A week in California and a weekend in Philadelphia

California – San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Pacific Coast Highway

My last class at Bard was on a Friday afternoon and the next morning I was off to New York. I didn’t have much time to enjoy being in the city again. I had to unpack and repack my suitcases because on Sunday morning I was at JFK again. This time the destination was San Francisco. I had been planning this trip since I arrived to the US in August. I was incredibly excited to finally see with my own eyes one of the most beautiful man-made wonders in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge.  I wasn’t the only Kellner scholar in the city though. I met Tamás there who was travelling around California at that time, and one afternoon we also met Isti.

San Francisco has many faces. Its luxurious neighborhoods on the hills, the Haight-Ashbury hippie district and even its less attractive and less tourist-friendly downtown guarantees that wherever you are in the city, you never get bored. The famous Lombard street, the Powell-Hyde Street cable car line(especially in the evening), the Coit Tower which offers a 360° view of San Francisco, the Musée Mécanique with dozens of old (and sometimes creepy) penny arcade games are just a few of the city’s highlights.

The Yosemite National Park is located just a few hours drive from Frisco so one day we rented a car and drove up there. Unfortunately I was sick so we only could spend half a day there but it was still worth it. The Park is full of waterfalls, huge old trees and, at least around the visitor center area, people. Anyway, I was glad that I had the chance to visit a national park in California. On our way back to San Francisco we stopped in Santa Cruz for a little bit then we headed back to Frisco on the Pacific Coast Highway which has many breathtakingly scenic spots along the shore.

Philadelphia

There are many reasons I love New York City but one of them is its central location on the Eastern shore. Even if you don’t have a car you can easily can get to the big cities of the surrounding states by bus or train. That is why, after Washington DC and Boston, I decided to go to Philadelphia as well. I was travelling with Taylor (again). We stayed at one of her friends’ home (again) whose family is from Puerto Rico so I also got to know a little bit better the Puerto Rican culture and cuisine.

Probably I’ve already mentioned in previous blog posts how much I love history so I was obviously super excited about visiting Philadelphia where the US was actually born when the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence there. The historic Philadelphia is a lovely place with beautiful old houses from the colonial era and tons of interesting museums. South Street is the home of great dining places and galleries, while Northwest Philly’s Germantown is also a nice, less crowded area with cute shops and boutiques. I couldn’t have wished for a better last weekend in the States.

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