If you follow me on Twitter, you might’ve read about how I went to San Francisco with my class and friends. Going to the USA was one of my childhood dreams. So this was kind of a big deal for me. There’s so much stuff I saw over there; my mind was blown like 24/7!
We stayed in the Hostel International in downtown San Francisco. I’m a sucker for big cities and let’s face it: San Francisco is pretty high up there. It’s a great city with many awesome buildings, lots of cop cars (they look so cool!), people from many different cultures and countless Starbucks Coffee places.
I have to say: I never really got what’s so special about the whole Starbucks experience, especially since in Belgium it’s this very hyped up thing where people just go there so they can Twitter about how great it is (ugh…).
I got myself a (very) large hot chocolate every morning and 2 chocolate croissants. The people were very kind and friendly. Even when I had a hard time figuring out which coins were which.
I really liked it there, the food was great, the hot chocolate was perfect and the cute girl smiling at me… Not too shabby for Ronny.
However I’m still not going to any Starbucks in Belgium. I just don’t want to be one of those people.
The Rock. The famous prison. A historical place. Where the worst of the bad guys served their time. Walking there has a strange effect on you. When I saw the marks on the floor where grenades exploded during The Battle of Alcatraz, I realized that men had fought and died in this very place, trying to escape and risking their lives for freedom. I know it’s kind of an obvious thing… You have to be there and see this for yourself in order to realize this.
We went to Twin Peaks. You might never have heard of that place (just like me) but: What an amazing place. You can see the whole city from here! Really wow!
Golden Gate Bridge
We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, you know: The iconic red bridge you see in movies. Yea, that’s the one. Let me just tell you for the record: That thing is gigantic! And what a view… Really amazing!
The giant. We were there. Great place, insanely beautiful campus. I can see how Google employees like where they work. They got everything over there! I love the great statues they put up for every major Android release. Cool stuff!
Going to Facebook was one of those things I was really looking forward to without really knowing why. I’ve read about the Facebook campus on multiple sites but being there is really something else. They showed us around the campus and Mark ‘Zucky‘ Zuckerberg walked right past us. I know: he’s just a guy… And yet: he’s not just a guy. Oh by the way: The above picture is (one of) the actual Facebook Wall(s) where visitors can write a little note. We also got a ‘Like button‘-magnet and some Facebook post-it’s. I turned into a Facebook-fan in an instant.
So much more stuff
We went to a couple of other companies (EA Games, Momentum Design Lab, Method, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Obscura Digital) and places (Point Reyes, Castro, Infinite Loop 1, Fisherman’s Warf). There’s just too much to list here. I love this city and at one point I will go back there.
I can really picture myself living there. Maybe one day…
Thanks to all my friends for making this a great experience. That’s one childhood dream off the list. What made it even better is that I was able to do this with my lovely girlfriend! It was amazing to be there with all of you. I also want to thank my lecturers for setting up those visits at all those amazing companies. It was really incredible!