San Francisco & Silicon Valley 

After a couple of calming days in Yosemite, we were headed to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. My roommate from college is from Silicon Valley area (Palo Alto), so we got to stay in their mansion and enjoy our guestroom (that was a major money-saver since everything is really expensive in this area). Thanks Erin!

In Silicon Valley we went to visit the campus of Google and we also saw the famous Google bikes meant for the workers and the self-driving Google car. We couldn’t go inside, so I don’t know how cool it is from the inside, but I’m sure TransferWise’s new office is just as cool with its scooters, chillax areas, nap rooms, sauna and so on. Other than that, the campus looked nice and clean, but nothing too special there.

We also went to (my favorite U.S) restaurant, Cheesecake Factory, and made sure this (non-existent) bikini body would get destroyed and stuffed with delicious pasta and cheesecake.

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The next day we were headed to San Francisco, and since it was hot outside in Palo Alto (around 32 Celsius), I decided to wear my white strapped beach dress. Well, that was a mistake, because the temperature changed about 15 C in 30 km, so when we got to SF, it was about 16-18 C and I was freezing. I had no idea that the weather can change this fast in such short distances, but it did. Apparently I was just dumb and didn’t know it – Erin later told me that SF is always like this, because the ocean brings cold air to the bay. We also wanted to take nice pictures of the Golden Gate bridge, but since it was so foggy and cold, we headed to the downtown instead. Although Ronald gave it a try and here it is:

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After a short stop at a local music store (R is a vinyl lover) we decided that it’s time to treat ourselves in Ghirardelli cafe. So we decided to get a “specialty sundae” and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO delicious and too sweet. Since we’re both big fans of too sweet sweets, it wasn’t a problem to finish it.

The next morning we decided it’s time to burn these calories and we went for a hike in Palo Alto with Erin. She showed us some nice hiking tracks with amazing views and the time flew by. We decided to treat ourselves again(!), and headed for a brunch to eat delicious pancakes at a cute restaurant. Yes to calories.

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Santa Barbara and Highway 1

Santa Barbara is my favorite city in the U.S (followed by New Orleans) and I made some great memories there during my time in college. We often headed there for a weekend to party and chill on the beach. I just had to show this place to Ronald as well, so we drove to Santa Barbara from SF via Highway 1.

Since the weather wasn’t too warm that day and it was quite foggy, we didn’t get the greatest experience driving on Highway 1 – a road that goes for 600+km by the coast of California. We still had a good time driving this road and we made several stops to admire the beauty of the coastline. Sadly we didn’t have time to explore Big Sur National Park, but I’ve only heard good things about it, so I’d recommend you to go.

In Santa Barbara, we firstly went to the area where all the UCSB students live – you should go there after high school for one day, and you’ll quickly decide that you want to spend your 4 college years there. The word that describes it the best is “chill” – it is located right by the coastline, so you can walk across the street from your apartment and you’re on the beach. I’m not sure how could I focus on studying there though.

Anyways, we grabbed bagels from the best bagel place in the world – I can’t remember the name, but I’ll remember the location forever, and headed to the city of Santa Barbara. After a walk on the beach and on the pier, we headed to Valencia, and were hosted by my other other roommate’s parents (miss you!).

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Learn how to take a selfie!

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Ski jumper/polar bear/superman/fiance

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Singing seals

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Foggy day in SB

Los Angeles and SixFlags

I’m not a big fan of Los Angeles, so I didn’t want to spend too much time there during our road trip. Since Ronald had never seen this city, I showed him some of the famous places such as everything that goes with Hollywood, Griffith Observatory and skyscrapers in L.A. downtown.

We also went for a hike in Palos Verdes with my friend Pecko a. ka the cutest human alive. If you’re ever going as a tourist, then Beverly Hills and Hollywood are all cool, but you’ll have more fun by the coast, on the Manhattan Beach playing beach volleyball or hiking in Palos Verdes. USC campus (or any school’s campus) is always a great sight-seeing place, since the size and the majesticness of campuses in the U.S is really different from what we’re used to in Europe.

If you’re looking for adrenaline, then SixFlags is the place to go! I thought I was going to die, but Ronald loved every second of it. I had been there a couple of times before, but I just had to go again with Ronald as well. I am glad I skipped the free-fall tower thingie, because when Ronald got off there, he was pale and covered in cold sweat…

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Palos Verdes

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My least favorite city – L.A.

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I soon dropped Ronald off to the airport and in 2 days it was time for me to say goodbye to USA. And 4 years were (finally) over.

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