Exploring San Francisco – California & The Canyons

Hey Westcoast family and friends!

Day 1 kicked off in San Francisco with a bang- or should I say with a ring! That’s exactly what we heard when trip 10 got a boost to China Town on a genuine cable car ride. With the sun shining on their faces- Kerry, Kaylie, Molly and Georgia peeked through the intersection s and took some breathtaking glimpses at idling ships in San Francisco harbor.

We then broke off into smaller groups to explore the largest China Town outside of Asia.  After visiting some authentic shops and boutiques, a group of trip members decided- rather appropriately – to play a reflex-testing circle game by the name of Ninja.  In the midst of playing the game- Jayden, Samantha P and Payton were approached by a local Asian toddler who decided they were each worthy of a good ol’ high five!

Next up was a family style Chinese dinner at an authentic oriental restaurant. The group was presented with its first opportunity to enjoy a communal meal and it went flawlessly. Bread was broken, the conversation flowed and new friendships were being formed from the first delicious bite!

Day 2 of trip 10’s adventure began with a special treat- breakfast at Panera bread. Given its rarity north of the border, the visit to Panera proved to be an extra special treat for our Canadian trip members- Emma, Joelle, Matt, David, Lauren and Eli.

The group then took a bus ride across a historic landmark- the Golden Gate Bridge, now celebrating its 75th anniversary. Once we pulled over, the group had ample time to get some face time with the famous suspension bridge. Rachel, Sarah, Jourdan, Jen and Danielle snapped a bunch of great portraits with the glimmering majestic San Francisco skyline in the background.

Coming up next, the group invaded Sausalito and explored all of the local boutiques by playing a game called Trade Up. They started with a simple object, like a pen, and were faced with the challenge of bartering for more valuable pieces. Trip members came back with tires, posters, sunglasses- and Samatha R., Becky, Joey, Vedant, Jacob, Justin and Jenna came back with jewelry and action figures!

At night, the group went disco bowling and grooved out while knocking down pins like pros. It was already a great day, but it wouldn’t end until trip members split into groups of males and females to have some respective bonding sessions. After the fresh friendships grew even stronger, a phenomenally energetic group of boys- Zack, Jonathan, Ben, Jason, Jameson, Andrew and Reid  – played a game of football in the hotel swimming pool.

Day 3 started with a visit to the world’s most infamous island – Alcatraz. Trip 10 took in the grim yet fascinating history of the island while looking out at the golden, choppy waters surrounding the ex-penitentiary.  An escaped convict might have had to swim about a mile and a half through the powerful current of freezing, shark-infested waters, but trip 10 was able to safely escape by ferry to Pier 39.

From the unique shops and eats at Pier 39, the trip members traveled by foot to Ghirardhelli square where they indulged in world class chocolate and hot fudge sundaes. The walking route was decorated with street performers and art vendors. Lauren, Brennan, Jillian, Gillian and Annie decided to have their faces recreated on paper by a caricaturist. They might not have completely approved their cartoon doppelgangers but they can take home an authentic San Franciscan souvenir!

Next was a sports fan’s treat at the architecturally sublime AT and T stadium, where the trip took in a ball game between the Giants and the Reds. The home team was humbled by a 5-1 loss but the trip members got to appreciate a stadium that boasts beautiful waters and skylines as a backdrop to a baseball diamond.

Coming up- Lake Tahoe and Ventura…can’t wait to tell you all about it!

The Westcoast Blogger