martedì 21 luglio 2015

West Coast 2/2 and District Conference

DAY 13

We had to get up really early because we went to Alcatraz! When we were in line to get into the boat we met another rotary exchange students group, which was awesome. Being in the boat was really cool because of the view we had. Reached the island we received headphones, we didn't have a guide so we had to listen. It was really intresting and kind of weird to see all the cells and room there. At the end of the tour there was also a prisoner who was signing books. We took the boat back at 11:25 AM. Then we had free time for most of the afternoon at Pier 39. We had bread bowls for lunch and then we bought some souvenirs. To conclude our staying in San Francisco we crossed the Golden Gate, it was fantastic! We went back to the hotel early so we could have last times together, exchange pins and stuff like that. We had dinner and then afterwords we had the "Belo USA Oscar Awards". Then we had time for partying, dancing and signing flags until midnight.

DAY 14:

The worst day of the trip, obviously. The boys arrived at the airport around 8:30 AM and the girls were already there. We went thru security and then we waited at the gate a couple of hours before departure. We flew with Southwest and we were group C for boarding so we didn't get very good seats. A lot of us had to sit alone in the middle seat, but I got to seat in the very last spots with Giulia and Enzo. By the time we landed we expected to leave right away with the bus but it wasn't here. It arrived at 3:30ish and eventually it also broke down. We arrived in Fort Collins just at 7 PM, I didn't even eat dinner 'cause I wasn't hungry. We had to leave the dorms for joining an ice cream social thing at the Marriott full of Rotarians. We practised the flag cerimony until 10 PM and then we finally got back to the dorms, with assigned rooms.. obviously.


Friday we had to be that the Marriott at 8 AM for the flag ceremony, that was over just about 8.20. We had to be there until lunch for listening to some rotarians talking. Then they brought us to the gardens to help with pots until 4 PM. Saturday, after attending other meetings we went bowling and that's the last fun thing we had the chance to do together. We had to be back at the Marriott by 5 PM and at 9ish after dinner we sang Love In Any Language. Pointless to say that almost everyone cried once we left the room.. It has been hard but it was even harder in the morning when I had to say goodbye and walk away from the group. I wish I could hug them again just right now because everything felt so right when I was with them. I got really close also with Luci, my table mate for lunch and dinner!

- Cris

West Coast Trip 1/2

Hello everyone, today I decided to write in English so that my friends from all over the world can read about the journey we did together. For everyone who'd like to read it in a different language, you can translate this post using google translate at the top left of this page.

DAY 1:

So Thursday night enzo and I basically didn't sleep at all, we watched tv and we were also excited for the trip. We got ready and left the house at about 5:45 AM in the morning, pretty early but totally worth it. Arrived at meeting point we saw all our friends. Once in the bus we were headed to Denver to pick up the other part of the group. Our first exciting stop was in South Park, which is the place where the cartoon "South Park" obviously takes location. Then in the night we reached Durango, where we had dinner and later the orientation as well. We had to listen belo staff talking about rules, stuff that I already heard in New York. The first night I got lucky and shared the room with Enzo.

DAY 2:

Saturday we went to Mesa Verde National Park were we hicked pretty much the whole morning. The weather was kind of crappy, it was rainy. Then after lunch we were on the road again, Williams AZ. The hotel this time was a ranch place, the room were nice but we did not have air conditioning. We spent both nights in the hot tub tho, which is nice.

DAY 3:

I just have to say one thing: GRAND CANYON. Finally this time it wasn't a picture or a movie, it was reality. It was amazing and I don't even know how to describe it, it's breathtaking. We hicked down, it took about one hour I think to go down. We took a lot of pictures at the bottom and then we hicked back up. Enzo and Torben left and I caught up with them later. We had lunch and then we took the bus and we went to check the canyon in different view points. We drove back to Williams and we had dinner in a Western place with live music.

DAY 4:

On our way to Vegas we did not stop at 4 corners but we did stop on Route 66. It was so cool because that little town is where the movie Cars took place. We arived at the Mall in Vegas probably at about 1 PM. So we had lunch and we went inside a few shops. Enzo, Torben and I bought a tie with lights on it. The lights would turn on with the beat of the music or simply speaking. Then we arrived at the hotel and got ready for the night. We had dinner at a casino and there our limos picked us up. We were in the white one and it was simply awesome! We had so much fun touring around Vegas in the night. First stop was in Fremont Street Experience, where there was some live music and people ziplining. We didn't have time for it but I really wanted to do it. Then we went to the Bellagio, where we saw the lights show. Last stop of the night was the famous Vegas Sign.

