Saturday, December 31, 2011

AIESEC Winter National Conference, San Francisco, Arrival and Day 1

I am currently at AIESEC's Winter National Conference (WNC) in San Francisco. I made my way from Vermilion after wrapping up a mad amount of errands, packing shoddily in about an hour, and dropping off the car at  the mechanics because it had a gas leak. My grandma and I enjoyed lunch at the new food court in Great Northern Mall and she then dropped me at the airport. I arrived two days ago after a very smooth 5 hour flight. Fortunately the gentleman next to me saw me peeking over his shoulder at his movie and turned on the subtitles. Not the happiest movie (Schindler's List) but it passed the time.  After landing it was catch the shuttle to the airport say hello to everyone and bed.

The first full day James, Varun, Ruth, Paul, Frank and I headed into the city. We caught the train in then explored the downtown area. It was very clean with beautiful buildings and I was very impressed. It was overcast so the coffee shop on every corner made sense. We stopped by the Art Institute for James to check out a grad school so the rest of us grabbed some breakfast. I had this delicious bagel with pesto garlic cream cheese. Have to remember to make that!

Soon after, Ruth's uncle picked us up and took us to see all the sights. The first stop was Lombard St. which is the "most crooked street" in the world. Basically, because San Fran is so hilly, it has a bunch of switchbacks down this residential street. The houses are beautiful but there are tourists there all the time. Expensive houses that get their pictures taken all the time? That might get tiring but they have a great view! We walked Lombard Street then the area a bit and stopped at the Academy of Art which overlooks the Bay and appears to be in an old monastery. The overlook from the top offered great panoramics of the city, Alcatraz, and other landmarks.
Frank, Varun and I looking down Lombard 
House on Lombard

From the overlook we headed toward the bridge but made a pit stop along the bay to listen to the Water Organ. Basically the same concept as a conch shell, a group of artists put pipe off of a point into the bay so that people could put their ear up to them and hear the sounds of the sea. It looks strange but was a neat unknown spot on the water. 
Panoramic over the City, Hey Varun!

Alcatraz looks great in the haze
Water Organ

Of course after the Water Organ we headed to the bridge area and walked around, saw the gift shop and walked part of the bridge. Its amazing that an idea as simple as a bridge has become so iconic for the West Coast and attracts so many people just to have the chance to see it and walk it. I am glad AIESEC gave me the opportunity to check yet ANOTHER thing off my bucket list.

We were all famished after all our touring so Ruth's uncle took us to this little sushi hole. Looking at it and smelling the fresh fish, I might not have eaten there if it wasn't recommended. However, the sushi was awesome! I got California role with real crab and salmon with papaya. Amazing!

Real Crab California, Salmon Papaya
After just one day I love San Francisco, even though it was super hazy as you can tell from my pictures. It is a great city with neat architecture, interesting landscapes, lots of parks and plenty of coastline. I could get use to it and would love to live there at some point! As long as the salary is right to compensate for living costs!

The day was wrapped up by heading back to the hotel to begin the conference in the evening. AIESEC OSU did our "role call" dance to Did I Mention I Like to Dance? by Flint Flossy. It was funny but not as good as our dance at Fall RoKS to Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden. The night was concluded with a pajama party to kick off the conference. 5 more great days of conference with wonderful people ahead.

We are all here to become GREAT by CHOICE.

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