Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Day 1 in Cali: Stanford

I've always wanted to take one of those "finding yourself" kind of trips to India alone and help in orphanages and just travel. However, I don't really know if I'll ever be able to do that, so traveling to Northern California kind of alone is the closest I will get till then.

+senioritis is kicking in and I really didn't want to go to school

Left Kansas City amidst an early (5 freaking o'clock AM) rain shower, and greeted by clear skies and mid 70's in San Jose.

Isn't it refreshing when the airplanes have wifi?
Yes. Yes it is.

2018-2020 BYU TRIP?????
I want to visit the Grand Canyon sooooo bad. That sounds like a super fun vacation with roommates and friends in college! Like 8 hours away, camping, hiking--I'm so pumped.

Once we landed we went to Costco for lunch (best cheap food lol), and then looked up how to take the CalTrain--one of MANY forms of transportation I would try this week. It didn't leave for another hour, so I just hung out at Costco for an hour while I waited for the next train.

Look how pretty!!!
All the flowers here were so cheap and gorgeous.
Also I got my Madrid Birkenstocks in and I love them so much!

#1 reason why to let your kids take a trip when they are 17 or younger:
still considered a "child" and tickets are half priced. yay.

Double-decker Caltrain.
So nice because up top you don't have to sit by anyone.

First stop, Palo Alto aka hometown of Stanford.

This campus was way different than I thought it would be. It is huge. I also didn't picture it as being so outdoors-y and like palm tree dessert feel. It's super pretty though, and everyone bikes everywhere because it's so spread out and it gets crazy with all the bikes! I totally forgot that California was still in the middle of a drought, so none of their fountains were on which was sad because fountains make everything way prettier. I totally just walked into one of the buildings and then wandered around looking at students in class lol. Guess what? They all look completely normal! I don't know why I always think otherwise, it's just cool to see so many students from Stanford, and Harvard, and MIT, and Princeton, and Dartmouth, and they are all super normal. I wanted to go on a tour of the campus, but it wouldn't be until 3:15 so I found a group walking around and joined them. Turn out it was a prospective student tour and they were all juniors with their parents, so it was a little awkward but I really didn't care.

Although not a religious school, they have a large church on campus with huge mosaics shipped over from Italy with thousands and thousands of pieces and colors. It was really cool because once we were inside they had ton of stained glass windows, but the only one that just happened to have the sun shining behind it was this one:

Not important whatsoever, but there were TONS of caterpillars everywhere! It was awesome. When I was little I was obsessed with bugs, and I'm not like crazy about them now, but I will still pick up caterpillars and butterflies and lady bugs and stuff haha

After the tour, I was super hot and wanted to stop walking everywhere because my feet were starting to blister. I seriously walked SO far that first day. My calfs were sore the next day which is pathetic, but also means I really really did walk far. Also I didn't have any water so I was kinda just dying in the heat lol. Luckily Palo Alto is an adorable town that was actually interesting! I went to CREAM, bought some razors at CVS because hair legs and no razors are not a good mix. and then soaked my feet in the fountain. There were kids playing in the water so that was okay right? There were like 5 college kids by the fountain hard core judging me haha, judge on man.

I had some time before my dad got off from work and could pick me up at the Caltrain station in mountain view, so I made a random stop along the line. It comes every hour, so I just hung around the city by the California Avenue station. I thought that this station was going to be no. I found that most of the stations between Mountain View up like 5-6 stations were very very wealthy cities with brand new buildings and shops, but pretty much empty. Kinda creepy honestly. Like they were gorgeous places but there were no people...I think I ended up just sitting on a bench and relaxing.

We stayed at a Residence Inn Marriot, so it was more casual which is nice, but they also upgraded my dad to "pent house" so I slept upstairs and he slept downstairs which was nice. Didn't have to sleep on the couch like I originally thought lol

Super fancy dinner snacks!
Mostly just pumped because GUAC
I love guac so much.

After, we decided to visit the Oakland temple. It was about an hour away from the hotel, but I've never been there so I really wanted to go. It is gorgeous! Just like every other temple. This one was cool though, because it didn't have an angel Moroni on the top, and you could go up a level and there were flowers and an amazing view of the city.

After that, we took a detour back to the hotel to see the Golden Gate Bridge. It was hard to take pictures at night and it was freezing being so close to the water, but it was still cool.

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