Jan 19

Today was our first full day in San Francisco and an opportunity to see a large amount of this beautiful city. After a full continental breakfast, we took to the footpaths of the world famous Lombard Street. Although we thought we were walking down Lombard Street, we didn’t realise that first we had to walk up it! It was certainly steep and it was quite entertaining to see Year 12 boys Luke Donlon and Nathan Salmon challenge each other to a hill sprint that would rival most. It wouldn’t be fair to tell you who lost – I can tell you that Nathan won though!

Once at the top of the hill (Hyde Street) we saw many city trams passing by and it was then time for us to walk down the iconic winding stretch of Lombard Street. It really was a beautiful stretch (if you can call it that) of road, although getting in and out of the driveways certainly looked a challenge for the residents!

From Lombard Street we headed to “Bay City Bikes” where each of us picked up a bike in preparation for our San Francisco riding experience. This was just fantastic. We rode along the shores of San Francisco Bay before we headed up the steep incline to the Golden Gate Bridge. Having our own famous bridge in Sydney did nothing to take away from incredible feeling as we rode along the bridge, stopping a few times to admire the incredible view of the bay, Alcatraz and some seals swimming below us. The weather was perfect for the ride and there is no doubt that this was an experience that we will all remember for a long long time.

We had a short break on the otherside of the bridge before heading back – the three hour bike ride, some of which was at a steep incline, certainly tested the fitness!

After dropping our bikes back we jumped on the coach and headed to Union Square for lunch. After a bite to eat, the boys had the choice of either heading to the “Beat Museum” or spending some time shopping in and around Union Square. For those of us who visited the many shops of the area, the walk was certainly an experience and it was fortunate that we had divided the boys into smaller groups, each being with a teacher at all times and the talk we had had with the boys last night now seemed to make more sense to them. We all certainly came to the conclusion that we were very lucky with the lives we lead.

Dinner tonight was at the ‘Burger Bar” which was a restaurant inside Macy’s – a large department store similar to David Jones. At the Burger Bar we had our own private function room which was great. Not only did it allow us to have some privacy as a group but it also gave us a chance to pause as a group before dinner and, led by Mr Thompson, give thanks for not just the food we were lucky to have but also the incredible experiences and opportunities that we had had over the last 8 days.

Today was a fantastic day that allowed us to see how beautiful the City of San Francisco really is and in looking back a few months to when we had to choose whether or not to have an extra day in San Francisco, I think we all agreed that it was definitely worth it!

Photo 1: Year 10 boys Mark Robinson, Scott Atkin, Patrick Jessup and Sam Scarlett at the top of Lombard Street.

Photo 2: Jordan Lewis (Year 8) on his bike preparing to ride over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Photo 3: Year 9 boys Ben Rooney, Jackson Haynes, Tom Anderson, Daniel Amasi and Cain Nelson enjoy the amazing view of San Francisco Bay after riding over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Photo 4: Year 11 boys Max Beavis, Daniel Moscaritolo and Will Flannery getting ready to eat at the Burger Bar at Union Square.

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