Austin to Richmond to Plano

I’m a rider on the 2018 Texas 4000 team, and I’ll be biking from Austin, TX to Anchorage, Alaska in Summer 2018 to fight cancer. Check out my rider page here to learn more about why I ride, and please consider making a donation if you are able to. Thank you!


ATLAS & high school graduation

The last week of May / beginning of June was hectic! On Tuesday, I headed to Thunderbird Coffee near the UT campus to discuss my responsibilities as one of the three Texas 4000 Business Development Coordinators for the summer, and on Wednesday I had training and packet stuffing for ATLAS.

I also had to wake up early on Friday to get to campus to help set up for Day Zero. I had initially signed up because I thought that I would be in the area anyway for an afternoon ATLAS shift, but I eventually found out that I did not have a shift. Although I was more than happy to contribute to T4K, I was not happy about waking up early just to go set up for an event. In the end, my trip was worth it because I got to catch up with my good friend Austin over Thai food at Madam Mam’s new location and over bobaaa.

The next day started bright and early at 5:45 am with an ATLAS shift until my little sister’s high school graduation at 8 am. After the ceremony, I drove to Lampasas and staffed the merchandise table at the ATLAS finish line. It was incredibly humid, and I could feel a film of sweat forming on my whole body. We ended up getting some heavy rain for a bit in the afternoon, luckily once the riders were enjoying their Pok-e-Jo’s BBQ. My shoes and socks were completely soaked, and what followed was some frantic putting up of cardboard boxes to prevent them from getting too wet. I arrived home exhausted and sticky from sweat around 6 pm. We took some more pictures for Viennie’s graduation and then headed off to Ho Ho for dinner.

Intern on-boarding in Richmond

On Sunday, I headed off to Capital One intern on-boarding at Richmond, VA. My layover flight in Chicago was delayed for two hours due to a problem with the lavatory light not turning on, but I still made it right on time to the Welcome Reception in the evening. I didn’t end up feeling full after eating the refreshments there, especially since I had skipped lunch due to the delayed flight. (I had originally planned to eat a late lunch at 3 pm after the flights.) Two other interns I had just met also did not feel satisfied with the food at the Welcome Reception, and we went to Wong Gonzalez, a Mexican-Asian fusion restaurant. The food offered was different from my only other experience with Mexican-Asian fusion – Chilantro’s take on Mexican-Korean fusion. I had the beef bulgogi tacos, which I didn’t take a picture of.

The next two days consisted of what one would typically expect for on-boarding at a company. Since we finished up a bit earlier on Tuesday, I walked around Richmond with two other interns. We checked out the Library of Virginia and Capitol Square before going to Canal Walk.

 

We were quite hungry by the time we made it back to the downtown area for Tenka Ramen. I ordered the miso ramen and two appetizers, gyoza and spring rolls.

The third and fourth days were dedicated to a hackathon. It was my first time working on a webapp, and I learned quite a bit. Shoutout to my team for being great and for dealing with my complete lack of knowledge!

Our team name was CO, standing for Capital One (our company), carbon monoxide (the hackathon’s name was Carbon), and charitable organizations (related to our project).

My team left the hackathon after finding out we didn’t make top 10 because we wanted some rest. I didn’t end up resting and instead took this aesthetic picture while talking to people on Messenger. We headed out to J Kogi once we were hungry enough. I ordered their house bowl with bulgogi ribeye, rice, kimchi, red cabbage, soy bean sprouts, carrots, and their “Don’t Kats U” tangy BBQ sauce. I definitely disliked the red cabbage, and I was not too big a fan of the sauce. However, the food was a welcome change from the catered meals we had been receiving. I unfortunately didn’t get a nice picture because it was so dark in the restaurant.

On Friday, I went to Busch Gardens, where I somehow was convinced to ride the Griffon – partially because I felt obligated to go on roller coasters and also because someone else who had never been on a roller coaster before was also going on it.

I ended up riding this twice in a row without dying of a heart attack.

The next one we went to was InvadR – my first wooden roller coaster. I was told that this roller coaster didn’t have any drops, and I also didn’t hear any screaming while I was in the line for 20 minutes. Thus, I wasn’t too nervous when I first got on it. But as we were taken up in the carts, the ride’s 74-foot drop was revealed to us. The drop hadn’t been visible because it was hidden a bit out of the ways, and the screams had been suppressed by a cover. I was so shocked that I felt incredibly done with roller coasters after the ride. I ended up going on a log flume ride afterward, which wasn’t bad at all. We ate lunch next while an OktoberFest performance occurred, the highlight of which was having two fellow interns doing the chicken dance when the performers asked for the children to come up and do it!


My lunch reaffirmed that red cabbage is really not my thing. I also didn’t eat much of that cake because my stomach was so upset at me for going on those roller coasters.

After eating lunch, I definitely didn’t want to tackle any more roller coasters, so our group split up. My group went on the Skyride and a boat ride, which were boring but didn’t include drops and was thus perfectly fine in my books. Afterward, we feasted on more food – funnel cake for the others and Dippin’ Dots for me. On the bus ride home, I fell asleep but kept on jolting awake whenever we were even slightly moving downhill. I’m telling you, I was, and might still be, traumatized.

After a disappointing room service dinner (the fries were basically inedible), I went to bed early and caught an early flight out of Richmond at 7 the next morning.

I arrived back in Austin around lunchtime, but I wasn’t feeling too great. My family went to Pho Dan for lunch and after my body tried to vomit (but failed since there was nothing in my stomach), I felt a lot better and ended up enjoying a nice bowl of pho.

First week in Plano

The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping and packing up for my move to Plano, and we arrived in Plano around 1 pm on Sunday. We ate out at an Asian food court at Legacy which was fairly decent.

Afterward, my parents took me to Jusgo and Wal-Mart to shop for groceries. After dropping the stuff off our purchases at the apartment, we checked out Mitsuwa and then went to the DFW Chinatown. There, my parents spent time marveling at the statues before we went to eat at Jeng Chi. My experience there was pretty disappointing, which has inspired me to decide to make a Yelp account (coming soon!)

This first week in Plano has been going slowly. Things of note:

  • Ate out at Samui on Monday and ordered my new typical Thai order of pad see iew

  • Attended an intern happy hour at Henry’s Tavern on Tuesday
  • Kept on going to building 1 on Wednesday – only to have the meetings moved (either time or location)
  • Fell in love with the bikes on campus – I like to pretend that this is good preparation for T4K! I am now also incredibly aware of my short legs because I always have to lower the seat (or find one with a lowered seat) before I can ride.
  • Ate sushi at The Blue Fish for dinner and saw Wonder Woman on Friday

  • Spent my Saturday with my parents and older sister by exploring Asia Times Square in Grand Prairie (where I ran into a fellow intern) as well as Daiso and Kinokuniya in Carrollton. It took some self control to only buy one item from Kinokuniya – a Pusheenicorn key chain that I accidentally let my parents take home with them. I guess I’ll reunite with Pusheenicorn in two months. For lunch, we ate again at the Asian food court at Legacy, where I had seafood tofu soup. For dinner, we ate at Hanabi Ramen.

 

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