On day two in San Francisco, the group woke up early and we all took the excursion to Alcatraz. Alcatraz was really cool because we were given a little audio tour of the jail and where the famous escape attempt was made. They also offered this really crazy program where you could book a night to sleepover as a group in the prison itself... The thought of sleeping in Alcatraz sounds crazy.. But I kind of want to try it. After a while at Alcatraz we went sight seeing in San Francisco. the first place we stopped was Haight-Ashbury district. This is the home of so many cool rock star legends and is now home to some nostalgic hippies. there was a lot of music culture and the vibe was pretty chill... As you can imagine. The nickname for this place is the psychedelic centre of the universe where all the hippies and sunshine girls would come to find the meaning of life... pretty crazy place wouldn't you say? an average of 30 people were living in the old victorian styled homes on the street at the time of its popularity. Another thing we looked at was the housing, they were victorian styled buildings but because they looked so boring and drab, some people decided to colour them bright and vibrant colours. That night we travelled to China town and learned of the origins of the fortune cookie... oddly enough it was invented in America.
That was our last day in San Francisco, and we were soon making our journey to LA. The bus ride could have taken a few hours if we took the highway from Oakland straight to LA... But we decided to drive down the coast and see the beautiful sights of the Big Sur. We stopped a few times to get pictures of the views and with friends. The roads were so curvy and tight along the mountain that the bus driver couldn't drive faster. That night we arrived in San Simeon, which is a smaller area in between San Francisco and LA.
The next day, while still in San Simeon we visited Hearst Castle... This is a historical monument now in California. The estate/mansion took 40000 workers to build. There are 4 main houses and the Casa Grande which is the main house is 65800 square feet with 38 bedrooms, 30 fireplaces, 42 bathrooms, and 14 sitting rooms. Each room with priceless pieces of art and furniture! and the three guest house come to just over 10000 square feet with 46 rooms in total. The two pools were the neptune pool which was outdoors and could hold up to 345000 gallons of water, and the indoor pool with a max capacity of 205000 gallons. This was a pretty big house as you can tell... that night we went for dinner in LA at this crazy Mexican restaurant. Some friends and I had a Mariachi band play for us! After dinner we went sight seeing in Hollywood, we went to go see all the stars on Hollywood boulevard and got pictures with them. There were no major celebrity sitings.. but we did see the stars from the movie Frozen! and that was our fourth Day in California, and our first in LA.
The next day we scheduled a day with the LAPD at the police department. We were taught about the different districts of crime in LA and the psychology behind them. We had many different representatives from all the different departments in the LAPD. After we finished at the department we went to Beverly Hills High. This was really cool because we were able to see how different school for them is in comparison to us. They all drove really nice cars and what not. They had what was called a swim gym... it was a separate building from the school where the gym floor would open and an olympic swimming pool would be under it! They also had this really cool auditorium in a different building that looked like an opera house. I was paired with three students from the school and given a tour. The programs and education at that school is really top notch. Another thing, around 90% of students were persians.. which is pretty interesting. A lot of people from Iran and Arabs of the surrounding area purchased real-estate in beverly hills. Afterwards we went to Rodeo Dr, the most expensive shopping in the world.. We saw some nice stuff and cool cars.. still no celebrities.. LOL
On our sixth day still in LA we went to universal studios for the whole day! we went on all the rides, like the jurassic park rides and the new transformers one which was really cool. The Universal studios in California is the only park to still shoot films and TV shows on the park grounds. We saw iconic sets from movies like Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, King Kong, Fast and Furious, The Grinch and so much more! This was all part of a guided tour on the park. That night we went to the hard rock cafe for dinner which was cool and afterwards... Mr. Chambers and the tour guide had one last surprise.. We traveled up into the mountains and went to the space observatory which was really cool.
Sadly enough the next day our fight was set to leave at 4. So we decided to chill in LA for a while before we began our journey home. We all went to a bike rental shop and rented bikes to take a ride from Santa Monica beach to Venice beach and back which was a really good way to spend the last day in California. I have to say this California trip was one of the best moments in my life. I was able to experience a whole new culture with friends and create memories! I would love to live in California... specifically San Francisco because LA was not as nice... pretty dirty with a few nice areas. But this trip changed my life and I encourage everyone to go and experience California once in their life:)