Jan 18

Leaving Heavenly was always going to be hard as each of the boys, in their own way, have got a huge amount out of their time here. As they say though, “all good things must come to an end” and this morning we finished our packing and boarded our bus to head back towards San Francisco.

The first stop along the way was to the Vacaville Premium Outlet Centre. This was an opportunity for the boys to have a walk around the centre and many of the boys found this a great opportunity to pick up some excellent deals, particularly in the clothing department. I have never seen so many shoes in my life as when I boarded the bus – clearly the boys plan on wearing them out quickly as they seem to have organised several replacements! When it came to the staff, I am not sure what to think when one boarded the bus with a skateboard and another with a fry pan! A third member of staff isn’t sure whether his wife is having a boy or girl … so bought for both!

The size of this place and the number of shops was quite extraordinary and I am pleased that we limited the time that the boys had there – if we hadn’t then the trip from that point was going to be extremely tight!

From Vacaville we continued towards San Francisco and stopped off for a guided tour around the Jelly Belly Factory. This was a part of the trip that I was not sure how it would go – as it turned out, it was a great experience listening to the history of the jelly bean, watching the factory in action and enjoying a few samples along the way! This stop was only a short one and within about an hour, after a few more taste tests and a some candy purchases, we were back on the bus and heading for dinner.

This evening we dined at the world famous “Bubba Gumps Shrimp Co Restaurant” at the even more famous Pier 39. Just the walk down the peer was an experience as we were able to window shop anything and everything. A few took some time before dinner to appreciate the view of Alcatraz and witness the Sea Lions bedding down for the night.

Bubba Gumps is a themed restaurant based around the movie Forest Gump. Some mid-dinner Forest Gump trivia organised by the waiters was well answered by the boys and the shrimp was superb. A good fun night, a solid feed and just a small taste of the scenery of San Francisco was an excellent way to end the day and take our minds off the fact that we had left Heavenly.

We arrived at the accommodation and set ourselves up for the evening and had a good chat about the importance of being sensible and inconspicuous in a city like San Francisco in order to ensure that the rest of the trip ran smoothly.

Yes it was sad to say goodbye to Lake Tahoe but it was certainly fantastic to move on to San Francisco!

Photo 1: Our full group just before departing Lake Tahoe

Photo 2: Sam Greig (Year 11) and Nathan Salmon (Year 12) admire a portrait of “William and Kate” made out of Jelly Beans.

Photo 3: Spencer Wilson (Year 9) sits on the the famous chair that was used in the movie Forest Gump.

Photo 4: Daniel Moscaritolo (Year 11), Jack Cullen (Year 11) and Max Beavis (Year 11) enjoy the view with Alcatraz in the background.

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