Having such a busy time on my internship in San Francisco!
Golden Gate Park Tour
I’ve been on lots of tours – the first one, the tour of Golden Gate Park, started outside Macy’s at Union Square and ended at Fisherman’s Wharf, where I got onto a double decker open top bus for the San Francisco Night tour on a double decker open top bus.
Loved the amazing lights of San Francisco.
It was also very cold, as the temperature in San Francisco drops to around 8°C in the evenings and in the mornings.
Exploratorium, LucasFilm and a Punk Tiki Bar
On another day we took the day off work and had a group tour of the Exploratorium, the science centre in San Francisco, which was interesting. We then went on a tour of LucasFilm, the studios that created Star Wars. I also went along to a group meetup where I was able to socialise with local people from San Francisco. It was at a tiki bar, with punks serving behind the bar and punk music playing in the background. It seemed a bit odd because most punk bars I’d been to in Australia weren’t so cheerfully decorated. I made some new friends, and one of the people I met were nice enough to drop me off at the nearby BART.
Yosemite National Park
The next day I woke up early at 4 am and caught a bus out to Fisherman’s Wharf, where I waited for my tour bus, which was going to take me and group of others out to Yosemite National Park.
It took about 4 hours to drive out there, and we were supplied with breakfast and lunch. It was amazing out there, as I had never seen mountain ranges as big as the ones there.
Apparently, the tallest peak in Australia is Mt Kosciusko, which is 4,000ft; and the highest peak at Yosemite was 8,000ft. Some of the mountain tops had snow on them and some creeks and rivers had snow as well. There are many wild animals in the Yosemite, and we got to see a pack of deer in front of the bus. I also saw a squirrel and an eagle in flight.
I don’t think Yosemite is the biggest mountain peaks in the USA, but it’s definitely bigger than any in Australia! Our host was fantastic. He knew a lot and told us he had studied geology, so he was able to tell us a lot about the natural history of the place. We left in time to see the sun setting, and there were beautiful shadows against the huge mountains of Yosemite, which was spectacular!
A week later it was Superbowl Sunday. My group and I enjoyed it with a Thanksgiving lunch at our AIC host’s place, Devon, where we had pasta, chicken, steamed veggies, and salad. It was a great time, with friends and a few beers. And it ended up being a close game; it was tied at half time, but New York came out winning by a very small margin. Madonna and LMFAO did the half time show, which was fun to watch.
Missing my family
After nearly three weeks out of Australia and Adelaide, I started to feel a little bit of homesickness. My best friend, Katherine, emailed me and said that she missed me. Mum said that she, the family and my cat were missing me as well. I maintained frequent contact with my family and friends back at home and told them how things were going. Occasionally, I chatted to Mum on Skype, when I wasn’t busy with internship activities. Mum told me that apparently my cat slept on my bed and missed me.
During the week on a Tuesday night, I went out to a place called Nick’s Tacos on Broadway for dinner with a couple of my friends from the internship program, where we had some very nice food and drinks.
On Friday night, I was exhausted after a hectic week, with many projects and meetings for work, so I decided to go to Downtown Berkeley for dinner, as I could not be bothered going back to my apartment to cook dinner. I happened to catch one of the people I had made friends with from the meetup at the tiki bar. He worked as a lecturer in the science department at Berkeley University. We had dinner together, which was nice. I have found most professional people in the city of San Francisco to be friendly, polite and easy to get along with.
Trip to Sonoma
The weekend of the 11th and 12th of February was busy and fun. We travelled to Sonoma, which was the wine country, where we went to a couple of wineries and tasted the wines. We also travelled out to Muir Woods, where we hiked and were able to see the enormous Redwood trees.
The next day, we travelled in a huge van out to Santa Cruz, a beach town, and had lunch and ice cream, and went on rides, like the ski lift. My friends went on the Fright Walk, and they came out clinging to each other. They said it was unbelievably scary! We did more hiking along the beach, and then travelled back later to San Francisco that night, where Devon dropped us off at our residences.