DAY 5:

Tuesday we had free time pretty much the whole morning at the strips. We didn't have lunch basically because we wanted to make sure we had enough time to see everything we wanted. We went inside the Caesar Palace, the Venetian, Paris, New York, Hard Rock etc. Then we went back to the hotel and changed clothes. After, it was time for us to go to the Stratosphere tower. It's a really tall building where you can get a 360° view of the city and go on rides. Then we had dinner at the bottom of it.

DAY 6:

It's time to say Goodbye to Vegas and to get ready for.. Universal Studios, California! It was one of the highlights of the trip. I always wanted to go there and I couldn't believe I was there with my best friends. The first thing we did was the tour of the studios. It was awesome to see the sets and how they can film bad weather even tho it's 80 degrees and sunny. After that we did some simulators and rides. We had dinner at Hard Rock Hollywood and then we had a little time for shopping before heading back to the hotel. Also this time I was sharing room with Enzo.

DAY 7:

Walk of Fame. Honestly I enjoyed being there and everything, it was cool. But I expected much more. It looked dirty and nothing special other than the stars. We got bad weather so it was also hard to be able to see the Hollywood sign. We had lunch at the Mall and then we went to Huntington Beach where we spent the afternoon playing volleyball. For dinner we had American Italian and then we came back to the hotel and spent time at the pool.

DAY 8:

Disneyland is a magical place and that's where we went and spent the day Friday. It was awesome, Disneyland and California Adventure are one right next to the other and we could access to both parks. We started with the Hollywood tower, then we did rides like California Screaming, Cars and other roller coasters. It was hot so it was also nice to do stuff that includes water. For lunch we had corn dog and then we had a meeting to check in with belo staff, there we found another rotary group. It's so funny how everywhere we went pretty much we found exchange students on their west coast trip as well. By night Anita, Enzo and I had dinner and then we saw the parade and the fireworks. It was absolutely awesome. By the time we reached the hotel tho we went to bed because we were really really tired. According to Enzo's phone we walked something like 23 km that day, insane! 
PS There some guys found Drake of "Drake and Josh"!

DAY 9:

In the morning we went to a Los Angeles view point but unfortunately it was windy and foggy so we didn't see much. Then we went to Beverly Hills. We had lunch at Jimmy John's and we walked around. It was exciting because there were a lot of famous and expensive shops and on the wall there was the list of the cities where you could find it, Milan was always pretty much there, with Florence and sometimes Venice too. There the belo staff said they saw Chris Evans, Captain America in The Avengers. In the afternoon we left for Merced, CA. That night we went to the pool as well and had a lot of fun!

DAY 10:

Yosemite National Park! The first thing we did there was hicking, we saw the falls and then we had luch. We got shawarma with chicken and then we went rafting. I was with Lena, Torben and Enzo. We had a lot of fun, got wet, raced some people and spoke with random people. Enzo and I came back to the meeting point early so we went to the falls with Lena from Germany. It was awesome and relaxing to be able to lie down on the rock, to listen to music and to watch the falls. For dinner we had some veggies.

DAY 11:

SAN FRANCISCO DAY. I was excited to go there but I've never considered San Francisco as much as I considered New York for example, and I was wrong because San Francisco is beautiful! So before we got there we stopped on the road and ate at In 'n Out for the first time. During this trip my friends and I argued quite a bit, so Irem bought Enzo and I some kisses, and that was nice. Arrived in San Francisco, Pier 39 we had some hours of free time, so we walked in the Italian area pretty much and then we shopped at the Pier. We had dinner at Bubba Gump and then we went to the hotel. This was a complex of buildings, so we slept in one and for breakfast we had to go in another one, for the game room same thing. It was the only time we could pick our roomates. I shared room with Torben and Enzo, which was nice because everyone had the big bed once since we didn't have a fourth roomate. In the night we went to the game room, which was composed by pool, foosball and air hockey.

DAY 12:

We took the cable car around town, it was very fun! After that we had some free time for lunch and then we had a bus tour with a guide who didn't like just talking but also singing, not that he was good at it but.. During this tour we went to Lombard Street, famous for a steep, one-block section with eight harpin turns. We went also to Alamo Square Park, where there is the famous neighborhood of "Full House". In the late afternoon we had free time in Chinatown, where we had dinner.

to be continued

- Cris