My Senior Trip Experience

When it came to the decision about where the 2019 senior class should go for their annual trip, the class officers voted on San Francisco. Because I am from California, I thought it would just be stepping back into my SoCal lifestyle, but it was a 3 day and 4-night trip that consisted of jam-packed activities I didn’t know I was in for.

Day 1:

It’s 4 am and I’m about to meet up with the 32 students participating students at the Bluegrass Airport. Lexington just had a snow day  so I’m excited to be in better weather. Getting my ticket was frustrating because the wait was long, and now, I don’t get a seat until I talk to an attendant before boarding. The officer who checked my backpack wasn’t very kind this early in the morning because I forgot to take all my food out of my carry on. When did that become a rule? We board the plane around 7 am and arrive at Chicago with hangry stomachs. The layover was only 40 minutes long and we had to be way across the airport for our flight to windy San Francisco.

We made stops at Twin Peaks, the ‘hippie’ street of San Fran, and many more. I ate lunch at a small pizza joint, Slice House, and ordered ‘grandmas’ slice, which was delicious. Walking around the city thrifting the first day ended up being fun with my friends. After the tiring plane ride with the touring, we got to our hotel, Zephyr, at 4 pm western time and had to also prepare for the dance cruise.

Day 2:

As tired as I was from all the events from yesterday, I managed to wake up at 7 am to prepare for breakfast with my roomies at iHop. This was the closest breakfast restaurant near us, and we had each gotten a $30 gift card to spend for the trip. I’ve almost forgotten how expensive California was, plus the taxes, until the price for some hash brown, eggs, and bacon totaled to $12. After breakfast, there was a day filled with exciting visits to Lombard Street, Chinatown, and Union Square.

The best encounter I had with a Californian was in Chinatown. I was with my friends as we bought some San Fran merch. This man at the counter started carrying a conversation with us and made us feel so welcomed in this city.

At Union Square, we walked around for a bit in ZARA and Urban Outfitters and quickly found transportation back to the hotel so we can try some In-N-Out. Around this time, we could be separated into our groups. If I have learned anything on this trip by now, it is that ubering is the most convenient way to travel around the city if you want to get to places on time.

In-N-Out is the highlight of why I wanted to go on this trip, besides my friends. Being a local Californian, In-N-Out is an essential so being far away from it for so long wasn’t okay. We ate there for lunch and walked back to the hotel to prepare for this night’s event, The Warrior’s Basketball Game.

Now, I’m big Lakers fan but do love Stephen Curry. The game wasn’t the most exciting part because they lost, and we weren’t really into the game to begin with. Shout out to P-Lo for the amazing rap performance. After the game, we took the subway back to the hotel and, as if we weren’t tired enough, walked to In-N-Out with the whole group and got some shakes and fries. We made it back in time for bed check and fell asleep after the 22,000 steps we took today. Day 3 should be a treat with even more walking.

Day 3:

Starting off the day easy by not walking to iHop for breakfast and instead testing this breakfast sandwich down in the lobby located in a food truck. This was not a mistake as this breakfast croissant was amazing and one of the best things I’ve eaten on this trip, you must try if you ever go to Zephyr.

Today was another busy day as we took a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge and took some pretty photos. Muir Woods was the stop after and we spent an hour and a half hiking the trails. It was really relaxing and had amazing photo opportunities, which I obviously took advantage of. What was not so nice was the muddy dirt from the rainy days before. After the hike, I headed to the gift shop and looked around. Although everything was extremely overpriced, it was a super cute store.

The bus ride was calling for motion sickness, so I took a nap as we rode to Sausalito. When we arrived, we quickly had to find where to eat lunch because we had roughly an hour to do so. We found a fancy Italian restaurant, Poggio, and stuffed ourselves with pasta that we didn’t know what was made of. It was absolutely yummy. When finishing lunch, we didn’t have much time to do anything else, so we headed back to the bus and drove to our next stop, Brandy Melville.

