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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

City by the Nae (Nae)

Californian Extravaganza at the Golden Gate Bridge

Californian Extravaganza at the Golden Gate Bridge

After passing through mountain landscapes, we finally arrived at the sea. As the sun set on the wharf, we poured into AT&T Stadium to watch the Giants take the field against the New York Mets. Our New Yorker trip members were vindicated when they took the win 3-0.

The next morning we braved San Francisco bay on the ferry to the most notorious prison in the country. Alcatraz is an imposing building set on a shockingly beautiful island with a panoramic view of the city skyline. The subject of the possibility of escape from Alcatraz was hotly debated among our group.

After our tour we discovered that one of the former prisoners, William G Baker (prisoner 1259) was there signing his memoir of his time on “the Rock.” Many trip members took a moment to speak with him about his experiences.

After lunch on Pier 39 (and dessert in Ghirardelli Square!), we headed to one of the most recognizable staples of San Francisco culture: the Cable Cars. We sang songs and took pictures and videos of our brief adventure to Chinatown.

The next morning we took some time to go to a lookout with a beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay. Seeing the signature red beams rising out of the early morning fog was a surreal experience.

Sausalito, a small town not far from the lookout, was the setting for a little bit of friendly competition. The Staff set a challenge for the group. They were all given ballpoint pens and let loose on the town. The goal was for them to trade their pens for another item, be it with a random passerby or a store owner. They were to continue “trading up” to see what treasures they could convince people to part with. Among the most interesting items were fake engagement rings, a cardboard box of sardines and a male model’s shirt, right off his back.

That night we danced it up in a club and got to meet up with another trip! Many of the trip members made some new friends. Some of the trip members even got together to teach staff how to do the Whip and Nae Nae.

The next morning it was off to Los Angeles where we spent the evening in Hollywood and the Highlands before coming back down to compare our hands and feet to those of the stars at Mann’s Chinese Theater. And, of course, we enjoyed Universal Studios the next day along with the glamorous Rodeo Drive (where the boys glimpsed Sharon Osbourne!) and the third street promenade.

On Venice beach we witnessed a stunt show, listened to live music and ate delicious food along the boardwalk. Later that evening we rode to new heights on the famous Santa Monica Pier’s ferris wheel. The view of the sun setting behind the palm trees and buildings in the distance was breath-taking!

Off to San Diego we go with more adventures to be had!