It's honestly surreal to me that summer 2022 is over. It both felt like I just moved to Seattle yesterday and ages ago at the same time. My Amazon internship flew by, and the weekends were a blur. During the first truly independent summer, I experienced the highs and lows of living alone.

Summer began when I got accepted to Amazon as an SDE intern back in November. I thought Amazon had ghosted me as I applied and took the OA in August, but interviewed and got an offer within the span of a week in November. For the next six months, I would create a list of bucket list places to visit while in Seattle.

I scheduled my twelve-week internship to begin on May 16th, a mere week after school ended, giving me two weeks after it ended before school starts. I moved to Seattle on May 11th with my dad, who flew in for a few days to help me get adjusted. I lucked out on the housing situation, finding a room for just $800 a month, much less than the roughly $2000 I was provided by Amazon. During the three days my father was here, we visited Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park. Both were gorgeous, but unfortunately due to us visiting in early May, snow limited how far into the national parks we could go.

As my internship progressed, I fell into a steady weekly schedule. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I would go to 24-Hour Fitness, Tuesdays were for bridge practice and Thursdays for date night. Saturdays and Sundays were for exploring Seattle in all its beauty. This cycle occurred without interruption for the first 7 weeks.

Here's a list of the places I went to during those said weeks:

5/21: Green Lake => Carkeek Park => UDistrict Street fair => HMart => Trader Joes
5/22: Gas Works => Fremont Sunday Market => Discovery Park
George and Dragon pub
5/28: Kerry park => Elliot Bay Park => Olympic Sculpture Park => Folklife Festival => gym => Blick
5/29: Bainbridge Island => Gasworks Memorial Day picnic
6/4: SLU Saturday market Denny Park => Pier 62 => Lumen Field
6/5: Magnuson Park => University Library -> Seattle Bridge Center
6/11: Mount Si
6/12: Pink Gorilla -> Cowen Park -> Seattle Bridge Center
6/18: Chinatown Food Walk -> Fremont Solstice Parade
6/19: UW Arbetoreum -> Fremont Festival Dog Parade
6/25: Alki Beach -> Pirates Festival-> Seattle Chinese Garden -> Elliot Bay Book Store
6/26: Pride Parade -> Bridge
7/1: Aquarium -> Pike

The July 4th weekend is where everything changed. I spent July 4th weekend in Lake Tahoe visiting my friend who was interning at Ridgeline. I flew out Saturday night as it was the cheapest flight available. On Sunday, we went skydiving for the first time! It was scary but in the end worth it. We planned to go to the beach with some of his friends, but the windy conditions forced us to go to a pool neighboring a beach instead. Monday we went on a morning hike to see a rock that looked like a monkey, had a delicious burger and fries for lunch, and kayaked in the afternoon, which was another first for me. Unfortunately, we only had three hours to kayak including going to and from our location as the store closed at 5:30 and we'd have to pay extra to keep it overnight. While I was slightly scared of the lake as we paddled further from shore, we paddled a decent length of the lake, although couldn't make it as far as my friend wanted. Monday evening we also attended a drone show, as fireworks are banned around Lake Tahoe. Another bummer was that the original plan was for me to fly back Tuesday morning, but the flight straight up got canceled, so I left Wednesday morning instead and worked all day Tuesday. He taught me to play pickleball with his friends, which is similar to tennis but has its differences as well.

After this trip, my schedule was thrown off, as there was a mere two weeks before my trip to Providence and another two weeks before my internship ended. While my weekends continued strongly in terms of exploring, my gym visits decreased slightly.

7/9: Sounders game -> Luther Burbank Park (Fireworks)
7/10: AMC Cinema (Jurassic World: Dominion)
7/16: Pike Place -> Pier 62 (Korean Waba Expo) -> Ballard Seafood Fest

On Sunday the 17th of July, I lost my wallet. I was headed to an event at a nearby park and misplaced my wallet while I was on the bus and got off without it. I noticed very soon after, not even a mere five minutes after, and went into panic mode. I waited for two hours for every bus on the same route and checked it, but had no luck. Devastated, I broke the news to my parents and returned to my room. By a miracle, on Monday, I was notified that a wallet matching the lost and found form I had submitted was at the King County Metro Lost and Found, and I gratefully went down and retrieved it.

Collegiates began on Thursday the 21st. As I didn't have enough PTO to take off Wednesday, and no housing as well (I had won a pair package that gave me housing from Thursday evening to Saturday evening), I flew red eye, leaving Seattle at 11 PM and landing in Boston at 6:30 AM. Now, the tournament was in Providence, but Seattle to Providence direct flights don't exist, so that is the only option. Luckily my partner lived in Boston, so he drove me over that morning and we were even early to the game. The morning session went worse than we hoped, losing two out of the three opening rounds, but we managed to win all three of the afternoon's rounds, putting us in the 7th seed out of the 12 teams entered, landing us a spot in the quarterfinals. That evening, I roamed Providence with my partner and another team member, ending up at a fancy Italian restaurant called Bacaro, where we split a pizza, one pasta, a duck, and a dessert. Our A team was the first seed. Facing the second seed, whom we had competed against the first day and lost to miserably, we didn't enter with much hope and similarly lost by a large margin. Our A team was stunned, losing to the eighth seed in the quarterfinals. That afternoon, we played in the pairs for fun and went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner where I got unagi don (I love eel). Saturday was the pairs championships. I started well with a 55% morning session, but couldn't keep up in the afternoon and ended with an average of around 50%. That evening we went to this pretzel restaurant where I had this delicious pulled pork pretzel sandwich. Sunday morning I woke at 5 AM to take a train to Boston and flew home.

The final two weeks of the internship passed by slowly as each day I waited on team members to review my code. On Saturday the 28th, I went back to Pikes Place, International District, and the Alaska Airlines Seafair Parade. Sunday I went to the Museum of Flight with a friend and ate a burrito at a Mexican restaurant after. In the final week, I presented my project to a crowd of 44(!) people virtually on Wednesday and took Thursday off. I initially had plans to go out, but while going to Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, it started pouring, halting my progress. I had a chicken and cole slaw burger after visiting the national park, which was tiny, and headed home. That evening I also headed out to Golden Gardens Park for the sunset, which was my favorite park in all of Seattle. Finally, Friday evening was spent packing, and I flew home the morning of Saturday the 5th.