This trip to San Francisco was a business trip but we got enough time to squeeze out quality travel time. The moment of amazement started from the aerial view of San Francisco. The city looked beautiful covered with lush greenery on the slopes. The pre landing scene was also special where one could see the airport rim just touching the simmering Pacific ocean.
The weather outside was nice and breezy and SF seemed like a good host to us.
We had made Airbnb booking and directly went to our stay place. Next effort was to have a solid sleep to cope the jet lag of traveling over the entire Pacific ocean. Zzzzzz
Next day started lazily and the weather continued to be beautiful with light drizzles. We came to know that there is a basketball match happening in nearby Oracle arena and were quick to plan and book tickets. The experience of watching a live basketball match was enthralling to say the least.
The atmosphere of the arena, the music, energy of audience, the small events in breaks and the game itself (which involved local team Golden Gate warriors) made it a perfect evening.
Day next was bright and sunny, so me and my friend decided to have a stroll through the beautiful streets of the the city.
PS: My colleague and friend accompanying me, Arjun , is a firm believer that if you want to truly enjoy a city you must explore it on foot and I completely second him though I kept pushing him to do regular touristy stuff in between as well :p.
We started with Golden gate park which was only two blocks away from our place. The park is huge and fun place to make a holiday enjoyable.
There are beautiful lakes , boating areas, skating rinks,artistic buildings comprising of museums and churches in the campus and experience is absolutely relaxing. It took us around 3 hrs to cover the entire (almost entire) park.
Next was the walk to downtown ie to the SF sea line. Taking small breaks for coffee and lunch we reached Canary wharf in evening by 6PM. The atmosphere of wharf was great with amazing eateries, shops for buying SF representative gifts, locals playing music, dancing and beautiful sunset over the ocean.
We spent rest of evening at Wharf ,did some local shopping and relished each bit of it.
One of Arjun's friend invited us to Stanford University and we gracefully accepted v the invitation. Reached San Jose via Caltech and there we were at the doorsteps of one of the greatest educational institutions in the world.
It was truly humbling experience of walking down the alleys of Stanford reading the name of people you have read in books , movies and various courses of course. Came back to SF that day itself and later part of the evening was spent strolling local markets near our stay.
Next few days were dedicated to the official purpose of attending the conference and meeting the newly setup US team members. However we did use after conference / office hours for downtown shopping and enjoying Chinatown market.
Chinatown market is one of the biggest Chinese goods market outside asia. Here you find stuffs ranging from antique to jewellery to clothes and gifts and what not. There are amazing eateries as well if you are Chinese food lover.
The trip after this moved to another level as we had booked Las Vegas tickets on day 8 we were in sin city VEGAS. I am sure you all will agree that Las Vegas deserves a separate blog though what I am unsure of is should I be honest there.
After flying back from Vegas we had a day left which we utilised by visiting super amazing Golden gate bridge and the beach near by. It was surreal to visit Golden gate bridge after watching it in so many Hollywood flicks.
And trust me the view in itself mind-blowing. We also did a cruise which gave us a round of Alcatraz island along with the knowledge of its history. The is so much historical relevance between Alcatraz island and Andaman in India as both of these were developed to punish prisoners of different sorts. It also took us beneath the golden gate bridge and seeing the engineering details of bridge from so close brought back the Mechanical engineering soul for sometime in the professional software engineer. Later part of the evening was again spent at electric Canary wharf where we did one last round of shopping of gifts for our loved ones back home in India.
Next day we had our flight back home. It was amazing how quickly the 12 days had passed but surely gave us memories that would be imprinted for life time.
I must add that my US journey would not have been so cool without the awesome service of Airbnb and Lyft which travel and stay of such good quality affordable at such low budget.