After a long semester of hard work, involvement in different student activities, and maybe a bit of partying, I was very excited for the upcoming winter break. Having already visited nearby Chicago and even New York City, I could not wait to explore the west coast of the United States. I began planning to visit three major cities, including San Francisco, Los Angles and Las Vegas. I booked the flights, buses and hotels a month before the trip. Joining me on this trip was my friend Walaa from Egypt, who has a lot of experience traveling to different places.
The first step of my journey was a long flight lasting more than six hours. At the end of it, I finally arrived at my first destination San Francisco, California. The beautiful hill city had hip neighborhoods and elegant buildings. There was no end of things to see, from Union Square in the heart of downtown, famous for its wide streets and cable cars, to China Town where they sell bizarre and strange goods. Other areas that I really enjoyed were the piers from the Embarcadero to the Fisherman’s Wharf, the Palace of Fine Arts, Sausalito, Muir Woods National Park and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
After completing my four-day trip in the Golden City, I packed my bags and headed to the City of Angels, Los Angeles, one of the great culture capitals of the world. Visiting this city has been a dream for me since the time of my childhood. Upon our arrival there was one thing we knew we had to do before anything else: go to Hollywood, the epicenter of the world’s entertainment industry. We tracked down our favorite stars in the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame, visited Beverly Hills, Universal Studios and hiked to the Hollywood sign. Of course, the most magical moment of our trip was celebrating the new year. After a whole day in Disneyland, we attended the new year celebration. The party was complete with a DJ, parades, cheerleaders and a lot of fireworks. On the first day of the new year, we ventured to Santa Monica. After the excitement of the celebration the night before, Santa Monica and Venice beach provided a nice relaxation.
The final stop of our voyage to the west was Sin City, Las Vegas. And as we all know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Now that I’m back at school, I’m sure that my winter break will be one of my most memorable experiences from my time in America.
Written by Mohamed Sadek Bouanane, Algeria, Global UGRAD 2017-18 at Wright State University