By Leslie Lopez Haro, July 25, 2021
I woke up Sunday morning at 6 a.m. to be able to get to the train station at 8:15 a.m. I was drained from the day before because of lots of revising, interviews and writing, but I couldn’t wait to see everyone and jump into a whole day in San Francisco that was waiting for us.
Everyone arrived at the station and we were ready with our long sleeves and sweaters for the cold weather. We all hopped on the train and some of us ran up to sit on the second level of the train seats while both Joe’s sat on the lower level.
After an hour and a half train ride, we hopped off to an extreme amount of wind and walked straight to Starbucks to get some energy for the day. As we walked there I noticed many Giants fans walking around. After everyone got their coffee and drinks we were ready and excited for the day.
As we began walking to the Westfield San Francisco Centre, my classmates and I took pictures of the tall unique buildings and paintings that caught our eyes, and of each other. We also stopped at the Yerba Buena Gardens to talk about all the fun things that teens can do with friends at the Metreon.
When we reached the mall, we all ran through the food court after we were given $20 each for lunch. A couple of peers and I went straight for Shake Shack to try it for the first time. I ordered some french fries and the new Hot Honey chicken nuggets which were pretty good. After eating, we had 30 minutes to spare so we all went different directions and explored the stores.
Next was the infamous stair race and Joe R. was so confident that he was going to win. As we all began to record and finished the count down, everyone sprinted and went so far up ahead of Joe that he ended up being one of the last ones up, with Joe G. just behind him. Kevin ended up being the winner according to our video review.
After walking to Union Square, we took group photos, though many of us may appear blinded in the images because the sun was shining in our eyes. It was pretty lonely and calm at the square because there was no music or event happening.
We started trekking uphill to Chinatown, and during our walk we could hear a man in a wheelchair singing loudly at the corner of an intersection. Joe R. gave us advice about how we should go up to him and talk to him about his story. Me and Soojin headed over with Joe R. to meet him.
After we finished, we entered Chinatown which was such a calming and colorful setting. Joe R. stopped us at a Bruce Lee mural that covered up the real mural that Joe wanted to show us. Joe got over his disappointment and we learned about the question, “How is Joe Chinese?”
There was a delicious sweet smell wafting in the air which we later found out was a matcha ice cream shop. As everyone was dying to go in there, Joe G. encouraged us to ask Joe R. for permission to stop. But Joe R. ultimately prevented us from going inside because the line was too long, which was pretty disappointing but funny.
Our next stop was the City Lights Bookstore. It was a nice small bookstore but it had such a huge variety of genre choices that some of my peers were overwhelmed in excitement. A couple of us purchased interesting novels and we then passed by a lot of mesmerizing Italian restaurants. I wanted to sit down and have a nice meal but we had to keep on moving.
Our last stop was Pier 39 which was arguably my absolute favorite stop of the day. Some of my peers and I went through almost every single shop there, but I ended up with only a ring and a small cup of mint chip Dreyer’s ice cream.
After a long day of exploring, it was time to head home. We walked over to a bus stop and waited a bit before we hopped on. After we arrived back at the Caltrain station, our feet were killing us and to make matters worse, we missed our train by a few minutes, which meant we had to wait another hour for another.
It was all good though because once we got on the train, two of my peers and I started to play a game called “Family Style.” It was very chaotic and stressful but it was such a fun game. We also played an online game named “Gartic Phone,” and it was the funniest thing that I experienced that day.
Overall, our group's San Francisco trip was a great experience and filled with joy and communication. It was such a great way to get to know each other a bit more and get to talk to new people.