I talk about my sister, Rosa, a lot; my usual joke is that telling the stories of what she gets up to halfway around the world makes me seem way cooler. But for a couple of weeks in the middle of summer, I finally got to share a bit of her life in Berkeley, California, and come away with some fun stories of my own. We spent days wandering the hills of San Francisco; crossed the Bay to check out Marin County; made our way to Land’s End to paddle in the Pacific; spent a day in Davis where Rosa first lived in CA; and even navigated to Muir Woods via public transport.

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I’m thinking a lot about boats at the moment. For my 19th century American Literature module next term I have to read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, and although I’m a little daunted I’m looking forward to the journey it promises when I finally pick it up. But, I wondered, perhaps the sea and I should just get a little more acquainted first. “If it’s nice tomorrow, shall we go to the coast?” I asked on Saturday evening. So the next day, a lazy Sunday morning behind us, we take the car north to Blakeney.

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