California.

When I was in my junior year in high school, I had the opportunity to sign up along with my friends for a college tour in California.

The tour consisted on visiting different colleges and universities in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

I was very excited to be a part of this tour not only because of the opportunity to see and learn about new colleges but because I was going to be traveling on my own for the first time without my parents.

Of course the colleges was my number one motivator. Right. Like any good sixteen year old traveling without parent supervision was the cool part.

If my memory doesn’t fail me, I believe the trip lasted about a week.

We visited so many great universities like UCLA, Stanford and Berkeley just to name a few. Being in those universities walking around its campus and halls felt like being part of a movie.

In between university tours, we were able to do some sightseeing on the most famous places around Los Angeles and San Francisco.

We had the opportunity to explore and spend a day at the Santa Monica Pier as well as walk around Rodeo Drive that had the most luxurious stores ever.

We also had the opportunity to explore a little of San Francisco.

I remember stopping along the Golden Gate Bridge. It was so cold that day; I remember my hands wouldn’t stop shaking from the cold to be able to take a good picture.

It was such a breathtaking sight.

No matter how many times you see it on TV or in movies, once it’s in front of you it takes your breath away.

Walking up and down the famous Lombard Street was certainly a fun experience being in such an iconic place.

Touring the mysterious Alcatraz Island was one of the highlights of that trip. It had so many stories, so much mystery and just such a cool experience overall.

And of course how could I forget the delicious In-N-Out burger place. Gosh. One of the best places to eat hands down. I still miss those burgers. I don’t know what it is but whenever we saw one around that’s where we would stop and eat.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to go back to California to enjoy its beautiful cities and beaches but I am glad I had the opportunity to do it in high school.

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All images © 2000-2016 Antonella Nakfour.

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