Independence Day

Fireworks over San Francisco Bay

Going into week 3, the US celebrated its Independence Day on the Fourth of July. Eager to join in the festivities, we made our way to San Francisco. Our first stop was the Golden Gate Park where we got a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and managed to snap some awesome pictures. Then we grabbed some Mexican fare from a nearby restaurant called Tacko before heading towards the Aquatic Park Bleachers at Beach Street to see some fireworks. The atmosphere was electrifying as we watched live performances by different groups. As night fell, the fireworks started although it was rather underwhelming since it was blocked by the encroaching fog. Nonetheless, we had great fun celebrating Independence Day.

Campus recreation

Beloved rock wall

Back at Stanford, we went exploring around campus to see what other activities were available for us. We found the gym and pool but the one thing that drew us in the most was the Stanford Climbing Wall. We did bouldering there but some of us also managed to get Top Rope certified at the wall, thereby allowing us to do belay climbing and even auto belaying. The rock walls were extensive and had many different routes catering to climbers with different capabilities. If you ever come to Stanford, the rock wall is a really great place to blow off some steam or relax in between bouts of studying.

San Francisco Outlets

San Francisco outlets

Over the weekend, it was yet another round of shopping. This time we headed up north towards Livermore to the San Francisco Outlets. Livermore has much better deals on Nike and Adidas while featuring more high-end names such as Gucci, Prada and Roger Vivier. Inevitably, some of the other outlets offer much higher prices compared to Gilroy. As always, we left Livermore with our hearts full but our wallets completely empty at this point. Barbara Kruger would have something to say about this.

Palo Alto Arts & Wine fair

Finally, we rounded off the week with the Palo Alto Art and Wine fair. We heard about it from our fellow Branner mates and decided to check it out. It was a bustling fair that presented wines from the valley and also exhibited interesting art pieces for sale although I would not be able to afford any of them. There were also live performances by local bands and it was quite cool to experience fair culture in the US.

That ends week 3 and we look forward to more adventures next week.

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