A taste of the West Coast

by NICOLE CARDINALI Staff Writer

After school on Thursday, May 29, my two brothers and I hopped on a plane and flew about six hours to San Francisco, California to meet my dad on his business trip.

Although the plane ride was long, the entire way there was daylight due to the different timezones, so when I landed, the sun was still out even though it would have been 10 p.m. at home.

I was immediately shocked by the beauty of California because the landing site in San Francisco had water on either side of the airplane as it touched down.

My dad picked my brothers and me up from the airport and took us out to a nice Italian restaurant for dinner where an enthusiastic waiter told us everything he loved about his city that was worth checking out.

After a long day of traveling, we were all tired, so my dad took us back to the beautiful Fairmont hotel. We were staying in the heart of the breathtaking city of San Francisco.

The next day, we got up early and took a trolley to the pier where we saw hundreds of seals lying on boat docks. There, we had San Francisco’s famous clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, which was delicious.

Eventually, it was time for us to take a boat to Alcatraz Island, or “The Rock”, which was a military prison from 1859 to 1933 and a federal prison until 1963.

An audio tour took us and other tourists around the prison and gave us about an hour long history talk and walk through the prison.

Later that day, we went to a Redwood Forest deep in the woods. The trees were old and huge, so tall and thick that I literally had to lean my head all the way back to catch a glimpse of the top. The forest itself was breathtaking. It was one of the most beautiful and peaceful places to which I have ever been.

After the tour was over, we drove to the Golden Gate Bridge to admire the stunning beauty of the city. Even though there was a lot of fog that day, the view was still amazing.

“I have always wanted to go San Francisco to see the Golden Gate Bridge. It looks so beautiful,” said freshman Kali Oriole.

At night, we walked around Haight Ashbury, a small hippie town with cute vintage shops, and ate ice cream.

The next day was full of traveling. We left San Francisco early in the morning and drove to Stanford College and Google headquarters to look around. For breakfast, we stopped at a small, little beach town and ate right on the beach. From there, we started to drive on the Pacific Coast Highway, or California Highway 1.

The Pacific Coast Highway connects San Francisco and Los Angeles, our next destination. Highway 1 is a dangerous road that winds along cliffs overlooking the ocean and travels through mountains and forests. Along the curvy road, there are usually no railings, but there is a spectacular view.

“The Pacific Coast Highway looks so awesome. From the pictures I’ve seen, it’s definitely something I want to do when I get older,” said freshman Nick Cosenza.

Along the road, there are many sections where we stopped to take pictures of the scenery. Hundreds of elephant seals were laying on the sand at one stop, and Hearst Castle, a huge mansion, looms over another stop. Small beach towns are available to visit at any exit along the highway.

When we finally reached Los Angeles after a long day of driving, we decided to stay in Santa Monica, a smaller town right outside of LA.

The next day, we went to Venice Beach and laid out on the beautiful white sand by the clear blue water. We walked down the boardwalk and saw some crazy and weird people along with many fun, cool stores.

The next day was our last day, so we walked around by the hotel and eventually drove to LAX for our flight home.

I have to say, I was very upset to come home. Those six hours coming home were not as enjoyable as the six hours going there.

Have you ever been to California? If you have, where have you been? If you have not, would you consider going?

#SanFrancisco #California #PacificCoastHighway #LosAngeles #NicoleCardinali

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