After Sausalito, we could do whatever we wanted, and my group wanted to see Brandy Melville and the Painted Ladies. Brandy Melville was the iconic teenage store that you must see, if you’re a girl, when visiting California. We took an uber there and spent some time shopping and bought some stuff, then heading to Painted Ladies to take some pictures. Our stomachs got a little hungry so we ubered to Fisherman’s Wharf and ate at the Crepe Café. This was the best place I’ve eaten at San Francisco. Hands down, no questions, the best. I shared a Nutella and strawberry crepe with my friend and had a few bites of the turkey pesto crepe.

Everyone met back in the lobby near the afternoon to prepare walking to North Beach for dinner. We, again, split up to find our own food and wounded up at a Chinese restaurant called Chubby Noodles. Nothing screamed California more than this restaurant with quality Drake music, Chinese food, and people. As we jammed with our food, the night couldn’t have been any better than this. To top this night off, the chaperones treated us to some sundae desserts at Ghirardelli Square. I shared a Cookie Crunch Sundae with my group, and it was what everyone needed at 11PM after such a long day.

It was almost 12 and the realization of this trip almost being over hit me. I had to pack this night and shower and prepare tomorrow’s outfit and figure out what I need to put in my carry on. The walk back wasn’t if the walk there, so I wasn’t as tired when I arrived at the hotel. I spent the rest of the night jamming with my roomies to some R&B and Folk music. I know, what an awesome combination right? It was finally time to prepare for my last day and I don’t know if I’ll be ready.

Day 4:

Last day finally arrived as I dreaded it. We took our time to wake up and make sure we hadn’t left anything in the hotel (I ended up leaving my straightener). Because the crepes were to die for, we decided on going back again for breakfast. After breakfast, we began a scavenger hunt sent to us that morning. The Cloud Flexors was ready to compete for the ultimate first place spot. The list consisted of taking pictures of a seagull, the Coit Tower, a vintage arcade game, a submarine, etc.

Dedicating the rest of our day exploring with the scavenger hunt, we made a pit stop at another food truck place that sold acai bowls. Let me tell you, this was the sweetest and best acai bowl I have had in such a long time. My group shared 2 bowls and happily continued to Pier 39 to see some sea lions. We didn’t have much time after and met everyone back at the hotel at 1PM.

This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. Alcatraz. That’s the only place I haven’t been that was on the list of events we get to go to.

We waited in line to get on the ship taking us to Alcatraz and when we arrived, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was so dauntingly beautiful. I have never been more ecstatic. We took an audio tour around and inside the prison and I took many pictures to show my mom when I got back. At the end of the tour, everyone was led to the gift shop where an ex prisoner sat signing his book. I bought the book, met him, and exchanged a couple words.

I have yet to read the book, but boy am I excited to after meeting this infamous author.

After Alcatraz, we were given some time to either head back to the hotel and rest before eating dinner or quickly walk around the city before we had to leave. I ended up heading back to the hotel to change to some airport clothes. The chaperones were kind enough again to buy us Tony’s pizza, which by the way is humongous. As everyone munched on their pizzas, we all prepared for our very last minutes in San Francisco.

It was now 11PM and we were at the San Fran Co airport waiting for our flight to Chicago. The flight was tiring as we ended up arriving at 9:30AM in Lexington. But I guess that’s my wrap for last day in San Fran.

My reflection on this trip:

Going into this trip, I wasn’t as thrilled as my peers were. Coming out of it, I’ve gained many new friendships and love for San Francisco. Many memories were made on this trip that will last throughout the rest if my senior year and I’m so glad I chose to go.

Being able to see Alcatraz in person, eat at In-N-Out, shop at Brandy Melville, and visit Pink Ladies again, this trip was by far the best I’ve all high school.

So when reading this and deciding whether you should go on your senior class trip, I would highly recommend to consider because even if your friends aren’t going, you will meet new people you wish you could’ve met earlier.

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