The year 2018 was an eventful year for me, I achieved the goal that brought me to the US in the first place i.e. getting a master’s degree. I was able to travel to Florida in the summer, to New York and Wisconsin in the fall. The west coast that had eluded me for 2 years was finally on the plan for the winter of 2018.
My cousin who lives in San Francisco had invited me over for the holidays and this was the perfect opportunity that I needed to hop on to the left edge of the map. I managed to reach late at night after a delayed flight and so the next day faded away in recuperating the mild jet lag I had from jumping two time zones and hogging on some homemade food. Later in the day we headed to Los Angeles (LA) and this long drive re-introduced me to the not so awesome traffic of the big city.
The next day we explored LA glancing at the exquisite houses in Beverly Hills, the posh villas in Malibu, and some of the houses that were damaged by the forest fires. Later in the evening we hiked up to the Griffith Observatory perched on the top of a hill that provided a glimpse of the HOLLYWOOD sign far away. The observatory is heaven for nerds, from the displays of astronomy to a fully functional Tesla coil. We also saw two shows in the planetarium there which depicted the story of the northern lights in the Norse mythology. They had also put up a few telescopes out in the campus after it gets dark and help people to observe some of the popular stars and planets visible that night.
San Diego the city about 120 miles south of LA was on the plan for the next day. I remember as a kid watching Jurassic Park with the dinosaurs out and open in the wild and visitors going close to them in their vans. The Safari Park in San Diego has tours that comes close to being like Jurassic Park sans the dinosaurs. The whole day was spent at the safari park which I initially thought was for kids, but in the end I did enjoy it as with my brother, his friend, and my sister in law. We headed back to San Francisco in the evening.
Day 4 was spent in San Francisco, driving through the sharp landscape of the downtown and taking some long routes in order to reach the point to see the magnificent golden gate bridge. The bridge, shining brightly in the setting sun is aptly called the “Golden Gate”.
It has its own beauty after dusk as all the city lights shimmer in the background. Later, we took a ride down the famous Lombard Street, known for its serpentine downhill road and then to the Navy Pier. Spent the rest of the night having a home cooked chicken dinner and cooking lessons. Finally, the first leg of the trip ended the next day as I had pohe for breakfast and bid goodbye to my family in San Francisco