We go where the math takes us: Bay Area

Just got back from one of my favorite places in the world, the Bay Area. David and I met as graduate students in Berkeley so we try to get back there as much as possible. This time our travel was math related. David attended a workshop on rational points at the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) in Palo Alto.

On Saturday, after the conference was over, we spent time with a couple of our best friends in San Francisco. I wanted to see the water so we went to the Presidio and drove out past the Golden Gate Bridge. The day was warm for San Francisco. Birds flew overhead, and I longed to be one of them, surfing the wind and diving into the water.

IMG_4581

I didn’t want to leave yesterday when our trip ended. I love my life in Atlanta, but I miss the beauty of the Bay Area and our friends who live there. I’m sad today because I want to go back, but I know what I want to go back to doesn’t exist anymore. Most of our friends from graduate school live elsewhere. We’re no longer in our twenties.

And I know my life then wasn’t as rosy as I remember it, but it’s hard to imagine life in the Bay Area as anything but perfect when you look out over the water to the hills across the way.

IMG_4573

Ways I’m like my mom: love of the outdoors

My mom loves camping. We went a lot when I was growing up, mainly to places in Ohio where we would tent camp near our car. I remember being in awe of my mom’s ability to pitch a tent, start a campfire, and make delicious meals on a two burner propane stove.

Although we haven’t gone camping together in years, we have had the good fortune of visiting some of America’s most beautiful national parks recently including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Great Smoky Mountains. Last autumn, we visited Gatlinburg and took a short but steep hike to the top of Clingmans Dome. The views were gorgeous. While we were there, we also hiked a small section of the Appalachian Trail.

My mom really wants to take a backpacking trip along the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah Valley region. I’ve never gone backpacking. The prospect scares me, but I hope I’m with her when she realizes this dream.

IMG_3824

IMG_3822

IMG_3798

Ways I’m like my mom: plant photography

When I was a kid, my mom would often ask me to move out of frame when she was taking pictures of plants. I resented this as I did pretty much all forms of evidence indicating I was not the center of her universe, including my little sister. Now, I understand her impulse. I love capturing the beauty of flowers in photographs.

Here’s a few I took on a recent trip to Oakland Cemetery when my sister was visiting Atlanta. Note that I failed to take any pictures of her during this outing. It’s not because I’m still bitter about having to share my mother’s love. I swear.

IMG_4370

IMG_4409

IMG_4402