on an update about UNAWE Indonesia, and Stephanie worked on the website. Then, in the afternoon, we left a few hours early and biked to the beach. Katwijk aan Zee is only ~40 minutes by bike, and we made it almost the whole way without fail. We were a little off-track once we hit town, and Stephanie’s bike acted up, but we eventually made it to the beach (the trick was following people in bathing suits!)
Tons of people, yes, but the beach was wonderful. It was great to just absorb the Vitamin D (don’t worry, tons of sunscreen, too! As my wise mother says, “The skin you’ll have at 40 is the skin you’ll deserve”), and have some time to take a nap and read my book (White Teeth by Zadie Smith — SO good!).
From the beach, we biked straight to Leiderdorp for kayaking. Again, we got a little deterred directionally, and it took much longer to get there than expected, (sorry to Fabian and Justin, our guides, who waited for over an hour for us). But kayaking was terrific! Really, really, great weather for it. We are also now official LEVITAS members, meaning we can paddle whenever we like, as long as we have an instructor with us.
After dinner with the kayak club, I rode back into Leiden for a game night with some frisbee players. Embarrassingly, I got lost again. Well, not that I got “lost” — because I knew where I was at all times — but more that I couldn’t find the streets I needed to turn on. Roads here are not clearly marked, and so directions that say “Right on Rijnsburgerweg” don’t work. I was advised today to instead write directions that say “make the 3rd right” or “Right at the windmill.” So, in total, I estimate that I was on my bike (thus, the “pedaling” in the title) for ~ 3 hours and ~30km. A map of the adventure:
Yesterday was equally (if not more) hot and humid. It was also the master’s graduation ceremony for our friend and Sterrewacht (Observatory/Astronomy Department) student, Tiffany. It was quite an official ceremony, and after being personally awarded her degree, she signed her name on the walls of this Harry Potter-like room where decades of graduate students had signed their name before. Afterwords, some people threw her a small surprise party, and it was nice to socialize a bit with people from work outside of work. In two weekends, I’ll be traveling with this group to Belgium.
The heat was eventually broken by an incredibly dramatic thunderstorm, much like the ones we get at home. I really hope it’s a taste for the weather to come. This weekend I’m playing an ultimate tournament at the beach, and it will be much nicer with warm, dry weather!