STEP 1 in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard St, and Cable Cars

Touring San Francisco with the STEP 1 group was a fun adventure. We hopped off the cable car at the top of Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the city. In the distance you can see Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. Here we are at the foot of Lombard Street, off on foot to explore.
Naia, Eukene, Maitane, and our wonderful chaperone Ainara hold on tight as we ride up and down the hills of San Francisco on a cable car ride to Fisherman’s Wharf.

All of the students were together for our Friday bus tour, which culminated in the Golden Gate Bridge hike. Nick and Lacey, host family siblings joined us that day too. The weather can change quickly in San Francisco. When we began our journey across the bridge, the fog obscured the tops of the towers, and the wind blew coldly. Jakes and Edu resting after the hike. Maitane and Itziar take in the grandeur of the bay. By the time we reached the south end of the bridge, the fog had cleared and the sun shone warmly.

San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden

Friday morning began with a stroll through the beautifully manicured gardens of the Japanese Tea Garden. A visit to the de Young Art Museum included an incredible view from their observation tower. Marta notices the various neighborhoods and land features of this beautiful region.

Dancing in the Pacific Ocean

Our Friday tour continued along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, where we rolled up our trousers and tip-toed into the frigid surf. The chilly water temperature and grand vastness of the ocean inspire Maitane and Itziar to dance.

– Gerry Weiner, Local Leader, STEP 1 2012

STEP 1 students in California

Meeting local police, dance class, and playing baseball

Our first morning together in California took us to the Danville Police Department.  The officers gave us a full tour of the station, including a turn in the back seat of the police car.

On our second morning in California, we climbed on board a commuter train in sunny Walnut Creek, and got off in a typical, beautiful San Francisco foggy day.  We hiked to a neighborhood dance studio where we were challenged to a high energy hip-hop dance class.  We each dropped our hats a few times.  

Learning baseball abroad

Many of the American host families joined us for a morning of baseball. After some batting practice and running the bases, we played a game together.  Here is Eukene at bat.  You can see the ball in the air in front of her. Next week when we go to see the Oakland A’s play the Texas Rangers, we’ll have a much better appreciation of the game.

Exploring San Francisco

The famous song about San Francisco, sung by Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, inspired a series of sculptures in the city.  Here are a few of the girls posing in front of the Union Square sculpture. I think many of them are falling in love with San Francisco already! One of our walks through San Francisco brought us to Chinatown, the largest in the world (outside of China of course.) Here, Itziar, Maitane and Nerea welcome us to the Grant Street Gate. Walking deeper into Chinatown, we visited a fortune cookie bakery. We watched as the cookies were made, and enjoyed a fresh sample.

Visiting the Cable Car Museum

We’ve seen the cable cars gliding up the streets, and heard the famous clanging of the bells. Here we visited the Cable Car Museum to learn how the system works. We watched the huge wheels move the cables under the streets of San Francisco, pulling the cable cars up the steep hills.

Waterpark Excitement!

One way to escape the heat of California is to enjoy a cold, wet amusement park ride. Here the girls recover from a good splash. If you look really close, you can see the boys enjoying an exciting raft ride at the Great America amusement park. Having survived their exciting raft ride, the boys celebrate their successful trip down the slide.

– Gerry Wiener, Local Leader, STEP 1 2012