Hey guys, HoangYell is back with another exciting post about his adventures in America.
Not the same as the previous post, I’m now happy with the current life, hehe 😎
This time, I’m going to tell you about my trip to San Francisco with my teammates.
We planned this trip two weeks in advance because the flight fare is cheaper when you book early. My departure was at 6 AM on July 15th, 2023, so we had to leave home at 3 AM. We weren’t sure if Waymo would work at midnight, so we scheduled an Uber driver instead.
The first problem we encountered was that I couldn’t check-in online. I couldn’t find my online ticket, and it turned out that I must’ve been sleep-typing my name when I swapped my first and last name. Duh! 🤦
We used https://wanderlog.com/plan/aabuqzmzatdxyrbq to plan our trip.
San Francisco International Airport
Touchdown! As we stepped out of the airport gate, the cool San Francisco air hit me like a chilled Da Lat breeze. Ah, delightful!
Stanford University - Squirrel Pandemonium!
Our first stop was Stanford University, the land of intellect and, most importantly, squirrels.
Yes, squirrels! Those bushy-tailed daredevils rule the campus like a boss.
Silicon Valley - High-Tech Heaven
After spending some quality time with the squirrels, we headed to Silicon Valley, the mecca of tech and innovation. It’s located in the suburbs, and it reminded me of FPT Danang area.
Of course, Google was the must-go place when visiting Silicon Valley. I mean, who doesn’t want to see the headquarters of the most powerful company in the world?
Now, where should we go next?
Apple, Facebook, Intel, …?
Okay, let’s go to Apple first.
🤬 Fuck Apple, there was nothing to see there, just a normal Apple Store.
Apple is not a desirable destination for tourists as there is nothing for them to visit! I’m not even sure they exist. Their spaceship building is hidden behind a fucking forest! What a great tourist attraction, huh? 😑
We were so disappointed with Apple, and my teammates seemed too tired because they guessed that Facebook and Intel would have the same situation. So we left Cupertino and went back to San Francisco.
But we made a stupid choice. My teammates wanted to try the train instead of Uber. It was a totally wrong decision. The train was slow, and due to ongoing maintenance on the railway, the bus had to temporarily replace the train on a section of the route.
Afterward, we had to hop back on the train again, which unfortunately ate up a significant portion of our precious noon time. And it didn’t save much money in return.
San Francisco Streets - A Movie Scene Come to Life
Walking around the cool streets and watching the flow of people here was still my favorite thing to do. It felt like a movie scene, with colorful buildings, vintage cars, and diverse cultures.
The winding road filled with flowers - Lombard Street
I loved the vibrant atmosphere at Fisherman’s Wharf, where I could relax and enjoy the chill vibes. There were so many things to see and do there, like watching the sea lions, eating seafood, shopping for souvenirs, and taking a ferry to Alcatraz Island (we did not have enough time).
Golden Gate Bridge
The next day, we woke up at 4 AM to catch the sunrise in the fog from Battery Spencer, the highest place to watch the Golden Gate Bridge.
It was the second mistake we made on this trip. It was hard to book an Uber driver at that time. Finally, we got a driver, but what we saw was totally foggy and cold weather of 12 degrees Celsius.
After two hours of waiting in cold 🥶, the fog was still so dense that we couldn’t see anything. we had to give up. But ironically, there was no Uber driver available to take us back. We almost got stuck in Battery Spencer.
Luckily, a good guy agreed to give us a ride. He even asked me to wait for 15 minutes to let him and his son clear the car before letting us in.
We had breakfast at Mel’s Drive-In
Then we made a last try to have a memorable picture of San Francisco before going back to the airport.
And, Damn! the Golden Gate Bridge was still covered in fog 😤.
But luckily, the bridge was exposed just in time at the last minute 🤩.
Back to airport
People often say that in San Francisco, you will meet a programmer every few meters. And indeed, we even saw OpenAI programmers who helped a big part of this blog at the airport.
And that’s it for this post. I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip to San Francisco. I can confidently say that it’s one of my favorite cities in the US. The blend of culture, technology, and natural beauty makes it a unique and unforgettable destination. It was a fun and memorable experience, despite some challenges and mistakes. I learned a lot about this city and its culture.