Tidbits / Travel

Where in the World is Audrey San Diego? …and Adventures in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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Yikes, I really pulled a disappearing act, didn’t I? The title is, of course, a reference to Carmen Sandiego, but it’s also a play on words because I disappeared to California for a while (though not San Diego). So, on June 14th, I officially graduated (!) with my Masters of Advanced Study in Criminology, Law and Society from UC Irvine. It was great to take a few days off from life and work and visit the campus; my program was online, so in fact I only visited the campus once for orientation. It’s really lovely, and the sunny California weather made it seem that much better. This will be a rather pic-intensive post, so I’ll drop the rest under a cut. Here are some pics of my graduation day and (short) time in Irvine!

2013-06-14 09.04.43

These pics were taken with my phone, so the quality is not the greatest, especially since my aunt and mom couldn’t seem to understand how to work it! 😛

My cohort Paloma's awesome mortarboard

My cohort Paloma’s awesome mortarboard

2013-06-14 12.02.28

With my mom and sister

With my mom and sister

My aunt and I

My aunt and I

My mommy and me

My mommy and me~

My sister is holding the little Hello Kitty that my mom got me before the ceremony.

My sister and I. She’s holding the little Hello Kitty that my mom got me before the ceremony.

With my mom and aunt

With my mom and aunt

UCI's mascot is an anteater. My sister got me this.

UCI’s mascot is an anteater. My sister got me this.

Even Peter the Anteater is dressed for the occasion!

Even Peter the Anteater is dressed for the occasion!

Chinese sculpture garden

Chinese sculpture garden

Chinese sculpture garden

Chinese sculpture garden

Chinese sculpture garden

Chinese sculpture garden

Chinese sculpture garden

Chinese sculpture garden

For a graduation present, my family treated me to a stay in Las Vegas. It was my first time going, so I was super excited. We stayed in New York, New York and were only there for two nights, but I got to see two Cirque du Soleil shows (Zarkana and Zumanity). Plus I won $70 on the penny slots 😛

New York, New York

New York, New York

The Excalibur

The Excalibur

The Strip!

The Strip!

It was at once bigger and smaller than I imagined

It was at once bigger and smaller than I imagined

My mom and aunt

My mom and aunt

I forgot what this was...

I forgot what this was…

The fountains at the Bellagio

The fountains at the Bellagio

Waiting for the Sirens show at TI to start (not worth it)

Getting ready for the brunch buffet in the Bellagio!

Getting ready for the brunch buffet in the Bellagio!

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Desserts from the Bellagio buffet

Desserts from the Bellagio buffet

My mom insisted on this

My mom insisted on this

My sister made me take a pic of this. I'm still not sure what it is.

My sister made me take a pic of this. I’m still not sure what it is.

Anyway, so you might be crunching the dates at this point. “But, Audrey, you graduated on the 14th and stayed in Vegas for three days, so why have you been gone from the interwebs for over two months?”

The short answer is laziness and the fact that I got rear-ended by a drunk driver at the end of last month so I’ve been dealing with going to the doctor, insurance, buying a new car and all that. The long (and more honest) answer is Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Long-time readers know that I’m big into video games. Animal Crossing is an old favorite of mine. I can still remember my giddiness when first learning about the game:
“Everything happens in real time! You can write LETTERS to the villagers! And they’ll write BACK!”

Most of my Animal Crossing time was logged on the DS version, Wild World. I have City Folk and the original GameCube version, but if I’m honest, I preferred to play on the DS. Well, I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the Animal Crossing for 3DS. I didn’t jump on the 3DS bandwagon immediately, preferring to stay with my (*ahem* LE Nintendogs version) DS lite. I was ecstatic to find out there would be a special edition Animal Crossing 3DS, affectionately referred to by AC fans as “the poptart” for obvious reasons. The following are my “unboxing” pictures. I could barely even stand to wait to take these pictures.

Animal Crossing 3DS XL

Can you guess why it’s called “the poptart?”

Animal Crossing 3DS XL

The back — this shows how much larger the 3DS XL is than the original 3DS

Animal Crossing 3DS XL

So cute!

Animal Crossing 3DS XL

The contents: manuals, AR cards, charger and the poptart itself!

Animal Crossing 3DS XL

The little icons represent different things from the game. I love how simple but iconic it looks.

Animal Crossing 3DS XL

I almost wet myself with excitement when I saw this screen.

The special 3DS was released the weekend before I left for California, and my boyfriend got it for me as a graduation gift. In between finishing up the last of my degree work, I was shaking trees and digging up fossils.

So, yes, the reason why I disappeared from the internets is because I’ve been playing in a little virtual world populated by animals. If you have a 3DS and want to swap FCs, definitely comment below! I have a ton of backlogged posts, which I’m slowly trying to get through. I really have no excuse anymore considering I don’t have schoolwork now – speaking of which, it’s such an odd feeling to mentally plan my schedule and realize that I have no school obligations.

Thanks for sticking around if you’re still reading this and hopefully I’ll be back at full force soon 🙂

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? What are your favorite things to see and do there? My best friend, Maggie, and I are going to have our “20th anniversary” there next year, so I’ll be going back pretty soon! (We’ve known each other since 1st grade! That’s a long engagement. :P)

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5 thoughts on “Where in the World is Audrey San Diego? …and Adventures in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

    • It is SO beautiful! We had our cohort lunch in Aldrich Park!
      I thought my undergrad alma mater, LSU, was one of the most beautiful campuses I’ve ever seen, but they’re really different beasts. LSU has these stately old oaks, shaded walkways and this nostalgic charm, but UCI is lush and serene and calming. I really regret doing my program online and not being able to experience the campus in person. 🙂

  1. Congrats on graduating. That’s a very impressive sounding degree. x3

    Man, I want a 3DS just to play New Leaf. ;_; But I can’t justify the expense, so I’ve been replaying the Wii Let’s Go to the City game. New Leaf looks so good, though.

    • Thanks!
      And I’m the same! If my boyfriend hadn’t gotten it for me, I probably would have waited until my birthday or Christmas to ask for it… New Leaf is AMAZING though! Definitely my favorite of all the ACs 😀
      And that’s so cute — I had no idea until now the Aus version was called “Let’s Go to the City.” I like that name better than “City Folk” xD

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